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Roxicet Patient Tips

Medically reviewed on Oct 18, 2017 by C. Fookes, BPharm

How it works

  • Roxicet is a pain-relieving medication that contains a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone.
  • Acetaminophen and oxycodone are two different pain-relieving medicines with different mechanisms of action. Acetaminophen is thought to work by blocking the effects of a specific enzyme, know as cyclo-oxygenase (COX). Oxycodone binds to specific receptors known as mu opioid receptors that block pain signals on their way to the brain.
  • Roxicet belongs to the group of medicines known as combination narcotic analgesics. It may also be called a combination opioid analgesic.

Upsides

  • Roxicet is effective for the management of moderate-to-moderately severe pain unresponsive to other treatment options.
  • The combination is more effective than either drug alone.
  • Available in tablet and oral solution forms.
  • Roxicet 5/325mg tablets are a generic form of Percocet. No generic form of Roxicet 5/500 mg caplets and 5/325 mg oral solution is currently available.

Downsides

If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • Drowsiness or dizziness which may impair reaction skills and affect a person's ability to drive or operate machinery (oxycodone component). Avoid alcohol.
  • Stomach upset including nausea and vomiting, and constipation (oxycodone component). Laxatives may be required.
  • Excessive dosages of acetaminophen can lead to liver injury or death. Care must be taken not to take additional acetaminophen from other sources.
  • Unlike NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen does not have any appreciable anti-inflammatory action.
  • Oxycodone is habit-forming and potentially abusable. Roxicet should only be used short-term at the lowest effective dose when other nonopioid analgesics are not effective. Legitimate supplies of Roxicet may be sought out by drug seekers.
  • Abrupt discontinuation of Roxicet in a person who has become physically dependent on it may lead to a withdrawal syndrome and symptoms such as restlessness, pupil dilation, watery eyes and a runny nose, sweating, muscle aches, insomnia, irritability and gastrointestinal complaints. Babies born to mothers who are physically dependent on Roxicet will also be physically dependent.
  • Rarely, serious, life-threatening, breathing problems may occur attributable to the oxycodone component. The risk is greater with higher dosages of Roxicet, in people with pre-existing respiratory disease, in seniors or the frail, or in those taking other medications that cause respiratory depression (such as benzodiazepines).
  • Interaction or overdosage may also cause serotonin syndrome. Symptoms include mental status changes such as agitation, hallucinations, coma, or delirium; a fast heart rate; dizziness; flushing; muscle tremor or rigidity; and stomach symptoms (including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea).
  • May not be suitable for people with pre-existing respiratory depression or respiratory disease, with seizure disorders or a head injury, people with gastrointestinal obstruction, or recent use of monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
  • Not suitable for people younger than 18 years.

Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects, click here.

Bottom Line

Roxicet may be used to relieve moderate-to-severe pain that is unrelieved by nonopioid analgesics; however, its use is limited by the dependence and addiction potential of the oxycodone component and the risk of respiratory depression (unusually slow and shallow breathing).

Tips

  • May be taken with or without food.
  • Take as directed by your doctor. Do not increase the dosage without his or her advice.
  • Call emergency services if you experience any breathing difficulties, wheezing, or facial swelling.
  • Tell your doctor if you think you have become addicted to this combination drug.
  • Short-term use is recommended. Do not exceed the prescribed dosage.
  • Tell your doctor if you have severe uncontrolled asthma, other breathing problems, or an intestinal blockage; you may not be able to use this medicine.
  • Call your doctor if you experience nausea or vomiting, stomach pain, itching, yellowing of your skin or eyes (jaundice), or dark (brown) urine, or light-colored stools.
  • Keep Roxicet out of reach of children and pets, because even one dose can be fatal.
  • Roxicet may not be interchangeable with other acetaminophen/oxycodone products because of differences in the frequency of administration.
  • Avoid alcohol because the combination of alcohol and Roxicet can increase side effects such as sedation and respiratory depression.

Response and Effectiveness

  • The peak effect of the oxycodone component of Roxicet occurs 1.8 hours after oral administration and the duration of activity lasts for 3-4 hours. The effects of the acetaminophen component of Roxicet reach a peak within 30-60 minutes of administration and the analgesic effect of acetaminophen lasts for 3 to 4 hours.

References

Roxicet (acetaminophen/oxycodone) [Package Insert]. Revised 08/2016. West-Ward Pharmaceuticals Corp https://www.drugs.com/pro/roxicet.html

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

Copyright 1996-2018 Drugs.com. Revision Date: 2017-10-18 01:37:45

Further information

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

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