Oxycodone 40mg hydrochloride (Oxycontin) is an opioid pain medication, sometimes called a narcotic. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain. OxyContin extended-release tablets are used for around-the-clock treatment of pain. They are not for use on an as-needed basis for pain.
You should not use OxyContin if you have severe asthma or breathing problems, or a blockage in your stomach or intestines.
Oxycodone can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming. MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
Taking OxyContin during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.
Fatal side effects can occur if you use OxyContin with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use OxyContin if you are allergic to oxycodone, or if you have:
- severe asthma or breathing problems; or
- a blockage in your stomach or intestines.
You should not use OxyContin unless you are already using a similar opioid medicine and are tolerant to it.
OxyContin should not be given to a child younger than 11 years old.
To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- a head injury, brain tumor, or seizures;
- drug or alcohol addiction, or mental illness;
- liver or kidney disease;
- urination problems; or
- problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid.
Some medicines can interact with oxycodone and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take stimulant medicine, herbal products, or 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.
If you use OxyContin while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. 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.
Do not breast-feed. Oxycodone can pass into breast milk and may cause drowsiness, breathing problems, or death in a nursing baby.
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 OxyContin in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.
Take OxyContin with food.
Do not crush, break, or open an OxyContin extended-release tablet. Swallow the tablet whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose. Never crush or break an OxyContin pill to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This can cause in death.
You should not stop using oxycodone suddenly. Follow your doctor’s instructions about tapering your dose.
Store at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep track of your medicine. 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 opioid medication. Just one dose can cause death in someone using this medicine accidentally or improperly. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, flush the unused medicine down the toilet.
What should I avoid while using OxyContin?
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.
Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how oxycodone will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.
Avoid medication errors. Always check the brand and strength of oxycodone you get from the pharmacy.
OxyContin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have 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. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing;
- a slow heart rate or weak pulse;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior;
- seizure (convulsions);
- severe constipation; or
- low cortisol levels – nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness.