1. Oxycodone oral tablet is available as brand-name drugs and as a generic drug. Brand names: Oxaydo, Roxicodone, Roxybond, OxyContin.
  2. Oxycodone comes in five forms: immediate-release tablet, extended-release tablet, immediate-release capsule, extended-release capsule, and solution. All forms are taken by mouth.
  3. Oxycodone is used to treat moderate to severe pain in adults. This drug is a controlled substance. That means it can only be used under a doctor’s close supervision.

Oxycodone is prescription drug. It’s also a controlled substance. That means it can only be used under a doctor’s close supervision.

Oxycodone comes in five forms: immediate-release tablet, extended-release tablet, immediate-release capsule, extended-release capsule, or solution. All forms of this drug are taken by mouth. (Immediate-release drugs are released into the bloodstream right away. Extended-release drugs are released into the bloodstream slowly over time.)

Oxycodone immediate-release tablets are available as the brand-name drugs Oxaydo, Roxicodone, and Roxybond. Oxycodone extended-release tablets are available as the brand-name drug OxyContin.

Oxycodone immediate-release tablets are available as generic drugs. There is no generic version of the extended-release tablets. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drug.

Oxycodone may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Oxycodone is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It can be used short-term or long-term, depending on your condition.

How it works

Oxycodone belongs to a class of drugs called opioid agonists. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Oxycodone is similar to a group of natural substances in the brain called endorphins. These substances work to decrease the pain messages that your body sends to your brain. By mimicking these substances, oxycodone also decreases the amount of pain your brain thinks you’re having.

Oxycodone oral tablet may cause drowsiness. This is more likely to occur when you first start taking it or when your dosage is changed. Do not drive, use heavy machinery, or perform any dangerous tasks until you know how this drug affects you.

Oxycodone can also cause other side effects.

More common side effects

The adult side effects for this drug can vary from the side effects for children.

Adult side effects for oxycodone can include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • constipation
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • drowsiness
  • weakness or lack of energy
  • severe itching
  • dry mouth
  • sweating
  • trouble falling or staying asleep
  • itching of the skin

Children’s side effects for oxycodone (the extended-release tablets only) can include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • constipation
  • headache
  • fever

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Serious breathing problems. Symptoms can include:
    • slowed breathing
    • very shallow breathing (little chest movement with breathing)
    • fainting
    • dizziness
    • confusion
  • Severely low blood pressure. Symptoms can include
    • dizziness or lightheadedness (especially if you stand up after sitting or lying down)
  • Seizures
  • Physical dependence (addiction) and withdrawal when stopping the drug. Symptoms can include:
    • restlessness
    • irritability or anxiousness
    • trouble sleeping
    • increased blood pressure
    • fast breathing rate
    • fast heart rate
    • dilated pupils (enlargement of the dark center of your eyes)
    • teary eyes
    • runny nose
    • yawning
    • nausea, vomiting, and a loss of appetite
    • diarrhea and stomach cramps
    • sweating
    • chills
    • muscle aches and backache
  • Misuse or addiction to oxycodone. Symptoms can include:
    • taking more of the drug than your doctor prescribes
    • taking the drug regularly even if you don’t need it
    • continuing to use the drug despite negative reactions from friends, family, your job, or the law
    • ignoring regular duties of your life
    • taking the drug secretly or lying about how much you’re taking
  • Adrenal insufficiency. Symptoms can include:
    • long-lasting tiredness
    • muscle weakness
    • pain in your abdomen
  • Androgen deficiency. Symptoms can include:
    • tiredness
    • trouble sleeping
    • decreased energy

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.

Oxycodone oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with oxycodone are listed below.

Drugs you should not use with oxycodone

Do not take these drugs with oxycodone. Doing so can cause dangerous effects in your body. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Buprenorphine. Using this drug with oxycodone can decrease the effect of oxycodone. This means it won’t work as well. Buprenorphine can also cause withdrawal symptoms.
  • Anesthesia drugs such as butorphanol, nalbuphine, and pentazocine. Using these drugs with oxycodone can decrease the effect of oxycodone. This means it won’t work as well. These drugs can also cause withdrawal symptoms.

Interactions that increase your risk of side effects

  • Increased side effects from other drugs: Taking oxycodone with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from these drugs. Examples of these drugs include:
    • Benzodiazepines such as diazepam, lorazepam, clonazepam, temazepam, or alprazolam. Increased side effects can include severe drowsiness, slowed or stopped breathing, coma, or death. If you need to take one of these drugs with oxycodone, your doctor will monitor you closely for side effects.
    • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), a type of antidepressant, such as tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or selegiline. Increased side effects can include anxiety, confusion, slowed breathing, or coma. Do not take oxycodone if you’re taking an MAOI, or have taken an MAOI within the last 14 days.
    • Antidepressants such as doxepin, fluvoxamine, duloxetine, or venlafaxine. Increased side effects can include higher levels of serotonin in your body. This can lead to a condition called serotonin syndrome. Symptoms can include agitation, restlessness, fast heartbeat, increased body temperature, nausea, or vomiting.
    • Muscle relaxants such as baclofen, cyclobenzaprine, or methocarbamol. Increased side effects can include breathing problems.
    • Hypnotics such as zolpidem, temazepam, or estazolam. Increased side effects can include breathing problems, low blood pressure, extreme drowsiness, or coma. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of oxycodone for you.
    • Nausea and vomiting drugs such as ondansetron or promethazine. Increased side effects can include breathing problems, low blood pressure, extreme drowsiness, or coma. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of oxycodone for you.
    • Antipsychotic drugs, such as chlorpromazine, prochlorperazine, or thioridazine. Increased side effects can include breathing problems, low blood pressure, extreme drowsiness, or coma. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of oxycodone for you.
    • Anticholinergic drugs, such as atropine, scopolamine, or benztropine. Increased side effects can include problems urinating. They can also include severe constipation, which could lead to more serious bowel problems.
  • Increased side effects from oxycodone: Taking oxycodone with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from oxycodone. This is because the amount of oxycodone in your body may be increased. Examples of these drugs include:
    • Antifungal drugs such as voriconazole or ketoconazole. If you take these drugs with oxycodone, your doctor may monitor you more often. They may adjust your dosage as needed.
    • Antibiotics such as erythromycin, clarithromycin, or telithromycin. If you take these drugs with oxycodone, your doctor may monitor you more often. They may adjust your dosage as needed.
    • HIV drugs such as ritonavir, darunavir, or atazanavir. If you take these drugs with oxycodone, your doctor may monitor you more often. They may adjust your dosage as needed.
    • Drugs such as bupropion, duloxetine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, or sertraline. If you take these drugs with oxycodone, your doctor may monitor you more often. They may adjust your dosage as needed.
    • Anti-arrhythmia drugs such as amiodarone or quinidine. If you take these drugs with oxycodone, your doctor may monitor you more often. They may adjust your dosage as needed.

Interactions that can make oxycodone less effective

When oxycodone is used with certain drugs, it may not work as well to treat your pain. This is because the amount of oxycodone in your body may be decreased. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Antibiotics such as rifampin, rifabutin, or rifapentine. If you take these drugs with oxycodone, your doctor may monitor you more often. They may adjust your dosage as needed.
  • Anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine and phenytoin. If you take these drugs with oxycodone, your doctor may monitor you more often. They may adjust your dosage as needed.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

Drug forms and strengths

Generic: Oxycodone

  • Form: oral immediate-release tablet
  • Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg

Brand 1: Oxaydo

  • Form: oral immediate-release tablet
  • Strengths: 5 mg, 7.5 mg

Brand 2: Roxicodone

  • Form: oral immediate-release tablet
  • Strengths: 5 mg, 15 mg, 30 mg

Brand 3: Roxybond

  • Form: oral immediate-release tablet
  • Strengths: 5 mg, 15 mg, 30 mg

Brand 4: OxyContin

  • Form: oral extended-release tablet
  • Strengths: 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg

Dosage for moderate to severe pain

Oxycodone immediate-release tablets

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: If you haven’t been treated with opioid medications before, your starting dosage can range from 5 mg to 15 mg taken every 4–6 hours as needed.
  • Dosage increases: Based on your body’s response to the drug, your doctor will decide what dosage is right for you.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Oxycodone extended-release tablets

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: If you haven’t been treated with opioid medications before, your starting dosage should be 10 mg taken every 12 hours.
  • Dosage increases: Based on your body’s response to the drug, your doctor will decide what dosage is right for you.

Child dosage (ages 11–17 years)

Oxycodone extended-release tablets can only be used for certain children in this age range. These are children that have taken and tolerated opioid medications for at least five days in a row. Your child's doctor will determine their dosage based on the opioid drug your child had already taken.

Child dosage (ages 0–10 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in children younger than 11 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Dosage warnings

  • Stopping therapy: When stopping treatment after using oxycodone for a long time, your doctor should slowly lower your dosage. They should monitor for symptoms of withdrawal. Symptoms can include restlessness, tearfulness, runny nose, or yawning. They can also include sweating, chills, muscle pain, or dilated pupils (enlarged dark centers of your eyes).
  • Switching from another opioid therapy or a combination opioid/non-opioid therapy: Your doctor will determine the equivalent (matching) dosage of oxycodone. This will be based on the strength of your previous opioid medication. It will also be based on your body’s response to oxycodone.

Special dosage considerations

For people with liver disease: If you’re taking the extended-release tablets, your doctor may start you on one-third to one-half of the usual starting dosage. Your dosage may be changed based on your body’s response to this drug.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.

FDA warnings

  • This drug has black box warnings. These are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Black box warnings alert doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.
  • Addiction and misuse warning: Use of all forms of oxycodone can lead to addiction and misuse. This can result in overdose or death.
  • Decreased breathing rate warning: Any form of oxycodone can change your body’s natural breathing pattern. Your risk is higher if you’re a senior (65 years or older), have lung disease, or take large initial doses. It’s also higher if you take oxycodone extended-release tablets with other medications that affect your breathing pattern. Talk with your doctor to find out if other drugs you’re taking can cause breathing problems.
  • Accidental ingestion warning: For certain people, accidentally taking even one dose of any form of oxycodone can lead to overdose or death. This applies to children, as well as people including seniors (ages 65 years and older), those who’ve never taken opiates before, and those with kidney or liver disease.
  • Pregnancy warning: Using any form of oxycodone for a prolonged period during pregnancy can lead to withdrawal symptoms in your newborn child. Symptoms include irritability, overactive behaviors, or an abnormal sleep pattern. They also include high-pitched crying, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, or failure to gain weight.
  • Drug interaction warning: Using any form of oxycodone with certain drugs can increase the levels of oxycodone in your body. This can lead to an increase in side effects, or death.
  • Benzodiazepine drug interaction warning. Taking oxycodone together with drugs that affect the nervous system or drugs called benzodiazepines may cause severe drowsiness, breathing problems, coma, or death. Examples of benzodiazepines include lorazepram, clonazepam, and alprazolam.

Allergy warning

Oxycodone can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • rash
  • hives (itchy welts)

If you develop these symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

Alcohol interaction warning

Do not drink alcohol while taking oxycodone. The use of drinks that contain alcohol raises your risk of serious side effects from oxycodone. It may even result in coma or death.

Warnings for people with certain health conditions

For people with breathing problems: Oxycodone may slow down your breathing or cause you to have shallow breathing. If you have a breathing problem such as asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), talk with your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you. Certain people should never take oxycodone. These include people who already have slow or shallow breathing, or who have too much carbon dioxide in their blood due to poor breathing. They also include people with acute or severe asthma. For all of these people, taking this drug could harm their breathing too much and cause death.

For people with gastrointestinal (GI) problems: Oxycodone can worsen certain stomach or bowel problems. This is because this drug makes it harder for food to move through your digestive tract. It can also make it harder for doctors to diagnose or find the cause of these problems. If you have a condition called a paralytic ileus, you should not take oxycodone. Or if you have any type of GI obstruction, you should not take extended-release oxycodone. The immediate-release version may be used cautiously.

For people with head injury: Oxycodone may cause increased pressure in your brain. It may also cause breathing problems. Both of these issues raise your risk of complications, and can cause death.

For people with liver problems: Your body may process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may start you on a lower dosage. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

For people with kidney problems: If you have kidney problems or a history of kidney disease, you may not be able to clear this drug from your body well. This may increase the levels of oxycodone in your body and cause more side effects. This medication may also decrease your kidney function, making your kidney disease worse.

For people with seizure problems: Oxycodone may cause or worsen seizures. If you have epilepsy, talk with your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you.

For people with adrenal gland problems: If you have Addison’s disease, talk with your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you. Oxycodone may make your condition worse. Also, you’re at higher risk of side effects from this drug. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of this drug.

For people with hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels): Talk with your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you. Oxycodone could make your condition better or worse. You’re also at higher risk of side effects from this drug. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of this drug.

For people with urination problems: If you have trouble urinating due to certain problems, talk with your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you. These problems include an enlarged prostate, a bladder obstruction, or kidney problems. Oxycodone can make it even harder for you to urinate, or make you unable to urinate. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of this drug.

For people with pancreas and gallbladder problems: Oxycodone raises your risk of pancreatitis. If you have acute or chronic pancreatitis, this drug may worsen your condition. If you have a history of pancreatitis or gallbladder problems, you’re at higher risk of acute pancreatitis. Talk with your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women: Using oxycodone long-term during pregnancy may cause withdrawal symptoms in your newborn child. Symptoms include irritability, overactive behaviors, or an abnormal sleep pattern. They also include high-pitched crying, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, or failure to gain weight.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.

If you become pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.

For women who are breastfeeding: Oxycodone may pass into breast milk and cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors: The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

For children:

  • Oxycodone immediate-release tablet: It’s not known if this drug is safe and effective for children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.
  • Oxycodone extended-release tablet: It’s not known if this drug is safe and effective for children younger than 11 years. It shouldn’t be used in children younger than 11 years.

Oxycodone oral tablet is used for short-term or long-term treatment. The length of treatment depends on how severe your pain is. This drug comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all: If you don’t take this drug at all, your pain may continue. If you stop taking the drug suddenly, you may have symptoms of withdrawal, which can include:

  • restlessness
  • feeling irritable or anxious
  • trouble sleeping
  • increased blood pressure
  • fast breathing rate
  • fast heart rate
  • dilated pupils (enlargement of the dark centers of your eyes)
  • teary eyes
  • runny nose
  • yawning
  • nausea, vomiting, or a loss of appetite
  • diarrhea and stomach cramps
  • sweating
  • chills
  • muscle aches and backache

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule: Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • slowed breathing or changes in your normal breathing pattern
  • trouble speaking
  • confusion
  • irritability
  • extreme drowsiness
  • cold and clammy skin
  • bluish skin color
  • muscle weakness
  • pinpoint pupils (shrinking of the dark centers of your eyes)
  • slow heart rate
  • heart failure
  • low blood pressure
  • coma

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose: Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working: You should have less pain.

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes oxycodone for you.

General

  • You can take the tablets with or without food. Taking them with food may help to reduce upset stomach.
  • Take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor.
  • You must swallow your tablet whole. You can’t cut or crush the immediate-release or extended-release tablet. Be sure to take it with enough water. This will help make sure that you’ve completely swallowed it after placing it in your mouth.

Storage

  • Store oxycodone tablets at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C). The ideal temperature is 77°F (25°C).
  • Keep all forms of this drug in a tightly closed container. Keep the container away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.
  • Protect oxycodone from theft. Keep it in a locked cabinet or drawer.

Refills

A prescription for this medication is not refillable. You or your pharmacy will have to contact your doctor for a new prescription if you need this medication refilled.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t harm your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Self-management

Don’t pre-soak, lick, or wet the tablet before placing it in your mouth.

Clinical monitoring

You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include:

  • Breathing rate: Your doctor will monitor for any changes in your breathing pattern. This is especially important when you first start taking oxycodone and after any dosage increases.
  • Blood pressure: You and your doctor should check your blood pressure regularly using a blood pressure monitor. Your doctor will tell you where to buy this device and how to use it.
  • Kidney function: Blood tests can check how well your kidneys are working. If your kidneys aren’t working well, your doctor may lower your dosage of this drug.
  • Liver function: Blood tests can check how well your liver is working. If your liver isn’t working well, your doctor may lower your dosage of this drug.
  • Risk of misuse or addiction: Before prescribing oxycodone for you, your doctor will assess your risk of misusing or becoming addicted to opioid drugs.

Availability

Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead to make sure your pharmacy carries it.

Prior authorization

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.