If you have been prescribed an opioid like Roxicet, you may have questions about the drug’s addictive potential. Although they can be helpful for pain, opioids like Roxicet are well-known for being addictive controlled substances. A Roxicet addiction can happen to anyone, leading to complications like withdrawal and overdose. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of a Roxicet addiction before they emerge.

What Is Roxicet?

Roxicet was a brand-name opioid that contained oxycodone and acetaminophen, which is a pain reliever available over the counter. Although the brand name version of the drug has been discontinued, generic forms of oxycodone/acetaminophen exist in Roxicet’s place. As an oxycodone-containing drug, Roxicet was a Schedule II controlled substance.

Roxicet was used to treat moderate to severe pain and was taken up to four times daily. Like other opioids, oxycodone binds to opioid receptors throughout the brain and body to deliver powerful pain relief. At the same time, it can cause a flood of dopamine to be released, leading to a euphoric high. This can cause a reward and reinforcement response in the brain, paving the way to a Roxicet addiction.

What Does Roxicet Look Like?

Roxicet dosages were based on the amount of oxycodone and acetaminophen. A Roxicet 5 mg/325 tablet was round and white and printed with 54 543. The first number represented the amount of oxycodone, and the second was the amount of acetaminophen. These tablets were scored but may have been printed with different numbers and letters, depending on whether they were a brand-name drug or the generic version of Roxicet.

Is Roxicet Addictive?

Because its opioid component oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance, Roxicet was very addictive. A boxed warning is issued with Roxicet regarding this potential for addiction, which is the compulsive use of a substance outside of medical need. 

Unfortunately, despite their medical uses, prescription opioid drugs have high addiction rates, contributing to the opioid epidemic in the U.S. Following dosage and prescribing guidelines can reduce the risk of Roxicet addiction but not altogether eliminate it.

How Roxicet Addiction Develops

A Roxicet addiction can develop slowly. Often, people started taking Roxicet to solve a legitimate medical problem like pain. However, over time, people relied on Roxicet for non-medical reasons and began to use the drug compulsively. This is how a Roxicet addiction can start.

Early Stages of Roxicet Usage

Nobody starts Roxicet or other opioids by planning to develop an addiction. Many people start taking Roxicet with good intentions: to treat their pain and feel better. Your doctor may prescribe Roxicet or its generic equivalent, which should only be taken as prescribed.

Progression From Use to Abuse

The progression from use to abuse occurs when people take their medication other than how it was written. This includes:

  • Taking Roxicet that was not prescribed for you, like borrowing a friend’s Roxicet
  • Taking Roxicet more often than it was prescribed
  • Taking more Roxicet pills at a time than prescribed
  • Mixing Roxicet with other medications to enhance its effects

When you take Roxicet other than how it was prescribed, this is called misuse. Over time, this can evolve into Roxicet abuse, in which you are taking Roxicet for strictly non-medical reasons. These can include getting high and preventing withdrawal symptoms from stopping the drug.

Full-Blown Roxicet Addiction

Someone with a full-blown Roxicet addiction has progressed past misuse and abuse. Once an addiction has developed, the person is compulsively taking Roxicet despite being aware of the drug having negative consequences on their life. These consequences can vary and involve interpersonal problems, legal issues and problems at school, work or home. Once an addiction has developed, seeking help as soon as possible is important.

Effects of Roxicet Addiction

Side effects of Roxicet misuse can include:

  • Drowsiness or sedation
  • Euphoria
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pains
  • Flushing of the face
  • Dry mouth
  • Slower breathing
  • Changes in mood or rapid mood swings
  • Changes in heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Problems swallowing
  • Itchiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hallucinations

Mixing Roxicet and Alcohol

Mixing Roxicet, which contains oxycodone and acetaminophen, with alcohol can have severe consequences. Both oxycodone and alcohol are central nervous system depressants, and their combination can lead to dangerous side effects ranging from drowsiness and impaired judgment to respiratory distress and even death. The risk is particularly high due to the potential for severe respiratory depression, coma, brain damage or fatality. Additionally, acetaminophen can cause liver damage when taken in large doses. When combined with alcohol, the chances of liver damage or failure increase even more, making Roxicet and alcohol dangerous for your liver function.

Roxicet Overdose

Roxicet contains oxycodone and acetaminophen, which can lead to an overdose. Oxycodone slows down the central nervous system, slowing breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. If someone takes too much oxycodone, their breathing may slow to a dangerous level, which can be fatal. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever that is safe at normal, recommended doses. However, too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage, liver failure or death.

The risk of overdosing on Roxicet increases if someone uses it along with other opioids or central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines or prescription sleep medications. Other risk factors for overdosing on Roxicet include crushing or breaking the tablets to snort or inject the drug or using it outside of prescribing instructions.

If you suspect someone has overdosed on Roxicet, call 911 and give naloxone (Narcan) if available.

Roxicet Withdrawal

When a person is addicted to Roxicet, they may experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using it or reduce their dose. Common Roxicet withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Symptoms similar to the flu
  • Insomnia 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Runny nose
  • Tearing of the eyes
  • Yawning
  • Agitation
  • Changes in mood
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability

Withdrawal symptoms will start anywhere up to 12 hours after stopping Roxicet. Peak symptoms of Roxicet withdrawal will usually begin 24–48 hours after the last dose.

The early-stage Roxicet withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

Later, a person may start to experience other Roxicet withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

After about five days, most people will see withdrawal symptoms subside to more tolerable levels, although lingering anxiety, depression and insomnia may last for weeks or months. 

Treatment for Roxicet Addiction

Treatment for Roxicet addiction typically begins with detoxification and progresses to inpatient or outpatient rehab programs. Detox is crucial as it helps individuals overcome their physical dependence on Roxicet and manage withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox programs are often recommended to ensure the safe and supervised withdrawal from opioids like Roxicet. It is essential to understand that detox is only the initial phase of treatment and not a complete solution for addiction. It sets the foundation for further addiction treatment, which may involve inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs to address the underlying causes and provide comprehensive recovery support.

The Recovery Village believes that recovery is possible for everyone with the right treatment. Talk to us to learn more about our programs and evidence-based, individualized addiction treatment plans.

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Editor – Theresa Valenzky
Theresa Valenzky graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts in News/Mass Media Communication and a certificate in psychology. She is passionate about providing genuine information to encourage and guide healing in all aspects of life. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more

Drugs.com. “Roxicet: Package Insert“>Roxicet:[…]ackage Insert.” July 24, 2023. Accessed August 21, 2023.

American Society of Addiction Medicine. “National Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder“>National[…] Use Disorder.” December 18, 2019. Accessed August 21, 2023.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Protracted Withdrawal“>Protracted Withdrawal.” July 2010. Accessed August 21, 2023.

National Library of Medicine. “Opiate and opioid withdrawal“>Opiate a[…]id withdrawal.” April 30, 2022. Accessed August 21, 2023.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.