Oxycodone overdose: How much amount of oxycodone to OD?

Controlled release oxycodone can cause overdose in single doses > 40 mg or total daily doses > 80 mg in opioid naive people. More on how much oxycodone is safe for you and oxycodone overdose here.

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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.

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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
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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