Oxycodone Dosage and Administration

Millions of people take one form or another of the prescription painkiller oxycodone. This medication is intended for moderate to severe pain and is contained in drugs including OxyContin and Percocet. The drug's manufacturers have established a guideline for safe use that includes information on dosage and administration.

Oxycodone is a powerful opioid (narcotic) medication that has a high abuse potential and can become habit forming. People who are prescribed this drug should read the prescription insert carefully to avoid risks. This medication should be taken only as directed. Any misuse or abuse could result in serious complications.

This semi-synthetic opioid acts similarly to morphine in its analgesic abilities. In addition, oxycodone, like other opioids, can cause feelings of sedation and euphoria. These medications also depress the central nervous system and shouldn't be taken with other substances that have this effect (alcohol, other opioids, benzodiazepines, tranquilizers etc.).

Oxycodone Should Only Be Taken as Directed

Oxycodone can be administered orally, intranasally, rectally or through intravenous, intramuscular or subcutaneous injection. OxyContin in particular comes in tablets that are meant to be taken whole by mouth. It is dangerous to crush, chew or break the medication for the purposes of rapid release of the medication. Some people who abuse the medication break it up and smoke, inhale or inject it. Tampering with the tablet in any of these ways can lead to a potentially fatal dose from flooding the system. This could result in fatal respiratory depression.

Some higher dosages of oxycodone are meant for patients who are already tolerant to opioids. People who are not tolerant and take a high dosage risk an oxycodone overdose. A doctor may want to take into account certain factors before prescribing oxycodone to a patient. They include age, level of pain, medical status and prognosis, medical history, drug/alcohol addiction history, prior opioid use and benefits and risks. He or she will want to know of any medications and substances a patient is taking to avoid an oxycodone interaction.

Oxycodone: Missed Dose

People who take the powerful opioid painkiller oxycodone are given a dosing schedule by their doctors and should adhere to it when possible. Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid that is intended for relief of moderate to severe pain. It's included in medications including Percocet(which also contains acetaminophen) and OxyContin. The latter is a controlled release formulation of oxycodone, meant to release medication over a 12-hour period. It is meant for moderate to severe pain that is around the clock.

Oxycodone is a Schedule II Controlled Substance. It is classified this way based on its medical use and high potential for abuse. All medications containing oxycodone can be habit-forming so patients should take them according to directions. Doing otherwise could lead to complications – some serious – including dependence, addiction and overdose. Oxycodone tablets are meant to be taken whole, never crushed, chewed or otherwise broken.

Take Oxycodone As Soon As You Remember, The Drug's Manufacturer Says

Doctors who prescribe oxycodone will set the patient's dosing schedule. The drug's manufacturers say that anyone who misses a dose of oxycodone should take it as soon as he or she remembers. Patients should never double up on doses of this medication because effects could be fatal. Oxycodone depresses the central nervous system. Taking too much could lead to fatal respiratory arrest.

Patients may sometimes forget to take their medication. If it is almost time for the next dose of oxycodone, they should skip the missed dose and resume the regular dosing schedule. It's very important that patients not take two doses at once unless instructed to do so by their doctor.

Helpful Reminders Can Encourage Patients to Stay On a Dosing Schedule

Oxycodone can be taken safely and often provides much-sought-after relief from pain. Some patients find creative ways to remind themselves to take the medication at the appropriate time. This can include setting an alarm, leaving notes for themselves where they are likely to see them every day or wearing a band on one arm to help them remember.

Taking too much oxycodone is a serious health risk. It can lead to a fatal oxycodone overdose. People who suspect they've taken too much oxycodone may present with signs including trouble breathing, slowed heart rate, low blood pressure, weak or limp muscles, cold or clammy skin and extreme fatigue that can progress to coma, cardiac arrest or death. Emergency medical help should be sought immediately.

Problems With Oxycodone Therapy May Include Dependence and Addiction

Patients on long-term oxycodone therapy will likely develop a tolerance and physical dependency. Efforts to stop taking it may be thwarted by oxycodone withdrawal symptoms. These can include severe flu-like symptoms, muscle aches and pains and severe agitation. People who develop physical and psychological dependence to oxycodone are addicted and may want to seek out professional opioid detox.