- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
What is oxycodone, and what is it used for?
Brand names: OxyContin, Roxicodone, Oxecta, Oxaydo, Xtampza ER, Roxybond
- 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.
- 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:
- Heart attack
- Abnormal heartbeats
- Urinary retention
Is oxycodone addictive?
- 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- If oxycodone is suddenly withdrawn after prolonged use, symptoms of withdrawal may develop.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 interact with oxycodone?
- Oxycodone, like other narcotic pain-relievers, increases the effects of drugs that slow brain function, such as:
- Skeletal muscle relaxants, for example, carisoprodol (Soma), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)
- Benzodiazepines, for example, lorazepam (Ativan)
- 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%.
Oxycodone contraindications, pregnancy and breastfeeding safety
- 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.
- 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.
- Small amounts of oxycodone are secreted in breast milk, which may cause side effects in the newborn.
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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.
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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.