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What is oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid, a white, odorless crystalline powder. It’s synthesized from the opiate alkaloid thebaine, which is derived from the poppy plant. It is available as a medication in immediate release and controlled release pills of 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, and 80 mg. Oxycodone can be found under the trade names Roxicodone, OxyContin, Oxecta, OxyIR, and Endone.

Why do people use oxycodone?

As a narcotic analgesic, this medication usually prescribed for moderate to severe pain relief. In fact, managing moderate to moderately severe acute or chronic pain is the main medical purpose for using oxycodone. If taken as prescribed by doctors, oxycodone can significantly improve the quality of life for patients suffering a range of types of pain.

However, some individuals abuse oxycodone recreationally because it triggers a “high”, or euphoric effect, triggered by psychoactive effects in the central nervous system. Depressed people and patients who suffer from anxiety find it very appealing since it lifts up mood, has a slight euphoric effect and lessens anxiety. People suffering from insomnia abuse this medication in order to produce drowsiness and fall asleep easily. Regardless, recreational use of this drug is hazardous and harmful.

Individuals who use or abuse oxycodone can administer it in the following ways:

  • Orally
  • Rectally
  • Crushing and snorting
  • Epidural injection
  • Intramuscular injection
  • Intravenously
  • Subcutaneous injection
  • Transdermally (delivered across the skin)

Oxycodone effects

If used for a short period in time, the effects of oxycodone are generally positive. The users prescribed with oxycodone feel relaxed and relieved of pain. However, those feelings are also the main reason why some people get “hooked” on oxycodone.

Oxycodone can produce side effects that counterbalance its positive properties. Negative effects range from nausea and constipation, to respiratory difficulties and in some cases severe rashes, allergic reactions, swelling of tongue and throat have been noted. Additionally, long term oxycodone users can face health problems such as:

  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Loss of appetite
  • Physical dependence
  • Respiratory distress
  • Seizures (convulsions)
  • Severe headaches
  • Tolerance to the drug

Is oxycodone addictive?

Oxycodone has a moderate to high dependence liability. Just like other opioids and opiates, the continuous use of oxycodone can result increased tolerance to its effects. When tolerant, you have to keep increasing dosage amounts or frequency of use in order to achieve the same initial therapeutic effects as first use. Still, dependence to oxycodone can be both physical and psychological. Users can become addicted to oxycodone, when obtaining and using the drug becomes the most important thing in their live. Caught in a cycle of physical need and craving, addicts will use all means possible to keep themselves supplied with oxycodone and to prevent withdrawal. But help is available through structured oxycodone addiction treatment and dedication to recovery.

Learn more about oxycodone, here:


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Oxycodone is an extremely habit forming painkiller. Learn how you can recognize oxycodone addiction and what you can do to avoid it, here.

6 Negative consequences of oxycodone (INFOGRAPHIC)

Negative consequences of oxycodone (INFOGRAPHIC)

October 28th, 2016

Long-term use or illicit abuse of oxycodone can impact your psychological and physiological well-being. Some negative effects include dependency, feeling high, occurrence or worsening of anxiety and/or depression. Learn about the unwanted consequences of Oxy in our detailed infographic, here.

5 Oxycodone addiction and side effects (INFOGRAPHIC)

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Using too much oxycodone, taking it too frequently or for a longer period of time than prescribed leads to addiction. What are the adverse effects that follow oxycodone addiction and dependence? Learn, here.

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Oxycodone vs. Buprenorphine: The addiction paradox

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How can opioid or opiate dependence be treated with a prescription for another opioid? More here.

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July 13th, 2016

Oxycodone can be addictive! In this article we summarize the duration of oxycodone rehabilitation treatment and what oxycodone rehab looks like. Questions welcomed at the end!

Oxycodone use disorder: Am I addicted to Oxy?

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July 6th, 2016

Addiction can be identified via three (3) main characteristics of use: cravings, loss of control, and continued use despite negative consequences to your life. More on other telltale signs and behaviors related to oxycodone here.

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May 8th, 2016

Long-term effects of oxycodone may cause damage to the brain. More on the science, research, and effects of oxycodone here.

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April 10th, 2016

Long term oxycodone can lead to loss of sexual desire and ability and even fertility implications in men and women. In this infographic you can learn more about the pregnancy and fetal health implications of oxycodone.

4 Effects of oxycodone on the brain  (INFOGRAPHIC)

Effects of oxycodone on the brain (INFOGRAPHIC)

March 8th, 2016

Oxycodone and the brain Oxycodone, also called “Hillbilly Heroin” on the streets, has a strong abuse and addiction potential, but how are the functional and structural changes in the brain reflected in a person’s behavior, mood, psychological health, or emotional state?  We cover oxycodone side effects on the brain in the infographic above. More here, […]

16 Oxycodone Effects on the Body after Long Term Use (INFOGRAPHIC)

Oxycodone Effects on the Body after Long Term Use (INFOGRAPHIC)

February 16th, 2016

Long term effects of oxycodone include damage to every organ of the body. Learn how it affects the body and the brain here.

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Leave a Reply

7 Responses to “Oxycodone
11:19 pm May 11th, 2017

I take 10/325 oxicodone 5 times aday and antriptyline 25mgs aday iam waking up hearing one certain voice and during the day I hear someone saying f… You all day it’s scaring me bad

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:31 pm May 22nd, 2017

Hi Cheryl. I suggest that you consult with your doctor about your issue.

10:33 pm May 13th, 2017

I have been on oxycodone 30mg every 4 hours for many years. I went to a North Carolina clinic to help me get off. Long story short, they cold turkied me. Never been that ill in my life!!! No help what so ever,even though I continued to call. I went back on it…I could not go cold turkey. I am on 30mg every 6 hours. I need help and would love a medically supervised or retreat to go to. I have Medicare and United health care. Do you have suggestions for me before I go online to get some?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
2:56 pm May 15th, 2017

Hi Linda. Call the number you see on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find the best treatment for you. The helpline is free, confidential, and available 24/7. Also, download our free e-book ‘How To Quit Opioid Painkillers’ to learn more about the process of quitting, here:

7:01 am January 22nd, 2018

My husband is on Oxycodone-Acetaminophen 5-325MG. He only takes them for pain. sometimes it’s 10 or 12 hours apart but sometimes his pain is so severe he wants to take one only 1 or 2 hrs. apart. especially when the weather changes. What is too much? Can he take another pill in an hour if the pain is severe?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
2:07 pm January 31st, 2018

Hi Bernice. I suggest that your husband consults with his doctor to help him adjust his dosage.

1:30 am March 3rd, 2018

I know someone who snorts the pure oxys but what happens when you snort the 1010mg ones with tylenol? Headaches? Nose bleeds ETC?

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