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What is oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a narcotic pain reliever similar to morphine that is taken day and night for continuous long-term pain relief. The brand name drug, OxyContin, comes as a liquid, tablet and capsule that you swallow. This medication is not used for mild short-term pain relief or on an as-needed basis. Oxycodone is typically not prescribed for pain relief after surgery, but it can be used if you were taking it beforehand. Oxycodone works by acting on the central nervous system to block moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone is available by prescription only.

Carmen Patrick Mohan, MD
Internal Medicine
Oxycodone is an oral opioid pain medication which inhibits pain receptors within the brain. It is prescribed for patients when other pain medications are ineffective, inappropriate due to other medical problems, or inadequate for pain control. Like other opioid drugs, oxycodone can cause drowsiness, constipation, and slow breathing. These serious side effects can limit a person’s ability to think and hence, patients should be counseled not to drive or operate heavy machinery while taking oxycodone. Oxycodone is one medication that poses a risk for addiction, abuse, and misuse. It is a controlled substance, meaning prescription patterns are monitored by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Continue Learning about Oxycodone

How does oxycodone hydrochloride interact with other drugs or food?
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CNS depressants (drugs that make you drowsy) can increase the effects of oxycodone hydrochloride. Th...
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Is oxycodone habit-forming?
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Yes. Although physical dependence on oxycodone is possible, it is unlikely if the lowest dose is...
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Will I experience withdrawal symptoms after taking oxycodone?
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Maybe. Oxycodone is a potent narcotic with the potential for dependence. If you have been taking...
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What are the side effects of oxycodone?
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Serious side effects of oxycodone include shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, seizure (convulsion...
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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.