Oxyfast

Physicians prescribe Oxyfast to treat moderate to severe pain. Oxyfast contains oxycodone, a commonly prescribed opiate in the United States, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA. In 2008, pharmacies filled more than 50 million oxycodone prescriptions. Learn More About Oxyfast Uses

Other, off label uses for this medicine

Surgeons may prescribe Oxyfast before a procedure to sedate the patient and reduce fear.

More Off-Label Uses for Oxyfast

Administration/Dosage

Oxyfast is a concentrated solution containing 20mg/mL oxycodone hydrochloride to be taken by mouth. This medication should be used with EXTREME CAUTION in children and only under the supervision of a pediatrician.

Take Oxyfast with or without food. Take this medication with food to reduce stomach upset.

Use the dropper that comes with your prescription to measure this medicine accurately. Do not use a household tablespoon to administer liquid medication, as dosing errors such as ineffective doses or dangerous overdosing may occur. Ask a pharmacist how to use the accompanying dropper if you are unsure how to measure the dose.

If your doctor suggested you use Oxyfast on a regular schedule and you miss a dose, take the skipped dose as soon as you remember as long as it is not almost time to take another dose. If it is nearly time for more medicine and you can tolerate the pain, skip the missed dose and resume the normal schedule. Never take two doses at once unless directed to do so by the prescribing physician.

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Action

Oxyfast works in the body similar to the way morphine works. When you are sick or injured, the cells of your body release chemicals that bind to special receptors in your body to send a signal to the brain that it should perceive pain. The oxycodone in Oxyfast binds with these receptors to disrupt the pain signal and send a pleasure signal to the brain instead. When the brain receives these pleasure signals instead of pain signals, it reacts by releasing pleasurable endorphins, like serotonin and dopamine. These naturally occurring substances give a sensation of being lightweight or floating - Oxyfast gets you high.

Oxyfast acts primarily on the central nervous system and organs composed of smooth muscles, such as the stomach or intestines.

Oxyfast causes respiratory depression by directly suppressing the parts of the brain stem responsible for breathing. The brain "forgets" to breathe. Respiratory depression is a common and dangerous side effect in which the lungs do not adequately exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. Symptoms of respiratory depression include increased breathing rates as the person struggles to get enough air, a bluish color around the individual's lips or fingernails, or a blue or gray cast to the skin. The individual may also make grunting or wheezing noises.

Oxyfast also reduces cough by suppressing the cough center of the brain - the medulla. Oxyfast makes the brain unaware of the need to cough, potentially leading to congestion in the lungs. This cough suppressing action occurs at doses lower than required for pain relief.

More About How Oxyfast Works

Precautions

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medication, especially if you are allergic to Oxyfast or any other opioids, such as morphine or codeine. An allergic reaction is a serious medical condition requiring prompt professional care. A serious, potentially fatal form of allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis can occur suddenly and without warning.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Tightness in the Chest
  • Swelling of the Mouth, Face, Lips or Tongue

You may not be able to take Oxyfast if you are currently suffering or have a history of certain medical conditions. Oxyfast may worsen these illnesses or hamper treatment. Alternately, your illness or treatment could change the way Oxyfast works in your system. Discuss your pertinent medical history with the prescribing doctor.

Oxyfast may worsen the following conditions:

  • Asthma, COPD, Sleep Apnea or Other Breathing Disorders
  • Liver or Kidney Disease
  • Underactive Thyroid
  • Curvature of the Spine
  • History of Head Injury or Brain Tumor
  • Epilepsy or Other Seizure Disorder
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Addison's Disease or Other Adrenal Gland Disorders
  • Enlarged Prostate
  • Urination Problems
  • Mental Illness
  • History of Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Do not consume alcohol while using opioids such as Oxyfast. Drinking alcohol may worsen side effects associated with Oxyfast, such as respiratory depression.

Oxyfast can be habit-forming, especially if you take it for a long time. Taking large doses of Oxyfast, or using this opioid for a long time, increases the risk for physical dependence and addiction.

Elderly people may be more sensitive to the effects of Oxyfast. Your healthcare provider may start you on a lower dose and then increase the strength according to how well it controls your pain.

Oxyfast often causes constipation because of the way it affects smooth muscle organs such as the intestines. Drink six to eight full glasses of water each day to soften stools to make it easier to have a bowel movement. Speak with your doctor or nutritionist to discuss ways to relieve constipation, including an increase in dietary fiber intake, which regulates the digestive system in a way that reduces constipation.

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Warnings

Respiratory depression is the primary hazard common to all opioids, including Oxyfast. Respiratory depression occurs most frequently in elderly or debilitated patients, usually following high initial doses of Oxyfast, or in conjunction with other medications that depress breathing. Patients with pre-existing breathing problems should exercise caution when using Oxyfast. Do not take Oxyfast while you are having an asthma attack or trouble breathing.

Oxyfast may cause extreme low blood pressure, as can all opioids, especially in individuals who suffer blood pressure problems associated with low blood volume or who take anti-hypertension medication. Oxyfast may cause orthostatic hypotension, or blood pressure that drops when the individual stands up.

Do not take Oxyfast if you have ever had the bowel obstruction known as paralytic ileus. Do not take this medicine if you are suffering from severe diarrhea associated with antibiotic use, a condition doctors call pseudomembranous colitis.

The oxycodone in Oxyfast may cause spasm of the sphincter of Oddi and should be used with caution in patients with biliary tract disease, including acute pancreatitis. Opioids like oxycodone may cause increases in liver enzymes, especially the serum amylase level.

Do not use Oxyfast if you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB) or you have taken furazolidone or a MAO inhibitory such as phenelzine within the last 14 days. Taking Oxyfast while these medications are in your system may cause serious, even fatal, side effects. Ask the prescribing physicians or pharmacist if you are uncertain whether one of the medicines you currently take or have taken in the past 14 days was GHB, furazolidone or an MAO inhibitor.

Researchers have not yet established the effect using Oxyfast during pregnancy has on an unborn child. Tell the prescribing physician if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking Oxyfast; she will help you weigh the benefits and risks of using Oxyfast during pregnancy.

The oxycodone in Oxyfast may pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Do not breastfeed while taking this opioid.

Discontinuing Oxyfast abruptly, or taking smaller doses than usual, may cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms in dependent individuals. Whenever possible, wean yourself from Oxyfast by taking smaller doses further apart, especially if you have used high doses or used opioids for a long time. If withdrawal symptoms prevent you from quitting Oxyfast, consult with your doctor or qualified rehabilitation professional.

More Warnings About Using Oxyfast

Drug Interactions

Give the prescribing doctor a complete list of all the drugs you take, including prescriptions, over-the-counter remedies, vitamins and herbal supplements. Oxyfast may interact with other medications in unexpected or unsafe ways. Oxyfast may interfere with the way these medications act, or the drugs may increase or decrease some actions associated with opioids.

Do not start, stop or change the way you take any medication, including over-the-counter preparations and supplements, without consulting with the prescribing physician or pharmacist.

Cimetidine, furazolidone, MAO inhibitors such as phenelzine, phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, or sodium oxybate (GHB) increase the risk of side effects such as severe drowsiness, slow or difficult breathing, confusion and seizures.

Buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, naltrexone or pentazocine may decrease the effectiveness of Oxyfast.

More Drug Interactions

Side effects

All medications, including Oxyfast, may cause adverse reactions in some consumers. The most common side effects are not serious and usually disappear after a few days of Oxyfast use. Continue taking Oxyfast but contact the prescribing physician if the following side effects become intolerable or if they do not go away on their own:

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Sleeplessness
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Some side effects associated with Oxyfast are serious and require immediate medical attention. Contact the prescribing physician immediately if you experience the following adverse reactions after taking Oxyfast:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty Urinating
  • Fast or Slow Heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Severe Dizziness, Lightheadedness or Fainting
  • Slowed or Difficult Breathing
  • Tremor
  • Vision Changes

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Overdose

Overdose claims the lives of more Americans each year. During the 5-year period between 1999 and 2004, there was a 63 percent increase in the number of deaths in the United States associated with opioid use.

If you suspect you or someone you know is suffering from Oxyfast overdose, contact the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the emergency room.

Emergency department doctors and nurses help patients overcome Oxyfast overdose by administering naloxone, which drops Oxyfast to safe levels very quickly. The usual adult dose for naloxone is 0.4 mg, administered intravenously. Nurses monitor the patient's condition and administer naloxone as necessary, as the effects of Oxyfast frequently outlast those of naloxone.

Nurses also watch for dangerous complications, such as respiratory depression, aspiration and dehydration, and take appropriate action such as starting IVs and establishing an airway to help the patient breathe. CPR is sometimes necessary in Oxyfast overdose cases.

Oxyfast overdose symptoms include:

  • Cold, Clammy Skin
  • Confusion
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Severe Drowsiness
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
  • Slow Breathing
  • Slow Heartbeat

Learn More About Oxyfast Overdose

Abuse

The DEA has classified Oxyfast as a Schedule II drug, which means it carries a significant risk for abuse that may result in physical dependence or addition. Pharmaceutical companies legally manufacture Oxyfast for legal and compassionate use as a pain reliever but abusers obtain Oxyfast through forged prescriptions, bogus prescription call-ins to pharmacies, "doctor shopping" as well as theft from pharmacies and friends. The DEA calls this practice "diversion" as prescription medications are diverted from their intended purpose.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, drugs containing oxycodone sold for an average of $1 per milligram. The 40 mg extended-release counterpart of Oxyfast, OxyContin, was the most popular among illicit users. This means abusers were paying $40 per tablet.

In 2008, 13.8 million people aged 12 or older used drugs containing the active ingredient in Oxyfast, oxycodone, for nonmedical use at least once during their lifetime.

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Withdrawal

The human body adjusts to the presence of certain substances, such as the opioids in Oxyfast, by adjusting its chemical balance. After a person continues to take the substance for a long time, his body depends on that chemical to feel "normal." If the level of opioids were to drop suddenly, the individual's body would struggle to stabilize itself. The individual experiences this battle for chemical stability through uncomfortable, flu-like withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms, sometimes called detoxification or "opioid abstinence syndrome," often come in two waves, with the first phase starting a few hours after the last dose of Oxyfast. Early symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle Aches
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Watery Eyes
  • Yawning

One or two days later, the individual will experience the second set of symptoms that include:

  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Goose Bumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Doctors diagnose dependence on OxyIR if the patient experiences withdrawal symptoms after the level of opioids drops. These withdrawal symptoms may appear if the dependent person does not take enough opioids or if he receives particular medications, such as naloxone, that rapidly reduce the level of opioids in his body.

Detox

Detoxification is the process of removing Oxyfast from the body and dealing with the resulting withdrawal symptoms. Many individuals try self-detox, or going "cold turkey" instead of seeking the help of qualified professionals.

There are many reasons people avoid opioid detoxification, including fear of uncomfortable and protracted withdrawal symptoms. Many people struggle with the strong social stigma against dependence on any drug, even prescription painkillers such as Oxyfast. Some are tempted to hide an addiction to prescription opioids rather than admit they have a problem. Others worry that spending time a rehabilitation clinic will reveal their secret to friends, family and co-workers. Some cannot afford to take time from work or worry because they do not have health insurance, so they attempt self-detoxification at home, without the help of medical professionals.

Self-detoxification from Oxyfast is an uncomfortable and inefficient approach to quitting opioid addiction. With no medications to ease withdrawal symptoms or help from dedicated professionals, self-detoxification takes five or more days, with the worst day occurring on or about the fourth day. During detoxification, the patient cannot sleep or stay awake, eat or fast, lay still or move around comfortably.

Without trained medical personnel to monitor him during the uncomfortable and lengthy Oxyfast withdrawal process, the individual may suffer serious complications. He may vomit and inhale stomach contents, known as aspiration, which may lead to pneumonia or lung infections. Excessive vomiting and diarrhea frequently result in dangerous dehydration.

The primary complication of detoxification is relapse to Oxyfast abuse, which may result in overdose. Detoxification lowers the body's tolerance to opioids, so the person can possibly overdose on a lower dose than he used to take before attempting detoxification.

While withdrawal symptoms are not fatal, detoxification sometimes seems worse than death. Physical withdrawal from OxyIR is demoralizing, frustrating, embarrassing and depressing. The psychological aspects of withdrawal mislead many individuals to believe they are incapable or unworthy of a successful recovery.

Storage

Keep Oxyfast at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, away from light, heat and moisture. Do not store this medication in the bathroom. Keep Oxyfast Concentrate out of the reach of children and away from pets.

It is illegal to share Oxyfast or any other prescription medication with another person, even if their symptoms are similar to your own.

Read More About Storing Oxyfast

Miscellaneous information

Oxyfast 20 mg/1 mL solution is a highly concentrated solution. Physicians should exercise care in the prescription and dispensing of this solution strength and instruct patients against use by individuals other than the patient, as inappropriate use may cause acute overdose.

Miscellaneous Information About Oxyfast

Facts

  • Oxyfast

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