Know the basics
What is oxycodone used for?
This medication is used to help relieve moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone belongs to a class of drugs known as narcotic (opiate) analgesics. It works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain.
How should I take oxycodone?
If you are using oxycodone oral solution, read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using oxycodone oral solution and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to decrease nausea (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure how to check or measure the dose.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose, take the medication more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
Pain medications work best if they are used when the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
If you have ongoing pain (such as due to cancer), your doctor may direct you to also take long-acting narcotic medications. In that case, this medication might be used for sudden (breakthrough) pain only as needed. Other non-narcotic pain relievers (such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen) may also be prescribed with this medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about using oxycodone safely with other drugs.
This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as restlessness, watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, sweating, muscle aches) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Along with its benefits, this medication may rarely cause abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). This risk may be increased if you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lessen the risk of addiction.
Tell your doctor if your pain persists or worsens.
How do I store oxycodone?
Oxycodone is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store oxycodone in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of oxycodone that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush oxycodone down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Know the precautions & warnings
What should I know before using oxycodone?
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of oxycodone in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of oxycodone in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related lung, liver, or kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving oxycodone in order to avoid potentially serious side effects.
Is it safe to take oxycodone during pregnancy or breast-feeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication.
Know the side effects
What are the side effects of oxycodone?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using oxycodone and call your doctor at once if you have:
- shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, cold, clammy skin;
- seizure (convulsions);
- confusion, severe drowsiness; or
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out.
Common side effects may include:
- mild drowsiness, headache, dizziness, tired feeling;
- stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite;
- dry mouth; or
- mild itching.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Know the interactions
What drugs may interact with oxycodone?
Oxycodone may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Abiraterone Acetate
- Chloral Hydrate
- Eslicarbazepine Acetate
- Methylene Blue
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Nitrous Oxide
- Sodium Oxybate
- Tolonium Chloride
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- St John’s Wort
Does food or alcohol interact with oxycodone?
Oxycodone may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug, especially:
- Addison’s disease (adrenal gland problem) or
- Alcohol abuse, or history of or
- Brain tumor, history of or
- Breathing problems (eg, hypoxia) or
- Cancer of the esophagus or colon or
- Central nervous system (CNS) depression or
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or
- Cor pulmonale (serious heart condition) or
- Drug dependence, especially with narcotics, or history of or
- Enlarged prostate (BPH, prostatic hypertrophy) or
- Gallbladder disease or gallstones or
- Head injuries, history of or
- Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) or
- Hypovolemia (low blood volume) or
- Kyphoscoliosis (curvature of the spine with breathing problems) or
- Problems with passing urine or
- Psychosis (a mental disease) or
- Trouble swallowing or
- Weakened physical condition—Use with caution. May increase risk for more serious side effects.
- Asthma, severe or
- Hypercarbia (high carbon dioxide in the blood) or
- Paralytic ileus (intestine stops working and may be blocked) or
- Respiratory depression (very slow breathing) or
- Stomach or bowel blockage—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
- Pancreatitis (inflammation or swelling of the pancreas) or
- Seizures, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
What health conditions may interact with oxycodone?
Oxycodone may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
Understand the dosage
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.
What is the dose of oxycodone for an adult?
The following dosing recommendations can only be considered suggested approaches to what is actually a series of clinical decisions over time in the management of the pain of each individual patient.
- Immediate Release (IR): 5 to 15 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours
- Controlled Release (CR): 10 mg orally every 12 hours
- Solution 5 mg per 5 mL: 5 to 15 mg every 4 to 6 hours
- Solution Concentrate 100 mg/5 mL (20 mg/mL): For patients that have already been titrated to a stable analgesic regimen using lower strengths of oxycodone and who can benefit from use of a smaller volume of oral solution.
What is the dose of oxycodone for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is oxycodone available?
Oxycodone is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
Capsule 5 mg;
Solution 5 mg/5 mL (5 mL, 15 mL, 500 mL)
Tablet 5 mg; 15 mg; 30 mg
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- difficulty breathing
- slowed or stopped breathing
- excessive sleepiness
- limp or weak muscles
- narrowing or widening of the pupils (dark circle in the eye)
- cold, clammy skin
- slow or stopped heartbeat
- blue color of skin, fingernails, lips, or area around the mouth
- loss of consciousness or coma
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of oxycodone, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Oxycodone. https://www.drugs.com/oxycodone.html. Accessed July 14, 2016.
Oxycodone. http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1025/oxycodone-oral. Accessed July 14, 2016.
Oxycodone. http://www.healthline.com/drugs/oxycodone/oral-tablet#Highlights1. Accessed July 14, 2016.
Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017