Oxycodone is a popular narcotic analgesic that is used for a variety of different clinical conditions. It acts by exerting its effects on the opioid receptors and has a similar effect to morphine. However, there is a small chance of developing side effects with oxycodone as is the case with almost any treatments available on the market.
In this article, we shall take a look at some of the common ones.
Side effects of Oxycodone
The side effects of oxycodone are relatively rare. They include –
- General – sweats, chills, fever
- Neurological – Dizziness, lightheadedness
- Chest – Difficulty breathing, mild chest tightness
The above are the more common symptoms patients may experience as a side effect. The rarer ones include –
- Gastrointestinal – Abdominal pain and bloating, dry mouth
- Genitourinary - Difficulty passing urine, pain when passing urine, decreased amount of urine production, lesser number of times urine is passed. Constipation may occur. Nausea and vomiting.
- General – facial swelling, enlarged lymph nodes, increase or decreased body weight, skin rash
- Cardiovascular - Increased in heart rate (tachycardia), chest pain or discomfort, postural change in blood pressure.
- Respiratory – Difficulty breathing
The above are the less common side effects. There are some rarer side effects such as problems with the vision, ringing sensation in the ear (tinnitus) and difficulty swallowing. Allergic reactions are extremely uncommon.
Oxycodone in pregnancy
One of the concerns with the use of oxycodone is the effects it has in pregnancy. The use of oxycodone in pregnancy has been given a category B warning by the FDA. This is because oxycodone can enter the blood stream of the growing fetus, and once the baby is born it can experience withdrawal symptoms. The use of oxycodone in pregnancy is only indicated in specific situation under guidance of an expert physician.
Once the baby is breast feeding, it must be noted that oxycodone can be expressed in breast milk and can therefore enter the blood stream of the child. There is a limited amount of scientific evidence to suggest how important this is.
In some patients who take the longer acting preparation of oxycodone i.e. oxycontin there may be some long term side effects. This may occur due to the way that the drug is taken. For example, chewing the tablet or biting down on it can increase the rate of absorption of the drug and can cause untoward effects.
The side effects of oxycontin are similar to the ones described above and include reduced rate of breathing, difficulty breathing and low blood pressure. Patients can be confused and can sweat profusely. Some complain of dizziness and light headedness and can be generally very tired. Patients may go into shock and over time this can be life threatening. It is important to recognize these side effects as oxycontin has an addictive potential and its long term effects make it an addict’s drug of choice. Side effects must be dealt with as soon as possible.
Oxycodone is a popular opioid that can have a number of different side effects. Patients and health care professionals need to be aware of these and they may require treatment or withdrawal of the drug.