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What is OxyContin?
OxyContin is an opioid pain medicine that is also available with the generic name Oxycodone. It belongs to the opioid analgesics category of drugs and helps relieve severe ongoing pain.
OxyContin functions in the brain to change the feel and response of the body towards pain. You can take the higher strengths of OxyContin only when you are taking moderate to large amounts of opioid pain medication.
OxyContin may make you drowsy or dizzy, and alcohol or marijuana can add to it. Avoid taking alcohol or any alcoholic beverages. Do not use heavy machinery, avoid driving, or do anything that requires alertness until you know the effect of this medicine on you.
Older adults, malnourished or debilitated people with chronic breathing disorders or wasting syndrome are more likely to face serious breathing problems.
Long-term use of opioid medications like OxyContin may affect fertility in men or women, and they may lose the ability to have children. It is still unknown whether opioid effects on fertility are permanent or temporary.
What to know before taking OxyContin?
Before taking OxyContin, tell your medical healthcare provider if you are allergic to it or other opioid pain relievers such as oxymorphone or if you are going through other allergies. It may contain inactive ingredients, which can later cause allergic reactions or other health issues.
Before taking this medication, tell each of your medical healthcare providers about your medical history, especially of:
- Brain disorders such as a tumor, seizure (or convulsions), or head injury;
- Liver disease;
- Kidney disease;
- Breathing problems such as sleep apnea, asthma, COPD- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
- Mood swings or mental disorders such as depression, confusion;
- Stomach or intestinal blockage, constipation, paralytic ileus, diarrhea due to infection;
- Difficulty urinating;
- Difficulty swallowing;
- Gallbladder disease; or
You should avoid taking OxyContin during pregnancy. If you use OxyContin during pregnancy, you could give birth to a drug-dependent baby. It can result in life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn baby. Opioid-dependent babies may need medical treatment for several weeks.
This drug passes into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, ask the doctor before taking Oxycodone. Inform the doctor if you notice slow breathing or severe drowsiness in the nursing baby.
How to take OxyContin?
Read the available medication guide before you start taking OxyContin, and each time you get a refill. If you have any queries regarding how to take OxyContin, you can consult your medical healthcare provider.
Take OxyContin regularly as per your doctor’s directions, not as needed for breakthrough pain. Doctors recommend taking this drug with or without food, usually within every 12 hours. If you have nausea, your medical healthcare provider may consult you to take it with food. You may use other ways to decrease nausea, such as lying down for an hour or two with minimum possible head movements.
Swallow the whole tablet without crushing, chewing, breaking, or dissolving it because doing so can release all the drug in the body at a time leading to an increase in the risk of OxyContin overdose.
To reduce the chance of choking or trouble swallowing tablets:
- Take only one pill at a time if your dose is more than one pill.
- Do not wet, lick, or pre-soak the tablet before placing it in your mouth.
- Ensure to drink sufficient water to swallow it entirely.
Before you start taking this medication, ask your medical healthcare provider if you should start or stop taking other opioids. Other pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can also be under prescription.
If you suddenly stop taking this medicine, you may face withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Trouble sleeping
- Suicidal thoughts
- Runny nose
- Watering eyes
- Muscle aches
- Sudden changes in behavior
Your OxyContin dosage will depend upon your age, the severity of your medical condition, your initial response to the treatment with OxyContin, other medical conditions (if you have any), and other medications you take.
The usual initial dosage of OxyContin for adults should be 10 mg within every 12 hours. OxyContin is not under the recommendation for use by anyone younger than 11 years.
In case of an overdose to OxyContin, take medical help promptly or call the Poison helpline at 1-800-FDA-1088. An OxyContin overdose can be deadly, especially in a child or someone taking it without a prescription. Overdose symptoms of OxyContin may include slow breathing, severe drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, or no breathing.
What to avoid while using OxyContin?
Avoid eating grapefruit or taking any grapefruit product in liquid form while using OxyContin unless your medical healthcare provider says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can make an increment in the risk of side effects with this medicine.
Avoid consumption of alcohol because it can result in dangerous side effects, or death could occur. Also, avoid medication errors. Before buying OxyContin, have a look at the brand and strength of Oxycodone you are putting into your cart.
OxyContin side effects
Take instant medical help if you have an allergic reaction due to the use of OxyContin. An allergic reaction sign may include trouble breathing, hives, swelling of your face, throat, lips, or tongue. OxyContin’s common side effects may include headache, drowsiness, tiredness, dizziness, stomach pain, constipation, vomiting, and nausea.
Opioid medicines like OxyContin can slow down or stop your breathing that may cause death. Your attendant or caregiver should give you naloxone and seek urgent medical attention if you have blue-colored lips, slow breathing with long pauses, or if you are hard to wake up.
Call your doctor immediately if you have:
- Weak pulse or slow heart rate;
- Shallow breathing, sighing, noisy breathing, breathing that stops during sleep;
- A light-headed feeling;
- Unusual thoughts or behavior, confusion;
- High serotonin levels in the body- hallucinations, agitation, sweating, fever, rapid heart rate, shivering, twitching, muscle stiffness, nausea, loss of coordination, diarrhea, vomiting; or
- Low cortisol levels- vomiting, nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, worsening weakness or tiredness
Keep in mind that it is not a complete list of possible side effects, and others may occur. For further information regarding side effects, consult your medical healthcare provider. You may report any new side effects varying from the list mentioned above to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What drugs can interact with OxyContin?
You may have withdrawal symptoms or breathing problems if you take certain other medicines. Tell your medical healthcare provider if you also use antifungal medication, antibiotics, seizure medication, blood pressure or heart treatment, or medicine to treat hepatitis C or HIV.
OxyContin can interact with various other drugs and cause fatal side effects. Ensure that your doctor knows if you also use:
- Medicines for overactive bladder, irritable bowel syndrome, or motion sickness;
- Bronchodilator asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) medication, cold or allergy medicines, or a diuretic “water pill”;
- A sedative like Valium- Versed, Klonopin, Xanax, lorazepam, alprazolam, diazepam, and others;
- Other opioids- prescription cough medicine or opioid pain drug;
- Drugs that affect serotonin levels- a stimulant or medicine for nausea and vomiting, serious infections, migraine headaches, depression, or Parkinson’s disease;
- Drugs that cause sleepiness or slow down your breathing- medicine to treat mood changes or mental illness, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer.