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OxyContin

Generic Name: oxycodone (ox i KOE done)
Brand Names: Oxaydo, OxyContin , Oxyfast, Roxicodone, Xtampza ER

Medically reviewed on Nov 7, 2018

What is OxyContin?

OxyContin (oxycodone) is an opioid pain medication sometimes called a narcotic.

OxyContin is a strong prescription medicine used when an opioid medicine is needed to manage severe pain enough to require daily around-the-clock, long-term treatment with an opioid, when other pain treatments such as non-opioid pain medicines or immediate-release opioid medicines do not treat your pain well enough or you cannot tolerate them.

OxyContin is not to be used on an as-needed basis for pain that is not around-the-clock.

Important Information

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

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

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

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

Before taking this medicine

You should not use OxyContin if you are allergic to oxycodone, or if you have:

  • severe asthma or breathing problems; or

  • a blockage in your stomach or intestines.

You should not use OxyContin unless you are already using a similar opioid medicine and are tolerant to it.

OxyContin should not be given to a child younger than 11 years old.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • a head injury, or seizures;

  • drug or alcohol addiction, or mental illness;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • urination problems; or

  • problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid.

If you use OxyContin while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on opioids may need medical treatment for several weeks.

Do not breast-feed. Oxycodone can pass into breast milk and may cause drowsiness, breathing problems, or death in a nursing baby.

How should I use OxyContin?

Take OxyContin exactly as prescribed. Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Never use oxycodone in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to take more of oxycodone.

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

Stop taking all other around-the-clock narcotic pain medicines when you start taking extended-release OxyContin.

Swallow the extened release tablet whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal overdose. Do not crush, chew, break, or dissolve.

Never crush or break an OxyContin tablet to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This can cause in death.

You should not stop using OxyContin suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

Store at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep track of your medicine. Oxycodone is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

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

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since OxyContin is used for pain, you are not likely to miss a dose. Skip any missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An oxycodone overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.

Overdose can cause severe muscle weakness, pinpoint pupils, very slow breathing, extreme drowsiness, or coma.

What should I avoid while using OxyContin?

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how oxycodone will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.

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

OxyContin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to OxyContin: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Opioid medicine can slow or stop your breathing, and death may occur. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing;

  • a slow heart rate or weak pulse;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior;

  • seizure (convulsions); or

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

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, confusion, fever, sweating, fast heart rate, chest pain, feeling short of breath, muscle stiffness, trouble walking, or feeling faint.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are malnourished or debilitated.

Long-term use of opioid medication may affect fertility (ability to have children) in men or women. It is not known whether opioid effects on fertility are permanent.

Common OxyContin side effects may include:

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

What other drugs will affect OxyContin?

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

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

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

Further information

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

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

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