|Type of medicine||Opioid analgesic|
|Used for||Severe pain in adults, particularly cancer pain or after surgery|
Targinact® (contains oxycodone with naloxone)
|Available as||Capsules, modified-release tablets, oral liquid form, concentrated oral liquid, and injection|
Oxycodone is used to relieve severe pain. It works on the nerves and brain to reduce the pain you feel.
Oxycodone is sometimes used in combination with a medicine called naloxone. Naloxone helps to reduce some of the side-effects of oxycodone such as constipation.
Before taking oxycodone
Before taking oxycodone make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have liver, kidney or prostate problems.
- If you have breathing problems, such as asthma.
- If you have low blood pressure.
- If you have thyroid problems.
- If you have a convulsive disorder such as epilepsy.
- If you have a problem in your bile duct.
- If you have been constipated for more than a week, or have an inflammatory bowel problem.
- If you have ever had a problem with drug addiction or toxic psychosis (a mental health problem).
- If you have an adrenal gland problem.
- If you have cor pulmonale (a heart problem after long-term lung disease).
- If you have myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakening disorder).
- If you have porphyria (a rare blood disorder).
- If you have recently suffered a serious head injury.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
- If you are taking any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take oxycodone
- Take oxycodone exactly as you have been directed by your doctor.
- If you are taking the modified-release tablets (OxyContin® or Targinact®), these release oxycodone slowly to give a more even effect. Swallow these tablets whole, do not crush or chew them.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Before taking oxycodone, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- You are advised not to drink alcohol with oxycodone. Taking oxycodone and alcohol will increase the chance you experience the side-effects of dizziness and drowsiness.
- If you are having any treatment like an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking oxycodone.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with oxycodone.
- If you are planning a trip abroad you are advised to carry a letter with you from your doctor because oxycodone is a controlled drug. If you plan to travel for more than 3 months, you must check with the Home Office before you travel as you will need to apply in writing for a licence to take oxycodone with you.
- Taking oxycodone regularly for a long time can lead to your body becoming dependent on it, which might cause you to feel restless and irritable when you stop taking it. If you are concerned about this, discuss the problem with your doctor or pharmacist.
Can oxycodone cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects become troublesome.
|Common oxycodone side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling or being sick, abdominal pain||If this continues, your doctor may prescribe a medicine to ease the sickness|
|Drowsiness, tiredness, difficulties with vision||Make sure your reactions are normal before driving, operating machinery or doing any other jobs which could be dangerous if you were not fully alert or able to see clearly|
|Constipation||Try to eat a well balanced diet containing fibre and drink 6-8 glasses of water each day. If this continues your doctor may prescribe a laxative for you|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace any lost fluids|
|Dizziness, particularly when getting up from a sitting or lying position||Getting up more slowly may help|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets|
|Other side-effects include: muscle stiffness, shallow breathing, palpitations, swollen legs or ankles, mood changes, confusion, anxiety, sleep disturbances, headache, sexual difficulties, difficulty passing urine, indigestion, sweating, flushing, rash, and itching||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store oxycodone
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 59th Edition (March 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, OxyNorm® 5, 10, 20 mg; Manufacturer's PIL, OxyNorm® 5, 10, 20 mg, Napp Pharmaceuticals Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated July 2010.
- Manufacturer's PIL, OxyNorm® liquid; Manufacturer's PIL, OxyNorm® liquid, Napp Pharmaceuticals Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated July 2010.
- Manufacturer's PIL, OxyContin® tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, OxyContin® tablets, Napp Pharmaceuticals Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated August 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Prof Cathy Jackson|
|Last Checked: 19/01/2012||Document ID: 1441 Version: 24||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.