Roxicodone Side Effects

General information

Roxicodone contains oxycodone, a semi-synthetic opioid with analgesic effects similar to that of morphine, which acts primarily on the central nervous system and organs composed of smooth muscle. Roxicodone provides pain relief without loss of consciousness. This medication acts directly on respiratory centers located in the brain stem in a way that may cause respiratory depression. Roxicodone also depresses the cough reflex by directly affecting the cough center located in the brain; Roxicodone may make the brain unaware of the need to cough. Roxicodone also causes nausea and vomiting by stimulating the chemoreceptor trigger zone, located in the medulla area of the brain.

Roxicodone, like all medicine, has the potential to cause side effects. Many Roxicodone consumers experience no, or minor, side effects from taking this medication. While most side effects are not serious and disappear after a few days, a few side effects are serious and require the attention of a medical professional.


One major side effect of Roxicodone is the potential for abuse, physical dependence or addiction. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, classifies substances according to the potential for abuse. The DEA has classified this drug as a Schedule II narcotic; this means Roxicodone carries a high potential for abuse and mental or physical dependence.

Significant physical dependence should not occur in patients who use Roxicodone as prescribed; individuals who use large doses or continue to use Roxicodone without a prescription may develop physical dependence.

Physical dependence upon Roxicodone means the individual will suffer withdrawal symptoms after the level of opioid drops in his system, because either he has stopped taking Roxicodone or he has taken a medication to reduce the amount of this drug in his system rapidly. Withdrawal symptoms include:

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

Psychosis has also been reported during Roxicodone withdrawal.

Adverse Reactions

The adverse reactions associated with Roxicodone are typical of any opioids. Side effects typically ease in intensity or stop completely after a few days of use at proper doses. The most serious side effect is respiratory problems that may lead to stopped breathing, circulatory depression, dangerously low blood pressure and shock. Physicians should expect side effects, especially among the very young, very old and infirm, and treat patients accordingly.

In clinical studies, patients experienced the following symptoms in descending order of frequency: nausea, constipation, vomiting, headache, itching, insomnia, dizziness, weakness and drowsiness.

Roxicodone, like other opioids, may cause respiratory depression. Respiratory depression is a condition where the lungs do not adequately exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, characterized by slow or shallow breathing.

One serious adverse reaction is severe allergic reaction. Immediately discontinue Roxicodone and seek emergency medical treatment at the first sign of an allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

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

Common Side Effects

Common side effects are dose-dependent, which means they occur more frequently and can be more severe at higher doses. 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
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Sleeplessness
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Serious Side Effects

Some side effects are serious, requiring immediate medical attention. These serious side effects may be lessened by starting with smaller initial doses of Roxicodone. 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

Rarely, Roxicodone consumers experience adverse reactions affecting the whole body, including abdominal pain, accidental injury, allergic reaction, back pain, chills and fever, fever, flu syndrome, infection, neck pain, pain, photosensitivity reaction, and sepsis.

Central Nervous System

Central nervous system side effects are common among Roxicodone users. Drowsiness affects nearly a quarter of Roxicodone consumers, and more than 10 percent of those who use this opioid experience sleepiness or drowsiness. About 7 percent of users complain of headache and dry mouth; some individuals become lightheaded after using Roxicodone. Many central nervous system side effects can be avoided with smaller initial doses.

Respiratory System

Roxicodone, like other opioids, may cause respiratory depression. Other respiratory side effects include slowed breathing, stopped breathing and collapse of the circulatory system. To overcome respiratory depression, physicians administer naloxone or other medication to bring Roxicodone to safe levels quickly.


About 25 percent of Roxicodone consumers experience nausea; about 13 percent vomit. About a quarter of all Roxicodone users become constipated. Rarely, patients report difficulty swallowing Roxicodone pills, requiring medical intervention to remove the tablet. Patients with an underlying gastrointestinal disorder are at higher risk for developing these complications.

Roxicodone may cause spasms of a particular bile duct known as the sphincter of Oddi. Roxicodone should be used with caution in patients with biliary tract disease, especially pancreatitis.


Some Roxicodone consumers experience psychiatric side effects after taking this opioid. Adverse psychiatric reactions include psychosis, paranoia and hallucinations.


Roxicodone may cause itching in some patients. Doctors may prescribe 25 to 50 mg of diphenhydramine to reduce itching.


Roxicodone may increase liver enzymes.

Metabolic and Nutritional

Roxicodone use may be associated with metabolic and nutritional side effects such as anorexia, diarrhea, upset stomach, trouble swallowing, gum disease and inflammation of the tongue.


Musculoskeletal side effects associated with Roxicodone use include muscle aches, bone aches, joint pain, arthritis and fracture.


High doses of Roxicodone may cause QTc prolongation, an unusual heart rhythm. Rarely, Roxicodone use is associated with heart failure, low blood pressure, fast heartbeat and hemorrhage.


Using Roxicodone may result in urogenital side effects including urinary tract infections.