Taking Oxycodone With Valium (Diazepam)

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses the safety concerns of taking oxycodone with Valium (diazepam).

May 07, 2018

Dave9 asked

Can I take a oxycodone 10 mg 8 hours after a Valium 5 mg?

Answer

Taking oxycodone (Roxicodone) and diazepam (Valium) together may cause an increased risk of sedation, CNS depression, and respiratory depression. Taking these two medications should generally be limited to patients without alternative treatment options.


Using the lowest dose for the shortest duration is generally recommended when taking opioids like oxycodone and benzodiazepines like Valium. Communicating with your physician on the dosage and directions is even more important when taking both together.


Oxycodone has a half-life of approximately 3 to 5 hours and the pain relief effects usually last about 3 to 4 hours. After 8 hours, about 25% of the peak drug concentration would still be present in healthy patients.


Patients with liver or kidney impairment may have even more drug remaining. For example, in patients with mild to moderate liver damage, the oxycodone half-life increases by nearly 2.5 hours. In patients with worsened kidney function, the half-life can increase by about 1 hour.

 

Information About Oxycodone

Oxycodone is a controlled substance pain medication that comes as a single ingredient product or in a combination tablet with acetaminophen (Percocet). Oxycodone, as well as other opioids, activates the mu-opiate receptor and reduces the perception of pain from the Central Nervous System (CNS). Opioids also change the way you respond to pain emotionally‚ÄĒgiving the user a sense of euphoria and disinhibition.


Because of the risk for addiction and side effects, nonopioids like acetaminophen and ibuprofen should be considered instead of taking Oxycodone. Oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance, the highest risk category that can be prescribed based on abuse potential.

 

Information About Valium

Diazepam (Valium) is a Schedule IV controlled substance that is often used to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, and seizures.


Benzodiazepines work by enhancing the GABA-benzodiazepine receptor in the brain. This enhances the effect of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that causes anxiety relief and sedation.


Diazepam is metabolized extensively into active metabolites including desmethyldiazepam, temazepam, and oxazepam. Because of this, diazepam has a half-life of 30 to 60 hours.


Summary

Caution is necessary when taking oxycodone and Valium together due to the increased risk of sedation, CNS depression, and respiratory depression. After 8 hours, oxycodone levels would be about 25% of the peak in healthy patients and would still have some risk when taking with Valium.  

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