Oxycodone, first developed in a German lab in 1916, is derived from thebaine, an opiate alkaloid, where it was noted the drug had a similar structure to codeine. Oxycodone is an analgesic in the opiate family and is used for the relief of moderate to severe pain. Patients may also receive an extended-release form of oxycodone under the name OxyContin.
The drug is also available under the name Roxicodone, and as Percocet (the brand name for oxycodone and acetaminophen) and Percodan (the brand name for oxycodone and aspirin).
Oxycodone is a narcotic used for the continuous treatment of moderate to severe pain stemming from a variety of conditions and may also be sued to treat patients who are deemed opiate tolerant by a physician. It is available in both immediate release tablets and in extended release tablets.
OxyContin is a sustained-release form of oxycodone, compared to morphine, and is most often prescribed to patients who have pain associated with cancer. The effects of the drug typically last from 8 to 12 hours and it is available for in dosing sizes of 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, and 80 mg.
Oxycodone has been classified as a Schedule II controlled substance and as such may only be used under a physician’s care. It may be habit-forming.
The side effects that are most commonly associated with oxycodone, as well as its counterparts Oxycodone, Percocet, Percodan, and Roxicodone, include:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Cramps and/or abdominal pain
Rarely, impotence has been reported after use of oxycodone. Hiccups have occurred in patients using OxyContin.
Patients who have taken more than the prescribed dosage or have a low-tolerance to narcotics have suffered more serious side effects, including:
- Shallow breathing
- Cold and clammy skin
- Pupil Constriction
- Circulatory collapse
- Respiratory Arrest
Tolerance and Dependence
Use of oxycodone in any of its forms, from OxyContin to Percocet and Percodan, or under the brand name Roxicodone, there is always a chance for the drug to become habit-forming. Patients may become tolerant of a smaller doses and require more of the drug to curtail their pain. This can lead to a growing dependence that requires careful monitoring by medical personnel.
One of the most sought after drugs on the street, it is crucial that patients take only the amount prescribed by a physician or run the risk of developing an addiction that can adversely affect every aspect of life.
Various symptoms can occur in a patient experiencing withdrawal from oxycodone or an oxycodone-based drug like OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, and Roxicodone. These include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Severe Anxiety
- Muscle and/or bone pain
Runny nose, vomiting, and restless legs are symptoms that have also been noticed in patients suffering withdrawal from Percocet, while those suffering withdrawal from Percodan may also experience shakiness and dizziness in addition to the symptoms listed above. A patient suffering withdrawal from Roxicodone may also experience strong drug cravings, vomiting, chills, diarrhea, and restlessness in addition to the above symptoms.