- Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Oxycodone
The primary clinical use for oxycodone is analgesia, or pain relief. Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid (narcotic) that is meant to treat moderate to severe pain. It comes in immediate release formulations and in a controlled release tablet (OxyContin). The latter version is meant to treat moderate to severe pain that is around the clock and expected to persist. Oxycodone is also combined with acetaminophen and marketed under the name Percocet.
Oxycodone can be habit forming and is meant only for the patient for whom it was prescribed. Patient therapy with oxycodone should be individualized based on unique needs and medical history. The medication is intended to be taken whole, not crushed, chewed or broken in any way. Doing this can cause a potentially lethal dose from entering the system. In addition to pain relief, oxycodone can cause feelings of sedation and euphoria. One of its chief hazards is respiratory depression.
Important Risks Associated with Oxycodone Therapy
Oxycodone is a central nervous system depressant. It can cause respiratory arrest or death if taken in combination with other substances that have this effect. Anyone who misuses or abuses Oxycodone in any of its forms can put his or her self in jeopardy. Other substances that depress the central nervous system include alcohol, other narcotics, sedatives, hypnotics, benzodiazepines and barbiturates. Combining any of these medications can lead to heavy sedation and coma. People who do combine central nervous system depressants also risk accidents and injuries to themselves and others.
Important information on safe use accompanies every prescription of oxycodone. It should be taken exactly as specified in the instructions to avoid risks and complications. These can include physical and/or psychological dependence, addiction, allergic reaction and opioid overdose. Many people on long-term opioid therapy will develop a tolerance that requires escalating dosages of the medication to achieve the same effect. Patients with prescriptions for oxycodone should never increase their usage or dose without a doctor's approval. Doing so could create complications including dependency.
Anyone who has been taking oxycodone regularly should not stop without talking to a doctor. If a physical dependency has been established, a patient on relatively short-term but regular therapy may be titrated, or gradually weaned. Patients who have taken the medication for a longer period may need an adjustment in dosage, a medication switch or possible oxycodone detox.
Oxycodone Tests and Ways to Detect Use
There are many reasons why a person may need to be tested for the presence of oxycodone in his or her system. Drug screens are sometimes used to determine workplace eligibility. Drug tests may also be used to test athletes and people who've had prior issues with addiction or abuse.
Oxycodone is a popular prescription painkiller that belongs to a class of drugs called opioids. It is meant to treat moderate to severe pain and is marketed as different drugs including OxyContin and Percocet. These are considered to be drugs of abuse and are often linked to issues that include dependence, addiction, accidental death, pharmacy theft, falsified prescriptions, trafficking and other crimes.
Tests can be administered in a hospital, clinic, lab, work place or at home. These tests may be court ordered or mandated as a part of a drug treatment program. Sometimes, companies will test potential hires or current employees – especially those who work jobs that put themselves or others in danger. Parents may also wish to test their children if they suspect the child has been using or abusing drugs.
A urinalysis is the most common type of oxycodone test to determine use. Hair, saliva and blood may also be tested for its presence.
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- Oxycodone Facts
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