Friday April 18th 2014

Oxycodone overdose: How much amount of oxycodone to OD?

Drug overdoses basically are the result of taking too much of a drug. Given that the vast majority of drug poisoning deaths are unintentional, can you prevent too much oxycodone from causing an overdose?  We explore the answer to this question here.  Plus more on the risk factors for oxycodone overdose. We invite your questions about how much oxycodone to OD at the end.

How does unintentional oxycodone overdose happen?

You can accidentally take too much oxycodone for a number of reasons. First, if you are not getting pain relief from normal doses and either increase dosing amounts or frequency, you can overdose. Do you get high on oxycodone?  Yes, oxycodone can trigger euphoric effect.  So, other times you may intentionally take too much oxycodone to “get high” or intoxicated, but unintentionally overdose.  Or you might mix oxycodone and alcohol or other central nervous system depressants and overdose. Still other people intentionally overdose on oxycodone to hurt themselves or attempt suicide.

Oxycodone overdose – How much is too much?

The amount of oxycodone that is safe for you depends on your body’s current exposure to opioids. The amount of oxycodone that is too much for you is relative to how tolerant your body already is to oxycodone, opiates or opioids. Safe dosing levels of oxycodone will also depend upon the type of oxycodone you are taking. Oxycodone in immediate action or controlled release form is available in different doses, and has different actions. Furthermore, as doctors increase doses, they consider a number of different variables, including your age, weight, general health and other medication.. So, how much oxycodone is too much really depends on your specific case.

However, there are some basic guidelines to follow. Single doses > 40 mg of controlled release oxycodone or total daily doses of of controlled release oxycodone greater than 80 mg is too much for someone just starting the medicine. These doses may cause fatal respiratory depression when given to people new to oxycodone.

Oxycodone overdose complications

The most dangerous complication of oxycodone overdose is slowed breathing. Oxycodone overdose can cause breathing to slow down, become more shallow, and even stop, depending on how much oxycodone you have taken.

Oxycodone overdose prognosis

In an emergency oxycodone overdose situation, as long as breathing has not been compromised, prognosis and recovery without long term damage is possible. In more serious cases of oxy overdose, doctors may administer oxygen to help you breath better or medicine(s) to help reverse the effects of toxicity. Finally, oxycodone overdose can be deadly or can result in permanent brain damage you have taken a large amount of oxycodone and treatment is delayed.

Oxycodone overdose death rate

The majority of unintentional oxycodone deaths by overdose are related to the nationwide increase in the use of prescription drugs, especially opioid painkillers. Overdose and death particularly affects people during the working years of life, and men are more at risk than women. People who are prescribed oxycodone frequently or at high dosage face a substantial overdose risk. And misuse or abuse of prescription drugs, including opioid analgesic pain relievers, is responsible for much of the increase in drug poisoning deaths.

Opioid analgesics were involved in more than 40% of drug poisoning deaths in 2008. However, you can find more up-to-date information about the mortality rate from oxycodone toxic poisoning, or overdose, by searching the CDC’s NCHS, National Vital Statistics System for mortality due to oxycodone drug overdose.

Oxycodone overdose amount questions

Abuse of any kind of oxycodone poses a risk of death. This is why you should swallow immediate and controlled release versions of oxycodone. You increase your risk of overdose when you chew, crush, snort or inject oxycodone.

If you have any questions about safe amounts of oxycodone in your system, please leave them here. We are happy to try to help answer your questions about oxycodone, and will try to respond with a personal and prompt reply for all legitimate queries.

Reference sources: CDC NCHS Data Brief: Drug Poisoning Deaths in the United States, 1980–2008
PubMed: A history of being prescribed controlled substances and risk of drug overdose death
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs: Trends in Unintentional Drug Overdose Deaths
Medline Plus: Hydrocodone/oxycodone overdose

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26 Responses to “Oxycodone overdose: How much amount of oxycodone to OD?
5:14 am May 25th, 2012

I took 4 and 1/2 oxycodone 5 miligram tablets… will I overdose on this many at one time??

11:21 am May 25th, 2012

Hi Shelly – To Confirm, you have just taken about 22.5 mg of oxycodone. Are you currently taking oxycodone, or was this just a one time event? Also, did you take immediate release oxycodone or controlled release?

3:38 am June 18th, 2012

Hi. My mother was given Oxycodone apap 5/325 a total of ten times in her stay in the hospital. Her first 2 doses were given on 06/04 The next day 06/05 she was given 5 more doses of Oxycodone apap 5/325. On 06/06 she was given three more doses of this medication for pain. In the early morning hours of 06/07 she was found unresponsive, cold and clammy from a cardiac arrest. I later found out she suffered a brain injury called anoxic encephalopathy and her kidneys were impaired.

Could this be an overdose from Oxycodone apap 5/325?

4:38 pm June 21st, 2012

Hi Dean.

I am sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I am sure that it is a very difficult time for you and that you are looking for answers. I am not a medical doctor, and cannot advise on possible contraindications that OxyContin may have with certain conditions. However, I’d suggest that you consult with a toxicologist or an MD who specializes in pain management medications. These people will be able to help you definitively and provide the most accurate information for you.

I wish you the best,

7:42 pm September 4th, 2012

I have been taking 10mg oxycodone recreationally everyday for about a couple of months now. I usually take two per day spread out throughout the day, on a few occasions I have taken 3 in one day. I am wondering the possible health effects of prolonged use of this dosage? I know the dose is low, but sometimes I will go out drinking after taking it. Can it be trouble mixing such.a.low.concentration of the drug with moderate drinking? Also I have recently began taking 30mg adderall to study for school and I hate the headaches associated with the comedown so on days when I take it I will take an oxy for the comedown. I heard it is bad to mix in upper and a downer and that it might be asking for a heart attack is there any truth to this?

11:18 am September 5th, 2012

Hello Barry. Long term use of oxycodone causes tolerance, physical dependence, and drug addiction (especially when used recreationally for effect). In terms of physical long term effects, oxycodone use can cause liver and/or kidney damage. Use these keywords for more research results: “long term effect” oxycodone

I don’t know yet about the full dangers of mixing stimulants with central nervous system depresssants. But I do know that mixing a stimulant and a depressant confuses the brain. Depressants like oxycodone can increase blood pressure and weaken portions of the heart wall, making you more susceptible to overdose. In the end, the cocktail that you are using will affect your brain in ways that you can’t predict at the moment.

Plus, Adderall can provoke cardiovascular events and even cause sudden death. The effects of prolonged stimulant use have not been fully understood. But all in all, I’d suggest that you TALK with someone about why you’re using oxycodone to cope with life and try studying without Adderall. Are you interested in a drug free life?

3:13 am December 24th, 2012

Hi, I had oxycodone 5mg prescribed to me starting 2 1/2 years ago, i have abused them when they weren’t working like they used to and my tolerance increased dramatically. Then i began taking 30mg and over a period of a few months i was snorting 1000mg/day for about a year. Alot of times I would take 8-10 30mg at a time. I started having seizures over a year ago, i have them daily. I stay clean but sometimes i’ll take 30mg or 15mg, which seems to suppress my seizures and ‘calm my brain’ down. Just wondering if i’ve basically destroyed my life from the continual high doses, withdrawals, and if it may have precipitated my seizures. Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Not sure if this matters but I’m 30y f, 5’4″ 100lbs.
Thanks in advance,

12:37 pm December 25th, 2012

Hi Jodie. My advice is to make sure that you’ve been correctly diagnosed for the seizures and to seek medication to manage them without turning for opioids. Have you consulted with a neurologist?

Michelle Hawkins
4:11 am February 3rd, 2013

I have been taking 80mg of Oxycontin 4x’s a day for about a year (and 3x’s a day before that for about 3 years) along with 10/325 of Norco 4x’s a day for severe pain. I am a 5’3 female weighing about 130 lbs. How much would I need to take to accidently overdose and how long before I would have symptoms. It concerns me because there have been times that I had forgotten that I had taken it and took more. Thank you!

10:55 am February 12th, 2013

Hello Michelle. This is a very specific question that requires a higher level of understanding of your individual tolerance for opioids. I’d suggest that you talk with your pharmacist or prescribing doctor to establish an upper limit for how much is too much for you. Additionally, you might set yourself up with one of those weekly pill organizers to prevent you from going above this amount.

Betty Johnson
9:52 pm March 31st, 2013

Hello I am really scared. I have chronic severe pain and have been taking pain medicine for four years now. I take three 30mg Oxycodone a day and six 10mg Hydrocodone a day along, two gabapintine and two flexeril a day. I also take other medicine for other types of illness not related to chronic pain. Every morning I take four of my other type of medicine while I put my pain medicnine in my daily container. I take my oxycodine broken out as follows, One when I go to bed, one in middle of night around 3am and the other one around 9am. this is when i fill up the medicine holder and take my other morning medicine. each morning i take the four pills all at the same time, today i have not felt good and been in bed sleeping all day until 30 minutes ago, while i was putting my pain medicine in the holder i had already put the six hyrocodone in the holder and was getting the oxycodone to put in the holder right before i take my four other pills and by accident put the three oxycodone in my mouth thinking I guess i was taking my other four pills and swollowed them. I had already taken the one oxycoden about 30 minutes before that so I have four in my body now. I am 5′ 4″ tall and weigh about 240. I tried to throw up but I cannot make myself. I have fixed me four packs of oatmill to eat thinking that might help also. I am really worried. do you think i will be ok or do i need to go to hospital, I live alone and really do not think i should drive. i do not have anyone close to me that could drive me anywhere.. my breathing is ok and i do not know what else to do that will help . what do you recommend.

7:28 am April 4th, 2013

Hi Betty. I’m sorry to not have responded to you earlier. Call 1-800-222-1222 for the Poison Control Center any time you have drug overdose questions. They will advise you on what to do.

2:54 am April 11th, 2013

Question….. I took 20 mg of OxyContin cr as scheduled but I forgot and took another one 3 hrs later should I seek medical attention???

5:02 am April 11th, 2013

Hi Debbie. Call the Poison Control Center to talk through your symptoms and to assess the possibility of overdose and what you need to do.

8:56 am April 26th, 2013

I took 3, 5/325 mg oxycodones in the last 9 hours. Not trying to abuse it, just trying to get relief from my pain. It is prescribed at 1 every six hours as needed. Have I taken too much? Will I be ok as long as I don’t take anymore? No trouble breathing but I am itchy.

randy dubay
5:30 pm May 28th, 2013


I have a problem with severe Fibromyalgia/CFS. I have been one oxycodone, instant release 30 mg/4 times per day for about 2-3 years. I also take Adderall, 30 mg in the a.m. as my Dopamine levels, epinephrine, and norepinephrine levels are very low as well as Dopac.

It seems like this is the one and only substance that calms my nervous system enough to actually allow me to sleep. I wake in the night with tremendous pain in varous parts of my body almost nightly. I get up, have to eat something, then try to go back to sleep.

My liver enzymes lab tests recently showed elevated liver enzymes. I smoke and I know this is killing me but I think I am now addicted to Nicotine.

I also started taking 60 mg ER at night so I can get through the night. Obviously I have a very high tolerance by now. I hate taking these as I feel my life revolves around them. I have tried hundreds of natural vitamins, etc. but it just got to a point I could not take the pain and broke down in front of my doctor way back in 2006 and said he had to give me something, which he did.

I am mostly concerned with the long term effects. I have gone into withdrawels and they are horrific.

Can you tell me what you think about long term use of this much opiates and about how long does it take to get your system clean so I can tell just how much pain I am in and if I can take it and survive without the pain meds /



I am open to talking about this. I’ve been through hell so I am not shy nor ashamed of what I have gotten myself into.

10:19 am June 3rd, 2013

Hi Randy. I feel for you, and understand that it must be INCREDIBLY difficult to live with pain, and with the discomfort of knowing that long term use of opioids like oxycodone can affect your body and mind. It can take about 7-10 days of acute withdrawal and then several months of post acute withdrawal to totally detox from the effects of oxycodone. However, pain management is crucial. Have you consulted with your prescribing doctor and pharmacist about other treatment options? Considered acupuncture or regular massage? Ask around and seek the advice of medical professionals. While long term care using oxycodone is less than perfect, it can increase your quality of life when used therapeutically.

4:54 am June 15th, 2013

I have read these posts with great concern. I lost my daughter less than 6 months ago where she had taken too much oxycodone and flexeril. She was scared to go back on pain meds after recent surgery because she had been in pain mgmt for 8 years and for the last 2 yrs was in a program to get her off of opiates. She only had the prescription for four days before she stopped breathing. I just hope that you realize it doesn’t take but one extra dose. She was 30 and left behind a 6 yr old. Please be careful.

8:28 am August 16th, 2013


And here is my long story short for those addicted..I’m SSI since 2001, was taking all kinds of medications for my pain, started out with Hydrocodone 7.5 along with Voltaren 7.5 too..So, I also had many spinal blocks and the Surgeon I saw said that I needed surgery asap since I have 3 areas of cord compression..C-6 C-7 L5 S1..overall, I have 13 herniated discs, stenosis, pinched nerves, weakness in my right leg & left arm..

So, my fix was, have a bunch of metal in my back and walk like a robot and of course risk never to walk again all at the young age of 33 with 5 kids..Ah, no thanks!!! So, when my pain management doctor got his reports back, he totally understood! He said, he will give me all the pain meds I want and we discussed addiction, liver/Kidneys etc..Now, I’ve been taking Opiates for a good 20 Years and know that I have an addiction problem, but I don’t abuse it..I still take my same dosage of 20MG a few times a day, total of about 5 because I cut my pills..Why?? I only want to take the edge of the pain off at times, no reason to take a complete pill..But there are also times that I take a pill & 1/2, usually in the Morning, that there is my worst pain..

All that said, I could go cold turkey when I’m ready or just go to a center…Overall folks, if you’re like me, then I hope you have a Doctor playing ball with you as mine did..As for OD, reason I’m here as well, think I had enough of this so called life..I now live in a 3RD World dump, and need to go to a Cancer Hospital in order to get my meds which is a 3 hour one way drive via the Metro Bus..have not seen my kids in 7 Years, still paying support although the oldest 2 are 20 & 22…go figure that one!!!! Greedy Biatch.. no insurance, so I pay everything out of my empty pockets, so yea, I’m very much done…and I have 60 plus pills left…how many licks would it take to reach the center of a tootsie pop?

Oops..LOL..I think 20 would be fine..ZZZZZZZZZ Come back here you R a b b i t

Good Luck


Joe Rosando
12:12 pm August 16th, 2013

Hey yo, Anthony! How you doin? Listen, I’ve got a torn spinal cord from a 2003 L5S1 Surgical Intervention called Discectomy Laminectomy. During retraction the Doc or his attending went in under my vertebrae to grab my cord with a small metal retracting device. Because of the weakened state of the Dura it was torn. Surgery continued. I never knew why I was still having severe pain and now in both legs. 2005 MRI tech misses it.2011 CTMYELOGRAM detects it with questionable Arachnoiditis, what the fuck is Arachnoiditis? It’s an incurable untreatable disease that twists,tethers, sticks and calcifies your spinal cord. It’s a progressive disease; a slow progression, that imprisons the sufferer with unbearable, excruciating,diabolical, sadistic pain. I’m 47, use to own my own tile business, worked since I was 12. Now, I can’t even go watch my 16 year old daughter surf or play tennis.
So you listen to me my friend! Are you “addicted” or “dependent”, do you get them adjusted from time to time? I was on hydrocodone 10/325,Butrans patch(sucks) oxycodone hcl, now a 50mcg Fentanyl patc and break through vicoprofen, 7,5/200, I’m very unhappy, many hours alone,not by choice, severe depression,panic anxiety attacks that’ll last hours. My marriage hangs by a thread. I’ve been called drug addict by neurosurgeons at Thomas Jeffersom, quoted the asshole the medical journals for addiction versus dependency which he was pissed at since “I’m no doctor”. You’re right. And neither are you Dr. Jack. He even told me get off the drugs and challenged me over 1 year if I stop I’ll feel better and the reason I’m like this is,and I quote,” you’re like this cause we do this to you. We screw up patients then get them hooked on pain killers. I know I’m a doctor.” I said put that in writing and sign it well it was like he never said it when I asked that.
Point is: you’re in pain. I’m going to say severe to intractable like me. I’ve had guilty feelings about my meds. Screw em. The pain feelings are worse. Sleepless nights, bowel and bladder loss, midnite trips to ER. Man, do whatever you gotta do to feel better. Let the body lead and the mind shall follow. I’ve felt so shitty that one extra pill made all the difference between staying in bed or riding to the bank with my wife. You have you. And that’s it. Do what you gotta do. But be careful. And if nobody likes my comment to you, PISS OFF. Walk a week in our slippers!

Joe Rosando
12:29 pm August 16th, 2013

Hello Nancy,
I cannot express my heartbreak for you and the loss of your precious daughter. I have 2 and a granddaughter. They are my life as well as my wife. I can’t help but feel a negligence on the part of the medical staff, in my opinion. Your daughter was off the opiates for awhile making her ‘opiate naive’. That amount of medication,dosage,etc. would definitely kill someone especially if there’s no home are staff or med staff around to monitor the situation.
Please accept my deepest and sincerest of sympathies and if you don’t mind, I’ll keep you in my prayers.

6:38 am August 17th, 2013

I have oxycodone that was prescribed in 2004. Would it still be good?

6:27 am October 22nd, 2013

I took an op 40mg about 7 hours ago. Not drowsy or anything. Heart rate is normal. Just feel a little weird and have a headache. Am I overdosing?

5:09 pm October 22nd, 2013

Hello Fred. Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 to report the symptoms and get qualified medical opinion about what’s happening.

3:21 am November 27th, 2013

A woman I was seeing back in February at 40 yrs old passed away from an unintentional od of a combination of oxycodone,sleeping pill,and an anti anxiety pill.She took these prescribed pills regularly.The oxy was a 15 mg.She took them for 7 yrs.How many could it have taken for her to od?I unfortunately had the task of telling her 2 children their mother was dead while paramedics were upstairs.I woke up next to her unresponsive and hours gone.Please be careful people…once you’re gone there’s no coming back…get help if you’re addicted.

12:05 am January 26th, 2014

Would 45 pills of percocet kill someone?

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