What is OxyContin?
Generic Name: oxycodone
Brand Names: OxyCONTIN
OxyContin (oxycodone) is an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.
OxyContin is used to treat moderate to severe pain that is expected to last for an extended period of time. OxyContin is used for around-the-clock treatment of pain. It is not to be used on an “as-needed” basis for pain.
OxyContin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use OxyContin if you have severe asthma or breathing problems, or a blockage in your stomach or intestines.
OxyContin can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start using this medicine or whenever your dose is changed. Never take this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Do not crush or break an extended-release Oxycontin tablet. Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose.
OxyContin may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Take this medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Never share the medicine with another person. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Oxycodone may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother has taken this medicine during pregnancy.
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.
Before using OxyContin
You should not use OxyContin if you are allergic to oxycodone, or if you have:
- severe asthma or breathing problems;
- a blockage in your stomach or intestines; or
- an allergy to any narcotic pain medicine (such as methadone, morphine, Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab, and many others), or narcotic cough medicine that contains codeine, hydrocodone, or dihydrocodeine.
You should not use oxycodone unless you are already using a similar opioid medicine and are tolerant to it. Ask your doctor if you are not sure you are opioid-tolerant.
Oxycodone may be habit forming. Never share OxyContin with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away OxyContin to any other person is against the law.
Some medicines can interact with oxycodone and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson’s disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications.
To make sure OxyContin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- any type of breathing problem or lung disease;
- a history of head injury, brain tumor, or seizures;
- a history of drug abuse, alcohol addiction, or mental illness;
- urination problems;
- liver or kidney disease;
- Addison’s disease or other adrenal gland disorder;
- problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid; or
- if you use a sedative like Valium (diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Tranxene, Versed, Xanax, and others).
If you use OxyContin while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on oxycodone. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks.
Oxycodone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using this medicine.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
How should I use OxyContin?
Take OxyContin exactly as prescribed. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Oxycodone can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start using this medicine or whenever your dose is changed. Never take in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.
Oxycodone may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Take OxyContin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. MISUSE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Selling or giving away OxyContin to any other person is against the law.
Stop taking all other around-the-clock narcotic pain medications when you start taking Oxycontin.
Take this medicine with food.
Do not crush or break an extended-release Oxycontin tablet. Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose.
If your doctor has told you to take two or more OxyContin tablets per dose, take the tablets one at a time. Do not wet, presoak, or lick the tablet before placing it in your mouth. Drink plenty of water to make swallowing easier and to prevent choking.
Do not stop using OxyContin suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.
Never crush or break a tablet to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This practice has resulted in death with the misuse of oxycodone and similar prescription drugs.
Store OxyContin at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and light.
Always check your bottle to make sure you have received the correct pills (same brand and type) of medicine prescribed by your doctor.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Oxycodone is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Do not keep leftover OxyContin tablets. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, flush any unused tablets down the toilet. Disposal of medicines by flushing is recommended to reduce the danger of accidental overdose causing death. This advice applies to a very small number of medicines only. The FDA, working with the manufacturer, has determined this method to be the most appropriate route of disposal and presents the least risk to human safety.
What happens if I miss a dose?
If you are on a dosing schedule, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An oxycodone overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
What should I avoid?
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death can occur.
This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how you are affected. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with oxycodone and lead to unwanted side effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.
OxyContin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction to OxyContin: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Like other narcotic medicines, oxycodone can slow your breathing. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, cold, clammy skin;
- seizure (convulsions);
- confusion, severe drowsiness;
- infertility, missed menstrual periods;
- impotence, sexual problems, loss of interest in sex;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out; or
- low cortisol levels – nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness.
OxyContin is more likely to cause breathing problems in older adults and people who are severely ill, malnourished, or otherwise debilitated.
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Common OxyContin side effects may include:
- drowsiness, headache, dizziness, tired feeling;
- stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite;
- dry mouth; or
- mild itching.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.