Last updated : March 30, 2017
Oxycodone hydrochloride belongs to a group of medicines called opioid analgesics. It is a depressant drug which means it slows down the messages travelling between the brain and the body. Depressant drugs do not necessarily make a person feel depressed. Other depressants include alcohol, cannabis and heroin.
Oxycodone is most commonly prescribed by doctors to relieve moderate to severe pain. However, there is increasing concern among medical professionals about the risks of using these drugs, particularly when they are used for a long time.
Under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), oxycodone is a Schedule 8 drug. Doctors must follow state and territory laws when prescribing oxycodone and must notify, or receive approval from, the appropriate health authority.
Some people misuse oxycodone to become intoxicated, which can result in serious side effects.
Oxycodone comes in a number of forms including capsules, tablets, liquid and suppositories. It also comes in a variety of strengths.
Oxynorm®, OxyContin®, Endone®, Proladone®, Targin®.
Hillbilly heroin, oxy, OC and O.
Oxycodone is usually swallowed but is sometimes injected or used as a suppository.
To prevent OxyContin® tablets being injected by people who misuse them, they were reformulated in 2014. The tablets are now resistant to crushing and become a thick gel when added to water. They also have controlled release properties, even as a gel. Read more about this change on the ReGen website.
Use of any drug always carries some risk. It’s important to be careful when taking any type of drug and follow your doctor’s prescription. Contact your doctor if you are concerned about the side effects of oxycodone.
Oxycodone affects everyone differently, but the effects may include:
Injecting oxycodone when misusing the drug may also cause:
Injecting drugs repeatedly and sharing injecting equipment with other people increases the risk of experiencing these effects.
If you take a large amount of oxycodone, you could overdose. If you have any of the symptoms below, call an ambulance straight away by dialling triple zero (000). Ambulance officers don’t need to involve the police. If possible, have the medicine with you so the ambulance officers know what has been taken.
Regular use of oxycodone may cause:
The effects of taking oxycodone with other drugs can be unpredictable and dangerous, and could cause:
Giving up oxycodone after using it for a long time is challenging because the body has to get used to functioning without it. This is why it’s important to seek advice from a health professional when planning to stop taking oxycodone, whether you have been taking it with a prescription or not.
Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person and are different depending on the type of oxycodone taken. Symptoms usually last for approximately one week and can include:
If your use of oxycodone is affecting your health, family, relationships, work, school, financial or other life situations, you can seek help and support.
blurred vision, confusion, constipation, difficulty concentrating, difficulty urinating, dizziness, dry mouth, euphoria, excessive sweating, faintness, flushing and itching, hives, nausea, negative mood, pain relief, restlessness, stiff muscles, stomach pains, tiredness.