OxyContin Dosage Guide
OxyContin is the brand name of the opioid oxycodone. OxyContin more specifically is a controlled-release version of oxycodone. What this means is that it’s intended for around-the-clock pain treatment, particularly for people with severe, chronic pain. Rather than the effects being entirely felt shortly after taking it, with OxyContin the effects gradually occur over around a 12-hour period.
This offers an alternative to other similar opioid pain medicines, which require the person take them every four to six hours as needed.
Unfortunately, while the controlled-release element of OxyContin should make this drug one that’s harder to abuse, many people crush it up and snort it or inject it. This gives them more rapid and much more powerful effects than if they just took it as a standard oral pill. The result is often a euphoric high and intense relaxation, but these ways of taking OxyContin can also increase the risk of serious side effects like addiction and overdose.
The medication guide for OxyContin highlights the fact that this drug should only be used when other non-opioid pain medicines aren’t effective, nor are immediate release opioids. OxyContin should not be used to treat pain that isn’t constant.
As with other opioids, OxyContin should be taken exactly as directed, and never without a prescription.
Due to the fact that OxyContin is a Schedule II controlled substance (meaning there is a high risk of abuse and addiction), the user should never take more of the medicine than they’re prescribed, take it more often than they’re directed, or take it any other way than orally.
When you speak to your doctor about OxyContin, you should let them know if you personally have a history of substance abuse or if it runs in your family.
The side effects of OxyContin can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Changes in mood
The above are some of the common side effects, and there are more severe OxyContin side effects that are possible as well. These can include:
- Chest pain
- Slow or irregular heartbeat
- Problems breathing
- Very extreme drowsiness
Many drugs have interactions with other substances, and this can be particularly true with opioids. Opioids can be dangerous or fatal when combined with certain substances. Some of the medications that can interact negatively with OxyContin include:
- Other narcotics
- Anxiety drugs
- Muscle relaxants
Alcohol can also have dangerous interactions with OxyContin. It’s important for people to be aware of these interactions, particularly when it comes to combining OxyContin with other central nervous depressants. This can slow down respiration to the point that a person slips into a coma or dies.
OxyContin should only be prescribed by a healthcare professional who understands the potency and risk of opioids. In the beginning, a doctor will usually prescribe the lowest possible OxyContin dosage, depending on the individual patient and their level of pain. Also taken into consideration when determining an OxyContin dosage includes previous experience with analgesic treatments, and abuse and addiction risk factors that may be present.
The use of a higher OxyContin dosage such as a single dosage of more than 40 mg or a daily total of more than 80 mg is only intended for patients who already have a tolerance to opioids. For patients who aren’t opioid-tolerant, the recommended introductory OxyContin dosage is 10 mg to be taken every 12 hours. If a non-opioid tolerant patient were to start out with a dose higher than that it could lead to respiratory depression.
Of course, every person and scenario are unique and you should never take OxyContin without a prescription, or attempt to deviate from the instructions of your physician when taking it.
Have more questions about OxyContin abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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