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Brand names:

Oxaydo®, OxyContin®, Roxicodone®, Xtampza® ER

Other names:

Oxecta, Oxycodone HCl, Oxycodone Hydrochloride, RoxyBond

Often used for:

Pain management

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What is oxycodone?

Oxycodone is an opioid medicine that is used to control pain.

Oxycodone has fast-acting and slow-acting forms. Follow dosing instructions carefully. You may be asked to keep a record of doses taken so your care team can prescribe the best possible pain control. 

Some products may use oxycodone along with acetaminophen (Percocet®, Endocet®).

This medicine may be given in the clinic, hospital, or at home.   

Some people’s bodies break down this medicine quickly. Others break it down more slowly. This is due to the function of a certain enzyme. Your care team may do a genetic test to see how your child’s enzymes function. This can help the care team decide if the dose of medicine should be adjusted.

Oxycodone is a strong medicine. When used to treat pain over a long period of time it may cause physical dependence. Physical dependence is when the body starts to rely on the medicine and stopping the medicine too fast can result in unwanted side effects. Your care team will monitor for this and make a plan if the medicine must be stopped slowly. 

Your care team may talk to you about having a medicine called naloxone available while taking this medicine. Naloxone is a rescue medicine that can reverse the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose. Your care team may teach you and your family how to use this medicine in case an overdose of oxycodone ever happens. 

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May be taken as a tablet by mouth

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May be taken as a capsule by mouth

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May be taken as a liquid by mouth

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Possible side effects

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Slower than normal rates of breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Itching and hives
  • Mood changes (feeling sadder or happier than usual)
  • Fainting
  • Problems urinating (peeing)
  • Allergic reaction – Call your care team right away if your child has symptoms of an allergic reaction. These may include: 
    • Rash, hives, or itching
    • Flu-like symptoms such as chills, aches, headache, or fever 
    • Dizziness 
    • Shortness of breath, coughing, or tightness in the throat  
    • Swelling of the face or neck

This medicine can cause serious breathing problems. Watch for signs such as slow, shallow breathing or trouble breathing. In a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the emergency room. 

Not all patients who take oxycodone will have these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Please report any symptoms or side effects to your care provider or pharmacist. Find more information on side effects.

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Tips for patients and families

Be sure to discuss all questions and instructions with your care provider or pharmacist.

  • If your child is taking this medicine regularly, they should increase fluid and fiber intake to help prevent constipation. Tell the care team if your child has not had a bowel movement (poop) in 3–5 days. Your care provider may suggest a stool softener or laxative for constipation.
  • This medicine may make your child dizzy or drowsy. Do not let your child do anything that could be dangerous until you see how this medicine affects them. 
  • If your child takes this medicine regularly or for a long time, they should not stop this medicine until the care provider instructs. Stopping oxycodone without slowly decreasing the dose can lead to withdrawal symptoms. These include diarrhea, headache, sweating, muscle cramps, trouble sleeping, nausea, vomiting, or feeling restless. If these symptoms occur, call your care provider right away. It could mean the dose is being decreased too fast.
  • Do not give your child other medicines that contain alcohol or allow your child to drink alcohol while they take this medicine.  
  • It is important that patients tell the care team if they are sexually active, pregnant, or breastfeeding. Sexually active patients should take steps to prevent pregnancy during treatment.

Oxycodone at home:

  • Do not take oxycodone more often or in greater amounts than recommended.
  • This medicine can be taken with or without food. Take this medicine with food if stomach upset occurs. Taking the medicine with meals may lessen stomach problems.
  • Tablets: Do not cut, chew, or crush the long-acting tablets. Swallow them whole.
  • Capsules: Take with food. If your child cannot swallow the capsules, the contents can be sprinkled on a small amount of pudding, applesauce, or other soft food just before taking. Your child will need to swallow all the contents whole and do not chew.
  • Liquid: For liquid oxycodone, use the measuring device that comes with the medicine. Measure doses carefully.
  • If taking oxycodone with acetaminophen, do not take extra acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or medicines containing acetaminophen. This could result in a dose of acetaminophen that is too high.
  • Give a missed dose as soon as possible. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not give 2 doses at the same time. 
  • Store at room temperature. Some formulations may need to be protected from light. Follow instructions from the pharmacy.
  • Do not share this medicine with anyone or give for reasons other than prescribed.
  • Do not use the medicine past the expiration date.
  • Follow instructions for safe storage and disposal.

This drug may be habit forming when used long term. Watch for signs of misuse. Signs of misuse can be:

  • Regularly taking the medicine in a way that is different than prescribed by the care team.
  • Taking more medicine than is prescribed.
  • Taking the medicine “just in case,” even when not in pain.
  • Changes in mood or sleeping patterns.
  • Poor or risky decision-making, such as putting themself or others in danger.
  • Saying they have lost this medicine to get another prescription written.