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OxyContin

What is OxyContin?

OxyContin is the brand name for a pain medication which contains oxycodone. Oxycodone is a white, odorless crystalline powder, which is derived from the opium alkaloid, thebaine. OxyContin is water-soluble (1 g in 6 to 7 mL) and slightly soluble in alcohol (octanol water partition coefficient 0.7). Like other opioids, there is a real potential for developing OxyContin dependence, although experts still don’t know why dependence occurs.

Why do people use OxyContin?

OxyContin is used to treat moderate to severe pain that is expected to last for an extended period of time. It’s prescribed for relief of moderate to severe acute or chronic pain. OxyContin is useful for acute pain and in some instances of chronic cancer pain. In fact, researchers report that in patients suffering from moderate to severe pain, OxyContin plays an important role in improving their quality of life.

Usually, OxyContin is used for around-the-clock treatment of pain. However, it is not usually prescribed on an “as-needed” basis. Especially for versions of the slow-release tablet, since it is a narcotic that should not be taken more often than every 12 hours.

A person is abusing OxyContin if they are taking Oxy in any way OTHER THAN PRESCRIBED. If you’re using OxyContin to induce euphoric high, this is drug abuse. Commonly, people also use alcohol, heroin, or cocaine in combination with OxyContin, in order to heighten the effects of an OxyContin high. However, mixing OxyContin with other drugs that either stimulate or depress the central nervous system is very dangerous.

Common routes of administration for OxyContin inlude:

  • oral
  • inhaling/smoking
  • intramuscular injection
  • intravenous injection
  • intranasal-crushing and snorting
  • subcutaneous injection
  • transdermal
  • rectal
  • epidural injection

OxyContin effects

OxyContin interacts with the opiate receptors in the brain and spinal cord and changes the way that we perceive feelings of pain. At the same time, OxyContin causes euphoric feelings of well-being. But other effects can occur which can be uncomfortable. This includes:

  • cognitive impairment
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • sleep disturbances
  • urinary retention
  • vomiting

While these are common effects that are expected, people who abuse OxyContin can risk overdose. If taken in high doses, or in patients not tolerant to opiates/opioids, OxyContin can cause shallow breathing, bradycardia, cold-clammy skin, apnea, hypotension, miosis, circulatory collapse, respiratory arrest, and death. All these symptoms can also be the outcome of an overdose from OxyContin.

Other side-effects of OxyContin abuse include:

  • coma
  • extreme dissatisfaction with life
  • fatigue
  • liver damage
  • mood swings
  • overdose
  • seizure
  • shallow respiration

Is OxyContin addictive?

Yes, OxyContin is addictive. The main ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone, which has medium-high addictive properties. But OxyContin may be habit-forming, even when taken at regular doses. The main characteristics of addiction to OxyContin are:

  • continue use despite negative life consequences
  • cravings, obsessive thinking, or compulsive use of OxyContin
  • loss of control in drug use
  • psychological dependence on OxyContin

In cases where the drug has been taken regularly over an extended period of time, the central nervous system becomes accustomed to the presence of OxyContin. So, when individuals try to quit after they become dependent they go through OxyContin withdrawal. The risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms is high if a patient has become physically dependent or addicted and discontinues OxyContin abruptly.

People who use OxyContin recreationally, and not as intended by the prescribing physician are at even higher risk of severe withdrawal symptoms, as they tend to use higher-than-prescribed doses and mix the drug with other substances. The symptoms of OxyContin withdrawal mimic those of a severe flue, and they also include anxiety, panic attack, nausea, insomnia, muscle pain, muscle weakness, fevers.

If you want to explore more specific information on OxyContin, check out the following:

OxyContin

11 Tolerance to OxyContin

Tolerance to OxyContin

October 23rd, 2012

Tolerance to OxyContin means you must take increasingly higher doses to achieve the same inital effects. OxyContin tolerance develops at different times for different people. Learn more about tolerance to Oxycontin and other strong opioid drugs here.

85 How to stop taking OxyContin

How to stop taking OxyContin

August 23rd, 2012

Stopping OxyContin suddenly isn’t a good option for most people. Instead, you should slowly taper your dose under medical supervision over the course of weeks. Learn more about how to stop taking OxyContin here.

5 Can you overdose (OD) on OxyContin?

Can you overdose (OD) on OxyContin?

August 13th, 2012

Yes, you can overdose on OxyContin, especially if you haven’t taken the medication before. More on OxyContin overdose, poisoning, and safe doses here.

24 Smoking OxyContin

Smoking OxyContin

July 24th, 2012

Smoking OxyContin may get you mildly high, but it also can burn your eyes and throat or damage your lungs. We review how smoking OxyContin affects your body and just how safe smoking OxyContin really is here.

44 How long does OxyContin last?

How long does OxyContin last?

July 20th, 2012

OxyContin lasts for 12 hours and is an extended release medication containing oxycodone that’s only taken twice a day. Learn more about OxyContin dosing, duration of action and effects here.

14 What is OxyContin used for?

What is OxyContin used for?

June 27th, 2012

OxyContin is used to manage pain. More on OxyContin’s uses, side effects, how to identify problems with OxyContin here.

5 How does OxyContin work?

How does OxyContin work?

June 7th, 2012

OxyContin works to provide pain relief by changing how the brain and body perceive pain. More on how OxyContin works here.

19 How is OxyContin prescribed?

How is OxyContin prescribed?

May 29th, 2012

OxyContin is only prescribed by a medical doctor as an opiate medication used to help manage pain. OxyContin dosage may vary according to your exposure to opioids and usually begins low. More on the cost of OxyContin and signs of abuse here.

61 Mixing OxyContin with alcohol

Mixing OxyContin with alcohol

May 16th, 2012

Effects of mixing OxyContin and alcohol include euphoria and relaxation. But you can overdose and die when mixing OxyContin with alcohol, too. More on the potential harms and warnings for mixing OxyContin with alcohol here.

41 OxyContin overdose: How much amount of OxyContin to OD?

OxyContin overdose: How much amount of OxyContin to OD?

May 7th, 2012

OxyContin can cause overdose in single doses greater than 40 mg. Total daily doses should not exceed 80 mg in opioid-naive individuals. More on how much OxyContin is safe for you and OxyContin overdose here.

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Leave a Reply

4 Responses to “OxyContin
kris
12:44 am June 1st, 2017

I was on Oxycontin for 4 years(20mg 4x daily) due to a back injury. I quit cold turkey 3 years ago and went through intense withdrawal for 10 days and moderate/light symptoms for another 10-15 days. The major issue I had, and still have, is the depression and anxiety never went away. When I decided to quit I was also going through some serious life changing events that were causing a lot of stress. 1 year ago I finally convinced myself to go see a mental health professional. I was diagnosed with PTSD, major depression, and generalized anxiety. Is there any possibility that this was all caused by my use of Oxycontin? I always took it as prescribed and never abused it. Now I am on my 4th antidepressant(all of which make me sick and mimic the withdrawal symptoms I had with Oxy). Any information would be greatly appreciated as I was let go from work due to the side effects I have on my current medication.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:08 pm June 6th, 2017

Hi Kris. OxyContin withdrawal may trigger your depression from unresolved past. Have you considered therapy sessions? Also, I suggest that you try some alternative therapies for treating anxiety. Here’s suggested reading:
https://nccih.nih.gov/health/anxiety
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4270108/

Charlie
2:18 pm October 10th, 2017

Morning I have 9 spine surgeries ,2hip replacement,2 knee replacements and suffer from spinal myoclouns. I have been on OxyContin 40 mg 3 times a day along with 30 mg oxycodone 3 times a day. For 12 yearsI was thinking about try to come off on my own .in your oppion do you feel this is something o should try and how horrible would it bee
Thanks Charlie

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
4:47 pm October 18th, 2017

Hi Charlie. First, I suggest that you consult with your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule. Also, download our free e-book ‘How To Quit Opioid Painkillers’ here: http://addictionblog.org/ebooks/how-to-quit-opioid-painkillers/
Moreover, if you have any problems, call the helpline you see on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant.

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