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Can I use OxyContin if I am taking a CYP3A4 inducer?

You may be able to use the prescription pain reliever OxyContin (oxycodone) if you're taking medications that induce -- that is, ramp up -- the activity of an enzyme called CYP3A4. However, before you start taking OxyContin, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you use, especially if you suspect any are CYP3A4 inducers.

CYP3A4 is the name of an enzyme that your body needs to break down, or metabolize, OxyContin. Certain medications and other substances appear to rev up the activity of CYP3A4. This causes OxyContin to clear out of your system too fast. As a result, OxyContin may not be as effective and may fail to relieve your pain. Some examples of drugs that act as CYP3A4 inducers include:
  • rifampin, which is used to treat tuberculosis
  • carbamazepine, which helps control seizures
  • phenytoin, another drug used to control seizures
If you have any reason to believe a drug you're taking is a CYP3A4 inducer, tell your doctor. But you should always give him or her a complete list of all medications you use. If OxyContin isn't relieving your pain, let your doctor know.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.