Side Effects of Oxycodone that need emergency medical help

If you are using Oxycodone and do not know about its side effects, then this article can help you know the side effects of Oxycodone that need emergency medical help. If you have started taking Oxycodone, you may experience some side effects that can range from mild to severe. Do not ignore any side effects that last for long or become troublesome.

Major side effects that need immediate medical attention

Less Common

  • confusion
  • chills
  • fever
  • twitching
  • chest tightness
  • cold sweats
  • faintness, light-headedness or dizziness when rising from a lying/sitting position
  • breathing problems


  • chest pain
  • convulsions
  • swelling or bloating of feet, hands, arms and lower legs
  • cough
  • blood in urine
  • decreased
  • rapid breathing
  • fainting
  • feeling of heat or warmth
  • irregular, racing or fast pulse or heartbeat
  • headache
  • skin rash, itching, hives
  • dry mouth
  • vomiting and nausea
  • unexpected weight gain
  • muscle cramps or pain
  • puffiness/swelling around eyes, tongue, lips and face
  • increased thirst
  • severe vomiting
  • severe constipation
  • sunken eyes
  • thirst
  • sweating
  • tingling of feet or hands
  • wrinkled skin
  • unusual weakness or tiredness
  • shaking or trembling feet or hands
  • unusual weigh loss or gain
  • light-headedness
  • swollen, tender or painful neck, groin or armpit

Occurrence not known

  • choking
  • blurred vision
  • diarrhoea
  • weak or fast pulse
  • clammy or cold skin
  • gagging
  • unconsciousness
  • blue or pale fingernails, skin or lips
  • appetite loss
  • slow heartbeat
  • yellow skin or eyes
  • shallow, irregular, fast or slow breathing

Symptoms of Oxycodone overdose

  • severe sleepiness
  • extreme drowsiness
  • constricted, small or pinpoint pupils
  • chest discomfort or chest pain
  • mo muscle movement or muscle tone
  • decreased responsiveness or awareness
  • irregular or slow heartbeat

Minor side effects

Some side effects of Oxycodone do not need medical attention. As the body gets used to Oxycodone the side effects go away. Your physician can help you reduce or prevent these side effects. If any of these side effects exist for a long time, consult your physician immediately.

More Common

  • drowsiness
  • calm and relaxed feeling
  • unusual drowsiness or sleepiness
  • loss or lack of stamina
  • problems with bowel movement

Less Common

  • anxiety
  • belching
  • sour or acid stomach
  • hiccups
  • heartburn
  • burning feeling in stomach or chest
  • stomach pain, upset or discomfort
  • tenderness in stomach area
  • weight loss
  • abnormal dreams
  • unusual or false feeling or well being
  • indigestion
  • sleeping problems


  • dry skin
  • dysphasia
  • depression
  • crying
  • cracks in the skin
  • congestion
  • change in balance or walking
  • full or bloating feeling

In case any of the above symptoms persist, Call your health care provider immediately as even mild side effects if left untreated can lead to health problems.

Right Dosage can help use Oxycodone safely

Oxycodone hydrochloride tablets are used to manage mild to severe pain in patients who need oral opioid analgesic treatment. The dose needs to be individually adjusted depending upon the patient’s response, severity of pain and patient size. If the severity of pain increases, if analgesia is not sufficient, if the patient is getting tolerant to medicine, a gradual increase in oxycodone dosage may be needed.

Patients who have not been prescribed opioid analgesics should begin with initial dose of Oxycodone hydrochloride tablets in range of 5-15 mg after every 4-6 hours as required for pain. The dose needs to be adjusted based on individual response of a patient to the starting dose of Oxycodone hydrochloride tablets. Patients suffering from chronic pain should be given around the clock dosage so that pain doesn’t occur again than managing pain after it occurs. This dose can be adjusted later to a tolerable analgesic level considering the side effects observed in patients.

To control chronic pain, which is severe in nature, Oxycodone hydrochloride tablets should be given on a regular and scheduled basis after every 4 to6 hours at very low doses that meets the sufficient analgesic requirement.

Like with any other powerful opioid, it is important to adjust the dosing schedule for every patient individually considering patient’s previous experience with analgesic treatment. Although it is not easy to list every possible condition that is crucial in selecting the initial dose of Oxycodone hydrochloride tablets, there are some points that can be considered to decide the initial dose and they are

  1. The daily dose, strength and features of a mixed antagonist/agonist or pure agonist the patient has been using previously.
  2. The reliability of respective strength estimate to calculate the required dose of Oxycodone.
  3. The level of opioid tolerance
  4. The medical status and general condition of the patient
  5. The stability between the adverse experiences and pain control

Over dosage of Oxycodone and its treatment

Symptoms and Signs

Acute overdose can be reflected by somnolence progressing to coma or stupor, respiratory depression, clammy or cold skin, skeletal muscle stiffness, constricted pupils, hypotension, bradycardia and even death.


To treat the overdose of Oxycodone hydrochloride tablets, main attention should be given to re-building of patient’s airway, establish and facilitate controlled ventilation. Supportive measures like vasopressors and oxygen should be used to deal with pulmonary edema or circulatory shock along with overdose as stated. Arrhythmias or cardiac arrest may also require defibrillation or cardiac massage.

The specific antidotes available for overdose are nalmefene, naloxone, narcotic antagonists etc., The action of Oxycodone is quite fast and in case of overdose, the patient should be kept under observation to track the symptoms of overdose and provide required treatment.

Gastric emptying is quite useful in flushing out the unabsorbed drug. In case you notice symptoms of overdose, call medical help immediately as if it is not treated in time can lead to life threatening complications. You should not ignore overdose symptoms as it needs immediate treatment.

Possible Oxycodone drug interactions elaborated

There are many drugs that can interact with Oxycodone. In order to use the Oxycodone drug, tell your doctor if you are using any other prescription, non prescription, nutritional, recreational, herbal dietary drugs you are using. The following drugs are some out of a plenty of other drugs that can interact with Oxycodone.

  • Antibiotics like erythromycin and clarithromycin
  • Antidepressants
  • Drugs for nausea, mental illness and anxiety
  • narcotic drugs
  • sleeping drugs
  • diuretics
  • tranquilizers
  • sedatives
  • MAOIs like selegine, phenelzine etc.,
  • muscle relaxants
  • Rifampin
  • Rifabutin
  • Phenytoin
  • Antihistamines
  • some HIV medicines like ritonavir, indinavir

Neuromuscular Blocking- Agents

Oxycodone increases the neuromuscular blocking activity of skeletal muscle relaxant and generates a high level of respiratory depression.

Mixed Antagonist/Agonist Opioid Analgesics

Antagonists/Agonist analgesics like butorphanol, nalburphine, pentazocine etc., should be given with caution to patients receiving or received a series of therapy with a natural opioid agonist analgesic like Oxycodone hydrochloride tablets. In such circumstances, mixed antagonist/agonist analgesics can decrease the analgesic effect of Oxycodone hydrochloride tablets or may trigger withdrawal symptoms in such patients.

CNS depressants

Patients who are given general anaesthetics, narcotic analgesics, tranquilizers, phenothiazines, sedative hypnotics or CNS depressants taking Oxycodone hydrochloride tablets simultaneously can experience additional CNS depression. Influential effects result in hypotension, respiratory depression, coma or profound sedation, if you take these drugs with Oxycodone hydrochloride tablets. In case a therapy including the combination of both is given, the dose of either of the agents needs to be reduced.


MAOIs escalate the effect of minimum one opioid drug that causes confusion, anxiety, coma or respiratory depression. Oxycodone hydrochloride tablets are not advised in case the patient has been taking MAOIs in past 14 days of treatment or after stopping the treatment.

Interaction between Oxycodone and Furosemide

Oxycodone and Furosemide can have additional effects in decreasing your blood pressure. You may notice dizziness, headache, and change in heart rate or pulse rate, fainting, light-headedness. These effects are noticed in initial stages of treatment, following an increase in dose or when the treatment is started again after a gap. Tell your doctor if these symptoms do not disappear after a couple of days or become bothersome. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery till the time you know how the medication works for you. Be careful when rising from a lying or sitting position. Let your doctor know about any other medications that you are using like vitamins, minerals or herbs. Do not stop using the medications suddenly without speaking to your doctor.

Before you make any changes to the dose or Oxycodone, speak to your doctor. Drug interactions can affect how Oxycodone works for you; therefore it is necessary to let your doctor know about other drugs you are using. Your doctor can help you know which medications interact with Oxycodone so that you can get maximum benefit from Oxycodone and use drug with care. Do not take any decision regarding the dosage of any drug without discussing with your doctor.

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