Oxycodone, sold under the brand names Roxicodone and OxyContin (which is the extended release form) among others, is a semi-synthetic opioid medication used for treatment of moderate to severe pain. It is highly addictive and a common drug of abuse. It is usually taken by mouth, and is available in immediate-release and controlled-release formulations. Onset of pain relief typically begins within fifteen minutes and lasts for up to six hours with the immediate-release formulation. In the United Kingdom, it is available by injection. Combination products are also available with paracetamol (acetaminophen), ibuprofen, naloxone, naltrexone, and aspirin.
This medication is used to help relieve moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid analgesics. It works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain. Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking oxycodone and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure how to check or measure the dose.
- The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose, take the medication more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
- Pain medications work best if they are used when the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
- If you have ongoing pain (such as due to cancer), your doctor may direct you to also take long-acting opioid medications. In that case, this medication might be used for sudden (breakthrough) pain only as needed. Other pain relievers (such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen) may also be prescribed with this medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using oxycodone safely with other drugs.
- Nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur. Some of these side effects may decrease after you have been using this medication for a while. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
- To prevent constipation, eat dietary fiber, drink enough water, and exercise. You may also need to take a laxative. Ask your pharmacist which type of laxative is right for you.
- To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
- Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
- Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: interrupted breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), mental/mood changes (such as agitation, confusion, hallucinations), severe stomach/abdominal pain, difficulty urinating, signs of your adrenal glands not working well (such as loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, weight loss).
- Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fainting, seizure, slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/difficulty waking up.
- A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.