OxyIR Side Effects

OxyIR is an immediate release formula of oxycodone, used to treat moderate to severe pain. This medication is an opioid pain reliever, sometimes called a narcotic analgesic. Oxycodone works by changing the way the brain perceives pain by acting directly on the central nervous system.

Oxy IR 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.

Side effects associated with OxyIR use are similar to the other opioids. These adverse affects may be dose-related in opioid naïve patients, which mean that people who are not accustomed to opioids may experience side effects that are more acute after taking large doses. Aside from constipation, individuals who are opioid tolerant may not experience side effects.

OxyIR and oxycodone, like all medicine, has the potential to cause adverse reactions. Many people experience no, or minor, side effects from taking this medication. Most side effects are not serious and disappear after a few days of continued use. A few side effects are serious, requiring the prompt attention of a medical professional.

Dependence and Withdrawal

OxyIR carries a high risk for abuse, physical dependence or addiction, among other side effects. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, classifies substances according to the potential for abuse and has classified the oxycodone in OxyIR as a Schedule II narcotic, which means it carries a high potential for abuse and mental or physical dependence.

To be physically dependent means the individual will suffer withdrawal symptoms after the level of opioid drops in his system, because either he has stopped taking opioids or he has taken a medication such as naloxone to reduce the amount of OxyIR in his system rapidly.

Withdrawal symptoms are not fatal but they are quite painful and may drive the individual back to OxyIR abuse. These symptoms last five or more days, with the worst symptoms occurring on or about the fourth day.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred Vision
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Tremor
  • Vomiting

The adverse reactions to this drug are typical of any opioids. These side effects usually decrease in intensity or stop altogether with continued use at proper doses. The most serious side effect is respiratory problems potentially leading to stopped breathing, circulatory depression, dangerously low blood pressure and shock. Physicians should expect side effects and treat patients accordingly.

The most common side effects associated with this medication are not serious and disappear after taking this drug for a few days. Continue taking this medication but contact the prescribing physician if the following side effects become intolerable or if they do not go away on their own:

  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Flushing
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Mood Changes
  • Nausea
  • Red Eyes
  • Small Pupil Size
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Allergic Reaction

OxyIR may cause a serious allergic reaction. Discontinue OxyIR and seek immediate medical attention at the first sign of an allergic reaction. Symptoms include rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing or tightness in the chest. Swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue may also occur. Some side effects are serious, requiring immediate medical attention. Stop taking this medication immediately and contact a doctor if you experience serious side effects, including:

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

By body system

Central Nervous System

OxyIR makes nearly one-fourth of consumers drowsy. More than 10 percent of OxyIR users experience sedation or dizziness, while about 7 percent of consumers report headache or dry mouth. Some individuals feel lightheaded after using the immediate-release formula of oxycodone. Smaller initial doses frequently lessen the severity of the central nervous system side effects.


OxyIR, like all opioids, may cause respiratory depression. Respiratory depression is a serious and common condition where the lungs do not adequately exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, characterized by slow or shallow breathing. Other respiratory system side effects include slowed breathing, stopped breathing and, rarely, circulatory collapse.

Emergency department physicians and nurses treat respiratory depression with naloxone or other medications that quickly bring OxyIR to safe levels. The usual adult dose is 1mg to 2mg of naloxone every five minutes as necessary with a maximum of 10mg.


Many consumers experience digestive side effects after taking OxyIR. About one-fourth of all OxyIR users experience nausea or constipation, while more than 10 percent of consumers complain of vomiting after using this opioid. Rarely, patients have had difficulty swallowing OxyIR pills, requiring require medical intervention to remove the tablets. OxyIR may worsen gastrointestinal disorders such as diverticulitis or intestinal obstruction. Patients with underlying digestive disorders, such as cancer, may be at higher risk for developing adverse reactions involving the gastrointestinal system.


A person who has taken high doses of OxyIR or have used this drug for a long time may experience withdrawal symptoms after he stops taking this opioid. Withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, and may prevent an individual from discontinuing OxyIR. Symptoms of withdrawal include agitation, palpitations, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, tremor, abdominal cramps, blurred vision, vomiting, goose bumps and sweating. Psychosis has occurred during OxyIR withdrawal.


Psychiatric side effects associated with OxyIR include hallucinations, paranoia and psychosis.


OxyIR may rarely cause itching, known as opioid-induced pruritis. Physicians may prescribe 25mg to 50mg of diphenhydramine to reduce this type of itching.


OxyIR may cause a rise in liver enzymes. Speak with your doctor about laboratory tests to find out how OxyIR has affected your liver. Liver problems affect the way your body processes and removes excess oxycodone from your system; inadequate liver function may result in toxicity or OxyIR overdose.


This opioid may cause an irregular heart rhythm known as QTc prolongation. Consult a cardiologist immediately if your physician suspects that OxyIR has caused a change in the way your heart functions.