What is Oxycontin (Oxycodone Hydrochloride) and what is it used for?
Oxycontin (Oxycodone Hydrochloride) tablets contain oxycodone hydrochloride. Oxycodone belongs to a group of medicines called opioid analgesics.
OxyContin tablets are used to relieve moderate to severe chronic pain when other forms of treatment have not been effective.
As with all strong painkillers, your body may become used to you taking OxyContin tablets. Taking it may result in physical dependence. Physical dependence means that you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking OxyContin tablets suddenly, so it is important to take it exactly as directed by your doctor.
This medicine is only available with a doctor’s prescription.
How is Oxycontin supplied
Oxycodone/Oxycodone Hydrochloride ER is available as follow: 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, 30mg, 40mg, 60mg, 80mg
Before you take it
Long-term use of OxyContin tablets may result in a decrease in sex hormone levels which may affect sperm production in men and the menstrual cycles in females. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
When you must not take it
Do not take OxyContin tablets if you:
have any breathing problems such as acute asthma, respiratory depression (breathing slows or weakens) or other obstructive airways disease
are severely drowsy or have a reduced level of consciousness
suffer from irregular heartbeats or changes in the way the heart beats
have heart disease due to long term lung disease
have just consumed a large amount of alcohol, regularly consume large amounts of alcohol or have confusion and shaking due to alcohol withdrawal
suffer from convulsions, fits or seizures
have a head injury, a brain tumour or have raised pressure within the head, brain or spinal cord
have sudden, severe abdominal pain
have a condition where your stomach empties more slowly than it should or any condition that obstructs the stomach/bowel or affects bowel transit (movement of food or ingested material along the bowel)
have swallowing difficulties or narrowing of the oesophagus
have severe liver or kidney disease
are about to have an operation (including surgery on your spine for pain relief in the next 24 hours) or have had an operation within the last 24 hours
take a medicine for depression called a ‘monoamine oxidase inhibitor’ or have taken any in the last two weeks.
Do not take OxyContin tablets if you are allergic to oxycodone, opioid painkillers, or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Do not take this medicine after the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack. If you take it after the expiry date has passed, it may not work very well.
Do not take it if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant whilst taking this medicine. Like most medicines of this kind, OxyContin tablets are not recommended to be taken during pregnancy. Your doctor will discuss the risks of taking it if you are pregnant.
Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 12 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in children younger than 12 years of age have not been established.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
low blood pressure
increased prostate size or difficulty passing urine
chronic lung, liver or kidney disease
disease of your gall bladder or bile duct
inflammation of the pancreas
underactive adrenal glands
underactive thyroid gland
inflammatory bowel disease or recent abdominal surgery
diverticulitis (inflammation of bowel wall)
oesophageal, stomach or intestinal disorders (including cancer in these areas) resulting in narrowing of the oesophagus, stomach or intestines
severe mental condition involving losing contact with reality, hearing voices or an inability to think clearly
an addiction or history of abuse of alcohol, opioids or other drugs.
This medicine is not recommended to be taken during labour. Oxycodone given to the mother during labour may cause breathing problems and signs of withdrawal in the newborn.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. Oxycodone can pass into the breast milk and can affect the baby.
How to take OxyContin
Swallow OxyContin tablets whole with a full glass of water or other fluid.
OxyContin tablets should be taken one tablet at a time with enough water to ensure complete swallowing immediately after placing it in the mouth.
Do not pre-soak, lick or wet the tablet before placing in your mouth.
Do not break, cut, chew, crush or dissolve the tablets. OxyContin tablets are only designed to work properly if swallowed whole. The tablets may release all their contents at once if broken, cut, chewed, crushed or dissolved which can be dangerous and cause serious problems, such as an overdose, which may be fatal.
While you are taking it
Things you must do
Take OxyContin tablets exactly as your doctor has prescribed.
Before you start on a new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking OxyContin tablets.
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who treat you that you are taking this medicine.
If you are going to have surgery, tell the surgeon or anaesthetist that you are taking this medicine. It may affect other medicines used during surgery.
If you become pregnant while taking this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.
Keep all of your doctor’s appointments so that your progress can be checked. Tell your doctor if your pain is getting worse. Also tell your doctor if you are having any problems or difficulties while you are being treated with OxyContin tablets.
Tolerance to oxycodone may develop which means that the effect of the medicine may decrease. If this happens, your doctor may review your dose so that you get adequate pain relief.
Keep enough OxyContin tablets with you to last over weekends and holidays.
Things you must not do
Do not drink alcohol while you are taking OxyContin tablets. Drinking alcohol whilst taking OxyContin tablets may make you feel more sleepy and increase the risk of serious side effects, such as shallow breathing with the risk of stopping breathing and loss of consciousness.
Do not take OxyContin tablets to treat any other complaint unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give your medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not stop taking your medicine, exceed the dose recommended or change the dosage without checking with your doctor. Over time your body may become used to oxycodone. If you stop taking it suddenly, your pain may worsen and you may experience unwanted side effects such as withdrawal symptoms. This is called physical dependence.
If you need to stop taking this medicine, your doctor will gradually reduce the amount you take each day, if possible, before stopping the medicine completely.
Things to be careful of
Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how OxyContin tablets affect you. OxyContin tablets may cause drowsiness, dizziness, hallucinations, disorientation, blurred vision or other vision problems or may affect alertness. If you are affected, you should not drive or operate machinery. Discuss these effects with your doctor.
Be careful if you are elderly, unwell or taking other medicines. Some people may experience side effects such as drowsiness, confusion, dizziness and unsteadiness, which may increase the risk of a fall.
If you feel light-headed, dizzy or faint when getting out of bed or standing up, get up slowly. Standing up slowly will help your body get used to the change in position and blood pressure. If this problem continues or gets worse, talk to your doctor.
Tell your doctor if you suffer from nausea or vomiting when taking OxyContin tablets. If you vomit after your dose, your pain may come back, as you may not have absorbed your medicine. If this happens, speak to your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe some medicine to help you stop vomiting.
Tell your doctor if taking OxyContin tablets causes constipation. Your doctor can advise about your diet, the proper use of laxatives or alternative treatments, and suitable exercise you can do to help manage this.
There is potential for abuse of oxycodone and the development of addiction to oxycodone. It is important that you discuss this issue with your doctor.
All medicines may have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious but most of the time they are not. As for other medicines of this type, that is opioid analgesics, many side effects tend to reduce over time, with the exception of constipation. This means that the longer you take this medicine, the less it may cause problems for you. Your doctor has weighed the risks of this medicine against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. Not everybody experiences them.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking OxyContin tablets. This medicine helps most people with moderate to severe pain, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. Other side effects not listed here may also occur in some people.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you
mild abdominal problems such as diarrhoea, feeling sick (nausea), decreased appetite or constipation
dry mouth, hiccups, sore throat, or changes in voice
feeling anxious or nervous, trouble sleeping or abnormal dreams
trouble with your balance
new problems with your eyesight
skin rash, itching, chills or fever
muscle problems such as spasms, twitching