OxyContin may cause serious side effects including:
breathing that stops during sleep (sleep apnea),
slow heart rate or weak pulse,
unusual thoughts or behavior,
loss of appetite,
worsening tiredness or weakness,
Get medical help right away, if you have any of the symptoms listed above.
The most common side effects of OxyContin include:
What Is 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 pain conditions such as injury, cancer, or rheumatoid arthritis. 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.
Before taking oxycodone
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking oxycodone, it is important that your doctor knows:
If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breastfeeding.
If you have heart, liver, or kidney problems.
If you have prostate problems or any difficulties passing urine.
If you have any breathing problems, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
If you have been told you have low blood pressure (hypotension).
If you have any problems with your thyroid, pancreas, or adrenal glands.
If you have epilepsy.
If you have a problem with your bile duct.
If you have been constipated for more than a week or have an inflammatory bowel problem.
If you have a condition causing muscle weakness, called myasthenia gravis.
If you have a rare blood disorder called porphyria.
If you have recently had a severe head injury.
If you have ever had a mental health problem called psychosis.
If you have ever been dependent on drugs or alcohol.
If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as as herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take oxycodone
Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The manufacturer’s leaflet will give you more information about the specific brand of oxycodone you have been prescribed, and a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
Take oxycodone exactly as your doctor tells you to. Depending on the reason you are taking it, your doctor may advise that you take regular doses or only when you need it for pain relief. Make sure you know which is right for you.
If you have been prescribed the quick-acting capsules or liquid medicine, you will be asked to take a dose every 4-6 hours. If you have been given slow-release tablets, they are taken twice a day, 12 hours apart. Swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water – it is very important you do not break or crush them before they are swallowed.
You can take oxycodone before or after food.
If you forget to take a dose, check the manufactuter’s information leaflet for advice about what to do. Depending upon when your next dose is due, you will either be recommended to take a dose when you remember or wait for your next dose. Never take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
Ask your doctor for advice before drinking alcohol while you are on this medicine. Your doctor may recommend you do not drink alcohol while you are on oxycodone because it increases the possibility of side-effects such as feeling dizzy and sleepy.
There are several different brands and strengths of oxycodone tablets and capsules. Each time you collect a prescription, check to make sure it contains what you are expecting. Ask your pharmacist to check for you if you are unsure about anything.
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking oxycodone as a painkiller.
If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take with oxycodone. Many other medicines have similar side-effects to oxycodone, and taking them together will increase the risk of unwanted effects.
If you are planning a trip abroad, you are advised to carry a letter with you from your doctor to explain that you have been prescribed oxycodone. This is because it is classed as a ‘controlled drug’ and is subject to certain restrictions.
Do not take oxycodone for longer than you have been advised by your doctor. This is because repeatedly using oxycodone may lead to your body becoming dependent on it. When you then stop taking it, it will cause withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness and irritability. If you are concerned about this, discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist.