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Drug Info > P > PMS-Oxycodone
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How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Oxycodone belongs to a group of medications known as opioid analgesics (narcotic pain relievers). It is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It decreases pain by working on the central nervous system.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than the ones listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use this medication?

The dose of oxycodone varies widely depending on the cause and severity of pain, individual medical history, and body weight.

This medication is available in controlled-release tablets, immediate-release tablets, and suppositories.

For people who are not taking opioid pain medications when oxycodone is started, the usual starting dose of controlled-release tablets is 10 mg or 20 mg every 12 hours. For immediate-release tablets and suppositories, the usual starting adult dose is 5 mg or 10 mg every 6 hours, as needed for the pain. Your doctor can adjust your dose until a dose that controls your pain with tolerable side effects is reached.

For people who are currently taking other opioid pain medications when oxycodone is started, the recommended starting dose will depend on the type and dose of opioid that is currently being taken. Your doctor will determine the appropriate dose for you.

Oxycodone should be taken with a glass of water. It can be taken with or without food.

The controlled-release tablets are for people who require continuous use of a pain killer for several days or more. It is taken every 12 hours (and is not taken "as needed"). The controlled-release tablets should be swallowed whole and should not be broken, cut, chewed, dissolved, or crushed. Do not lick, pre-soak, or wet the tablet before you place it in your mouth.

To avoid difficulty swallowing, take only one tablet at a time and take the controlled-release tablet with enough water so that you are able to completely swallow the tablet immediately after placing it in your mouth. You may notice what appears to be a tablet in your stool. This is normal and occurs because the tablet does not completely dissolve after all the medication has been released in the body.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose of the controlled-release tablets, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from moisture, and keep it out of reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

5 mg
Each blue, round, scored tablet, debossed with "5" over "OXY" on one side and scored on the other side, contains oxycodone 5 mg (as oxycodone hydrochloride). Nonmedicinal ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, dibasic calcium phosphate, FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose.

10 mg
Each white, round, scored tablet, debossed with "10" over "OXY" on one side and scored on the other side, contains oxycodone 10 mg (as oxycodone hydrochloride). Nonmedicinal ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, dibasic calcium phosphate, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose.

20 mg
Each white, oval, scored tablet, debossed with "20 OXY" on one side and scored on the other side, contains oxycodone 20 mg (as oxycodone hydrochloride). Nonmedicinal ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, dibasic calcium phosphate, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to oxycodone, other opioids (e.g., codeine, hydrocodone, morphine), or any ingredients of the medication
  • are pregnant or breast-feeding
  • are taking or have taken (within the last 14 days) MAO inhibitors (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine)
  • have a head injury
  • have a seizure disorder
  • have acute alcoholism
  • have acute asthma or other obstructive airway diseases (e.g., chronic bronchitis, emphysema)
  • have cor pulmonale (heart failure caused by chronic high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs)
  • have delirium tremens (e.g., confusion, diarrhea, shaking, fever, hallucinations, disorientation) associated with alcohol withdrawal
  • have increased cerebral spinal fluid pressure
  • have increased levels of carbon dioxide in the blood
  • have kyphoscoliosis (a progressive disorder of the spine)
  • have or might have abdomen problems (e.g., paralytic ileus)
  • have respiratory depression (slowed breathing)
  • have severe central nervous system depression (slowed nervous system)

The controlled-release form of oxycodone should not be taken to manage acute pain nor for mild pain, intermittent pain, or pain of short duration that can be managed with other medications.



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