What is OxyContin? OxyContin is a prescription painkiller meant to treat moderate to severe pain that is chronic and around the clock. It contains oxycodone, an opiate agonist. It is meant to be taken every 12 hours and is often prescribed to manage pain for patients who have cancer. This drug also has a high potential for abuse and this leads to numerous cases every year of addiction and fatal opiate overdose. Is OxyContin an opioid? Many people use "opioid" and "opiate" interchangeably. OxyContin is a semi-synthetic opioid, derived from the natural opiate thebaine. What is the best method to detox from OxyContin? A person who has become physically dependent upon OxyContin should not attempt to stop taking this drug abruptly. Trying to wean without the supervision of a doctor can also be dangerous. This is due to a potentially painful and dangerous opiate withdrawal. The best option is opiate detox performed in a safe, secure facility where professional medical staff is available to oversee the procedure. Each detox facility offers varying treatments, which can include rapid opiate detox, monitored abstinence with assistance from pharmaceuticals, therapy and other services. What are the possible side effects of OxyContin? OxyContin side effects can include constipation, sedation, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, headaches, dry mouth, sweating and sleepiness. They are also known to cause respiratory depression. Less common side effects are diarrhea, nervousness, insomnia, fever, confusion, abdominal pain, rash, twitching and a state of euphoria. What is the most important information I should know about OxyContin? OxyContin should only be taken as directed by a doctor. Deviating from this can be dangerous. Recreational use or abuse of OxyContin can be deadly. Speak with your doctor about concerns you may have before starting therapy with OxyContin. What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking OxyContin? Tell your doctor about all substances you are taking, including supplements, herbs, other prescription medication, over-the-counter medicine, vitamins and illegal substances. You should also disclose alcohol use, as combining this with opiates can be dangerous. How should I take OxyContin? Prescriptions come with an informational leaflet. Because OxyContin is high-powered, it's imperative that patients read all instructions closely. Questions should be directed to a doctor or pharmacist. What happens if I miss a dose? 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. What happens if I overdose? Emergency medical help should be sought immediately if any of these signs develop: slowed heart rate; slow or shallow breathing; cold or clammy skin; limp muscles; low blood pressure; and extreme drowsiness, which can progress to coma. What should I avoid while taking OxyContin? Other drugs that depress the central nervous system should not be used with OxyContin because of possible fatal respiratory depression. In other words, you can stop breathing. These include alcohol, some sleeping medications, sedatives and other narcotics. Speak with your doctor about all substances you take. What other drugs will affect OxyContin? This is not a complete list but speak to your doctor if you take any of the following: anesthetics; antihistamines that cause drowsiness; barbiturates; benzodiazepines; MAO inhibitors; protease inhibitors; and beta-blockers.