Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Oxycontin

(Oxycodone)

  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
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Treats severe pain.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ 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.

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.
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  • 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.
  • 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.

Save on your next Oxycontin (Oxycodone) prescription

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Side effects for Oxycontin (Oxycodone)

From clinical trials of Oxycodone / Any condition 

  • ConfusionConfusion5% for Oxycodone vs.0% for placebo
  • Abdominal painAbdominal pain5% for Oxycodone vs.0% for placebo
  • IndigestionIndigestion5% for Oxycodone vs.0% for placebo
  • Upset stomachUpset stomach5% for Oxycodone vs.0% for placebo
  • ChillsChills5% for Oxycodone vs.0% for placebo
  • FeverFever5% for Oxycodone vs.0% for placebo
  • Loss of appetiteLoss of appetite5% for Oxycodone vs.0% for placebo
  • TwitchingTwitching5% for Oxycodone vs.0% for placebo
  • Abnormal dreamsAbnormal dreams5% for Oxycodone vs.0% for placebo
  • AnxietyAnxiety5% for Oxycodone vs.0% for placebo

Manufacturers don’t say how common these side effects are

  • Abnormally slow breathing
  • Cns depression
  • Drug abuse, addiction, and dependence
  • Gastrointestinal effects
  • Hypotensive effects
  • Seizures

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

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Opioid pain medicine that provides longer pain relief—up to 12 hours.
  • Works best when taken regularly instead of as-needed.
  • Especially useful for people with chronic pain problems.
  • May not be the best choice for people who have never taken an opioid pain medicine because it lasts so long.
  • Swallow it whole. Don't crush, chew, or split the medicine.
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
  • Avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • Constipation is common and may not go away while you're taking this medicine. Drinking lots of water and taking laxatives can help.
  • Talk to your doctor if it doesn't help enough for your pain, or if the side effects are really bad.

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

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Oxycontin (Oxycodone)

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The FDA category for this medication is B. It is advised that you: Probably safe
Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
Food
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
Sleep
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
  • Taken with Tramadol, both are opiates. Stopped taking both within a week, caused major depression with suicidal tendencies. Loss of appetite and confusion, including sleep deprivation. Do not take both meds together under any circumstances.
    Age: 56
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: Pain (moderate to severe)
  • 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.
    Age: 41
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: Chronic pain (severe)
    Duration taken: Two years or more
  • It is easy to take but causes severe drowsiness when taken in conjunction with other pain meds.
    Age: 52
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Chronic pain (severe)
    Duration taken: Two years or more