oxycodone, Oxycontin, Roxicodone, M-oxy, ETH-Oxydose, Oxyfast, OxyIR

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GENERIC NAME: oxycodone

BRAND NAMES: Oxycontin, Roxicodone, M-oxy, ETH-Oxydose, Oxyfast, OxyIR

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Oxycodone is a strong narcotic pain-reliever and cough suppressant similar to morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone. The precise mechanism of action is not known but may involve stimulation of opioid receptors in the brain. Oxycodone does not eliminate the sensation of pain but decreases discomfort by increasing tolerance to pain. In addition to tolerance to pain, oxycodone also causes sedation and respiratory depression. The FDA approved oxycodone in 1976.

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 mg. Controlled release tablets: 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 60, 80, and 160 mg.

STORAGE: Oxycodone should be stored between 15 to 30 C (59 to 86 F). Open bottles of oral solution should  be destroyed after 90 days.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Oxycodone is prescribed for the relief of moderate to severe pain.

DOSING: The usual starting dose using immediate release oxycodone tablets is 5 to 30 mg every 4 hours. Patients who have never received opioids should start with 5-15 mg every 4 to 6 hours. Some patients may require 30 mg or more every 4 hours.

The usual starting dose using controlled release tablets is 10 mg every 12 hours. Controlled release tablets are used when around the clock treatment is required for an extended period of time. Controlled release tablets should not be broken, crushed or chewed but should be swallowed whole. Broken, crushed or chewed controlled release tablets may lead to rapid absorption of the drug and dangerous levels of oxycodone.

The 60, 80 and 160 mg tablets or single doses greater than 40 mg should only be used by patients who have been using opiods and have become tolerant to opioid therapy. Administration of large doses to opioid-naïve patients may lead to profound depression of breathing.

The usual adult dose of the oral concentrate solution (20 mg/ml) is 5 mg every 6 hours.

The usual adult dose for the oral concentrate solution (5 mg/ml) is 10-30 mg every 4 hours.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Oxycodone, like other narcotic pain-relievers, increases the effect of drugs that slow brain function, such as alcohol, barbiturates, skeletal muscle relaxants, for example, carisoprodol (Soma), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), and benzodiazepines, for example, lorazepam (Ativan). Combined use of muscle relaxants and oxycodone may lead to increased respiratory depression.

Since oxycodone causes constipation, the use of antidiarrheals, for example, diphenoxylate (Lomotil) and loperamide (Imodium), in persons taking oxycodone, can lead to severe constipation.

Drugs which stimulate and also block opioid receptors (or example, pentazocine, nalbuphine [Nubain], butorphanol [Stadol], buprenorphine [Subutex]) may reduce the effect of oxycodone and may precipitate withdrawal symptoms.

A fatty meal may increase the absorption of oxycodone by 27%.

PREGNANCY: Safety during pregnancy has not been established. Children born to mothers who were taking oxycodone for a prolonged period may exhibit respiratory depression or withdrawal symptoms.

NURSING MOTHERS: Small amounts of oxycodone are secreted in breast milk and may cause side effects in the newborn.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most frequent side effects of oxycodone include lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, headache, rash, constipation, dry mouth, and sweating.

Oxycodone can depress breathing, and is used with caution in elderly, debilitated patients, and in patients with serious lung disease. Oxycodone can impair thinking and the physical abilities required for driving or operating machinery. Oxycodone is habit forming. Mental and physical dependence can occur but are unlikely when used for short-term pain relief. If oxycodone is suddenly withdrawn after prolonged use, symptoms of withdrawal may develop. The dose of oxycodone should be gradually reduced in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 1/7/2010




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