Oxycodone is an opioid pain medication sometimes called a narcotic. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain. The extended-release form of oxycodone is for around-the-clock treatment of pain and should not be used on an as-needed basis for pain.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use oxycodone if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- severe asthma or breathing problems; or
- a blockage in your stomach or intestines.
You should not use this medicine if you are already using a similar opioid medicine and are tolerant to it. Do not use this medicine if you have used a MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine or have received a methylene blue injection.
Most brands of oxycodone are not approved for use in people under the age of 18. OxyContin should not be given to a child younger than 11 years old.
To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- a head injury, brain tumor, or seizures;
- drug or alcohol addiction, or mental illness;
- lung disease;
- liver or kidney disease;
- thyroid disorder;
- adrenal disease (such as Addison’s disease;
- urination problems; or
- problems with your gallbladder or pancreas.
If you use opioid medicine while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on opioids may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using oxycodone. If you become pregnant while taking oxycodone, do not stop your medication suddenly without talking to your doctor. You may need to decrease your medicine gradually.
NOTE: Oxycodone can pass into breast milk and may cause drowsiness or breathing problems in a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding before using oxycodone.
How should I use oxycodone?
Take oxycodone exactly as prescribed. Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Never use this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to take more of oxycodone.
Stop taking all other around-the-clock narcotic pain medicines when you start taking extended-release oxycodone.
Take with food.
Swallow the capsule or tablet whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal overdose. Do not crush, chew, break, open, or dissolve.
Never crush or break an oxycodone pill to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This can cause in death.
Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
You should not stop using oxycodone suddenly. Follow your doctor’s instructions about gradually decreasing your dose.
Store the medication at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep track of your medicine. Oxycodone is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly. Do not keep leftover opioid medication. Just one dose can cause death in someone using this medicine accidentally or improperly.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since oxycodone is used for pain, you are not likely to miss a dose. Skip any missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time
What should I avoid while using oxycodone?
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.
Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.
Oxycodone side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to oxycodone: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Opioid medicine, including oxycodone, can slow or stop your breathing, and death may occur. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing;
- a slow heart rate or weak pulse;
- cold, clammy skin;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior;
- seizure (convulsions); or
- nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite; or
- dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness.
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, confusion, fever, sweating, fast heart rate, chest pain, feeling short of breath, muscle stiffness, trouble walking, or feeling faint.
Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are malnourished or debilitated.
Long-term use of opioid medication, such as oxycodone, may affect fertility (ability to have children) in men or women. It is not known whether opioid effects on fertility are permanent.
Common oxycodone side effects may include:
- drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness;
- constipation, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting; or
- itching, red eyes, or flushing.