OxyContin overdose: How much amount of OxyContin to OD?

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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OxyContin can help you control symptoms of pain but can also become toxic when you take too much of it. And overdosing on OxyContin isn’t just for the addict. In fact, the vast majority of drug poisoning OxyContin deaths are accidents. So how can you prevent an unintentional OxyContin overdose? We’ll explore this question here, and look at the risk factors for OxyContin overdose here. Your questions about how much OxyContin to OD are welcomed at the end.

How does OxyContin overdose happen?

It’s easy to accidentally take too much OxyContin. If you’re not getting the pain relief you need from your normal dose, you may try to increase your dosing amounts or frequency. But if you take too much OxyContin, you can overdose. Sometimes people take too much OxyContin on purpose, because they’re trying to get high OxyContin, but accidentally overdose in the process. In fact, one of the known OxyContin snorting effects is overdose.  And an OxyContin overdose can even be the result of an attempted suicide.

OxyContin overdose – How much is too much?

The amount of OxyContin that is safe for you depends on whether you’ve recently been exposed to opioid medications or not. In fact, the amount OxyContin you can handle is relative to how tolerant your body already is to OxyContin, opiates,and opioids. Just one 60 mg tablet could be dangerous if you’ve never taken the drug before, although some OxyContin users can tolerate much higher doses. In fact, a single doses of more than 40 mg OxyContin, or total daily doses greater than 80 mg is too much for someone who’s just started the medicine. These doses may cause fatal respiratory depression when given to people new to OxyContin. So be careful to follow your doctor’s instructions when trying this medication for the first time. Even so, how much OxyContin is too much really depends on your own body chemistry.

Safe dosing levels depend on the strength of OxyContin you’ve been prescribed. OxyContin comes in formulas in different strengths, including 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 60, and 80 mg tablets. Because you’ll develop OxyContin tolerance over time, doctors increase OxyContin doses gradually. When they do this, they consider a number of different variables, including your age, weight, health, and other medications you might be taking.

OxyContin overdose complications

The most dangerous complication of OxyContin overdose is slowed or shallow breathing. An OxyContin overdose can even cause your breathing to stop, if you take enough of the drug.

OxyContin overdose prognosis

In an emergency, OxyContin overdose doesn’t need to be fatal. If you delay treatment, though, an OxyContin overdose can be deadly or can result in permanent brain damage. Difficulty breathing can cut off air to the brain and cause permanent health issues. In fact, more serious cases of OxyContin overdose may require doctors to administer oxygen. This will help you breath. Other times, medicine called Naloxone (Narcan) is given to counteract the effects of OxyContin. But as long as breathing hasn’t been compromised, you can usually recover from an OxyContin OD without long-term health effects.

OxyContin overdose death rate

Most unintentional OxyContin overdose deaths are related to the nationwide increase in the use of prescription drugs, opioid painkillers in particular. The abuse of prescription drugs, is responsible for a large percentage of the increase in drug poisoning deaths. Any OxyContin abuse is extremely risky and could result in death. You should only ever swallow OxyContin, because it is a controlled release medication, and very powerful. You increase your risk of overdose when you chew, crush, snort, or inject OxyContin.

Overdose and death affect more men than women, and mostly people in the working years of their lives. People who are prescribed OxyContin at higher doses, or who need to take it frequently, have a much more substantial overdose risk.

OxyContin overdose amount questions

If you have any questions about safe amounts of OxyContin in your system, please leave them here. We are happy to try to help answer your questions about OxyContin, 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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  1. Is it normal for a doctor to prescribe 240 OxyContin 5mgs at one time to a recovering addict who has legitimate back pain? This was after getting 3 epidural injections to block the pain. I thought doctors couldn’t do that? He also required a “pain contract” be signed. Am I overreacting?

  2. A friend of mine thought he was taking ibuprofen from his parents medicine cabinet. He got sick and threw up about 2 hours later. Very disoriented, lethargic. Today he went and looked to find out it was 2 80mg OxyContin. He has been sleepy and got sick again today and complaining his chest is heavy. Do I force him to go to the ER? Should I just watch him to make sure his breathing is ok. I’m going to get activated charcoal to help absorb. Any suggestions would be great!

  3. my husband passed away on may 2 and he took 90mg of OxyContin that day. Could this have killed him. He was 59 years old with cardiac problems and about 50 pounds overweight. He was fine, sitting in a chair talking and responsive and suddenly his head went to the side and he became unresponsive. I called 911, started cpr and he died before leaving the house. I am devastated that this medication could have killed him. I know you cannot tell me for sure if this is why he died but I was ho[ing if you could tell me if this dosage is lethal. However, I feel if the autopsy results come back overdose, it will be my fault and I feel like I could not live with this. I loved my husband so much, We were married for twenty years and I feel so lost. I should have watched him better while he was on these medications. I also forgot to say he was taking a muscle relaxer as well.

    1. Hi Sharon. I’m really sorry for your loss.. First of all, you are not responsible for the death of your husband. You may consider enrolling into support groups to deal with the grief and the loss. Once you get the autopsy results, consult with a coroner about every issue you have.

  4. Avi Satz: if you work in the field, you should know that Heroin does NOT have an E after the N. Lesson learned? I hope so, because misspelled words serve to to distract, and rarely benefit the reader.

  5. My daughter had a blood level of 0.93mg/kg and had been prescribed 200mg of oxycodone daily.
    Would this blood level be in the normal range for a person on 200mg daily? or would it be in the fatal range?

  6. It depends alot on your doctor which pain meds are prescribed. The more accurate you can describe the pain more changes are the right medication is prescribed. A pain log for two or three weeks before the first visit to a clinic is always good to be able to produce in order for the doctor to be able to get a sense of how freuqent pains are occurring the amount of pain at which times of the day to occur. That way a plan can be setup regarding the pain relief and how to conduct the intake.

  7. I was given Targin and it hardly did anything to me. Now my doctor has prescribed oxycodone with the same amount of oxycodone as targin but works so much better that I have been able to cut down my amount of oxycodone which with targin was 120 mg of oxycodone and 60 mg of naldoxone (which is shit because it counteracts the oxycodone so you need to take more for not even the same effect of 80mg of oxycodone by it’self. The doctors and the company the makes targin say it helps you not get constipated but that’s horseshit as they all know that it counteracts the euphoric effect which I rely on not for pain but as an best ever antidepressant. Now I’m on 80 mg of oxycodone of instant release as I crush them in my mouth as I take it and it lasts for 3-4 hours of mild euphoria. Which helps with my depression of course. I am able to slowly come off oxycodone at only 5mg per month, I know it’s slow but I do not feel the difference doing this and have no withdrawals at all. It’s a plan that will take a long time I know 16 months but it’s a plan in the right direction and it really works well for me. I was also on 4mg of xanax per day which because of the pure oxycodone I was able to kick this habit within 1 month. So thumbs up for instant release oxycodone and a big thumbs down for targin!! It just doesn’t make sense to be put on 120 mg of oxycodone and then add an antagonist because it keeps you addicted to 120mg of oxycodone and you don’t get nearly half the effects of it!! The doctors are all lieing to you so try to get straight oxycodone prescribed. Luckily I have a doctor who was willing to change me from 120 mg of oxycodone and 60 mg of that Naldoxone Shit to 80 mg of straight oxycodone. I’m feeling so much better for it and have a plan I’m sticking to reducing 5 mg of oxycodone per months wich works so well for me!!

  8. I am 46 years old, 6’1″, 250lbs, with red hair. I mention my hair colour because some studies have shown that redheads tend to have a higher pain tolerance and can be resistant to narcotics.

    While working as a police officer in 1999 I was directing traffic and struck from behind by a vehicle. The accident resulted in me having to have a triple fusion, L4-L6.

    I currently take 60mg Oxycontin 3/day, 20mg Oxycodone 3/day, 20mg Cyclobenzaprine 3/day, and 800mg Ibuprofen 3/day. I have been on pain medications for the last 17 years and feel that I have built up a significant tolerance.

    When I asked my pain management doctor about increasing the dosage of either the Oxycontin or Oxycodone I was told that they do not feel comfortable with that. When I asked about different types of pain medications outside of the opioid family I was told that they feel my current regimen is the best option.

    I do not ‘get high’ from these medications, even when I first started taking them. My general practioner always says that he is surprised that I can function at all while on these medications, let alone function normally.

    It is getting more and more difficult to fill my Oxycontin prescription every month. It is not uncommon for me to have to call 6 pharmacies to find one that has the medication in stock. A few months ago I was without the Oxycontin for 9 days. I did not suffer any withdrawal symptoms.

    My question is this: do you have any suggestions regarding pain medications that are not opioids? I expect that in the near future it will become increasingly more difficult to fill my Oxycontin prescription and I would like to be able to speak with my pain management physician about alternatives to opioids. Any information or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you. Have a great day.


    1. Hi Christopher. First, I suggest to quit OxyContin by slowly reducing the daily dose. Consult with your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule. Then, download our free e-book ‘How To Quit Opioid Painkillers’ to get all information you need about quitting opioids, here: https://addictionblog.org/ebooks/how-to-quit-opioid-painkillers/
      Moreover, consider complementary health approaches such as acupuncture, massage therapy,relaxation techniques etc. Here’s suggested reading on the topic:

  9. Hi,
    I was just prescribed oxicodone (OxyContin) 20 mg 12 hour tablets to be taken every twelve hours no more than two per day. But I was recently taking oxicodone 20 mg IR tablets four a day, they do random drug texts at my job and I work in the medical field. My question is, do these two drugs show up the Sam or should I be worried?
    Also, I was getting better effects from the four a day then the two every twelve hours, if I added one more to three a day eight hours apart would I overdose? And if this works then I can ask my doctor to adjust my dose. I was recently on oxicodone 20 mg ir tablets, and methadone 10 mg tablets four a day. I have serious back problems and been on these Ned’s for years. So I have a history of opioids history

  10. I think that I had an overdose by taking about 50 mg of Oxycodone. I had to struggle with my lungs to take enough oxygen for about 24 Hrs, and couldn’t sleep because of that. I became claustrophobic. In the second day, I could sleep for short periods, but still get a breathing problem every now and then.
    Wondering, how long this going to last?
    Am I in danger of loosing capability of breathing.
    What is your advice?

  11. I take 60 mg. twice a day. I have never accidentally or on purpose made a mistake and accidentally taking two in one shot. Today I did because I keep only two in a bottle to avoid this mistake. I took one dose probably at 8:30 AM and inadvertently took the same amount at 10:30 because I was distracted. I feel stoned but no shallow breathing but I am aware of my breath being relaxed. I am also fighting wanting to fall asleep. Should I go to the hospital or just wait for worse symptoms cv

  12. I recently overdosed on oxycotin 30 mg and I have severe back pains friend gave me oxycotin 80mg how many time do I break the 80 mg up into to avoid a overdose n the correct amount to avoid over dose trip to er I weigh 115 lbs 5’5

  13. I take 30 mg Oxycontin two times a day with 5 mg oxycodone for breakthrough pain. As needed. I have bedn diagnosed with MS. I AM 73 and 158 lbs. i want to go off slowly as I am not sure if the drugs can cause leg pain. Dr. does not know as all MS is different. Today woke up with severe leg pain and took two 5 mg. I normally start with a 30 plus plus two 5 mg. Finally at -9:30 I began to think I perhaps HAD taken a 30 in the early morning as usual. Since I thought I had not taken a 30 I went ahead and took a 30 at 9:30 am. So that comes to two 30s’s and a two in under 4 hrs. Is this a lethal dosage. I have taken up to 90 for the past two yrs. Is this totally confdental ? I am not having any peticular sign of distress.

  14. I take 10mg oxycontin every 12 hours for arthritis. I don’t know if I accidently took 2 tonight or there was a miscount in my pill container. What should I watch for?

  15. I and 67, 150 lbs and 5 ft. I take 30mg oxycoytin , tid and percoset bid. I am having problems with shortness of breath and sometimes some pain in my chest it goes away after just a few minutes. is this related to taking the pain meds?

  16. Hi it took me 3 years fighting in UK to be prescribed Oxy Codone im on 60 mg a day 2 30mg tablets with subutex in morning for pain them later in day. Subuterx varied from 6mg to 24 mg i have been on everything in my life i fond oxy does same up hooter whetehr its a 30 or a 60 dose. I have taken in one day 200mg with no daily tolerance to it and find its bar the sleep same buzz the tolerance isnt worth abusing it. Getting it prescribed was biggest hassle being seen as pain patient not junkie.

  17. I’ve been on 400mg 2x80mg twice daily and 2x40mg twice daily but because of overuse ( sometimes up to 1000mg a day including oxy norm which the Dr became aware of after many months of the surgery overprescribing) I am now on 400mg daily for chronic health back problems and failed spinal surgery. I work in construction and without my medication I would not be in employment. Try and stick to the recommended dose as things can quickly spiral out of control with devastating consequences. Thankfully I’m here to tell my story.

  18. Hi, I am prescribed 80 mg 3x daily of Oxycontin and 15 mg 2x daily Oxycodone and have taken the same mg for the past two (2) years. Recently, I began noticing a significant change in pain tolerance, either from an increased pain level or decreased relief from the pain medication I am prescribed to take on a daily basis. Is there any way to determine if my body has become immune to pain meds or if my pain level has actually signifacantly increased? Also, on average, what is the highest allowable daily dosage of Oxycontin for a caucasian female, 5’8″ with medium build? Thank you for your help in advance.

  19. I have been going through a deep depression, and I am on anti depressant currently. I have been contemplating to take my life by means of taking more oxys than I take currently for pain. I take 2-3 OP80’s for my pain management for over 2 years, but I was wondering if taking 5 or 10 at one time would put me to sleep and slow my breathing and heart rate down until it eventually stops. Do you think that would work or should I increase the amount

  20. Michael, I can’t answer your question as I am not in that business. But to get an answer you need to specify what strength and how often. Like for example, I am on 30 Mg 3 times per day (90 Mg total), all during my awake hours. People quoting their total daily consumption cause a vaccum.

  21. Hi Karla. OxyContin, like other opioids (narcotics) can decrease the sex drive, but usually the most significant effect is that it makes ejaculation more difficult for men. If he is taking large doses, it can affect his interest in sex, but usually he should be able to perform.

  22. Hello Flavio. You can try calling the Poison Controll Center on 1-800-222-1222, or you can ask your pharmacist for advise.

  23. Since one year ago I have a diagnosis for a prostate cancer followed by bone metastasis. I have been regularly taking OxyContin LP and progressively, since three months ago I have reached the level of 220 mg a day (100 + 120 mg) and 30 OxyNorm every two hours if needed.
    I am going through a very hard period and sometimes I am tempted to auto increase the dosage of OxyContin LP and/or OxyNorm but I am very worried to overdose. How much more, in excess of 220 mg of OxyCintin would generate an overdose effect ?

  24. Sherri, tell your friend to Call the Poison Controll Center on 1-800-222-1222 to talk to a poison expert. They can make a free-over-the-phone assessment of overdose risk and give her instructions on what to do next.

  25. I have a friend on the phone telling me that her granddaughter took 18 oxycontin at 15 mg… she is 16 yrs old & the sunshine hospital sent her home. I think she is in danger, Is she ? Please help

  26. Hello Melissa. Call 1-800-222-1222 to be in touch with the National Poison Control network. They can assess her risk of overdose on the phone.

  27. I am very concerned about my mom. she recently had a total knee replacement& was discharged from the hospital today. When she got home she took OxyContin at 5:30 pm & again at 6:00pm because she said it was not working fast enough. I am concerned about overdose. she is supposed to take it every 6 hours but wants to take it every 4hours instead. She took another dose at 10:00pm. The visiting nurse is coming tomorrow but should she get her stomache pumped from potential overdose?

  28. Hello Alex. Thanks for your question. This can be best answered by a pharmacist or Medical Review Officer who works in a diagnostic or toxicology laboratory. There are other factors such as as weight, height, etc. that can influence expected levels of oxycodone metabolites in a drug test and you’ll need an expert opinion on this.

  29. I have been taking oxycontin 60mg 2 xs daily plus 15mg oxycodone 4 times daily what would be my blood level concentration in my system if tested??

  30. I work in the recovery field in the Los Angeles Area, a lot of the clients we work with are now heroine addicts. Primarily, most of the heroine addicts started using prescription drugs such as oxycontin and xanax. Its a very disturbing trend that is big in the Southern California area. Thank you for sharing this information, hopefully it will continue to bring awareness to the prescription drug problem.

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