Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
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 the tolerance to pain. In addition to tolerance to
pain, oxycodone also causes sedation and depression of respiration. The FDA
approved oxycodone in 1976.
STORAGE: Oxycodone should be stored between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 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
The usual starting dose using immediate release oxycodone tablets is
5 to 30 mg every 4 to 6 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 extended release tablets is 10 mg every 12
hours. Extended release tablets are used when around the clock treatment is
required for an extended period of time. Extended release tablets should not be
broken, crushed or chewed but should be swallowed whole. Braking, crushing or
chewing extended release tablets may lead to rapid absorption of the drug and
dangerous levels of oxycodone.
The 60 and 80 tablets or single doses greater than 40 mg should only be used
by patients who have been using opioids 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 (20 mg/ml) is 5 mg every 6
The usual adult dose for the oral solution (5 mg/5 ml) is 10-30 mg every 4