Roxicet Side Effects

Roxicet contains 5 mg of oxycodone and 500 mg of acetaminophen. Roxane Laboratories offers Roxicet as tablets or in a solution for oral administration.

Physicians prescribe Roxicet to relieve a patient's moderate to moderately severe pain. Recreational drug abusers use Roxicet to get high.

Oxycodone is semi-synthetic opioid pain reliever, sometimes called a narcotic. Drug makers create oxycodone from thebaine, an alkaloid extracted from the opium poppy plant, Papaver somniferum.

Oxycodone, like other opioids, binds to nerve receptors to send messages of pleasure to the brain. This neurological action interrupts pain messages, calms anxiety and causes a pleasant euphoria. Because the oxycodone in Roxicet works with the central nervous system, side effects associated with Roxicet will affect the central nervous system.

Opioids like oxycodone act directly on the breathing center of the brain to suppress cough. As a result, many side effects associated with Roxicet affect the respiratory system, including respiratory depression and other breathing problems.

Like other opioids, oxycodone works on smooth muscle groups like those in the intestines to curb diarrhea. Consequently, Roxicet side effects involve the digestive tract.

Acetaminophen is a non-narcotic, mild pain reliever. Acetaminophen works by reducing the production of prostaglandin, a chemical associated with pain, swelling and fever. Most people tolerate acetaminophen at therapeutic doses. The daily dose of acetaminophen should not exceed 4 grams.

Side Effect Information

Roxicet, like all medications, can cause adverse reactions in some consumers. Many people experience no, or minor, side effects while taking Roxicet. Most side effects associated are not serious and go away after a few days of use at therapeutic doses. A few side effects are serious and require immediate medical attention. Side effects may be associated with oxycodone or acetaminophen.

Side effects of the oxycodone in Roxicet are typical of opioid medications. Consuming large doses or using Roxicet for a long time increases the risk for side effects.

Abuse and Physical Dependence

The oxycodone in Roxicet is associated with abuse and physical dependence. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, classifies substances according to their relative potential for abuse and has classified all medications containing oxycodone as a schedule II narcotic. This means Roxicet poses the same relative risk for abuse as OxyContin or raw opium.

Using Roxicet continuously for a few weeks may cause the consumer to become opioid-dependent; this means the individual will suffer flu-like withdrawal symptoms when he stops taking Roxicet. Some medications, including naloxone, will reduce oxycodone levels and cause withdrawal symptoms in an opioid-dependent person.

Withdrawal symptoms show up in two waves. Physical symptoms of withdrawal can last five or more days with the worst symptoms appearing on or about the fourth day. Without intervention, withdrawal symptoms fade with time.

Early symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

Late symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

To avoid withdrawal symptoms, an opioid-dependent person must take successively smaller doses further apart to lower oxycodone levels slowly. Uncomfortable and demoralizing withdrawal symptoms prevent some people from overcoming dependence on opioids. A qualified detoxification facility can guide individuals through the detoxification process, minimizing the painful and demeaning symptoms of withdrawal.


It is possible to become addicted to opioids, including the oxycodone in Roxicet. While physical dependence is marked by flu-like withdrawal symptoms, addiction is characterized by cravings and drug-seeking activities. Left untreated or poorly treated, Roxicet addiction can result in disability or premature death.


Taking large doses of Roxicet or using this painkiller frequently can increase the body's tolerance to opioids. Someone with a high tolerance to Roxicet must take larger doses more frequently to achieve the same analgesic or euphoric effect. A person with a low tolerance to Roxicet is more sensitive to the effects of opioids.

Most Frequently Observed Side Effects

The most frequently reported adverse reactions include lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness or sedation, nausea and vomiting. These side effects are more prominent in ambulatory patients and less likely in those confined to a wheelchair or bed. Affected individuals should lie down. Other commonly reported side effects include constipation, itching, euphoria and its emotional opposite, dysphoria.

Allergic Reaction and Anaphylaxis

Anyone can suffer an allergic reaction after taking Roxicet. Those who are allergic to acetaminophen, oxycodone or other opioids should not take Roxicet.

Common symptoms of a mild allergic reaction to Roxicet include:

  • Hives, especially over the neck and face
  • Itching
  • Nasal congestion
  • Rashes
  • Watery, red eyes

Symptoms of a moderate to severe reaction include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal or high-pitched breathing sound
  • Anxiety
  • Chest discomfort or tightness
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Flushing or redness of the face
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Palpitations
  • Swelling of the face, eyes or tongue
  • Unconsciousness
  • Wheezing

Anaphylaxis is a serious, potentially deadly form of an allergic reaction. Signs of anaphylaxis usually appear within moments of exposure to Roxicet, but the signs of anaphylaxis may begin to show up as late as a half an hour or longer after contact. All suspected cases of anaphylaxis should be transported to the nearest medical facility as soon as symptoms appear.

Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Abnormal, high-pitched breathing sounds
  • Anxiety
  • Blue skin from lack of oxygen
  • Chest discomfort or tightness
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Hives, itchiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Mental confusion
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pale skin from shock
  • Palpitations
  • Rapid pulse
  • Skin redness
  • Slurred speech
  • Swelling in the throat
  • Swelling of the face, eyes, or tongue
  • Unconsciousness
  • Weakness
  • Wheezing


Some people are hypersensitive to the effects of Roxicet and suffer skin eruptions, hives and redness of the skin. Hypersensitivity may cause blood disorders including low platelet counts that lead to clotting problems and various types of red and white blood cell deficiencies including neutropenia, pancytopenia and hemolytic anemia.

Serious Side Effects

Because oxycodone acts directly on breathing centers in the brain, Roxicet side effects can cause serious breathing problems including respiratory depression, breathing that pauses and breathing that stops. Roxicet may also cause circulation problems including circulatory depression, dangerously low blood pressure and shock

Respiratory depression is a condition where the brain "forgets" how to breathe and, as the result, the lungs do not adequately exchange oxygen with carbon dioxide and other blood gases. Symptoms of respiratory depression include slow, shallow or irregular breathing and a bluish tint around the eyes, mouth and fingertips. Respiratory depression is a serious, potentially fatal medical emergency

By body system

Body as a Whole

General Roxicet side effects can include an anaphylactic or allergic reaction. Roxicet use may cause malaise, weakness or fatigue. Some Roxicet consumers report chest pain, fever, hypothermia, thirst, headache and increased sweating. Roxicet use is associated with accidental overdose and non-accidental overdose.


Roxicet side effects can affect the consumer's cardiovascular system and cause high or low blood pressure, or blood pressure that changes when the consumer changes from a sitting position to a standing one. Roxicet use may result in fast, slow or irregular heartbeat.

Central and Peripheral Nervous System

Because the oxycodone in Roxicet acts primarily on the CNS to cause euphoria and analgesia, oxycodone use is associated with CNS side effects. Roxicet consumers report stupor, tremor or lethargy. Some patients report tingling and numbness, or reduced sensitivity. Roxicet use may cause anxiety, mental impairment, agitation, confusion or dizziness. Cases of seizures or brain swelling been reported after Roxicet use.

Fluid and Electrolyte

Roxicet use may cause fluid and electrolyte imbalances including dehydration, high potassium or acid levels in the bloodstream, or low levels of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream caused by excessive breathing.


The oxycodone acts on the digestive system, therefore Roxicet use may cause gastrointestinal side effects. Patients report upset stomach, taste disturbances, abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea. Roxicet consumers may experience dry mouth, gas, nausea and vomiting. Serious Roxicet side effects include pancreatitis, intestinal obstruction or complete blockage of the bowel.


Roxicet use may cause liver problems including temporary elevations of liver enzymes and an increase in bilirubin. Roxicet use may cause hepatitis, liver failure, yellowing of the eyes and skin, chemically induced liver damage and liver disease.

Hearing and Vestibular

Roxicet consumers have reported hearing loss and tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.


Roxicet use may cause the blood disorder, thrombocytopenia, which may result in bleeding that will not stop.


Some Roxicet consumers are hypersensitive to this medication. Hypersensitivity may result in acute anaphylaxis, swelling under the skin, asthma, breathing problems, swelling of the throat and hives.


Roxicet use may cause metabolic side effects that affect chemical balance within the body. Metabolic side effects include high or low blood sugar or imbalances in the body's acid/base levels.


Using Roxicet may cause adverse reactions in the musculoskeletal system. Some patients report muscle aches, a condition known as myalgia. Roxicet use may cause the serious muscle condition rhabdomyolysis, or the breakdown of muscle tissue.


Roxicet use may cause changes in vision for some consumers. Side effects can include pinpoint pupils, visual disturbances and red eyes.


Roxicet is a psychotherapeutic drug and, as a result, Roxicet use may cause psychiatric side effects in some users. Adverse psychiatric reactions include drug dependence or drug abuse. Roxicet users have reported insomnia, confusion, anxiety and agitation. Others experience a depressed level of consciousness, nervousness, hallucination or extreme sleepiness. There have been reports of depression and suicide after Roxicet use.

Respiratory System

The oxycodone in Roxicet works directly on the breathing center of the brain so this drug may cause serious respiratory side effects in some users. Adverse reactions may include bronchospasm, rapid breathing or slow breathing, shortness of breath or hyperpnea, which is an abnormally fast or deep breathing pattern. Roxicet use may cause a buildup of fluid in the lungs or swelling in the airway.

Skin and Appendages

Roxicet use may cause adverse reactions of the skin including redness, hives, rash and flushing.


Roxicet use may cause adverse reactions affecting the body's kidneys and urinary tract. Roxicet use may cause kidney damage, protein in the urine, kidney dysfunction and kidney failure and urinary retention.