Oxycodone is an active ingredient in the group of opioids, which includes, for example, fentanyl, methadone, morphine, tilidine or tramadol. Like many other opioids, oxycodone is used to treat severe and very severe pain. So far, the active ingredient in Germany is little known. However, since he allegedly has fewer side effects than other opioids, he is now used more and more often. Learn more about the effects and side effects of oxycodone.
Effect of oxycodone
Oxycodone exerts its effect on various opioid receptors in the brain and can effectively relieve severe to very severe pain. Its analgesic effect is about twice as strong as that of morphine. In addition, the opioid has a calming and sleep-inducing effect - although its effect is less pronounced here than that of morphine.
Oxycodone also has a depressant effect on the cough center and is similar in this respect to the active ingredient codeine. Today, however, rather than oxycodone, it is more likely to resort to dihydrocodeine.
Side effects of oxycodone
In comparison to other opioids, oxycodone has been used relatively little in Germany for a long time. For some years, however, more and more pain patients are prescribed the drug because it is supposed to have fewer side effects than other opioids. However, scientific studies confirming this are still pending. However, as with other opioids, the intake of oxycodone is associated with a high risk of addiction.
Common side effects of the drug include fatigue, dizziness, headache, nausea and constipation. Mood changes (anxiety, euphoria, depression), sleep disorders, drowsiness and confusion often occur as well. In addition, oxycodone may have a number of other side effects - a full list is included with the package leaflet of your medication.
Overdose of oxycodone
Oxycodone overdose may result in decreased respiratory center function, a drop in blood pressure, and decreased skeletal muscle tension. In addition, circulatory failure, unconsciousness and the occurrence of respiratory paralysis are possible. If you have taken too high a dose of the active ingredient, you should always contact a doctor immediately.
Oxycodone and naloxone
Oxycodone is available in a variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, prolonged-release tablets, suppositories and solution for injection. In addition, there is a combination preparation in which additionally the opioid antagonist naloxone is included.
The combination of the two active ingredients should reduce certain side effects such as constipation. When taken orally, naloxone exerts its effect only in the intestine and not in the central nervous system. As a result, oxycodone can be undisturbed in the brain, while its effect in the gut is weakened.
Avoid withdrawal symptoms
If oxycodone is taken over an extended period of time, withdrawal symptoms may occur after stopping the medication. To minimize this side effect, reduce the dose gradually.
In order not to endanger the success of the treatment, you should stop the opioid but only after consultation with your doctor. Do not stop the therapy on your own.
Contraindications of oxycodone
Oxycodone should not be taken if hypersensitivity to the active substance is present. In addition, the opioid may also not be used if
- there is severe respiratory depression.
- You suffer from a intestinal paralysis.
- severe COPD or bronchial asthma is present.
- You are pregnant or nursing your child.
- You are suffering from acute, severe abdominal pain (acute abdomen) or delayed gastric emptying.
If any of the following conditions occur, you should take oxycodone only after careful consideration by your doctor:
- Functional limitations or diseases of liver, kidney, pancreas, bile, lung, adrenal cortex, thyroid or prostate
- Obstructive inflammatory bowel disease
- Cycle dysregulation
- Alcohol or opioid addiction
Even older or weakened patients should seek advice from their doctor before taking the drug.
Interactions with other drugs
Taking certain medicines may increase the side effects of oxycodone. These include, but are not limited to sleep aids, tranquilizers, anti-allergic and vomiting medications, Parkinson's drugs, other opioids, alcohol, and central nervous system (CNS) drugs.
In addition, the following medicines and active substances should not be taken at the same time as oxycodone, after consultation with a doctor: MAO inhibitors, cimetidine or anticoagulants of the coumarin type.