- Surprising Reasons You're in Pain Slideshow
- Take the Pain Quiz
- Joint-Friendly Exercises to Reduce RA Pain Slideshow
- What is oxycodone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses for oxycodone?
- What are the side effects of oxycodone?
- What is the dosage for oxycodone?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with oxycodone?
- Is oxycodone safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about oxycodone?
What is oxycodone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Oxycodone is a strong narcotic pain-reliever and cough suppressant similar to morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone. The precise mechanism of action (how it works) is not known, but it 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.
What are the uses for oxycodone?
- Oxycodone is prescribed for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term treatment with a narcotic, and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate for the relief of moderate to severe pain.
What are the side effects of oxycodone?
The most frequent side effects of oxycodone include:
Other side effects of oxycodone include:
Oxycodone is used with caution in the elderly, debilitated patients, and in patients with serious lung disease because it can depress breathing.
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 If oxycodone is suddenly withdrawn after prolonged use, symptoms of withdrawal may develop.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.
What is the dosage for oxycodone?
- 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. Extended release tablets should be swallowed whole, broken, crushed, or chewed. Breaking, crushing, or chewing extended release tablets may lead to rapid absorption of the drug and dangerous levels of oxycodone.
- Patients who have been using opioids and have become tolerant to opioid therapy should only use the 60 and 80 tablets or single doses greater than 40 mg. Administration of large doses to opioid-naïve patients may lead to profound depressed breathing. The usual adult dose for the oral solution (5 mg/5 ml) is 10-30 mg every 4 hours.
Which drugs or supplements interact with oxycodone?
- Oxycodone, like other narcotic pain-relievers, increases the effects of drugs that slow brain function, such as:
- Combined use of the above drugs and oxycodone may lead to increased respiratory depression.
- Oxycodone should not be taken with any of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) class of antidepressants, for example, isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), selegiline (Eldepryl), and procarbazine (Matulane) or other drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase, for example, linezolid (Zyvox). Such combinations may lead to confusion, high blood pressure, tremor, hyperactivity, coma, and death. Oxycodone should not be administered within 14 days of stopping an MAOI.
- Since oxycodone causes constipation, the use of antidiarrheals, for example, diphenoxylate and atropine (Lomotil) and loperamide (Imodium), in persons taking oxycodone, can lead to severe constipation.
- Drugs that stimulate and block opioid receptors for example, pentazocine, nalbuphine (Nubain), butorphanol (Stadol), and buprenorphine (Subutex) may reduce the effect of oxycodone and may precipitate withdrawal symptoms.
- Combining oxycodone with drugs that affect activity of certain liver enzymes or discontinuing such drugs may result in fatal oxycodone overdose.
- A fatty meal may increase the absorption of oxycodone by 27%.
Is oxycodone safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about oxycodone?
- Oxycodone is available as:
- Tablets (Immediate Release): 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 mg.
- Capsules (Immediate Release): 5 mg.
- Tablets (Extended Release): 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 60, and 80.
- Oral Concentrate: 20 mg/ml.
- Oral Solution: 5 mg/5 ml
- 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.
- Brand names available in the US for oxycodone are OxyContin, Roxicodone, Oxecta, Oxaydo, Xtampza ER, and Roxybond.
- Oxycodone is available in generic form.
- Oxocodone is a controlled narcotic in the US, and can only be obtained by a visit to your doctor.
Pain Management Resources
Oxycodone (brand names OxyContin, Roxicodone, Oxecta, Oxaydo, Xtampza ER, Roxybond) is a narcotic pain-reliever prescribed for moderate to moderately severe pain. Some side effects include lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and constipation. Drug interactions, dosing, and pregnancy and breastfeeding information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
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Treatment & Diagnosis
- Back Pain FAQs
- Pain FAQs
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Prescription Drug Abuse
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
- Oxycodone vs. Tramadol for Pain
- Drug Interactions
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- montelukast, Singulair
- Oxycodone vs. Codeine
- Dilaudid vs. Percocet for Pain
- Oxycodone vs. Hydrocodone
- hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Vicodin, Norco)
- Tramadol vs. Hydrocodone
- Oxycodone vs. Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) for Pain
- Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen, Roxicet, Tylox, Oxycet)
- Dilaudid vs. Oxycodone
- Percocet vs. Hydrocodone
- Percocet vs. Lortab for Pain
- fentanyl patch (Duragesic)
- Benzodiazepines vs. Narcotics (Opioids)
- hydrocodone (Zohydro ER)
- hydrocodone and ibuprofen, Vicoprofen
- fentanyl tablet - buccal, Fentora
Prevention & Wellness
- Opioid Rxs Decreasing, But Not for All Doctors
- Which Misused Prescription Meds Send Americans to the ER?
- Another Side Effect of the Opioid Crisis: Heart Infections
- Before Teen Is Prescribed Opioids, Look at Family's Drug Use
- Too Often, Opioid Abuse Runs in the Family, Study Shows
- Making OxyContin 'Tamper Proof' Helped Spread Hepatitis C
- Purdue Pharma Owners Lied About Dangers of OxyContin: Court Filing
- Kratom Use in Pregnancy Spurs Withdrawal Symptoms in Newborns
- Workers' Comp Often a Gateway to Opioid Abuse: Study
- Don't Blame Obamacare for the Opioid Crisis: Study
- Oxycontin's Maker Now Selling Drug to Curb Opioid Addiction
- Surgeons Recommend Fewer Opioid Pills After Nose Jobs
- Opioids Before Joint Replacement Tied to Worse Recovery
- Anti-seizure Meds Won't Ease Low Back Pain
- Trump Carried Counties With High Opioid Use: Study
- Have Insurers Played a Role in Opioid Crisis?
- Doctors Curbing First-Time Prescriptions for Opioids
- ER Docs Prescribe More Opioids Than They Realize
- Post-Op Opioids: How Much Is Enough?
- ERs Prescribing Opioids at Lower Doses, Shorter Durations
- CDC Launches Opioid Campaign in Hard-Hit States
- Opioid ODs Have Cut Into U.S. Life Expectancy: CDC
- Surgery Can Be Trigger for Teen Opioid Abuse
- Many Migraine Sufferers Given Unecessary Opioids, Study Finds
- Longer Prescriptions Make Opioid Abuse More Likely: Study
- Many Prescribed Opioids Even After Overdose
- Hospitals Not to Blame for Most Opioid Addiction: Study
- Study Finds Options to Opioid Use After Knee Surgery
- Opioid Overdoses and Deaths Flooding U.S. Hospitals
- 7-Fold Spike Seen in Opioid-Linked Fatal Car Crashes
- Opioid Abuse Down in Younger Americans, But Up Among Older Adults
- Easing Opioid Dose May Improve Pain and Quality of Life
- Ending U.S. Opioid Abuse Epidemic Will Take Years: Report
- Painkiller Misuse Remains a Pressing Problem Across U.S.
- Painkiller Prescriptions More Prone to Errors If Handwritten
- Reaching Beyond the Prescription Pad to Treat Pain
- 3 Simple Steps Might Reduce Opioid OD Deaths
- When Is an Opioid Safe to Take?
- Opioid-Linked Hospitalizations Rising Fastest for Women: Study
- Opioid Abuse Jumps 6-Fold for U.S. Youth, Too Few Get Treated: Study
- Addicts Try to Avoid Deadly Fentanyl, But Many Tragically Fail
- Nearly 10 Million U.S. Adults Suffer From Mental Illness
- Opioids Over-Prescribed After C-Sections: Studies
- FDA Asks Maker of Opioid Painkiller Opana ER to Pull Drug From Market
- 1 in 5 Weight-Loss Surgery Patients Using Opioids Years Later
- Did a 1980 Letter Help Spark the U.S. Opioid Crisis?
- 1 in 4 Americans Knows Someone Hooked on Opioids: Poll
- ERs May Need to Rethink Opioid Prescription Practices
- Babies Born Addicted to Opioids Often Struggle With Learning
- Opioid-Related Deaths Might Be Underestimated: CDC
- Cherokee Nation Sues Drug Distributors, Retailers Over Opioid Crisis
- Rehab Services Lacking in States Hit Hard by Opioids
- Painkiller Maker Settles With U.S. Government
- Fewer U.S. Kids Overdosing on Opioids
- Spring-Clean Your Medicine Cabinet to Safeguard Your Kids
- Opioid Dependence Can Start in Just a Few Days
- 7 in 10 U.S. Workplaces Hit by Opioid Abuse: Survey
- Many Opioid Addicts in Treatment Take Narcotics on the Side
- Drug OD Deaths Have Nearly Tripled Since 1999: CDC
- Kids' OD Risk Rises When Opioids Left Out at Home
- Some Docs May Help Fuel Opioid Abuse Epidemic
- Opioids and Alcohol a Dangerous Cocktail
- Amnesia Affecting Some Opioid Abusers
- Steep Rise in Births to U.S. Women Using Opioids
- Kids Born to Opioid-Addicted Moms Seem to Fare Poorly in School
- Innovative Programs Help Addicts Get Off Opioids
- Drug Overdose Deaths Climb Dramatically in U.S.
- Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Double in a Year
- Opioid Overdoses Burden U.S. Hospitals: Report
- Opioids No Better Than Ibuprofen for Pain After Car Crash: Study
- Self-Harm a Cause of Death During Pregnancy and for New Moms
- DEA Puts Quota on Production of Opioid Painkillers
- Codeine Not Safe for Kids, Pediatricians Warn
- Do States With Medical Marijuana Have Less Opioid Abuse?
- FDA: Opioids Plus Sedatives Pose Fatal OD Risk
- Non-addictive Painkiller Shows Promise in Animal Trials
- Opioid Abusers Missing Out on Addiction-Fighting Drug
- Common Surgeries Raise Risk for Opioid Dependence: Study
- Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Need for Other Meds?
- Programs to Spot Painkiller Abuse Work, But Are Underused
- Prince Died From Potent Prescription Painkiller: Autopsy
- Parents Often Don't Get Rid of Leftover Prescription Opioids
- What a Change in DEA's Pot Rules Might Mean for Medical Research
- Vivitrol Cuts Relapse Risk in Opioid Addicts
- Nearly All U.S. Doctors 'Overprescribe' Addictive Narcotic Painkillers: Survey
- FDA Wants Generic Narcotic Painkillers to Be Abuse-Deterrent
- Did Painkiller Crackdown Cause Heroin Epidemic?
- Opioids: What Patients -- and Doctors -- Think
- Prescriptions Continue for Most Who Survive Painkiller ODs: Study
- Florida 'Pill Mill' Crackdown May Have Curbed Painkiller ODs
- Drug Overdoses Hit Record High: CDC
- Primary Care Docs the Leading Prescribers of Narcotic Painkillers: Study
- Prescription Naproxen as Good as Narcotic Painkillers for Low Back Pain: Study
- Americans Concerned About Prescription Painkiller Addiction
- Kids' ER Visits for Medicine Overdoses Dropping: Report
- Dentists Drill Patients for Drug Abuse Information
- Florida Laws May Help Lower Abuse of Prescription Painkillers
- 25 Million U.S. Adults Struggle With Daily Pain
- FDA OKs OxyContin for Some Children
- Back Pain and Depression Combo Lessens Pain Relief from Narcotic Painkillers
- Painkiller Overdoses Often Involve 'Pharmacy Shopping'
- Who's Most Likely to Get Addicted to Their Narcotic Painkiller?
- Many Doctors Underestimate Risks of Prescription Painkillers: Survey
- 'Friends and Family' OD-Reversal Kits Are Saving Addicts' Lives
- It May Soon Be Possible to Easily 'Brew' Narcotics
- ER Doctors Cautious When Prescribing Narcotic Painkillers: Study
- More U.S. Newborns Enduring Drug Withdrawal: Study
- Narcotic Painkillers in Pregnancy Common, Harmful to Baby: Study
- One-Quarter of Narcotic Painkillers Misused, Study Shows
- Painkiller-Addicted Babies a Growing U.S. Concern, Especially in Fla.
- Many Women of Childbearing Age Take Narcotic Painkillers: CDC
- Drug Interactions Common Among Hospitalized Kids, Study Says
- Painkiller Tramadol Linked to Low Blood Sugar
- Number of Pregnant Women on Narcotic Painkillers, Heroin Doubles, Study Finds
- Almost 1 in 5 Americans Plagued by Constant Pain, Survey Suggests
- Heroin Overdose Deaths Doubled in Much of U.S.: CDC Study
- Doctors' Group Issues Painkiller Guidelines
- Deaths From Narcotic Painkillers Quadrupled in Past Decade: CDC
- Small Number of Drugs Behind Kids' Accidental Poisonings: CDC
- U.S. Hospitals See Big Rise in Drug-Related Suicide Attempts
- Tough-to-Abuse Formulation of Oxycodone Approved
- FDA Approves Hard-to-Abuse Narcotic Painkiller
- Prescriptions for Powerful Painkillers Vary Widely Among States: CDC
- Injuries, Violence Are Leading Causes of Death for Young Americans
- Today's Heroin Abusers Often Middle-Class Suburbanites: Study
- Sharp Rise in ER Visits Tied to Abuse of Sedative, Study Finds
- Saturday Is National Drug Take-Back Day
- Too Much Codeine Still Prescribed to U.S. Kids: Study
- More ERs Treating Headaches With Narcotics, Study Finds
- Longer Detox Might Work Better for Prescription Pain Med Addiction
- Stress Leads Some Doctors to Abuse Prescription Drugs, Study Says
- FDA Announces New Safety Measures for Narcotic Painkillers
- Some Painkillers Tied to Certain Birth Defects in Study
- Most Medications OK During Breast-Feeding, Report Says
- Most Docs OK With Medical Marijuana: Survey
- Erectile Dysfunction Tied to Long-Term Narcotic Use in Men
- Vaccine to Fight Heroin Addiction Shows Promise in Rats
- FDA Approves 'Abuse-Deterrent' Label for New Oxycontin
- Medical Marijuana: Voodoo or Legitimate Therapeutic Choice?
- Program to Spot Painkiller ODs Saves Lives: Study
- FDA Panel Weighs Tougher Restrictions on Some Prescription Painkillers
- Painkiller Abuse by Kids Way Up, Study Finds
- 'Abuse-Resistant' Oxycontin May Be Driving Addicts to Heroin
- Teach Prescribers About Dangers of Long-Acting Pain Meds: FDA
- Methadone for Pain Relief Leading Cause of Fatal Overdoses: CDC
- Chronic Abuse of Prescription Drugs Skyrocketing
- Genes May Influence Reactions to Painkillers
- More Mental Health Woes in College Kids Who Abuse Prescription Drugs
- Mental Health Woes Raise Odds for Prescription Painkiller Abuse
- Kids Most Likely to Start Abusing Painkillers at 16: Study
- Health Highlights: April 5, 2012
- Seniors' Long-Term Use of Strong Painkillers a Concern
- More Newborns Suffering Drug Withdrawal at Birth
- Bufferin, Excedrin, NoDoz, Gas-X Recalled
- Deaths From Drug Poisoning in the U.S Jump by Sixfold
- 40 U.S. Deaths a Day from Prescription Painkillers
- Surge in Number of Americans Treated for Prescription Painkiller Abuse
- FDA Launches Painkiller Abuse Strategy
- Drug-Related Poisonings Land Many in ER
- FDA Warns of Acetaminophen in Prescription Pain Drugs
- New Pain Drug May Be Alternative to Oxycodone
- Survey Reveals Rx Drug Abuse by Teens
- Drug Tests Often Trigger False Positives
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.