Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableDrug class: Pain

Oxycontin

(Oxycodone)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableDrug class: Pain
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Treats severe pain.

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Prescription opioids are used to treat several kinds of pain - but they carry significant risks, including addiction. Learn more about these drugs and be sure to discuss the risks with your doctor.

Our bottom line

Oxycontin (Oxycodone) provides options for treating both short and long-term moderate to severe pain, but no matter how long you take it, you’ll need to watch out for constipation.

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Upsides

  • Oxycontin (Oxycodone) immediate-release (short acting) works best for “as needed” or “break-through” pain.
  • Long-acting tablets are good for chronic pain that requires around-the-clock relief.
  • Can have fewer side effects than other opioid pain relievers.
  • Generally considered to be stronger than morphine.
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Downsides

  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
  • You’ll need to take the immediate-release for a few weeks before you can be switched to the long-acting formulation. It’s not safe to start taking the long-acting one if you've never taken an opioid pain medicine before.
  • Everyone will get constipation, so it’s best to stay hydrated and take a stool softener while on Oxycontin (Oxycodone).
  • Long-term use will likely cause physical dependence.
  • Need be weaned slowly off the medicine after using it longer than two weeks.
How it works

Oxycontin (Oxycodone) is an opioid medicine (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception.

What to expect when you take Oxycontin (Oxycodone) for Pain

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Side effect rates for Oxycontin (Oxycodone)

0From clinical trials of Oxycodone / All
  • Confusion
  • Abdominal pain
  • Indigestion
  • Upset stomach
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Twitching
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Anxiety

Risks and Warnings for Oxycontin (Oxycodone)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Current use of medicine that affects liver enzyme CYP 3A4
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Higher dose
    • People with not enough thyroid hormones
    • History of lung problems

    Taking too much Oxycontin (Oxycodone) can cause irregular or slow breathing that can put you in a coma and can cause death. Oxycontin (Oxycodone) should be swallowed whole, don't ever crush or chew. If your lips and fingers start turning blue from low oxygen, see a doctor immediately. In the hospital, doctors can give you a medicine that reverses the effects of Oxycontin (Oxycodone). Don't take more than your doctor prescribes. Always check with your doctor before starting any new medicines or supplements.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Oxycontin (Oxycodone)

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Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
Food
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • Taking standard release version for breakthrough pain. It's very effective but does cause constipation. Taking a little too much or too frequently has a massive effect on sleep - in a bad way.
Pain
  • Oxycontin (Oxycodone) immediate-release (short acting) works best for “as needed” or “break-through” pain.
  • Long-acting tablets are good for chronic pain that requires around-the-clock relief.
  • It is easy to take but causes severe drowsiness when taken in conjunction with other pain meds.
  • My pain mgmt doctor worked hard to find the right med, dosage and least side effects that manages my pain and improved my quality of life and remaining somewhat functional. Now I worry d/t doctors being pressured to stop prescribing it.
  • Taking standard release version for breakthrough pain. It's very effective but does cause constipation. Taking a little too much or too frequently has a massive effect on sleep - in a bad way.
Sleep
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
  • It is easy to take but causes severe drowsiness when taken in conjunction with other pain meds.