Oxycodone: characteristics, uses and side effects
Opioids are substances with analgesic, relaxing and euphoric effects that are used as drugs to treat symptoms of intense pain, although in many cases they are used as recreational drugs. In this sense, opioids such as oxycodone, morphine or codeine have a high potential for addiction and physical dependence.
In this article we will describe the main characteristics of oxycodone, what it is used for and what are the side effects most common of this opioid, widely used to treat pain in chronic disorders such as cancer.
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What is oxycodone?
Oxycodone is an analgesic drug of the class of opioids, also known as narcotics. These substances, in addition to other effects, make the brain respond differently to pain, making it more bearable for the person who suffers.
This effect occurs through the union of the drug with the cerebral opiate receptors, which blocks the sending of signals related to pain. This means that those who consume oxycodone and other opioids have a different perception of pain.
Oxycodone is synthesized from thebaine, an alkaline opioid which is found in the capsules of the poppy. The chemical properties of this compound are similar to those of morphine and codeine, two other very common opioids.
It is marketed under many different brand names, alone or in combination with other analgesics. Some of the most common are Oxycontin, Oxynorm, Targin and Percodan; the latter also contains aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), while Percocet is composed of oxycodone and paracetamol .
Although it is most often consumed as a tablet, it is also possible to find oxycodone as an oral solution and, more rarely, in an injectable format. There are variants of rapid release that are taken every 4 or 6 hours, and others of slow release; in this case it is recommended to consume oxycodone every 12 hours.
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What is it for?
Oxycodone is used to relieve pain symptoms. Is about an analgesic with a relatively high power , so its use is recommended in the treatment of moderate to intense pain.
In general, this drug is prescribed when a person is expected to feel pain for a long period of time, and if this is not sufficiently relieved by the use of other less aggressive analgesics.
The studies affirm that oxycodone consumption improves the quality of life of people with moderate or intense pain, whether it is acute or chronic. In particular, the most frequent use of oxycodone is that which takes place in the context of treatments for pain associated with cancer ; In fact, it is a drug of choice in these cases.
It is also used to relieve pain due to trauma or other physical injuries, as well as that which occurs as a result of aggressive surgical procedures. As we have previously said, given oxycodone's addiction potential, it is preferable to administer milder drugs in case their effects are sufficient for the person.
Although there are pharmaceutical products composed exclusively of oxycodone, it is often combined with other analgesics in a single medication . Some of the most common are ibuprofen, paracetamol, aspirin and acetaminophen.
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Side effects and precautions
The most common side effects of oxycodone include drowsiness, fatigue, dizziness, headache, itching, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, constipation, sweating and vomiting. dry mouth. Positive effects include relaxation, euphoria and reduction of pain sensitivity .
Nervousness, diarrhea, urinary retention or hiccups are infrequent side effects of little relevance. Other reactions are more serious; If breathing problems appear, decrease of the impulse and sexual performance, alterations of the menstrual cycle, sensations of fainting or severe constipation it is important to consult the doctor.
Oxycodone overdose is characterized by the following symptoms: muscle weakness, breathing difficulties, decrease in body temperature, very intense drowsiness and even loss of consciousness and coma. These effects are more likely in children, so Oxycodone consumption is not recommended in minors .
People with severe respiratory problems or intestinal blockage should not take oxycodone. Nor should this drug be consumed in combination with alcohol or during pregnancy or lactation, since it can cause the onset of abstinence syndrome in the baby. In addition, scientific research suggests that opioids could reduce fertility.
On the other hand it has been described a large number of cases of abuse and addiction of oxycodone given that, like the rest of opioids, this drug produces reinforcing and euphoric effects. Oxycodone is often combined with naloxone to prevent the onset of withdrawal symptoms.
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