Oxycodone is a narcotic analgesic that relieves moderate to severe pain. It does so by altering the way your brain and central nervous system (CNS) react to pain.
Oxycodone comes in tablet (immediate release, extended release), capsule (immediate release, extended release), and solution form. You can take this medication alone or in combination with other medications. However, the decision of combing it with other medications should always come from your doctor as doing it by yourself might be dangerous for your health.
This article discusses risks, dosage, uses, and other oxycodone-related information. Read on to learn more.
How Does Oxycodone Work?
As mentioned earlier, oxycodone binds to certain opioid receptors in the CNS. This changes the way your brain and central nervous system perceive pain. When you take oxycodone, an emotional response gets triggered that helps relieve pain, but this is also the reason why this drug is so addictive.
Oxycodone releases a flood of dopamine in the body that gives you a euphoric effect. This causes your brain to rewire and try to keep producing a pleasant feeling. Consequently, you may start experiencing the psychological desire to continue using oxycodone.
Besides rewiring your brain, oxycodone suppresses the respiratory system, causing your breathing to slow down. This is a side effect and can be deadly without proper monitoring. It’s important to stay on top of this effect while using oxycodone.
How much time it takes oxycodone to work is another question you may have. And the appropriate answer is that it depends on a couple of things including your body type, the amount of dosage, how often you take it, and most importantly what type you take. For instance, if you take an extended-release capsule or tablet, it will require more time to work.
A sad truth about oxycodone use is that a lot of people try to crush, chew, or snort its extended release form to shorten the onset time – this is extremely dangerous and can result in immediate death.
What Are Oxycodone’s Side Effects?
Oxycodone has a range of side effects. The effects are more likely to occur when the drug is improperly used or when the dosage is changed suddenly. Your doctor will advise you to avoid driving vehicles, working on heavy machinery, or performing tasks that require you to be fully alert when under the effect of this drug.
The list of oxycodone side effects can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness or lack of energy
- Severe itching
- Dry mouth
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Itching of the skin, and more.
These effects may range from slight to extreme. The slight effects may go away within a few days or weeks, but the extreme ones may require you to see a doctor or pharmacist for complete recovery.
What Are Oxycodone Precautions?
Do not take oxycodone if you are allergic to it or other opioid pain relievers. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about your opioid allergies or any other allergies. This medication may contain inactive ingredients and trigger allergic reactions.
Individuals who are carrying or have carried in the past any sort of brain disorders, breathing problems, kidney diseases, liver infections, substance abuse disorder, stomach/intestinal problems, gallbladder disease, or disease of the pancreas should inform their doctors or specialists about these conditions before getting prescribed oxycodone.
This drug can produce a dizzy or drowsy effect. Using it with alcohol or marijuana can double that effect. Therefore, you should avoid alcoholic beverages and inform your doctor if you use marijuana.
If you are undergoing surgery, tell the specialist about all the products – prescription drugs, OTC drugs, herbal products – you take before they start the procedure.
Diabetes patients should ask the specialist before taking this drug as its liquid forms may include sugar, and/or alcohol.
Older adults are more vulnerable to oxycodone side effects. Those who take this drug will require constant monitoring.
If you are pregnant or planning pregnancy, use oxycodone only when clearly needed. It may have undesirable effects on an unborn baby. Also, avoid oxycodone if you are a breastfeeding mom because it can pass into breast milk and cause the baby to develop unusual sleepiness or trouble breathing. Discuss risks and benefits with your doctor before taking oxycodone using medicine reminder app.
What Happens If You Overdose on Oxycodone?
An overdose occurs when you take too much oxycodone. Seek medical help or call your local hospital immediately in case of an overdose because overdosing on oxycodone can be lethal if left untreated. Common signs of an oxycodone overdose include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Pupils becoming narrow or wide
- Losing consciousness
- Sold or clammy skin
- Muscle weakness
How to Take Oxycodone?
Since oxycodone comes in a number of forms including liquid, concentrated solution, tablet, and capsule – its typically taken by mouth. The amount of dose and how often should it be taken is determined by the doctor. Follow the doctor’s instructions carefully and do not exceed the recommended amount or take the drug more frequently than advised.
Use a measuring container to avoid taking too much oxycodone.
Take oxycodone only for as long as prescribed by the doctor.
If you are feeling nauseous, taking oxycodone with food may help.
The extended release capsules and tablets of oxycodone release the medication over a longer time. Do not try to chew, snort, or crush the medication for a faster release as it may have severe effects on health.
If you have chronic pain, you may get prescribed long-acting oxycodone. In such cases, the medication should only be used when clearly needed. Other opioids such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may also be recommended. Ask your specialist which drugs are safe to use oxycodone with.
Oxycodone works best if used when the first signs of pain appear. Using it when the pain has worsened may not have the best effect.
What Are the Drugs That You Should Avoid Taking with Oxycodone?
Avoid using the following drugs with oxycodone as they can cause dangerous effects in your body.
Buprenorphine can reduce the effect of oxycodone and cause withdrawal symptoms.
These drugs can also diminish the effect of oxycodone and cause withdrawal symptoms. Examples include nalbuphine, butorphanol, and pentazocine.
The side effects of using antidepressants with oxycodone can include higher levels of serotonin in your body which can result in serotonin syndrome. Agitation, fast heartbeat, restlessness, nausea, and increased body temperature are the symptoms of this syndrome. Common antidepressants include doxepin, fluvoxamine, and duloxetine.
The side effects of using hypnotics include breathing issues, low blood pressure, extreme drowsiness, or even coma. If you are taking hypnotics using medication alert app because of a medical condition, your doctor may recommend you a lower dosage of oxycodone. Zolpidem, temazepam, or estazolam are the most common examples of hypnotics.