Oxycodone 10 mg side effects

Contents

Oxycodone Dosage

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 14, 2019.

  • Overview
  • Side Effects
  • Dosage
  • Professional
  • Tips
  • Interactions
  • More

Usual Adult Dose for:

  • Pain
  • Chronic Pain

Usual Pediatric Dose for:

  • Chronic Pain

Additional dosage information:

  • Renal Dose Adjustments
  • Liver Dose Adjustments
  • Dose Adjustments
  • Precautions
  • Dialysis
  • Other Comments

Usual Adult Dose for Pain

The following dosing recommendations can only be considered suggested approaches to what is actually a series of clinical decisions over time
Immediate-release:
As First Opioid Analgesic: 5 to 15 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours
-Oral solution: To avoid dosing errors include total dose in mg and mL
CONVERSION from Other Oral Opioids: There is great inter-patient variability in the potency of opioid drugs and their formulations; when converting patients to this drug from other opioids or when switching from controlled-release products, it is best to underestimate the oxycodone requirement and provide rescue medication than to overestimate and manage an overdose.

-Doses should be individually titrated to provide adequate analgesia while minimizing adverse reactions.
-Because of the risks of addiction, abuse and misuse, the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals should be used.
-Monitor patients closely for respiratory depression within the first 24 to 72 hours of initiating therapy and following any increase in dose.
Use: For the management of acute pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic and for which alternative treatments are inadequate

Usual Adult Dose for Chronic Pain

The following dosing recommendations can only be considered suggested approaches to what is actually a series of clinical decisions over time
60 and 80 mg extended-release (ER) tablets, a single dose greater than 40 mg (36 mg oxycodone base), a total daily dose greater than 80 mg (72 mg oxycodone base), or use of the 100 mg/5 mL (20 mg/mL) oral solution should be restricted to use in opioid-tolerant patients only
Extended-release (ER):
Initial dose for OPIOID-NAIVE and OPIOID NON-TOLERANT patients:
-Oxycodone hydrochloride ER tablets: 10 mg orally every 12 hours
-Oxycodone (base) ER capsules: 9 mg orally every 12 hours with food
Immediate-release (IR):
-Initial dose for OPIOID-NAIVE patients: 5 to 15 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours on an around-the-clock basis
-Oral solution: To avoid dosing errors total dose should be included in both mg and mL
MAINTENANCE: Adjust dose every 1 to 2 days as needed to obtain an appropriate balance between pain management and opioid-related adverse reactions; goal should be to find the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals
Maximum daily dose: Oxycodone (base) ER capsules: 288 mg as the safety of the excipients has not been established; maximum dose of oxycodone hydrochloride tablets has not been established
EQUIVALENCE OF OXYCODONE HYDROCHLORIDE TO OXYCODONE BASE:
-Oxycodone hydrochloride 10 mg = Oxycodone base 9 mg
-Oxycodone hydrochloride 15 mg = Oxycodone base 13.5 mg
-Oxycodone hydrochloride 20 mg = Oxycodone base 18 mg
-Oxycodone hydrochloride 30 mg = Oxycodone base 27 mg
-Oxycodone hydrochloride 40 mg = Oxycodone base 36 mg

-Use of higher starting doses in patients who are not opioid tolerant may cause fatal respiratory depression with first dose; selection of initial dose should take into account degree of opioid tolerance, patient’s general condition, medical status, concurrent medications, type and severity of pain, and risk factors for abuse, addiction, or diversion.
-Opioid tolerant patients are those who have received for 1 week or longer: oral morphine 60 mg/day; transdermal fentanyl 25 mcg/hr; oral oxycodone 30 mg/day; oral hydromorphone 8 mg/day; oral oxymorphone 25 mg/day or an equianalgesic dose of another opioid.
-Extended-release products are reserved for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options (e.g., non-opioid analgesics or immediate-release opioids) are ineffective, not tolerated, or would be otherwise inadequate to provide sufficient management of pain; these products are not intended to be used as as-needed (prn) analgesics.
-DOSE CONVERSIONS from other opioids should be done carefully and with close monitoring due to large patient variability in opioid analgesic response; consult dose adjustment section for recommendations.
Use: For the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Chronic Pain

Prior to initiating therapy, patients must be receiving and tolerating opioids for at least 5 consecutive days; for the 2 days immediately preceding initiation, patients must be taking a minimum of 20 mg/day of oxycodone or its equivalent.
-Discontinue all around-the-clock opioid drugs when oxycodone ER tablets are initiated
11 years or older: Extended-release (ER) tablets only:
-Initial dose: One-half of calculated total oxycodone daily dose orally every 12 hours
DOSE CALCULATION:
-Multiply total daily dose of prior opioid by the conversion factor (CF) provided below to obtain oxycodone dose in mg/day; divide oxycodone mg/day dose by 2 to get 12-hour oxycodone ER dose; if rounding is necessary, always round down to the nearest tablet strength available
–For prior opioid use of OXYCODONE: Oral CF is 1
–For prior opioid use of HYDROCODONE: Oral CF is 0.9
–For prior opioid use of HYDROMORPHONE: Oral CF is 4; Parenteral CF is 20*
–For prior opioid use of MORPHINE: Oral CF is 0.5; Parenteral CF is 3*
–For prior opioid use of TRAMADOL: Oral CF is 0.17; Parenteral CF is 0.2*
*For patients receiving high-dose parenteral opioids, a more conservative CF is warranted (e.g., for high-dose parenteral morphine, use a CF of 1.5 instead of a CF of 3)
The CFs provided above convert prior opioid use to oxycodone ER tablet dose; do not use the CF to convert from oxycodone ER tablets to another opioid as doing so will result in an over-estimation of the new opioid dose and possibly a fatal overdose.
CONVERSION FROM TRANSDERMAL FENTANYL: Remove patch 18 hours prior to starting oxycodone ER tablets; substitute one 10 mg oxycodone ER tablet every 12 hours for each 25 mcg/hr fentanyl transdermal patch; monitor closely during conversion as there is limited assessment of this conversion
Titration and Maintenance:
-Individually titrate to a dose that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes adverse reactions; dose adjustments can be made every 1 to 2 days; when a dose increase is clinically indicated, it is suggested that the total daily oxycodone dose not be increased by more than 25% at a time.

-Dose conversions should be done carefully and with close monitoring due to large patient variability in opioid analgesic response; it is preferable to underestimate a patient’s 24-hour oral oxycodone requirement and provide rescue medication than to overestimate and manage an adverse reaction.
-Use of higher starting doses in patients who are not opioid tolerant may cause fatal respiratory depression with first dose; selection of initial dose should take into account degree of opioid tolerance, patient’s general condition, medical status, concurrent medications, type and severity of pain, and risk factors for abuse, addiction, or diversion.
-Extended-release oxycodone products are reserved for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options (e.g., non-opioid analgesics or immediate-release opioids) are ineffective, not tolerated, or would be otherwise inadequate to provide sufficient management of pain; these products are not intended to be used as as-needed (prn) analgesics.
Use: For the opioid-tolerant pediatric patient 11 years of age or older who is already receiving and tolerating a minimum oral opioid dose of at least oxycodone 20 mg/day or its equivalent and who has pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate.

Renal Dose Adjustments

CrCl less than 60 mL/minute: Start conservatively with a lower than usual dose; titrate carefully to desired effect
Extended-release tablets/capsules:
-Alternative analgesics may be necessary if patient is not a candidate for lowest available dose strength

Liver Dose Adjustments

Hepatic impairment: Start conservatively with a lower than usual dose; titrate carefully to desired effect
Extended-release tablets/capsules
-Initial dose: One-third to one-half of the usual dose; titrate carefully to desired effect
-Alternative analgesics may be necessary if patient is not a candidate for lowest available dose strength

Dose Adjustments

Elderly, Cachectic, or Debilitated Patients:
-Use with caution generally starting at the low end of the dosing range, titrate slowly while monitoring closely for signs of CNS or respiratory depression.
-For Extended-release products: Consider initial doses of one-third to one-half the recommended starting doses; titrate carefully
Concomitant Use of CNS depressants:
-If an opioid analgesic is initiated in a patient already taking a benzodiazepine or CNS depressant: a lower initial dose of the opioid analgesic is recommended; titrate based on clinical response
-If a CNS depressant or benzodiazepine are needed in a patient already on an opioid analgesic: initiate with a lower initial dose of the benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant; titrate based on clinical response
Concomitant use of CYP450 3A4 inducers or inhibitors may require dose adjustment: Consult drug interactions
DOSE CONVERSIONS TO EXTENDED-RELEASE (ER) TABLETS or CAPSULES
-Dose conversions should be done carefully and with close monitoring due to large patient variability in opioid analgesic response; discontinue all other around the clock opioid drugs when initiating ER therapy
CONVERSION FROM OTHER ORAL OXYCODONE FORMULATIONS:
-Administer one-half of the total daily oxycodone hydrochloride dose as ER tablet or ER capsule orally every 12 hours
CONVERSION FROM OTHER ORAL OPIOIDS:
-Oxycodone hydrochloride ER tablets: 10 mg orally every 12 hours
-Oxycodone (base) ER capsules: 9 mg orally every 12 hours with food
CONVERSION FROM TRANSDERMAL FENTANYL: Remove transdermal fentanyl patch and 18 hours later initiate oxycodone hydrochloride ER tablets 10 mg (or oxycodone ER capsules 9 mg) orally every 12 hours for each fentanyl transdermal 25 mcg/hr patch; monitor closely as there is limited documented experience with this conversion
CONVERSION FROM METHADONE: Close monitoring is of particular importance due to methadone’s long half-life
DISCONTINUATION of Therapy in the Physically Dependent Patient:
-Taper dose gradually, by 25% to 50% every 2 to 4 days
-Monitor for signs and symptoms of withdrawal; if they occur, raise the dose to the previous level and taper more slowly
-Do not abruptly discontinue in the physically dependent patient

Precautions

The US FDA requires a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for all opioids intended for outpatient use. The new FDA Opioid Analgesic REMS is a designed to assist in communicating the serious risks of opioid pain medications to patients and health care professionals. It includes a medication guide and elements to assure safe use. For additional information: www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/rems/index.cfm
US BOXED WARNINGS: RISK OF MEDICATION ERRORS; ADDICTION, ABUSE AND MISUSE; RISK EVALUATION AND MITIGATION STRATEGY (REMS); LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL INGESTION; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; and CYP450 3A4 INTERACTION and RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS:
-Risk of Medication Errors: Ensure accuracy when prescribing, dispensing, and administering oxycodone oral solution; dosing errors due to confusion between mg and mL, and other oxycodone oral solutions of different concentrations can result in accidental overdose.
-Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse: Oxycodone exposes patients and other users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death. Assess each patient’s risk prior to prescribing and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors or conditions.
-Opioid Analgesic REMS: To ensure that the benefits of opioid analgesics outweigh the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, a REMS is required for these products. Under the requirements of the REMS, drug companies with approved opioid analgesic products must make REMS-compliant education programs available to healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to complete a REMS-compliant education program; counsel patients and/or their caregivers, with every prescription on safe use, serious risks, storage, and disposal of these products; emphasize to patients and their caregivers the importance of reading the Medication Guide every time it is provided by their pharmacist, and consider other tools to improve patient, household, and community safety.
-Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression: Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation or following a dose increase. Instruct patients to swallow tablets whole; crushing, chewing, or dissolving can cause rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose.
-Accidental Ingestion: Accidental ingestion of even 1 dose of extended-release oxycodone, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose.
-Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome: Prolonged use during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. If opioid use is required for a prolonged period in a pregnant woman, the patient should be advised of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure appropriate treatment will be available.
-CYP450 3A4 Interaction: The concomitant use with CYP450 3A4 inhibitors may result in an increase in oxycodone plasma concentrations, which could increase or prolong adverse drug effects and may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. In addition, discontinuation of a concomitantly used CYP450 3A4 inducer may result in an increase in oxycodone plasma concentration. Monitor patients receiving oxycodone and any CYP450 3A4 inhibitor or inducer.
-Concomitant Use with Benzodiazepines or Other CNS Depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Concomitant use should be reserved for those patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate. If needed, limit dose and duration to the minimum required and follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.
CONTRAINDICATIONS:
-Significant respiratory depression
-Acute or severe bronchial asthma or hypercarbia in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment
-Known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus
-Hypersensitivity to the active components or any of the product ingredients
Safety and efficacy of the immediate-release products have not been established in patients younger than 18 years.
Safety and efficacy of oxycodone extended-release capsules (Xtampza ER) has not been established in patients younger than 18 years.
Safety and efficacy of oxycodone extended-release tablets (OxyContin ER) has have not been established in patients younger than 11 years.
Consult WARNINGS section for additional precautions.
US Controlled Substance: Schedule II

Dialysis

Data not available

Other Comments

Administration advice:
-Oxycodone oral solution is available in 2 concentrations (5 mg/mL and 20 mg/mL); to avoid dosing errors, be sure to verify dose in both mg and mL when prescribing and dispensing
-The calibrated oral measuring cup (5 mg/mL) or oral syringe (20 mg/mL) should be provided to the patient and used for measuring
Immediate-release tablets:
-Swallow whole with enough water to ensure complete swallowing
Extended-release tablets:
-Swallow whole; do not break, chew, crush, or dissolve as this may lead to rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose
-Take with enough water to ensure complete swallowing; do not pre-soak, lick or otherwise wet prior to swallowing.
Extended-release capsules:
-Take each dose with approximately the same amount of food
-Swallow whole or open the capsule and sprinkle contents onto soft food or into a cup, administer directly into mouth and swallow immediately; rinse mouth to ensure all capsule contents have been swallowed.
-Alternatively, administer through a nasogastric tube: flush tube with water, open capsule and pour microspheres directly into tube (do not premix the capsule contents with liquid), flush microspheres through the tube with 15 mL of water; repeat flush 2 more times with 10 mL of water each time to ensure no microspheres remain in the tube. Milk or liquid nutrition may be used as the vehicle for administration or flush through feeding tubes.
General:
-This drug should be prescribed by a healthcare professional that is knowledgeable in the use of potent opioids for the management of pain.
-Due to the risk of addiction, abuse, and misuse with opioids, even at recommended doses, and because of the greater risks of overdose and death with extended-release opioid formulations, extended-release oxycodone is for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options (non-opioid analgesics or immediate-release opioids) are ineffective, not tolerated, or would be otherwise inadequate to provide sufficient management of pain.
-For patients receiving other opioid analgesics and switching to this drug or to the extended-release formulations of this drug, it is safer to underestimate a patient’s 24-hour oral requirement and provide rescue medication than overestimate and manage an adverse reaction; there is substantial inter-patient variation in the relative potency of different opioid drugs that conversion tables are not able to capture.
-During chronic therapy, periodically reassess the continued need for opioid analgesics.
Monitoring:
-Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation and following any increase in dose; close monitoring will be necessary in patients at increased risk and/or those receiving concomitant medications that increase the risk of respiratory depression
-Monitor for signs of hypotension
-Monitor for signs of constipation
-Monitor for the development of behaviors indicative of addiction, abuse, or misuse
Patient advice:
-Patients should be instructed to read the US FDA-approved Medication Guide each time this drug is dispensed; they should understand the safe use, serious risks, and proper storage and disposal of this drug.
-Advise patients to store this drug safely out of the sight and reach of children; accidental use by a child is a medical emergency and can result in death.
-Patients should understand that even when taken as recommended, use may result in addiction, abuse, and misuse; instruct patients not to share their drug with others and protect their drug from theft or misuse.
-Patients should be instructed to check with their healthcare provider before taking any new medications, herbal supplements, and over the counter products; patients should not drink alcohol while taking this drug.
-Patients should understand the risks of life-threatening respiratory depression, and be informed as to when this risk is greatest; patients and caregivers should be instructed to get emergency help right away if too much drug is taken or if breathing problems occur.
-Patients should be made aware that crushing, chewing, or dissolving extended-release products will result in uncontrolled delivery of oxycodone and can lead to overdose or death.
-This drug may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or impair thinking or motor skills; patients should avoid driving or operating machinery until adverse effects are determined.
-Women of child bearing potential should understand that prolonged use during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and that prompt recognition and treatment will be necessary.

Further information

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

Related questions

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Effects in Breastfed Infants

A 10-month-old, 7.7 kg infant of a prescription drug-dependant mother died of cardiac arrest after a 12- to 24-hour period of lethargy, hypersomnolence and dyspnea. The infant also had a recent history of fever. The mother had reportedly been breastfeeding the infant 3 times a day for several weeks and had taken 180 mg of oxycodone, as well as muscle relaxants, the day prior to her infant’s death. A blood oxycodone level of 600 mcg/L was measured on autopsy. The medical examiner considered it unlikely that such a high level of oxycodone in the infant’s blood could be due to breastfeeding exposure as reported by the mother and thus considered the death a homicide resulting from either the intentional administration of oxycodone directly to the infant or from a higher dose of oxycodone in breastmilk than that reported by the mother.

In a study of 50 mothers taking oxycodone post-cesarean section, 50 neonates were evaluated for sedation over 48 hours after birth. None was severely sedated and less than 4% had sedation of 3 on a 1 (fully alert) to 5 (difficult to rouse) scale and none more sedated than 3 on the scale. Because these infants were in the first 3 days postpartum, their oxycodone dose was probably limited by the small volumes of colostrum they were ingesting.

An infant was born to a mother taking oxycodone 20 mg 3 times daily, fluoxetine 40 mg daily and quetiapine 400 mg daily. The infant was breastfed 6 to 7 times daily and was receiving 120 mcg of oral morphine 3 times daily for opiate withdrawal. Upon examination at 3 months of age, the infant’s weight was at the 25th percentile for age, having been at the 50th percentile at birth. The authors attributed the weight loss to opiate withdrawal. The infant’s Denver developmental score was equal to his chronological age.

A woman who was exclusively breastfeeding her infant was taking 5 to 10 mg of oxycodone every 4 to 6 hours for episiotomy pain. Her 45-day-old infant was brought to the emergency department with a temperature of 98.4 degrees F, a heart rate of 154 per minute, 20 breaths per minute, a blood pressure of 71/52, and an oxygen saturation of 60% to 69% on room air. The infant had been constipated since birth, passing one stool every 5 to 8 days. The infant had sluggish movements slow, shallow, and irregular breathing. Her pupils were small, but reactive. Hydromorphone levels in urine were elevated. The patient was intubated and given opiates around the clock for two days before being extubated and discharged. The infant’s constipation, CNS and respiratory depression were probably caused by oxycodone in breastmilk.

In a retrospective study, nursing mothers who were taking either oxycodone, codeine or acetaminophen for pain while breastfeeding were contacted by telephone to ascertain the degree of maternally perceived central nervous system (CNS) depression. Mothers taking oxycodone reported signs of CNS depression in 20% (28/139) of their infants, while those taking acetaminophen reported infant CNS depression in only 0.5% (1/184) of their infants. Women who reported infant sedation were taking 0.4 mg/kg daily of oxycodone, and unaffected were taking 0.15 mg/kg daily. Affected infants had more hours of daily uninterrupted sleep than unaffected infants, and 4 of the affected infants reportedly had “irregular breathing”. Thirty-eight of 39 mothers reported that infant sedation ceased with maternal oxycodone discontinuation. Mothers of affected infants were also more likely to experience lethargy and other side effects than mothers of unaffected infants. Mothers who took codeine reported a similar rate of infant sedation (17%) compared to oxycodone, but the groups were statistically different in parity and postmenstrual age (PMA), with the codeine group having a slightly higher PMA.

A newborn infant was exclusively breastfed and found to be well by his physician at 2 days of age. At 3 days postpartum, the infant began to be sedated and became difficult to arouse and did not feed from either breast. At 4 days of age, the infant was brought to the emergency department where the infant was found to have lethargy, hypothermia, pinpoint pupils, and a poor sucking reflex. The mother reported that her milk had come in the previous evening. She had taken 10 mg of oxycodone that evening and another 5 mg the next morning in the form of Percocet (oxycodone 5 mg plus acetaminophen 325 mg). The infant was given naloxone 0.34 mg intramuscularly and within 2 minutes, the baby’s eyes opened and he drank 45 mL of formula. No further sedation was seen over the next 24 hours. The infant’s sedation was probably caused by oxycodone in breastmilk.

A search was performed of the shared database of all U.S. poison control centers for the time period of 2001 to 2017 for calls regarding medications and breastfeeding. Of 2319 calls in which an infant was exposed to a substance via breastmilk, 7 were classified as resulting in a major adverse effect, and three of these involved oxycodone. A 16-day-old infant was exposed to cyclobenzaprine, acetaminophen and oxycodone in breastmilk. The infant was admitted to the hospital in a noncritical care unit for bradycardia, hypotension, and respiratory arrest. A 14-day-old infant was exposed to acetaminophen and oxycodone and developed cyanosis. The infant was treated and released. A one-month-old infant was exposed to fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, and benzodiazepines. The infant was admitted to the intensive care unit and described as being agitated and irritable and having tachycardia, confusion, drowsiness, lethargy, miosis, respiratory depression, acidosis, and hyperglycemia. The dosages and extent of breastfeeding were not reported in any of the cases and the infants all survived.

Cutting Back on High-Dosage Narcotics

What is the evidence that narcotic analgesia is efficacious in relieving chronic nonmalignant pain? Most of the literature on opioid therapy has relied on surveys and uncontrolled case series.2 Clinical evidence suggests that some patients with chronic pain can achieve satisfactory analgesia for years without an escalation in dosage. However, there remains little discussion about how to determine patients who are good candidates for this practice and patients who are not.

Who should not be prescribed narcotics for chronic pain? In a poignant article recently published in The New York Times, the author states, “…the reassessment of narcotic risk comes at a time of skyrocketing rates of misuse and abuse of such drugs.”3 Advocates prescribe chronic narcotic therapy for low back pain without objective pathology, and some prescribe it for such nebulous conditions as fibromyalgia,4 presumably based on an assumption that subjective complaints justify long-term narcotic usage. A literature search reveals no articles to support the use of narcotics for fibromyalgia pain. At the same time, overly optimistic statements about the minute incidence of narcotic dependence and addiction must be reexamined.

The rate of iatrogenic addiction to narcotics has been studied incompletely. Previously, advocates of narcotics for nonmalignant pain have cited studies showing a low risk of addiction. However, one of these studies failed to follow patients from inpatient to outpatient settings, so the incidence actually is unknown; in addition, other studies were mischaracterized or misquoted.3 Indeed, in a study of patients using methadone for treatment of addiction problems, a high incidence of chronic, dysfunctional pain problems occurred in both inpatient and chronic-maintenance methadone patients.5 In the past, manufacturers of long-acting narcotics have marketed these products aggressively without underscoring their addictive risk.

Before considering or continuing chronic narcotic therapy for nonmalignant pain, several questions should be considered.

Was the patient adequately screened for psychopathology before initiating narcotics? Most physicians would agree that narcotics are inappropriate for patients with chemical dependency, significant character pathology, and psychiatric illness.

Does the prescription of narcotics in patients with an ill-defined pain syndrome (such as fibromyalgia) legitimize their belief system as to their supposed pathophysiologic state? Many patients have a somatoform component in their presentation related to underlying “psychological confounders.”6 Prescribing narcotics may simply confirm in the patient’s mind that the problem is somatic when it is not. This step exposes the patient to the risk of narcotics without addressing the underlying disorder, which is often depression.

Is the narcotic dosage beyond that which has been shown to produce significant results in other patients? The dosage of opioids in most studies was less than 180 mg of morphine or equivalent per day.7

Are the physician and patient comfortable with the long-term risks of opioid analgesia? Most physicians would be surprised to learn that studies of opioid efficacy have not evaluated patients beyond eight months of treatment.

Other questions to be considered are:

  • Has the patient shown an improvement in functional skills (i.e., activities of daily living) while taking opiates?

  • Does the narcotic prescription pose an impediment to vocational rehabilitation?

  • Do legal risks associated with opioid use or altered mental status preclude a return to the work setting (e.g., operating machinery while taking a narcotic)?

  • Is there a change in motivation associated with opioid use?

  • Does narcotic analgesia result in reduced utilization of pain-related health resources?

  • Are patients aware of the long-term hormonal changes, such as decreased cortisol, increased prolactin, and testosterone depletion?

  • Were patients advised that there is overwhelming evidence that opioids alter innate as well as adaptive aspects of the immune system?

In general, most patients with chronic pain problems should not be prescribed narcotics for long-term use unless the patient has a clear understanding of the risks and side effects, and the underlying psychopathology has been addressed. Narcotic therapy may be continued on a long-term basis if there is no evidence of ill effect, if there is functional improvement in the patient, and if there is no evidence of dosage escalation or dependency issues. The physician must be sensitive to the effect of narcotics on the patient’s sensorium and the possibility of impairment within the spheres of driving and employment.

The patient in this scenario has cancer in remission, had a recent total joint arthroplasty, was taking a moderate and steady dosage of 40 mg of oxycodone per day, and now requires 80 mg per day. The patient has a number of known-to-be-painful conditions, including malignancy, and has not had a persistent escalation of the drug dosage; instead, she had a single step up from 40 to 80 mg of oxycodone per day. In chronic cancer patients who are opiate-tolerant, doses of oxycodone of 20 to 45 mg orally every four hours may be required, and some patients require as much as 120 mg orally every four hours. In this context, this patient’s opiate requirements are not exceedingly high. In addition, the ceiling dosage of oxycodone is less clearly defined than it is with drugs such as morphine or methadone.

Vocational and long-term side effects of opiate use seem to be less of a concern in a patient whose multiple medical problems imply a limited life span. In summary, if the patient is stable on 80 mg of oxycodone without undue side effects, the present management seems appropriate.

Although a pain contract has been advocated in the treatment of patients on chronic opiate therapy, it is not a substitute for careful screening for psychiatric comorbidities before initiating or escalating narcotic medications.

What’s the Difference between Taking Oxycodone Whole and Crushed?

However, there are many health issues associated with taking a drug in this form that don’t appear when taking a drug orally. These dangers can include:

  • Chronic sinus infections.
  • Nose bleeds.
  • Perforated nasal septum.
  • Respiratory problems.
  • Burns from hot smoke.
  • Headaches and other issues from inhaling the fumes from the tablet coating.
  • Collapsed veins from repeated injections.
  • Increased risk of HIV and other infectious diseases.

Intravenous drug use is responsible for 10 percent of all new HIV cases every year due to the practice of needle sharing.

Another problem with crushing up oxycodone for a fast, intense high is that it increases the risk of developing an addiction to the drug. All opioids are addictive, and oxycodone in particular is responsible for many cases of addiction across the globe. Addiction, of course, increases the chances of experiencing other adverse effects, as the individual is not only unable to stop, but must take higher and higher doses of the drug in order to feel anything due to the development of tolerance.

Crushing any prescription drug to snort, smoke, or inject it tends to be a sign of a developing substance use disorder. If an addiction to oxycodone is suspected, the best thing that can be done is to speak to a medical professional as soon as possible, before the problem worsens.

Frequently Asked Questions About Oxycodone

Oxycodone is a semisynthetic prescription opioid medication; it is chemically related to codeine. It is found in a variety of brand name prescription painkillers, from Percocet to OxyContin, which can treat moderate or severe pain from surgery, illness, or injury. People who take oxycodone may take the drug for a few days or weeks, until they heal, or the medication may be used daily to manage chronic pain.

While oxycodone is a very useful narcotic painkiller, it also has a high potential for abuse and addiction, like other opioids including, heroin and fentanyl.

What are the signs of addiction?

When a person struggles with addiction to a potent narcotic like oxycodone, they will display some physical changes as well as several behavioral changes. Signs of potential opioid addiction include:

  • Drowsiness and oversleeping.
  • Lack of motivation.
  • Difficulty concentrating and other cognitive impairments.
  • Preferring to spend time alone, often using oxycodone instead of spending time with friends or going to work or school.
  • Poor personal hygiene.

Secretive behaviors, typically to hide the substance abuse.

  • Problems at work, school, or home due to oxycodone use.
  • Psychological or medical issues due to oxycodone use.

If a person is prescribed oxycodone to treat pain, potential signs of addiction include needing to take more to get the same effects; compulsively taking the drug, even when trying to stop; escalating the dose without a doctor’s supervision; taking the drug after the prescription is complete; finding other sources of the drug; and experiencing anxiety about taking the drug or ending the prescription.

What are the side effects of oxycodone?

A person can experience side effects from taking medications like oxycodone, even when they take the substance as prescribed. However, side effects become more likely to occur the longer a person takes the drug, especially for nonmedical reasons. Some of these side effects may include:

  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Constipation.
  • Confusion.
  • Fatigue.
  • Loss of physical strength.
  • Mood changes, especially depression.

What is the rate of addiction to oxycodone?

Starting in the early 1990s, prescribing practices around narcotic pain medications, like oxycodone and hydrocodone, changed. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that, in 1991, there were approximately 76 million prescriptions for opioid drugs, including oxycodone; by 2013, that number had climbed to 207 million prescriptions. While many people fill these prescriptions, take their medication as prescribed, and do not become addicted, many others develop an addiction to these substances. Lawmakers and medical professionals believe that lenient prescribing practices, combined with a lack of oversight, led to the current opioid drug addiction epidemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 40% of U.S. opioid overdose deaths in 2016 were due to a prescription painkiller. More than 46 people die every day because of opioid painkillers, such as OxyContin.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) notes that, in 2015, there were 2 million people ages 12 and older in the US who struggled with a prescription painkiller addiction.

Can oxycodone cause withdrawal symptoms?

Even if an individual takes oxycodone as prescribed, suddenly stopping the medication can lead to the emergence of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. This is why medical professionals who prescribe oxycodone work with their patients to develop a tapering schedule to gradually reduce the dose of the drug.

People who struggle with addiction to oxycodone are more likely to experience withdrawal symptoms, especially cravings, when they stop taking the drug or are not able to take it. The body develops a dependence on oxycodone to function optimally, and without the presence of oxycodone, withdrawal symptoms occur. Withdrawing from oxycodone or other opioids is not fatal, but the discomfort associated with detox can, without medical supervision, cause relapse and potential overdose.

Oxycodone withdrawal Symptoms

  • Runny nose.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Goosebumps.
  • Irritability.
  • Anxiety.
  • Agitation.
  • Insomnia.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Excessive yawning.

The onset and course of oxycodone withdrawal symptoms will largely depend on its specific formulation. Immediate-release pills will likely produce a more rapid onset of symptoms with a quicker overall resolution, while controlled-release pills may lead to a delayed onset of symptoms with a longer timeline of resolution.

How Long Do Opiates Stay in Your System?

Opiates are a class of drug that has been derived from a plant commonly called the opium poppy. Several naturally occurring opiate alkaloids—such as morphine, codeine, and thebaine—serve as the chemical building blocks of many semi-synthetic opioid drugs, including heroin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.

Many opiates are essential in the medical community for their sedative and painkilling properties, though heroin is a morphine derivative that’s exclusively recreational and highly illegal. All of these drugs have a high addiction potential, and even those that are given out legally via prescription are often abused and can be found on black markets. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2012 World Drug Report, 26.4-36 million people across the globe abuse opiates.

Factors That Affect Drug Processing

Opiates tend to have short half-lives, meaning that they leave the system quickly, though effects can last for several hours. How long each opiate can be detected by drug tests varies depending on many factors, including the type of ingestion. Prescription opiates typically come in pill form. Taking a drug orally means that it has to pass through the digestive system first, so it can take around an hour for the effects to begin. On the other hand, substances like heroin are more often injected, smoked, or snorted. These methods create a much faster and more intense high, and they pass out of the body sooner.

Other factors affecting how quickly an opiate leaves the system include:

  • The individual’s metabolism rate
  • Body mass and weight
  • Body fat content
  • Health of the liver and kidneys
  • Age
  • How often and how heavy opiate use is
  • Quality of the drug
  • Amount of water in the body

Of course, the type of opiate also factors into how long it can be detected by drug tests. Commonly prescribed opioids include Vicodin, OxyContin, morphine, and codeine.

Heroin is a particularly fast-acting drug with a very short half-life. A saliva test will only be able to detect heroin for the first 5 hours after the last dose, while blood tests can detect it for about 6 hours after the last use. Urine tests are the most commonly used, and can detect heroin up to 7 days after the last use.Urine tests are the most commonly used, and can detect heroin up to 7 days after the last use. Hair follicle tests, however, can find heroin for up to 90 days.

Hydrocodone leaves the body even faster, with saliva tests only working for the first 12-36 hours after the last pill was taken. Urine tests can detect hydrocodone for 2-4 days, and hair tests are effective for 90 days.

Morphine takes longer to work than heroin and the effects tend to last longer. Despite this, blood tests can only detect morphine for the first 12 hours after the last dose, and urine tests only work for up to 3 days. However, saliva tests are more effective, being able to detect traces of morphine for up to 4 days. Again, morphine stays in the hair for 90 days.

Lastly, codeine is one of the fastest of all opiates to leave the system. It can be found in the blood for just 24 hours, and in urine for 24-48 hours. Saliva tests have a wider range, being effective for 1-4 days after the last dose. As with the rest, it can be found in a person’s hair for up to 90 days.

These are all averages. However, due to the fact that opiates will build up in fatty tissues after excessive use, these averages may extend beyond the outer limit if the individual is a heavy, long-term user.

Oxycodone (oxycontin)

Oxycodone is detectable in the urine for 1-4 days, and a person will test positive for the drug within 1-3 hours after taking it. It is detectable in saliva within minutes after a person takes the drug and can be detected on a test for up to 48 hours. Like the other opioids, it can be detected in the hair for up to 90 days.

Oxycodone is primarily metabolized by the liver. This process produces metabolites, the most common of which is noroxycodone, followed by noroxymorphone. Oxycodone and its metabolites are excreted through the kidneys.

The half-life of oxycodone is 3-5 hours, which means it takes about that much time for half of the dose to be eliminated from the bloodstream.

Other Notables

Fentanyl

  • Blood: Up to 12 Hours
  • Saliva: 1-4 Days
  • Urine: 8-24 Hours
  • Hair: Up to 90 Days

Methadone

  • Blood: After 30 mins up to 2-3 Days
  • Saliva: After 30 min and Up to 2 Days
  • Urine: After 1 Hour and Up to 2 Weeks
  • Hair: After a Few Days and Up to 90 Days

More on How Long Drugs Are in the Body

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin
  • Vicodin
  • Methadone
  • Percocet
  • Suboxone
  • Vicodin

How Long Do Poppy Seeds Stay in Your System?

People always wonder if eating a poppy seed muffin or bagel before a drug test will end in a false positive. The answer to that is, yes it can. However, testing guidelines have improved and it’s less likely to be flagged for opiate use after eating poppy seed-containing foods. In the past, poppy seeds have been known to cause testers to fail for up to 16 hours after consumption. Since poppy seeds contain low levels of opiates, many tests now have a higher threshold to avoid false positives. This article has additional information on drug testing with poppy seeds taken into consideration.

Why Do People Snort Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a schedule II opioid painkiller. As a schedule II drug, Oxycodone has some medical uses but also carries a high risk of abuse. One of the most common methods of abuse involves taking a tablet, crushing it, and then snorting the Oxycodone. People also chew the pills or mix them into water and inject them intravenously. There are two major reasons why people snort Oxycodone.

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Time-Release Pills

Oxycodone prescriptions usually come in pills designed to release the medication over long periods of time. Crushing and snorting a pill containing Oxycodone will result in an immediate and intense high.

Drugs and the Nose

Snorting the drug allows it to pass through the mucosal lining of the inner nose and into the bloodstream directly. This method guarantees a majority of the Oxycodone begins circulating almost immediately. Tests on intranasal (snorting) use versus intravenous (injection) use found that, even if snorting is slower than injecting, the drug can be reliably detected in the blood within 5 minutes of snorting.

Prescription Oxycodone

Though the two are sometimes used interchangeably, OxyContin is branded and engineered to release over a longer time period for pain management. Many painkilling medications involve Oxycodone:

  • OxyContin
  • Percocet
  • Percodan
  • Tylox

Popular Abuse

A survey of people who misuse prescription painkillers found that Oxycodone is extremely popular. Those who used it reported a better high when compared with other painkillers. Researchers analyzed the demographic information of the people who responded and found that people who snorted Oxycodone were more likely young, male drug users who had also reported injection-based drug use. Women and older people who misused prescription painkillers reported favoring Hydrocodone (the Opioid in Vicodin) because it was easier to get from friends and doctors, and it didn’t seem as extreme.

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Oxycodone Street Names

  • Oxy
  • OC
  • Oxycottons
  • Kickers
  • Hillbilly Heroin
  • Roxy

Getting Hooked on Snorting Oxycodone

America’s experience with the Opioid epidemic has revealed the troubling relationship between Opioid pain management and Opioid use disorders. The same study of drug users found that around 50% of them started using painkillers for pain management. The proportion of people who abuse Oxycodone is high, in part, because after taking it orally, a tolerance develops. In order to continue feeling the effects, users may increase their dose until they can no longer get more from their prescription. Crushing and snorting a drug may seem extreme, but, in light of the Opioid epidemic, the addictive quality of opioid painkillers should not be underestimated. Heroin is now cheaper than most prescription Opioids, and experts are worried about the amount of people who may transition into illicit drug use to maintain their dependency.

Effects of Snorting Oxycodone

The Opioid Effect

Oxycodone shares a set of similar mental and physical effects with other prescription and illegal Opioids. As a central nervous system depressant, Oxycodone causes:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Slowed breathing
  • Irregular breathing
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness

Crushing and snorting Oxycodone can expose the body to much higher doses than a prescription would intend. This type of misuse can lead to deadly effects:

  • Overdose
  • Seizures
  • Heart failure
  • Respiratory depression

Oxycodone Overdose

Overdosing on any Opioid often leads to death. An overdose is characterized by several symptoms:

  • Unusual drowsiness
  • Weak pulse
  • Gastrointestinal spasms
  • Vomiting
  • Shallow or no breathing
  • Blue lips and fingernails

Opioid overdoses can be reversed with the help of the emergency medication Naloxone. It can be bought over the counter at pharmacies in most US states. If there’s no Naloxone present, calling 911 as quickly as possible is vital. As the overdose progresses, the person could stop breathing or circulating blood which would lead to death or severe disability.

Long Term Effects of Snorting Oxycodone

The nose is a sensitive organ, and snorting drugs regularly can result in serious health consequences. Oftentimes the substance being inhaled aggravates the soft tissues and can cause infections throughout the nasal passage. Many people who habitually snort Oxycodone and other substances suffer from lung irritation and infections. Sinus infections and other respiratory diseases are also very common among those who regularly snort Oxycodone.

Even in the drugs are sterile, snorting off a dirty surface, through a dirty straw, or through a rolled-up bill could carry unwanted contaminants and cause further infection. People who’ve snorted Hydrocodone and Oxycodone have been hospitalized for a rare condition known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which means that the lungs are extremely sensitive to dust and other minor irritants.

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Reaching Out

Prescription Opioid abuse forms the backbone of what is now the Opioid epidemic. Oxycodone is a serious substance not to be taken without a prescription from a Doctor or Pharmacist. If you or a loved one struggles with an Oxycodone use disorder, please know that help is available. Compassionate professionals are available to help you take the first step towards recovery.

Oxycodone Tablets

Generic Name: Oxycodone Tablets (oks i KOE done)
Brand Name: Oxaydo, RoxyBond

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 2, 2019.

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  • Dosage
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Warning

  • This medicine is a strong pain drug that can put you at risk for addiction, abuse, and misuse. Misuse or abuse of this medicine (oxycodone tablets) can lead to overdose and death. Talk with your doctor.
  • You will be watched closely to make sure you do not misuse, abuse, or become addicted to this medicine (oxycodone tablets).
  • This medicine may cause very bad and sometimes deadly breathing problems. Call your doctor right away if you have slow, shallow, or trouble breathing.
  • The chance of very bad and sometimes deadly breathing problems may be greater when you first start this medicine (oxycodone tablets) or anytime your dose is raised.
  • Even one dose of this medicine (oxycodone tablets) may be deadly if it is taken by someone else or by accident, especially in children. If this medicine (oxycodone tablets) is taken by someone else or by accident, get medical help right away.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Using this medicine (oxycodone tablets) for a long time during pregnancy may lead to withdrawal in the newborn baby. This can be life-threatening. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine has an opioid drug in it. Severe side effects have happened when opioid drugs were used with benzodiazepines or other drugs that may make you drowsy or slow your actions. This includes slow or troubled breathing and death. Benzodiazepines include drugs like alprazolam, diazepam, and lorazepam. Benzodiazepines may be used to treat many health problems like anxiety, trouble sleeping, or seizures. If you have questions, talk with your doctor.
  • Many drugs interact with this medicine (oxycodone tablets) and can raise the chance of side effects like deadly breathing problems. Talk with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure it is safe to use this medicine (oxycodone tablets) with all of your drugs.
  • Do not take with alcohol or products that have alcohol. Unsafe and sometimes deadly effects may happen.
  • Get medical help right away if you feel very sleepy, very dizzy, or if you pass out. Caregivers or others need to get medical help right away if the patient does not respond, does not answer or react like normal, or will not wake up.

Uses of Oxycodone Tablets:

  • It is used to ease pain.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Oxycodone Tablets?

  • If you have an allergy to oxycodone or any other part of this medicine (oxycodone tablets).
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Lung or breathing problems like asthma, trouble breathing, or sleep apnea; high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood; or stomach or bowel block or narrowing.
  • If you have taken certain drugs for depression or Parkinson’s disease in the last 14 days. This includes isocarboxazid, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, selegiline, or rasagiline. Very high blood pressure may happen.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Linezolid or methylene blue.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, or pentazocine.
  • If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine (oxycodone tablets).

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this medicine (oxycodone tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Oxycodone Tablets?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine (oxycodone tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this medicine (oxycodone tablets) affects you.
  • To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly if you have been sitting or lying down. Be careful going up and down stairs.
  • Do not take more than what your doctor told you to take. Taking more than you are told may raise your chance of very bad side effects.
  • Do not take this medicine (oxycodone tablets) with other strong pain drugs or if you are using a pain patch without talking to your doctor first.
  • If you have been taking this medicine (oxycodone tablets) for a long time or at high doses, it may not work as well and you may need higher doses to get the same effect. This is known as tolerance. Call your doctor if this medicine (oxycodone tablets) stops working well. Do not take more than ordered.
  • This medicine may raise the chance of seizures in some people, including people who have had seizures in the past. Talk to your doctor to see if you have a greater chance of seizures while taking this medicine (oxycodone tablets).
  • Long-term or regular use of opioid drugs like this medicine (oxycodone tablets) may lead to dependence. Lowering the dose or stopping this medicine (oxycodone tablets) all of a sudden may cause a greater risk of withdrawal or other severe problems. Talk to your doctor before you lower the dose or stop this medicine (oxycodone tablets). You will need to follow your doctor’s instructions. Tell your doctor if you have more pain, mood changes, thoughts of suicide, or any other bad effects.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this medicine (oxycodone tablets) with care. You could have more side effects.
  • This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking this medicine (oxycodone tablets), call your doctor right away.

Roxybond tablets:

  • You may see something that looks like the tablet in your stool. This is normal and not a cause for concern. If you have questions, talk with your doctor.

How is this medicine (Oxycodone Tablets) best taken?

Use this medicine (oxycodone tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take by mouth only.
  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • Do not inject or snort this medicine (oxycodone tablets). Doing any of these things can cause very bad side effects like trouble breathing and death from overdose.
  • Take 1 tablet at a time if your dose is more than 1 tablet. Do not lick or wet the tablet before putting it in your mouth. Swallow the tablet with lots of water right after putting it in your mouth.
  • If you have trouble swallowing, talk with your doctor.
  • Do not put this medicine (oxycodone tablets) down a feeding tube.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • If you take this medicine (oxycodone tablets) on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Many times this medicine (oxycodone tablets) is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Severe constipation or stomach pain. These may be signs of a severe bowel problem.
  • Trouble breathing, slow breathing, or shallow breathing.
  • Trouble passing urine.
  • Fast, slow, or abnormal heartbeat.
  • Seizures.
  • Shakiness.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
  • Mood changes.
  • Memory problems or loss.
  • Trouble walking.
  • Trouble speaking.
  • Swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Fever.
  • A severe and sometimes deadly problem called serotonin syndrome may happen if you take this medicine (oxycodone tablets) with certain other drugs. Call your doctor right away if you have agitation; change in balance; confusion; hallucinations; fever; fast or abnormal heartbeat; flushing; muscle twitching or stiffness; seizures; shivering or shaking; sweating a lot; severe diarrhea, upset stomach, or throwing up; or severe headache.
  • Taking an opioid drug like this medicine (oxycodone tablets) may lead to a rare but very bad adrenal gland problem. Call your doctor right away if you have very bad dizziness or passing out, very bad upset stomach or throwing up, or if you feel less hungry, very tired, or very weak.
  • Long-term use of an opioid drug may lead to lower sex hormone levels. Call your doctor if you have a lowered interest in sex, fertility problems, no menstrual period (women), or change in sex ability (men).

What are some other side effects of Oxycodone Tablets?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Oxycodone Tablets?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from light.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time this medicine (oxycodone tablets) is refilled. If you have any questions about this medicine (oxycodone tablets), please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
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Several factors can affect how long the drug remains in your body, like liver function, weight and metabolism. These factors contribute to the length of time that oxycodone is detectable by drug tests.

  • Urine test: 3-4 days
  • Hair test: 90 days
  • Blood test: 24 hours
  • Saliva: 4 days

Oxycodone Showing Up On Drug Tests

People who utilize oxycodone may wonder how long the drug shows up on drug tests. Because the half-life of oxycodone is only a few hours and the drug may completely leave the system within a day, some people believe that a day after they last took oxycodone they’ll be able to pass an oxycodone drug test. But what determines the length of time that a drug test detects traces of a drug has more to do with the drug’s metabolites (i.e., what the drug metabolizes into), than the drug’s half-life.

So even though oxycodone itself isn’t present in your body, it metabolizes into noroxycodone, noroxycodol, oxymorphone, and oxymorphol among others, which can linger after their original forms vanish. The metabolites appear more in certain components of the body than in others, resulting in different trace windows per test type.

Oxycodone and Urine

Urine tests can reveal oxycodone use for approximately three to four days following the latest use. Oxycodone may first show up in urine within a couple of hours following consumption.

Oxycodone and Hair

Oxycodone can be detected in hair for approximately 90 days after the latest use, but it takes approximately one week to appear in a person’s hair following the latest use.

Oxycodone and Blood

Oxycodone use can be detected in the blood for approximately one day (24 hours) after the latest use. The drug is present in the bloodstream within 15 to 30 minutes following the most recent use.

Oxycodone and Saliva

A saliva test can reveal traces of oxycodone for up to four days following the latest use. Oxycodone can be detected in saliva within 15 minutes of the latest use.

Factors That Affect How Long Oxycodone Stays In The System

The amount of time it takes for oxycodone to leave the body depends on several factors.

For example, if you’re young and healthy, the way your body absorbs and processes oxycodone is different than how the body of a senior who has poor physical health processes the drug.

Factors in determining how long oxycodone stays in your system include:

Oxycodone and Weight

A person who is obese will likely have oxycodone in their system longer than someone who weighs less will.

Generally, people who are overweight process drugs slower than people who weigh less because overweight people tend to have slower metabolic rates. Obese individuals often suffer from chronic pain due to various physical conditions that develop due to their weight gain. Opioids may already be utilized to treat some of those painful issues. If so, their body may be partially used to the presence of opioids when oxycodone is used, thus more opioids may be needed due to the individual’s opioid tolerance.

Age and Organ Function Affect Oxycodone Processing

Most opioids come with a warning for individuals with liver conditions. Liver enzymes help to metabolize oxycodone, so if liver problems are present it may take the body longer to excrete the drug. Specific enzymes in the liver helps metabolize oxycodone, so people with higher stores of these enzymes can eliminate oxycodone from their system faster.

Usually, younger people have higher metabolic rates, which can impact the elimination of oxycodone. Older people generally aren’t able to excrete drugs as quickly as younger people, possibly due to reduced liver function, as well as the potential for other health problems that can slow down metabolism.

How Long Oxycodone Lasts by MG

It’s best for individuals to consult with their primary care provider to determine how long certain doses of oxycodone will last in their system. Because of the many factors that contribute to how long oxycodone stays in your system, doctors can check your prescription with any pre-existing factors like liver health and age to be as accurate as possible.

For example, OxyContin, a brand name of Oxycodone, comes in 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg and 80 mg tablets. A doctor can help patients determine which amount is right for them and help patients determine how long the drug remains in their system.

Getting Help: Oxycodone

Oxycodone use can lead to addiction. If left untreated, oxycodone addiction can result in overdose and death. People with chronic pain issues may be tempted to take more oxycodone than their doctor prescribes them, or take their prescription at an accelerated rate to self-medicate.

Professional addiction treatment centers like The Recovery Village allow people to address their addiction by detoxing in safe, supportive environments. Trained teams of medical professionals help patients detox from drugs and support them through the withdrawal process. Once withdrawal symptoms clear up, patients can then work toward building a healthier, sober future in recovery.

Key Points: How Long Oxycodone Stays in Your System

The length of time that oxycodone stays in a person’s system is affected by many factors. When discussing oxycodone use with your doctor, consider the following:

  • The half-life of oxycodone is between 3.5 and 5.5 hours
  • Oxycodone is usually clear of the body in approximately 20 hours
  • Metabolites of oxycodone remain in the body for up to 90 days
  • Urine, blood and saliva drug tests have smaller windows of detection for oxycodone than hair tests
  • Oxycodone can be detected in blood and saliva tests minutes after the drug is used
  • Individuals with liver diseases or issues may have trouble metabolizing oxycodone
  • Younger people are more likely to metabolize oxycodone faster than seniors

If you or a loved one live with an addiction to oxycodone, contact The Recovery Village today. Call and speak to a representative to learn how individualized treatment programs address addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders.

RX List. “OxyContin.” February 25, 2019. Accessed March 29, 2019.

Raman, R. “Why Your Metabolism Slows Down With Age.” Healthline, September 24, 2017. Accessed March 29, 2019.

National Institutes of Health. “Oxycodone.” October 30, 2018. Accessed March 29, 2019.

Smith, H. “Opioid Metabolism.” Mayo Clinic Proc., July 2009. Accessed March 29, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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Snorting Oxycodone

Oxycodone is an opiate agonist that is the active ingredient in a number of prescription pain medications, including Percocet and OxyContin. Oxycodone is used to relieve moderate to severe pain and can improve quality of life for people that suffer from chronic painful conditions such as injury, cancer, or rheumatoid arthritis. Although the drug provides effective pain relief for many people, its euphoric effects can quickly cause chemical dependence and addiction when abused. People who misuse Oxycodone may grind up the tablets into a fine powder, which can be injected or snorted. Snorting oxycodone is a common form of abuse in which people take a crushed-up pill and forcefully breathe it up into the nasal cavity. Snorting oxycodone speeds up the effects of the narcotic on the central nervous system, producing an intense high that’s comparable to that of heroin.

Oxycodone is most commonly snorted for its powerful, concentrated high. People that begin taking Oxycodone orally will often develop a tolerance to the drug and require increasing amounts for the same effects. One way to adjust for tolerance is to switch routes of administration of the drug, i.e. go from oral to non-oral via snorting, smoking, or injecting. Snorting oxycodone allows the drug to enter the bloodstream more quickly, providing a faster and more intense high. Snorting oxycodone causes the drug to affect the brain and body much faster, typically within 15 minutes, whereas it can take over an hour for the drug to take an effect if it’s swallowed.

Snorting Oxycodone allows for more rapid ingestion as it bypasses the digestive tract and goes straight into the bloodstream through blood vessels in the nasal cavity. Upon entering the bloodstream, the drug quickly travels to the brain, causing effects to be felt shortly after snorting. Oxycodone may come in extended-release formulas, such as Oxycontin, that are intended to slowly release the drug throughout the day. By crushing and snorting the pills, the extended-release mechanism is rendered obsolete and the effects are experienced immediately. What initially began as an adjustment for tolerance can quickly turn into an addiction. The likelihood of developing an addiction to Oxycodone is significantly higher when a user administers the drug in ways other than prescribed.

You start to enjoy the drip from snorting your pills, it becomes part of the enjoyment in your high.

Snorting Oxycodone not only produces an amplified high and higher rates of addiction, but also increases the risk of negative side effects and overdose.

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The Risks of Snorting Oxycodone

Snorting Oxycodone is significantly more dangerous than taking the drug orally, and the effects can even be fatal. Snorting any drug is thought to increase the risk of contracting Hepatitis C due to damage to the blood vessels inside the nose and sharing snorting paraphernalia like dollar bills and straws. The main consequences of snorting Oxycodone is damage to the nose, throat, and respiratory system. The effects of these health risks range from mild to life-threatening, and can include:

  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Frequent nose bleeds
  • Severe headache
  • Sleep apnea and snoring
  • Congestion
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Lung infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Sores in the nose and mouth
  • Problems swallowing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unconsciousness

Because Oxycodone is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, the risk for overdose is significantly higher when the drug is crushed and snorted due to the profound respiratory depression that can occur. An oxycodone user’s breathing may slow down to a dangerously low rate, which can result in respiratory failure, coma, or death. Additionally, many people will also abuse alcohol and other drugs to amplify or mitigate the effects of snorting oxycodone. Mixing oxycodone with CNS depressants significantly raises the risk of overdose as it can cause increased confusion and respiratory failure.

Symptoms of an Oxycodone overdose include:

  • Constricted pupils
  • Bluish tint to the lips and skin
  • Stomach spasms
  • Vomiting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow pulse
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory depression or failure
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Coma

With proper medical treatment, it is possible to recover from an overdose. However, if left untreated, it can cause irreversible damage to the brain and possibly even death.

Oxycodone use, regardless of the method of administration, is a very dangerous and potentially deadly habit. If you or someone that you know is snorting Oxycodone, contact one of our dedicated treatment professionals today. People who snort drugs put themselves at a greater risk of drug dependence, overdose, and even death. The sooner you seek treatment, the greater the chances for a successful long-term recovery.

It’s almost impossible to go through life without hearing about oxycodone, but most people don’t know what it is. Whether you’ve had a friend who got an oxycodone prescription after getting their wisdom teeth out, know someone who is struggling with an addiction to this medication or wonder why you’ve been hearing so much about it in the news, you have naturally have questions about it.

Understanding what oxycodone is, what it does and how it affects people who use or abuse it is key to making the best decisions for yourself and being there for others who may need your support.

What Type of Drug Is Oxycodone?

The one thing most people know about oxycodone is that it’s a type of opioid. Opioid drugs mimic the chemical structure of a natural neurotransmitter in the brain. They have similar chemical compositions that fool the brain’s receptors into accepting the opioids, and then go to work producing the “opioid effect,” which helps block pain, among other effects.

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid, meaning it’s partially human-made. The process starts with thebaine, a compound that occurs naturally in opium. It’s one of the more minor components of opium, and is similar to morphine and codeine in structure. However, rather than producing depressant effects, it has stimulatory effects. The process of making oxycodone alters the chemical structure enough to change the effects to be more depressant.

Oxycodone is a discrete medication in and of itself and comes under brand names like OxyContin®, Xtampza ER®, Roxicodone® and Oxaydo®. However, oxycodone is also an active ingredient in many combination drugs prescribed to treat pain. Drug manufacturers commonly combine it with acetaminophen, giving rise to these name-brand medications:

  • Endocet®
  • Oxycet®
  • Percocet®
  • Roxicet®
  • Xartemis XR®

Combining oxycodone with aspirin creates Percodan®, and adding it to ibuprofen makes Combunox®.

Oxycodone Uses and Prescriptions

Clinical settings have used oxycodone since 1917, making it much older than many people realize. Since its invention, it has always been a painkiller — both moderate and severe, depending on the drugs it’s combined with. OxyContin comes in extended-release tablets that are intended to relieve pain for up to 12 hours at a time.

In general, oxycodone is for people who are experiencing severe, long-lasting pain that doesn’t respond to other medications. If a different medication can control the pain when taken as directed, a doctor won’t usually prescribe oxycodone or any of its combination drugs. Some of the conditions that can cause this severe pain include:

  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Specific injuries that cause chronic pain may warrant an oxycodone prescription as well. Often, people who work in highly physical industries develop chronic pain from constant over-exertion. Football players, for example, have been garnering headlines for their struggles with prescription opioids and addiction.

Oxycodone in the Media and Public Eye

Oxycodone began to pick up speed as a drug of choice after Purdue Pharma began marketing it as OxyContin in 1996. At first, users hailed it almost as a miracle drug for its ability to arrest pain quickly and effectively. Purdue went all-in on marketing to physicians, and distributed more than 15,000 copies of a video titled “I Got My Life Back.” The video followed six patients who took OxyContin for non-cancer pain, and encouraged the use of the drug for ongoing treatment of pain. It even highlighted a purported lack of side effects, which we now know is untrue.

By 1999, 86% of people who were prescribed opioids were using them for non-cancer-related pain, and the widespread variation in usage plus a lack of oversight started leading to widespread abuse of the drugs. The late ’90s saw the tide of public opinion begin to turn as more and more evidence mounted that opioids were highly addictive and had the potential to be fatal.

News coverage from the early 2000s up to today all focuses on the opioid crisis that has continued to unfold as a result of aggressive marketing and lax prescribing guidelines. The media continues to present coverage on opioids in the form of frightening statistics and emotional op-eds. While the opioid crisis is genuine and deserves to remain a topic of public discussion, the media depiction of opioids may vilify those who struggle with addiction and can prevent them from seeking help due to the stigma.

A High-Profile Problem for Purdue

In 2019, oxycodone, in particular, has re-entered the news cycle thanks to new revelations about the creators of OxyContin. A recently discovered email shows Dr. Richard Sackler, chairman and president of Purdue Pharma, was fully aware of the potential for OxyContin abuse, and intended to divert the blame. The email, released in a lawsuit against the company, urges:

“We have to hammer on the abusers in every way possible. They are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals.”

However, the blame-shifting approach didn’t work as more and more people became addicted, and the drug continued to ruin users’ lives. It has become painfully clear that oxycodone in any of its name-brand forms or combinations is an immensely powerful medication.

Effects of Oxycodone

When you take oxycodone, the opioid compounds bind to G protein-coupled receptors and trigger your brain to release endorphins. These chemicals are part of your brain’s reward system, and play several roles in your mood and physical state. They reduce your ability to perceive pain while enhancing feelings of pleasure.

While people who take opioids as directed experience a reduction in pain, they may also experience a temporary euphoria or elevated sense of well-being. The problem is that under normal circumstances, your body makes its endorphins in response to normal stimuli like having a delicious meal or a challenging workout. They reinforce positive behaviors and motivate us to continue doing all the things that keep us happy and healthy.

However, when you take opioids over an extended period, your body reduces its output of natural endorphins. You then stop feeling such a strong positive reaction to the opioids, and must take more to achieve the same level of euphoria or pain relief. This mechanism is called tolerance, and it’s the first stop on the road to abuse and dependence.

Common Side Effects of Oxycodone

In addition to the analgesic and euphoric effects of oxycodone, there are highly unpleasant side effects that set in for the short and long term. Oxycodone and Percocet side effects are much the same, though some other combinations may alter the strength or frequency of the effects. The most common are:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Itching
  • Headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth

For most people, the reduction in pain is enough to overcome most of these symptoms. However, even a minor manifestation of these side effects can affect a person’s ability to perform routine tasks like doing the dishes or completing work projects. If a person is abusing an oxycodone medication for recreational purposes, they may not even notice the side effects at all. However, this also means they may miss the more acute symptoms that indicate an overdose, such as:

  • Respiratory depression or arrest
  • Periodic breathing stoppage
  • Circulatory depression
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cold sweat
  • Extreme sleepiness

These symptoms may lead to a coma or death if the person doesn’t receive medical intervention in time.

Long-Term Side Effects of Oxycodone

Percocet and other oxycodone-based medications have serious side effects if taken over a long period. Some of the worst include:

  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Cramping, aching muscles
  • Increased spinal fluid pressure
  • Limb swelling
  • Heart failure

Opioids exert a strong influence over the body, and their effects touch your most vital systems. Prolonged use of oxycodone and its combination drugs will lead to at least some of these side effects, even if it takes a while for them to develop. For instance, someone may not start experiencing constipation for several weeks or months after taking Percocet. That can lead them to assume the problem stems from something else when they should be examining their use of the drug and talking to their doctor.

Signs of an Oxycodone Addiction

It’s often difficult to tell when someone is abusing oxycodone or a combination medication, even when that person is yourself. Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that most people start taking a legitimate prescription for real pain, and don’t know when their use starts to cross the line.

When you have a prescription from your doctor, it may not seem like too big of a deal to occasionally take an extra half a pill or maybe even a whole one if your pain is bad enough. And, if it really does only happen infrequently, it may not be a problem. However, if you’re concerned you or someone you care about is abusing the medication, look out for these signs and symptoms.

  • Loss of interest: A person abusing drugs begins to lose all interest in things that once made them happy, choosing to spend more time using the drug. They may give up on hobbies, or stop caring about a job they once loved or a show they used to watch every week.
  • Increased tolerance: If a person needs more than their original prescribed dose to experience the positive effects of oxycodone, they are at much higher risk of abusing the drug and increasing their consumption until they reach a dependent state.
  • Drug cravings: Lingering thoughts about oxycodone or preoccupation with the next dose is a definite warning sign that someone is misusing it. When thoughts about the medication drift into work or family time, addiction may be creeping onto the scene.
  • Drug-seeking behavior: If someone starts thinking about how to bend the rules and get more oxycodone than their doctor prescribed, or thinking about alternatives that may provide similar feelings of elation, the chances are good they are wrestling with opioid dependence.
  • Social withdrawal: People who fall into oxycodone abuse often find themselves withdrawing from friends and family because they don’t want people to see any of their symptoms or struggles. They may actively push people away, or fade out of a relationship over time.

Many of the externally noticeable signs of opioid abuse, like loss of interest and social withdrawal, are challenging to identify because they are also symptoms of depression. They are also symptoms associated with chronic pain. If you’re not sure where these symptoms are coming from, you can look for physical symptoms like sweating or excessive drowsiness to validate your concern.

Signs of Oxycodone Withdrawal

Many people who end up addicted to oxycodone try to quit more than once before admitting they need help. Withdrawal happens when you’ve taken opioids long enough for your body to get used to their presence. Without opioids, your system is unable to function normally, and your body experiences unpleasant side effects as a result of the removal. Withdrawal symptoms of oxycodone are so painful and uncomfortable that a person will do anything to stop them, including going back to opioids. These are the most common symptoms:

  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Abdominal cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Elevated heart rate and blood pressure
  • Rapid breathing
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Chills, sweating and body aches
  • Hyperventilation
  • Uncontrollable yawning

Overall, oxycodone withdrawal symptoms start out feeling like the flu. A person will probably have hot and cold flashes and intense cravings for oxycodone as the drug continues to leave their system. Many individuals report severe psychological symptoms like panic and anxiety, as well as a deep sense of dread or fear.

Timeline of Oxycodone Withdrawal

Withdrawal looks a little different for everyone, and not every symptom shows up at the same time. There are a few factors that influence how withdrawal unfolds for a specific individual:

  • Total length of oxycodone abuse
  • Average dose of oxycodone taken
  • Frequency of oxycodone consumption
  • Mixing oxycodone with other drugs or alcohol
  • Oxycodone consumption method

In general, people start experiencing withdrawal eight to 12 hours after the last time they ingested the drug. Symptoms are most unpleasant within the first 72 hours, and this is the time where relapse is most likely. It is also when combined symptoms present the most danger to the individual.

As an example, let’s consider someone who has been abusing oxycodone heavily for over two years. Their body has had ample time to get used to the effects of the opioid, which means their symptoms will be acute. In the first 72 hours, their symptoms may include sweating, diarrhea and hyperventilation. The combination of these three symptoms can easily lead to dehydration, which could arrest the detoxification process and reduce the chances of a successful recovery.

Reducing Withdrawals With Medication

The best way to manage withdrawal without a formal detoxification process is to participate in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). In this type of program, patients receive daily doses of methadone or buprenorphine to combat their symptoms.

These medications are opioid agonists, which means they bind to the same receptors as oxycodone and other prescription painkillers. However, they don’t produce the full effects of opioid drugs. Instead, methadone and buprenorphine trigger just enough of a response in the receptors that a person doesn’t experience the most unpleasant side effects of withdrawal.

The goal of MAT is to allow patients to feel normal while they begin the work of recovery, rather than allowing the painful symptoms of withdrawal to drive them back into opioid use. Addiction treatment professionals have used methadone in clinical settings for more than 50 years, and it is still the gold standard of treatment. In combination with therapy, MAT can give patients the best chance at a successful recovery.

We get many questions from concerned individuals about oxycodone and its related combination drugs. Here are five of the most common inquiries we receive.

Q: How Do People Take Oxycodone?

A: The most common form of oxycodone is tablets or capsules users can swallow. Tablets or capsules can be immediate-release or extended-release formulas. Oxycodone also comes in an oral solution. People who abuse oxycodone sometimes crush up tablets to turn them into injectable solutions — a highly dangerous and potent form of administration.

Q: How Long Does Oxycodone Take to Work?

A: You will usually feel oxycodone start to take effect within 20 to 30 minutes after taking it. Its full effects rely on reaching peak blood concentration, which takes about an hour or two. If you’re taking a controlled-release or extended-release formulation, it can take three to four hours to feel the full analgesic effects of oxycodone.

Q: How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System?

A: A standard urine drug test can detect oxycodone one to three hours after taking the drug, and it can remain detectable for one to two days. This number can change depending on the severity of the abuse, as well as physical factors such as weight.

A blood test can reveal oxycodone use for up to 24 hours after ingestion, and a saliva test will detect it anywhere from one to four days. A hair follicle test will always give the longest window of detection, at up to 90 days after last use.

Q: How Strong Is Oxycodone?

A: The potency of oxycodone combination drugs depends on how much oxycodone they contain. The minimum amount of oxycodone in drugs like Percocet or OxyContin is usually 5 mg per dose, with a minimum daily intake of 20 mg. Users take immediate-release tablets every four to six hours, and extended-release formulations every 12 hours.

As an example, OxyContin tablets come in strengths of 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg and 80 mg. Only your doctor can tell you what strength is appropriate for your situation.

Q: What’s the Difference Between Oxycodone and Hydrocodone?

A: There is some confusion about the difference between oxycodone and hydrocodone. They are both narcotic analgesics and semi-synthetic opioids. One difference is a minor alteration in chemical structure: Oxycodone has one extra oxygen atom. Hydrocodone also derives from opium, but it comes from codeine rather than thebaine.

As with oxycodone, drug manufacturers often combine hydrocodone with acetaminophen and other drugs to make highly effective painkillers. At one point, hydrocodone was the most prescribed medication in the U.S., distributed through combination drugs. However, after the government reclassified the majority of hydrocodone products as Schedule II substances in 2014, sales dropped significantly. Afterward, the name-brand oxycodone drug OxyContin became more popularly prescribed.

Getting Help for Oxycodone Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to oxycodone or another opioid, you should know you’re not alone. Between 8 and 12% of people whose doctors prescribe them opioids develop an opioid use disorder, and the majority of them don’t get the help they need. Finding the right treatment program is easier said than done, which is why Health Care Resource Centers invites you to reach out and learn more about our addiction treatment services.

Health Care Resource Centers and our affiliate programs are throughout New England and in other areas of the United States, providing compassionate care and treatment expertise to those struggling with addiction. In addition to medication-assisted treatment, we offer multiple types of counseling, training and resources to support you or your loved one’s journey to a drug-free life.

If you’re ready to take the next step and explore opioid addiction treatment options, call Health Care Resource Centers at 866-758-7769 or visit us online.

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