Oxycontin, RoxicodoneBy Jim O’Keefe
GENERIC NAME: oxycodone
BRAND NAMES: Oxycontin, Roxicodone
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Oxycodone is a narcotic pain- reliever and cough suppressant
similar to codeine and hydrocodone. The precise mechanism of pain relief by oxycodone
and other narcotics is not known. Oxycodone was approved by the FDA in 1976. The
combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet) achieves greater pain relief than
either of the component medications taken separately. (For more information, please
visit the acetaminophen (Percocet) site.)
GENERIC AVAILABLE: yes (for regular tablets). No (for controlled release tablets).
PREPARATIONS: Tablet (Roxicodone): 5mg oxycodone. Controlled release tablets
(Oxycodone): 10, 20, or 40 mg.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature, sealed, light- resistant container.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Oxycodone is prescribed for the relief of moderate to moderately severe
DOSING: The dose of oxycodone is adjusted to the needs of patients.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Oxycodone, like other narcotic pain-relievers, potentiates
(increases) the effects of drugs that slow the brain's function, such as alcohol,
barbiturates, skeletal muscle relaxants, for example, carisoprodol (Soma) and
cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), and benzodiazepines, for example, lorazepam (Ativan) and
can lead to markedly-impaired brain function. Since oxycodone causes constipation
itself, the use of antidiarrheals, for example, diphenoxylate (Lomotil) and loperamide
(Imodium)] in persons taking oxycodone can lead to severe constipation and may also
result in sedation. Cimetidine (Tagamet) increases the levels of oxycodone in the blood
and can thereby cause confusion, disorientation, seizures or respiratory depression.
PREGNANCY: There is very little information about the effects of oxycodone on the
fetus. Physicians may use oxycodone in pregnant women it if its benefits are deemed to
outweigh its potential and unknown risks.
NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known if oxycodone is secreted in breast milk.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most frequent adverse reactions of oxycodone include lightheadedness,
dizziness, sedation, nausea, and vomiting. Other side effects include drowsiness,
constipation, and spasm of the ureter, which can lead to difficulty in urinating.
Oxycodone can depress breathing, and is used with caution in elderly, debilitated
patients and in patients with serious lung disease. Oxycodone can impair thinking and
the physical abilities required for driving or operating machinery. Oxycodone may be
habit forming. Mental and physical dependence can occur, but are unlikely when used for
short-term pain relief.
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