Death associated with drug overdose continues to increase year after year. It is crucial that patients be educated about the correct dosage of drugs to be taken in order to event this from happening .
What is Drug Overdose?
A drug overdose is where an individual ingests an amount of drug beyond its therapeutic level. Every drug has their own therapeutic range and it is within this level that their intended effect occurs.
Anything beyond this level is known as the toxic range and taking this amount of drug may lead to adverse effects or even death. An overdose may either be accidental or intended.
In an accidental overdose, a person unknowingly takes a drug in its toxic level. This type is common in children who may ingest the drugs that they found in medicine bottles lying around the house.
On the other hand, a person is aware of the drug that he is taking in an intended drug overdose. This type is more common is recreational drug users who continuously take in more drugs due to the drug tolerance that their body is developing .
How Many Pills Does It Take to Overdose?
The number of pills it would take to overdose a person differs from one drug to another. Below is a list of some of the most common prescription drug that people overdose on and the number of pills it would take to reach the toxic level.
Remember that these are the figures are for an average individual. People who are hypersensitive to these drugs may overdose at a lower dose while dose who have developed a tolerance may be able to stand higher doses of these medications.
- Methadone- Methadone is an opioid medication that is prescribed to patient for their pain. This drug is also used in assisting patients in heroin withdrawal. The toxic dose of methadone is set at 200 mg and it would take 40 tablets of 5mg strength pills or 20 tablets of the 10mg strength [2, 3].
- Zolpidem – Zolpidem, more commonly known as Ambien, is a sedative which is prescribed to patients who are suffering from insomnia. This drug will affect the chemical levels in the brain and help patients to fall asleep faster. The toxic level for Zolpidem is set at 400-600mg. This level in the body will lead to serious adverse effects. The toxic level is reached by taking 80-120 pieces of 5mg strength pills or 40-60 10mg strength pills [4, 5].
- Morphine – Morphine is another pain medication which is prescribed to patients in order to manage moderate to severe levels of pain. This medication is preferably used for round the clock treatment and not as an as-needed medication. The lethal dose for morphine was set at 200mg. Taking 40 tablets of 5mg strength morphine or 20 pieces of 10mg morphine pills will reach the toxic level [6, 7].
- Oxycodone– Oxycodone is another pain medication. It is also given to patients who are experiencing moderate or severe pain. Patients who are given this medication is placed under closed monitoring because of the habit-forming nature of this medication.
The toxic level of the individual depends on the exposure of the individual to the medication. Someone who just started taking oxycodone may overdose on taking 80 mg or 3 tablets of 30mg strength oxycodone. Those who are taking this drug for a longer period of time may be able to tolerate higher levels of this medication [8, 9].
What to do to a Person that has Overdosed?
A person who is suspected of being overdosed must be brought to the hospital right away. The prognosis of an overdose depends on the amount of drugs that were taken and how soon medical attention has been given. The sooner that they are helped, the better are their chances of surviving .
Overdosing on pills is a real problem and it can be fatal. If you have more information about drug overdose, you can share it in the comment section below.
- Goldberg, J. (2016, April 23). Drug Overdose. Retrieved from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/drug-overdose?page=5
- com. (2016, March 30). Methadone. Retrieved from Drugs.com: https://www.drugs.com/methadone.html
- Addiction Blog. (2014, August 15). Methadone overdose: How much amount of methadone to OD? Retrieved from Addiction Blog: http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/methadone-overdose-how-much-amount-of-methadone-to-od/
- com. (2016, February 1). Ambien. Retrieved from Drugs.com: https://www.drugs.com/ambien.html
- Addiction Blog. (2012, April 12). Ambien overdose: How much amount of Ambien to OD? Retrieved from Addiction Blog: http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/ambien-overdose-how-much-amount-of-ambien-to-od/
- com. (2016, June 24). Morphine. Retrieved from Drugs.com: https://www.drugs.com/morphine.html
- Addiction Blog. (2014, August 9). Morphine overdose: How much amount of morphine to OD? Retrieved from Addiction Blog: http://drug.addictionblog.org/morphine-overdose-how-much-amount-of-morphine-to-od/
- com. (2016, May 20). Oxycodone. Retrieved from Drugs.com: https://www.drugs.com/oxycodone.html
- Addiction Blog. (2012, March 28). Oxycodone overdose: How much amount of oxycodone to OD? Retrieved from Addiction Blog: http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/oxycodone-overdose-how-much-amount-of-oxycodone-to-od/
- Methadone Overdose
- Oxycodone Overdose
- Morphine Overdose – Amount, Symptoms, Treatment
- Zolpidem Overdose
- Ammonia Toxicity
- Crack Overdose
- Ambien Overdose
- Diazepam Overdose
- Oxycontin Overdose
- Barbiturate Overdose