This medication is used to help relieve severe ongoing pain (such as due to cancer). Oxycodone belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid (narcotic) analgesics. It works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain.
The higher strengths of this drug (more than 40 milligrams per tablet) should be used only if you have been regularly taking moderate to large amounts of opioid pain medication. These strengths may cause overdose (even death) if taken by a person who has not been regularly taking opioids.
Do not use the extended-release form of oxycodone to relieve pain that is mild or that will go away in a few days. This medication is not for occasional (“as needed”) use.
Nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, weakness, sweating, lightheadedness, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur. Some of these side effects may decrease after you have been using this medication for a while. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To prevent constipation, eat dietary fiber, drink enough water, and exercise. You may also need to take a laxative. Ask your pharmacist which type of laxative is right for you.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
You may notice an empty tablet shell in your stool. This is harmless because your body has already absorbed the medicine.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including mental/mood changes (such as agitation, confusion, hallucinations), severe stomach/abdominal pain, difficulty urinating, signs of your adrenal glands not working well (such as loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, weight loss).
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including fainting, seizure, slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/difficulty waking up.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.