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Information about Oxycodone

Oxycodone is a semisynthetic, moderately potent, orally available opioid that is widely used for acute or chronic management of moderate- or moderately-severe pain either alone or in combination with acetaminophen.


Liver safety of Oxycodone

Oxycodone by itself has not been linked to serum enzyme elevations during therapy or to clinically apparent liver injury. However, the combination of oxycodone with acetaminophen has been linked to many cases of acute liver failure caused by unintentional overdose with acetaminophen.

Mechanism of action of Oxycodone

Oxycodone (ox” i koe’ done) is a semisynthetic derivative of thebaine, a natural alkaloid found in the resin of poppy seeds (Papaver somniferum). It is well absorbed orally and has moderate opiate activity, acting as an agonist of the u type opiate receptor. Oxycodone alone or in combination with acetaminophen has been shown to be effective in ameliorating moderate- to moderately-severe pain and is widely used for temporary as well as chronic management of pain states. Oxycodone has been in use since its first synthesis in 1917, but was formally approved for use in the United States in 1991. Since then, it has become one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in medical practice.

Dosage and administration for Oxycodone

Oxycodone is available in multiple formulations including oral tablets of 5, 7.5, 10 and 20 mg, as well as capsules of 5 mg, suppositories of 10 and 20 mg and oral solution in various concentrations generically. Higher dose oral formulations of 10 to 80 mg are also available generically and under the brand name OxyContin for therapy of persistent, moderate- to moderately-severe pain that requires 24 hour opioid therapy.

Brand name for Oxycodone

Oxycodone is also available in fixed combinations with other analgesics, including aspirin, ibuprofen, but particularly acetaminophen. These combinations are commonly used and available generically and under the brand names such as Percocet, Tylox and Endocet.

The dose of oxycodone is typically 5 to 10 mg and acetaminophen 300 to 600 mg per tablet.

Side effects of Oxycodone

Side effects of oxycodone include sedation, respiratory depression, mental clouding, euphoria, agitation, itching, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal bloating, nausea, vomiting, headache and dizziness. Long term use can be followed by withdrawal symptoms.

DEA controlled substance classification of Oxycodone

Oxycodone is a controlled substance and classified as a Schedule II drug, indicating that it has medical usefulness, but also a high potential for physical and psychological dependency and abuse. Unfortunately, oxycodone has become one of the most frequently abused prescription medications and some formulations can be dissolved and injected intravenously. With oxycodone dependence, patients may turn to illegal opiate drug use. Ironically, in some communities, heroin is more available and less expensive than oxycodone by prescription. Tamper deterrent formulations have now become available.

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