Oxycodone Precautions

Millions of people benefit from the pain relieving effects of oxycodone products such as OxyContin and Percocet. Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid that is meant to treat moderate to severe pain. People who have serious pain can find unparalleled relief from opioids, though they may have unpleasant side effects.

Opioids are a class of drugs that are potent. For the right patient, oxycodone can restore quality of life during a difficult time. Some people, however, can run into complications that include side effects, interactions, dependence, addiction and overdose.

People who are educated about prescription drug use are usually able to avoid serious complications. Each prescription for oxycodone comes with an insert that includes information for safe use. Taking certain precautions when using oxycodone can help patients find the relief they need in a safe way.

Oxycodone is a Schedule II Controlled Substance because it has a high potential for abuse. People who take this medication recreationally may have an easy time accessing it on the black market. Prescription forgery, doctor shopping and cases of theft have made this product widely available in nearly every community around the country.

Complications Can Include Interactions, Dependence and Overdose

Taking this medication in any way that contradicts instructions is risky. It should be taken only as instructed. Oxycodone depresses the central nervous system so taking anything in combination that has this effect can prove fatal. It should not be taken with other opioids, alcohol, sedatives, hypnotics, benzodiazepines and barbiturates.

Patients should be upfront with their doctors about all substances they are taking, including other prescription drugs, illegal drugs, herbs, supplements and vitamins because of possible interactions. People who have certain medical conditions may not be able to take oxycodone or other opioids. These include head injury, alcoholism, asthma, other respiratory problems and compromised blood pressure.

The most serious complications that can develop for people who take oxycodone include dependence, addiction and overdose. These problems have escalated in recent years to the point that health and law enforcement officials across the country are scrambling to find solutions. Accidental deaths involving oxycodone are also on the rise. An overdose can happen if people misuse or abuse the medication or take it in combination with other substances such as alcohol. People who aren't sufficiently tolerant of opioids can also overdose if they take too high of a dosage.