Oxycodone Uses, Dosage & Side Effects - Drugs.com (2024)

Pronunciation: ox i KOE done
Generic name: Oxycodone
Brand names: Oxaydo, OxyContin, Oxyfast, Roxicodone, RoxyBond, ... show all 16 brands
Dosage forms: oral capsule (5 mg), oral capsule, extended release (13.5 mg; 18 mg; 27 mg; 36 mg; 9 mg), ... show all 6 dosage forms
Drug class: Opioids (narcotic analgesics)

Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD. Last updated on May 23, 2024.

What is oxycodone?

Oxycodone is an opioid pain medication sometimes called a narcotic.

Oxycodone is used to treat moderate to severe pain.

Oxycodone is available in immediate-release or extended-release forms. The immediate-release forms are used as needed for pain, and the extended-release forms are used around the clock for the treatment of severe and chronic pain that requires longer treatment. Extended-release oxycodone should not be used for as-needed pain relief.

Oxycodone side effects

Common oxycodone side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, headache, constipation, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, itching, red eyes, or flushing.

Serious oxycodone side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to oxycodonehives, difficulty breathing, orswelling 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 give naloxone and/or 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, breathing that stops during sleep;

  • 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);

  • low cortisol levels - nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness; or

  • high levels of serotonin in the body - agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

Serious breathing problems may be more likely in older adults and in those who are debilitated or have wasting syndrome or chronic breathing disorders.

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.

This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Oxycodone side effects (more detail)

Warnings

You should not use oxycodone if you have severe asthma or breathing problems, or a blockage in your stomach or intestines.

MISUSE OF OPIOID MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

Taking oxycodone during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.

Fatal side effects can occur if you use opioid medicine with alcohol or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

Oxycodone can slow or stop your breathing. This is more likely in elderly or ill patients but can occur in anyone taking this medicine.

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:

  • breathing problems, sleep apnea;

  • 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.

Ask a doctor before using oxycodone if you are breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you notice severe drowsiness or slow breathing in the nursing baby.

Oxycodone pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (more detail)

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.

Never share opioid medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away opioid medicine is against the law.

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 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 or without a prescription.

Do not keep leftover opioid medication. Just one dose can cause death in someone using this medicine accidentally or improperly. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, flush the unused medicine down the toilet.

Detailed Oxycodone dosage information

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 happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An oxycodone overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose symptoms may include severe drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, slow breathing, or no breathing.

Your doctor may recommend you get naloxone (a medicine to reverse an opioid overdose) and keep it with you at all times. A person caring for you can give the naloxone if you stop breathing or don't wake up. Your caregiver must still get emergency medical help and may need to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on you while waiting for help to arrive.

Anyone can buy naloxone from a pharmacy or local health department. Make sure any person caring for you knows where you keep naloxone and how to use it.

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.

Avoid medication errors. Always check the brand and strength of oxycodone you get from the pharmacy.

What other drugs will affect oxycodone?

You may have breathing problems or withdrawal symptoms if you start or stop taking certain other medicines. Tell your doctor if you also use an antibiotic, antifungal medication, heart or blood pressure medication, seizure medication, or medicine to treat HIV or hepatitis C.

Opioid medication can interact with many other drugs and cause dangerous side effects or death. Be sure your doctor knows if you also use:

  • other opioids - opioid pain medicine or prescription cough medicine;

  • sedative medications including alprazolam or Xanax, clonazepam or Klonopin, diazepam or Valium, lorazepam or Ativan, temazepam or Restoril and others;

  • sleeping pills;

  • muscle relaxants or tranquilizers;

  • medicine for depression, anxiety, or other mental illness;

  • medicine for Parkinson’s disease;

  • migraine headache treatment; or

  • medications used for the prevention of nausea and vomiting.

  • cold or allergy medicines, bronchodilator asthma/COPD medication, or a diuretic ("water pill");

  • medicines for motion sickness, irritable bowel syndrome, or overactive bladder;

This list is not complete and many other drugs may interact with oxycodone. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Oxycodone drug interactions (more detail)

Popular FAQ

Immediate-release oxycodone has a half-life of just under 4 hours which means the pain-relieving effects of one dose will be gone within 6 to 24 hours, but it can remain detectable in saliva, urine, and hair for much longer. In saliva, oxycodone is detectable within minutes of taking it and lasts for up to 48 hours (2 days). Oxycodone is detectable in urine within 1 to 3 hours and will stay detectable for 1 to 4 days. Like most other opioids, oxycodone is detectable in hair for up to 90 days. Continue reading

Any drug that is classified as an "opioid" can cause constipation. Examples of commonly prescribed opioids that may cause this side effect include morphine, tramadol, fentanyl, methadone, hydrocodone, codeine and oxycodone. Continue reading

How long opioid withdrawal lasts depends on the opioid you have been taking and whether it is a short-acting or long acting opioid.

If you have been using a short-acting opioid, acute opioid withdrawal lasts 4 to 10 days, with withdrawal symptoms starting 8 to 24 hours after last use.

If you have been using a long-acting opioid, acute opioid withdrawal lasts 10 to 20 days, with withdrawal symptoms starting 12 to 48 hours after last use. Continue reading

Immediate-release oxycodone starts to work quickly, within 10 to 30 minutes, but it may take up to 1 hour for it to be fully absorbed, and the full effects reached. Food can delay how quickly oxycodone takes to work, but not how much is absorbed. Continue reading

Oxycodone (also known as Oxy IR) and Oxycontin both contain oxycodone, but the main difference is that Oxycontin is the brand name of a long-acting form of oxycodone. Oxycontin releases oxycodone slowly and continuously over 12 hours and only needs to be given twice a day. Oxycodone is shorter-acting, with an average half-life of 3.2 hours, which means that half the dose of oxycodone is eliminated in 3.2 hours, which is why it is usually given four to six times a day to provide all-day pain relief. Oxycodone is usually given for acute pain, such as that following surgery or trauma, whereas Oxycontin may be given for chronic or long-term pain, such as that caused by cancer. Oxycontin should only be considered in those with chronic severe pain that have already found a trial of oxycodone to be beneficial. Continue reading

Withdrawal from oxycodone is likely to happen to people who have taken oxycodone consistently or misused oxycodone. Common symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Cravings for oxycodone – these are one of the main symptoms that drive relapse
  • Diarrhea
  • Fast heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sleep disturbances/Insomnia
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sweating.

Continue reading

More FAQ

  • Oxycodone vs Hydrocodone - How do they compare?
  • Which painkiller should you use?
  • What is Hydrochloride or HCL in a drugname?

View more FAQ

More about oxycodone

  • Check interactions
  • Compare alternatives
  • Reviews (1,130)
  • Drug images
  • Latest FDA alerts (3)
  • Side effects
  • Dosage information
  • Patient tips
  • During pregnancy
  • Support group
  • Drug class: Opioids (narcotic analgesics)
  • Breastfeeding
  • En español

Patient resources

  • Oxycodone Capsules and Tablets patient information
  • Oxycodone Extended-Release Capsules
  • Oxycodone Concentrate
  • Oxycodone Solution
  • Oxycodone Sustained-Release Tablets

Other brands

OxyContin, Roxicodone, Xtampza ER, Oxaydo, ... +8 more

Professional resources

  • Oxycodone monograph
  • Oxycodone (FDA)
  • Oxycodone Capsules (FDA)
  • Oxycodone ER (FDA)
  • Oxycodone Extended-Release Tablets (FDA)

Other brands

OxyContin, Roxicodone, Xtampza ER, Oxaydo, RoxyBond

Related treatment guides

  • Chronic Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Pain

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use oxycodone only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circ*mstances.

Medical Disclaimer

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Oxycodone Uses, Dosage & Side Effects - Drugs.com (2024)
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