|Drug Class||Opiate (Narcotic) analgesics|
|Working||Works by changing the manner of response the brain
and nervous system provide to pain
|Kicks In||Around an hour|
Oxycodone is a prescription drug, which is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone pills come in different shapes and sizes depending upon the dosage. This drug is generally prescribed to those patients who need painkillers for a longer period of time. It is available as an immediate-release tablet, extended-release tablet, and extended-release injectable solution. For children, extended-release tablets are only approved.
How does oxycodone work?
Oxycodone binds with the mu-receptors present in the central nervous system (CNS) and mimics the working of an opioid. Oxycodone also prevents the secretion of vasopressin, glucagon, and insulin. The beginning of relief in pain generally starts within fifteen minutes and lasts for up to six hours with the immediate-release treatment. It also improves the quality of life in people suffering from certain types of pain (e.g., cancer pain). Earlier, it was only used for postoperative pain treatment.
Read the prescription usage guides suggested by your doctor. Do not take oxycodone on your own. Inform your doctor beforehand about any medication or any kind of supplements you are taking. Dosage may vary with one’s medical condition, receptivity to treatments, and for children based on their weights.
Solution and capsule are normally taken orally with or without food every 4 to 6 hours. One tablet at a time with plenty of water to ensure complete swallowing instantly after placing in the mouth.
In case of extended-release formulations, it is taken every 12 hours with or without food. Do not chew or crush Oxycodone tablets. Oxycodone can also be administered through a nasogastric or gastrostomy tube.
If you are using a liquid solution of this drug, be sure to measure the amount correctly (use a medicine dose-measuring device) as prescribed by your doctor, or it may harm your body.
You should start with the lowest effective dosage so that the drug acclimatizes with your body. Also, do not abruptly discontinue oxycodone because sudden discontinuation of oxycodone can result in consequential withdrawal symptoms.
After you take oxycodone for a longer period of time, your body may become used to the drug. In this case, your doctor can increase your dose to reduce your pain.
Discontinuing the drug abruptly may lead to some withdrawal symptoms and comeback of severe pain.
More common side effects include:
- Reduced anxiety
Less common side effects include:
- cold sweats
- difficult or labored breathing
- tightness in the chest
Rare side effects include:
- blood in the urine
- chest pain
- A decrease in the frequency of urination
- difficulty with swallowing
- dry mouth
- fast, irregular heartbeat or pulse
- rapid breathing
- rapid weight gain
- severe constipation
- severe vomiting
- shaking of the limbs
Symptoms of overdose include:
- Change or loss in consciousness
- chest pain or discomfort
- constricted, small pupils (black part of the eye)
- decreased responsiveness
- extreme drowsiness
- no muscle tone or movement
- severe sleepiness
Remember to keep this drug out of the reach of children. Use this drug only as prescribed by your doctor and not on your own.
Do not take oxycodone tablets if you are allergic to any of its additives. Get medical help if you see any symptoms of an allergic reaction, including rash, itching/swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing; although allergic symptoms are rare.
Oxycodone can have some sort of effect on the ability to drive and work on machine. So, dizziness is noticed occasionally in people working with any sort of machine. Inform your doctor if you are having alcohol.
Oxycodone can associate with several other medicines which can cause various abnormal effects. So, it is advised to inform your doctor beforehand about all your prescription and non-prescription drugs or any sort of supplements you are into. This can save your life.
Do not discontinue oxycodone abruptly or it may lead to some withdrawal symptoms and comeback of severe pain.
Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting may happen when you get up straight away from a reclining or sitting position. So, lie down until you feel good.
Once oxycodone interacts with other drugs, it can change the way it heals the body or can produce some serious side effects. So, inform you doctor about any other medication you are currently taking.
Some pain-related drugs can interact with oxycodone, e.g., pentazocine, nalbuphine, butorphanol, naltrexone, etc.
Drowsiness and breathing issues may happen if taken along with opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).
Some drugs can alter the excretion of oxycodone from your body. These include azole antifungals (such as ketoconazole), antibiotics (such as erythromycin), mifepristone, HIV medications (such as ritonavir), rifamycins (such as rifabutin, rifampin), etc.
Oxycodone metabolism pathway may be blocked by a variety of drugs such as amiodarone and quinidine as well as polycyclic antidepressants, etc.
Oxycodone can harm you if you are pregnant or planning for the same. Talk to your doctor about precautionary measures.
Storage and precautions
- Do not use Oxycodone for cases for which it is not used.
- Store at controlled room temperature 15°-30°C (59°-86°F).
- Keep the tablets out of sight and reach of children.
- When medicines are no longer in use, they should be disposed off on time.
- If the pack has expired, do not consume the pills.
- Store in a tight, light-resistant container with a child-resistant safety and closure.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is oxycodone used for?
Oxycodone is a prescription drug, which is used to treat moderate to severe pain.
How does oxycodone work?
Oxycodone binds with the mu-receptors present in the central nervous system (CNS), and mimics the working of an opioid. The beginning of relief in pain generally starts within fifteen minutes and lasts for up to six hours with the immediate-release treatment.
What are the side effects of oxycodone?
Usual side effects are euphoria, constipation, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, drowsiness, dizziness, itching, dry mouth, and sweating. Severe side effects may include addiction, dependence, hallucinations, respiratory depression, bradycardia, and low blood pressure.
Can I take oxycodone if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
This medicine can harm you if you are pregnant or planning for the same. Talk to your doctor about the safety measures. Also, do not breastfeed as this drug can pass into breast milk and cause drowsiness, breathing problems, or death in a nursing baby.
How to take oxycodone?
Solution and capsule are normally taken orally with or without food every 4 to 6 hours. One tablet at a time with plenty of water to ensure complete swallowing instantly after placing in the mouth. In case of extended-release formulations, it is taken every 12 hours with or without food.
What happens with overdose on oxycodone?
In case of an overdose, side-effects such as shallow breathing, slowed heart rate, cold/clammy skin, pauses in breathing, low blood pressure, constricted pupils, circulatory collapse, and respiratory arrest can occur that can lead to death.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you are regular on oxycodone, take it as soon as you recall. Never double your dose if you miss one. Also, maintain a strict gap period of 12 hours or the pain will reappear.