Oxycodone (Hydrochloride), sold under the brand name OxyContin among others, is an opioid medication used for treatment of moderate to severe pain, 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 15 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, and aspirin.
Oxycodone is used for managing moderate to severe acute or chronic pain when other treatments are not sufficient. It may improve quality of life in certain types of pain. It is unclear if use in chronic pain results in improved quality of life or ongoing pain relief.
In high doses, overdoses, or in some persons not tolerant to opioids, oxycodone can cause shallow breathing, slowed heart rate, cold/clammy skin, pauses in breathing, low blood pressure, constricted pupils, circulatory collapse, respiratory arrest, and death.
Serious side effects of oxycodone include reduced sensitivity to pain (beyond the pain the drug is taken to reduce), euphoria, anxiolysis, feelings of relaxation, and respiratory depression. Common side effects of oxycodone include constipation (23%), nausea (23%), vomiting (12%), somnolence (23%), dizziness (13%), itching (13%), dry mouth (6%), and sweating (5%). Less common side effects (experienced by less than 5% of patients) include loss of appetite, nervousness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, urine retention, dyspnea, and hiccups. Most side effects generally become less intense over time, although issues related to constipation are likely to continue for the duration of use. Oxycodone in combination with naloxone in managed-release tablets, has been formulated to both deter abuse and reduce “opioid-induced constipation”.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others and use this medicine only for the indication prescribed.
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