Opioid Agonist-Antagonists Drug Class

Expectorant + Opioid Combinations are a very strong type of antitussive medication. They are usually sold in the form of a flavored cough syrup, to be taken orally. As the name suggests, these medications include two types of drugs, expectorants, and opioids. Expectorants work to loosen secretions and dry out fluid in the chest and throat. Opioids work to prevent the urge to cough, preventing further irritation to the throat. Because Opioids are controlled substances, Expectorant + Opioid Combinations require a prescription from a licensed health care provider and cannot be purchased over the counter. The most common combination used is the opioid Hydrocodone and the Expectorant Guaifenesin.

Opioid Agonist-Antagonists Drugs

Opioid Agonist-Antagonists Uses

Opioid + Expectorant Combinations are used to treat symptoms caused by airway-related illnesses, usually occurring in the upper airway and lower respiratory tract. Because of the narcotic nature of the drug, Expectorant + Opioid Combinations are often used in serious chronic illness such as lung cancer.

This drug class can help improve the quality of life by relieving severe pain due to chronic coughing. Opioid + Expectorant Combinations can also be used for symptoms of the flu, the common cold, bronchitis, and allergies.

Opioid Agonist-Antagonists Side Effects

Opioid + Expectorant Combination drugs affect many systems of the body. Below you will find their side effects:

  • Respiratory System: Hydrocodone depresses the respiratory centers of the brain, slowing the respiratory rate.
  • Cardiovascular System: Opioid + Expectorant Combinations may affect blood pressure, causing hypertension or postural hypotension. Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat may also occur
  • Central Nervous System: Hydrocodone may cause feelings of dizziness, lightheadedness, decreased respiratory rate, slowing of mental functions, and apparent mood changes. Guaifenesin can cause headaches and feelings of dizziness.
  • Gastrointestinal: Hydrocodone may cause constipation and nausea, vomiting, and cotton mouth. Guaifenesin may cause nausea and vomiting.
  • Genitourinary: Hydrocodone may cause urethral spasms and urinary retention.
  • Dermatologic: Hydrocodone may cause rash, itching, or swelling.
  • Dependence: Hydrocodone is a habit-forming narcotic. People using any medication containing an Opioid Narcotic should always follow the directions. Signs of dependence may signal abuse or addiction, and should be reported to a doctor immediately.

Consult a doctor immediately if any of these symptoms persists.

Opioid Agonist-Antagonists Interactions

Opioid + Expectorant Combinations interact with many other drugs, both prescription and over the counter. You should inform your doctor about any other medications you take. Some of the drugs that may interact with Opioid + Expectorant Combinations include:

  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressants
  • Atropine
  • Bronchodilators
  • Cold medications
  • Medications affecting the urinary system
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Painkillers
  • Sleeping medications

People taking Opioid + Expectorant Combinations should avoid drinking alcohol. Opioid + Expectorant Combinations are not safe for children under the age of 12.