What is oxycodone?
Oxycodone hydrochloride belongs to a group of medicines called opioid analgesics. It is a depressant drug which means it slows down the messages travelling between the brain and the body. Depressant drugs do not necessarily make a person feel depressed. Other depressants include alcohol, cannabis and heroin. Oxycodone is most commonly prescribed by doctors to relieve moderate to severe pain. However, there is increasing concern among medical professionals about the risks of using these drugs, particularly when they are used for a long time. Some people misuse oxycodone to become intoxicated, which can result in serious side effects.
Types of oxycodone
Oxycodone comes in a number of forms including capsules, tablets, liquid and suppositories. It also comes in a variety of strengths.
Common oxycodone brand names
Oxynorm®, OxyContin®, Endone®, Proladone®, Targin®. Slang names Hillbilly heroin, oxy, OC and O.
How are they used?
Oxycodone is usually swallowed but is sometimes injected or used as a suppository. To prevent OxyContin® tablets being injected by people who misuse them, they were reformulated in 2014. The tablets are now resistant to crushing and become a thick gel when added to water. They also have controlled release properties, even as a gel. Effects of oxycodone Use of any drug always carries risk Oxycodone affects everyone differently, but the effects may include:
• Pain relief
• Dizziness or faintness
• Confusion and difficulty concentrating
• Euphoria or negative mood
• Blurred vision
• Stiff muscles
• Dry mouth
• Stomach ache and nausea
• Difficulty urinating
• Slow pulse
• Excess sweating, flushing and itching
• Mild allergic rash or hives (see your doctor promptly) Injecting oxycodone when misusing the drug may also cause:
• Vein damage and scarring
• Infection including tetanus, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS
• Deep vein thrombosis and clots causing loss of limbs, damage to organs, stroke and possibly death
Injecting drugs repeatedly and sharing injecting equipment with other people increases the risk of experiencing these effects.
If you take a large amount of oxycodone, you could overdose. If you have any of the symptoms below, call an ambulance straight away by dialling 999
• Chest pain or discomfort
• Small pupils
• Decreased awareness or responsiveness
• Extreme drowsiness and loss of consciousness
• No muscle tone or movement
• Slow or irregular heartbeat
Regular use of oxycodone may cause:
• Dental problems
• Swelling in the arms and legs
• Mood swings
• Reduced sex drive and decreased level of testosterone (males) and menstrual problems (females)
• Needing to use more to get the same effect
• Financial, work or social problems
Using oxycodone with other drugs
The effects of taking oxycodone with other drugs can be unpredictable and dangerous, and could cause:
• Oxycodone + alcohol: increased confusion and clumsiness and breathing difficulties.
• Oxycodone + some antidepressants: delirium, convulsions, respiratory failure, coma and death.