Oxycodone

Oxycodone treats moderate to severe pain. May cause stomach upset and taking it with food may help. May also cause constipation.

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Opioid analgesics*
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Pharmacist Trey Robinson, PharmD summarizes the uses, common side effects, and warnings for the Opioid analgesics class of medications
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Pharmacist Bethany Muhlstein, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Oxycodone

Oxycodone Overview

Updated: 

Oxycodone is a prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. This medication belongs to a group of drugs called opioids which work by stopping pain signals made in the brain.

Oxycodone comes in several forms including tablets, capsules, oral solution (liquid) and extended-release tablets. It is also found in combination with other medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin.

Common side effects of oxycodone include constipation, nausea, drowsiness, and dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how it affects you.

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Pill Images

APAP 325 MG / oxycodone hydrochloride 5 MG Oral Tablet
Color: White
Shape: Round
Size: 12.00
Score: 2
Imprint: 512
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Oxycodone Cautionary Labels

Uses of Oxycodone

Oxycodone is a prescription medicine used to treat moderate to severe pain.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

 

Oxycodone Drug Class

Oxycodone is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Oxycodone

Serious side effects have been reported. See "Drug Precautions" section.

Common side effects include:

  • nausea
  • constipation
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • itching

This is not a complete list of oxycodone side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Oxycodone Interactions

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Be especially careful about taking other medicines that make you sleepy such as:

  • pain medicines
  • sleeping pills
  • anxiety medicines
  • antihistamines
  • anti-depressants
  • tranquilizers
  • anti-nausea medicine
  • alcohol

This is not a complete list of oxycodone drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Oxycodone Precautions

  • Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or participate in any other possibly dangerous activities until you know how you react to this medicine. This medication can make you sleepy.
  • Do not drink alcohol while using oxycodone. It may increase the chance of getting dangerous side effects.
  • Do not take other medicines without your doctor’s approval. Other medicines include prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and supplements. Be especially careful about products that make you sleepy.

Do not take oxycodone if

  • your doctor did not prescribe it for you
  • are allergic to any of its ingredients
  • have had a severe allergic reaction to a medicine that contains oxycodone. Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure.
  • are having an asthma attack or have severe asthma, trouble breathing, or any lung problems
  • have a bowel blockage called paralytic ileus
  • have recently had a head injury
  • you have a history of drug or alcohol dependence
  • you have had a severe allergic reaction to codeine, hydrocodone, dihydrocodeine, or oxycodone (such as Tylox, Tylenol with Codeine, or Vicodin). A severe allergic reaction includes a severe rash, hives, breathing problems, or dizziness.

Oxycodone can cause serious breathing problems that can become life-threatening, especially if oxycodone is used the wrong way. Call your healthcare provider or get medical help right away if:

  • your breathing slows down
  • you have shallow breathing (little chest movement with breathing)
  • you feel faint, dizzy, confused, or
  • you have any other unusual symptoms

Oxycodone can cause your blood pressure to drop. This can make you feel dizzy and faint if you get up too fast from sitting or lying down. Low blood pressure is also more likely to happen if you take other medicines that can also lower your blood pressure. Severe low blood pressure can happen if you lost blood or take certain other medicines.

There is a chance of abuse or addiction with oxycodone. The chance is higher if you are or have been addicted to or abused other medicines, street drugs, or alcohol, or if you have a history of mental problems.

 

Oxycodone Food Interactions

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with oxycodone and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.
 

Inform MD

Tell your doctor if you:

  • have trouble breathing or lung problems
  • have had a head injury
  • have liver or kidney problems
  • have adrenal gland problems, such as Addison's disease
  • have severe scoliosis that affects your breathing
  • have thyroid problems
  • have enlargement of your prostate or a urethral stricture
  • have or had convulsions or seizures
  • have a past or present drinking problem or alcoholism
  • have hallucinations or other severe mental problems
  • have past or present substance abuse or drug addiction
  • have any other medical conditions
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. 

Oxycodone and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Oxycodone falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with oxycodone. But in animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.

Oxycodone and Lactation

Oxycodone has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from oxycodone, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of this medication. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.

 

Oxycodone Usage

Oxycodone comes as a tablet, a capsule, in an oral solution or as an extended-release tablet. 

The instructions for use will vary depending on which form of the medication you have been prescribed. Follow the directions carefully.

Oxycodone may cause stomach upset. Taking it with food may help.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once unless your doctor tells you to.

Oxycodone Dosage

Take oxycodone exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Your doctor will determine the best dose for you. The dosage of oxycodone must be individualized.

Oxycodone Overdose

If you take more oxycodone than prescribed, or overdose, call your local emergency number (such as 911) or your local Poison Control Center right away, or get emergency help.

Other Requirements

  • Keep oxycodone out of the reach of children. Accidental overdose by a child is dangerous and can lead to death.
  • Store oxycodone at 59˚F to 86˚F (15˚C to 30˚C).
  • Keep oxycodone in the container it comes in.
  • Keep the container tightly closed and away from light.

Oxycodone is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep this medication in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away oxycodone may harm others, and is against the law.