Brand Names: Oxecta, OxyCONTIN, Oxyfast, Roxicodone
What Is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone (14-hydroxydihydrocodeinone) is an opioid painkiller. Opioids are sometimes called narcotics. Oxycodone is a white, odorless, crystalline powder with a bitter, saline bitter taste. Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid analgesic that is derived from the opium alkaloid thebaine, which is found in the Persian opium poppy.
Oxycodone is available as single-ingredient medication in immediate release and controlled release. Combination products formulated with non-narcotic ingredients such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and paracetamol (acetaminophen, or APAP, i.e. Oxycodone APAP) are also available as immediate release formulations. A combination with naloxone (Oxycodone/Naloxone) is available in managed-release tablets. The naloxone precipitates opioid withdrawal symptoms & blocks the faster onset were the tablet to be crushed and filtered for injection or otherwise tampered with in a manner not indicated.
Common side effects include:
- dry mouth
Less common side effects (experienced by less than 5% of patients) include:
- loss of appetite
- abdominal pain
- urine retention
In high doses, overdoses, or in patients not tolerant to opiates, oxycodone can cause:
- shallow breathing
- cold-clammy skin
- circulatory collapse
- respiratory arrest
Addiction, Dependence and Withdrawal
If a patient has become physically dependent or addicted and discontinues oxycodone abruptly, the risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms is high. In cases where oxycodone has been taken regularly over an extended period, use should be discontinued gradually rather than abruptly. People who use oxycodone in a recreational, hazardous, or harmful fashion are at even higher risk of severe withdrawal symptoms, as they tend to use higher-than-prescribed doses. The symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal are the same as for other opiate-based painkillers, and may include:
- panic attack
- muscle pain
- muscle weakness
- flu-like symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms have also been reported in newborns whose mothers had been either injecting or orally taking oxycodone during pregnancy.