Doctors prescribe Oxy IR to relieve moderate to severe pain. Surgeons might prescribe Oxy IR to sedate and calm a patient's fears before a procedure. Oxy IR is not appropriate for post-operative pain unless the patient was taking this medication for pain before surgery.

The extended-release formula of this medication provides complete, round-the-clock pain relief. Purdue Pharmaceuticals manufacture Oxy IR.

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Oxy IR is a brand name, immediate-release formula containing oxycodone hydrochloride, available in 5 mg tablets, given orally.

Oxy IR dosage depends on the patient's condition and his response to treatment. Doctors usually recommend one 5 mg tablet every six hours as needed for pain. It may be necessary to exceed usual dosages in patients experiencing acute pain or for those individual who have become tolerant to opioids pain relievers.

Take Oxy IR with or without food. Take this medication with food if it upsets your stomach.

Doctors normally suggest you take Oxy IR only when you have pain, rather than on a regular schedule, so missed doses are not normally a problem. If you miss a dose, simply take another tablet as soon as you begin to feel pain, provided enough time has passed since your last dose. For best pain relief, take Oxy IR as soon as you start to feel pain, rather than letting the pain increase before taking action.

If you are taking Oxy IR on a regular schedule and have missed a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember; however, if it nearly time to take the regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal schedule. Never double up on Oxy IR in an attempt to make up for missed doses.

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After you take an Oxy IR, stomach acids dissolve the tablet and release all of the oxycodone instantly. This creates a much faster onset of pain relief and makes the euphoric effects of the opioid more profound. On the down side, the period of pain relief is much shorter than with longer-acting forms of oxycodone.

Oxy IR acts in a way similar to morphine. When you are sick or injured, special receptors in your body send a signal to the brain that it should perceive pain. The oxycodone in Oxy IR binds with these receptors to block 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 - Oxy IR gets you high.

Oxy IR acts primarily on the central nervous system and organs composed of smooth muscles. The therapeutic effects of Oxy IR include anti-anxiety, euphoria and feelings of relaxation.

Oxy IR causes respiratory depression by acting directly on the parts of the brain stem responsible for breathing. Respiratory depression is a common and dangerous side effect in which the lungs do not adequately exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Oxy IR also reduces cough by suppressing the cough center of the brain - the medulla. Oxy IR makes the brain unaware of the need to cough. Cough suppression occurs at doses lower than required for pain relief.

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Tell your doctor if you are allergic to Oxy IR or any other opioids, such as morphine or codeine. Give the prescribing physician and pharmacist filling the order a list of all your allergies. Seek medical assistance immediately if you notice symptoms of an allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis is a serious, potentially fatal form of allergic reaction that 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 Oxy IR if you have had certain medical conditions. Oxy IR may worsen these conditions or interfere with treatment; conversely, your illness or treatment could change the way Oxy IR works in your system. Discuss your pertinent medical history with your physician.

Oxy IR 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 drink alcohol while taking Oxy IR. Drinking alcohol may worsen side effects associated with Oxy IR, such as worsening respiratory depression.

Oxy IR can be habit-forming, especially if you take it for a long time.

Older patients may be more sensitive to the effects of Oxy IR. Your doctor may start you on a lower dose and then increase the strength according to how well it controls your pain.

Oxy IR frequently causes constipation. Drink six to eight full glasses of water each day to soften stools. Speak with your doctor or nutritionist to discuss ways to increase your dietary fiber intake, which regulates the digestive system in a way that reduces constipation.

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Respiratory Depression

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

Hypotensive Effect

Oxy IR 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. Oxy IR may cause orthostatic hypotension, or blood pressure that drops when the individual stands up.

Do not take Oxy IR 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.

Do not use Oxy IR 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 Ox

Researchers have not yet established whether it is safe to use Oxy IR during pregnancy because this medication may cause harm to the fetus. Tell the prescribing physician if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking Oxy IR; she will help you weigh the benefits against the possible risks of using Oxy IR during pregnancy. Oxycodone may pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Do not breastfeed while taking Oxy IR.

Discontinuing Oxy IR suddenly may cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms in dependent individuals. Whenever possible, wean yourself from Oxy IR by taking smaller doses further apart, especially if you have been using high doses or consuming this medication for a long time. If you cannot comfortably stop using Oxy IR, consult with your doctor or qualified rehabilitation center.

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Drug Interactions

Do not take Oxy IR with medicines that make you sleepy or slow down your breathing, such as cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression and anxiety.

Oxy IR may interact in unfavorable or dangerous ways with some medications. Tell your doctor if you are on:

  • Pentazocine (Talwin)
  • Nalbuphine (Nubain)
  • Butorphanol (Stadol)
  • Buprenorphine (Buprenex, Subutex)

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Side effects

Side effects may occur with any medication, including Oxy IR. Some side effects can be serious, life-threatening conditions. Seek immediate help for these serious side effects:

  • Cold, Clammy Skin
  • Confusion
  • Feeling Like You Might Pass Out
  • Seizures
  • Severe Weakness or Dizziness
  • Shallow Breathing
  • Slow Heartbeat

Less serious side effects are more common. Tell your doctor if these more common side effects become intolerable or do not disappear on their own.

These less-serious side effects include:

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting

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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 that you or someone you know has taken an overdose of Oxy IR, seek emergency assistance immediately. Contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the emergency room.

Emergency department doctors and nurses save lives by administering naloxone, which drops opioids such as Oxy IR to safe levels very quickly. The usual adult dose for naloxone is 0.4 mg, administered intravenously.

Medical personnel monitor patients 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.

Overdose symptoms include:

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

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Oxy IR is 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 Oxy IR for legal and compassionate use as a pain reliever but abusers obtain Oxy IR through forged prescriptions, bogus prescription call-ins to pharmacies, "doctor shopping" as well as theft from pharmacies and friends.

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 Oxy IR, OxyContin, was the most popular among illicit users.

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

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The human body adapts to the presence of certain foreign substances, such as Oxy IR, by adjusting its chemical balance. If the individual continues to take the substance for a long time, his body becomes dependent 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 person feels this battle for chemical stability through uncomfortable, flu-like withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms, sometimes called "opioid abstinence syndrome," often come in two waves, with the first wave beginning several hours after the last dose. 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 wave of symptoms including:

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

Doctors say that a person is dependent on OxyIR if the patient suffers withdrawal symptoms when 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 that rapidly reduce the level of opioids in his body, such as naloxone.


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

There are many reasons people avoid opioid detoxification, including fear of uncomfortable and protracted withdrawal symptoms. For some, there is a strong social stigma against dependence on any drug, even prescription painkillers. Many individuals find it easier to hide an addiction to prescription opioids than admit they have a problem. Others fear that entering a rehabilitation clinic will reveal their secret to friends, family and co-workers. Some cannot afford the cost of taking 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 Oxy IR is a grueling and time-consuming approach to quitting opioid addiction. Some liken the experience to having a broken leg - but all over your body - for a week or more. With no medications to ease withdrawal symptoms, self-detoxification takes five or more days, with the worst day occurring on or about the fourth day. The individual cannot sleep, eat, lay still or move around comfortably.

Without trained medical personnel to monitor him during the Oxy IR withdrawal process, the individual may suffer serious complications. He may vomit and inhale stomach contents, known as aspiration; this may lead to pneumonia or lung infections. Excessive vomiting and diarrhea leads to dangerous dehydration.

The most serious complication to detoxification is relapse to Oxy IR abuse. Detoxification lowers the body's tolerance to opioids, so the relapsing individual could conceivably overdose on a lower dose than he took before attempting detoxification.

While detoxification is not fatal, physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms sometimes seem worse than death. Detoxification from OxyIR is demoralizing, frustrating, embarrassing and depressing. The psychological aspects of withdrawal lead some people to believe they are incapable or unworthy of a successful recovery.

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Keep Oxy IR between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, ideally at 77 degrees Fahrenheit, away from excessive heat and moisture. Do not keep this drug in your bathroom or car. Store Oxy IR away from children, pets and adults who might accidently or purposefully consume the drug. Do not share Oxy IR with others - it is illegal. Keep track of your medication, taking note of any missing doses.

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Miscellaneous information

The active ingredient in Oxy IR, oxycodone, is a semi-synthetic derivative of the narcotic, thebaine, and is an opioid. Natural opioids come from the poppy plant. A slit is cut into an unripe poppy pod; sap seeps out and dries on the outside of the pod. The dried product is yellow-brown latex that contains alkaloids like codeine, morphine and thebaine.

Miscellaneous Information About Oxy IR