Oxycodone is intended for the relief of moderate to severe pain. It may be prescribed for uses outside this purpose, but only at the discretion of a doctor. This prescription medication is an opioid that acts similarly to morphine. In addition to analgesia, oxycodone can cause depression of the central nervous system and powerful feelings of sedation and euphoria.
Percocetand OxyContin are just two of the brand names of medication that contain oxycodone. Percocet also contains the non-narcotic acetaminophen. OxyContin is a controlled release medication that is designed for around-the-clock pain. It needs to be taken less often and releases medication every 12 hours. This medication should never be crushed, chewed or broken for injection or inhalation. This causes rapid release of the medication, which can lead to a potentially fatal overdose.
OxyContin is not meant to treat post-operative pain except when patients were already taking it prior to surgery. This medication was originally intended to treat cancer pain, but in recent years has been prescribed for other illnesses and conditions marked by chronic pain. Treatment for this medication should be individualized to ensure a proper dosage is prescribed. Doctors should weigh oxycodone benefits and risks, paying attention to the diagnosis and long-term prognosis.
Taking Opioids As Directed Can Help to Minimize Health Risks
Oxycodone is a powerful narcotic medication that should only be taken as directed. It can lead to problems including opioid induced tolerance, which is when the body adapts to the presence of the drug, thereby diminishing the pain-relieving effects. Paradoxically, people can become more sensitive to pain when opioid induced hyperalgesia develops. Escalating dosages may be needed in order to achieve analgesia, though this is dangerous. Patients should never increase their usage or dose of oxycodone without a doctor's approval.
Other oxycodone risks are physical and/or psychological dependence, addiction, severe withdrawal and overdose. There is quite a bit of important information included on the insert that comes with the prescription. People who are prescribed oxycodone should familiarize themselves with information regarding safe use, side effects, interactions, warnings and precautions.