October 26, 2023

What are the Side Effects of Oxycodone?

An image of a man who sitting on a bench and wondering, "what are the side effects of oxycodone"?

Oxycodone is an opioid painkiller, similar to drugs like morphine, codeine, and methadone. Typically, it’s prescribed for short-term use to manage severe pain. However, in certain situations, your healthcare provider might suggest using oxycodone for an extended duration to address chronic pain.

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This guide to the side effects of oxycodone addresses the following issues:

  • What are the side effects of oxycodone?
  • Are oxycodone adverse effects life-threatening?
  • How to get treatment for the addictive effects of oxycodone.

Common Side Effects of Oxycodone

Oxycodone, a prescription opioid pain medication, can lead to various side effects. These effects can be categorized into common, short-term, and long-term side effects.

Common Side Effects of Oxycodone

  • Constipation: This is one of the most common oxy side effects.
  • Drowsiness: Oxycodone can cause drowsiness and sedation, which may hinder your ability to drive or operate machinery.
  • Nausea: Nausea is another common oxycodone side effect.
  • Pruritus (itching): Itchiness of the skin can occur as a side effect.
  • Vomiting: Vomiting is a side effect frequently associated with oxycodone withdrawal.

Short-Term Side Effects from Oxycodone

Short-term side effects typically occur when you first start taking oxycodone or during the initial phases of treatment. Besides the common side effects outlined above, short-term oxycodone effects may include:

  • Headache: Some individuals may experience headaches.
  • Dry mouth: A dry or parched feeling in the mouth can occur during opioid therapy.
  • Stomach pain: Abdominal discomfort or pain may be a short-term side effect.
  • Mood changes: Oxycodone can affect your mood, leading to changes in emotional state.
  • Flushing: Some people may experience flushing or warmth in the skin.

Long-Term Side Effects from Oxycodone

Long term side effects of oxycodone include:

  • Tolerance: Over time, individuals may develop tolerance, requiring higher doses for the same level of pain relief.
  • Dependence: Prolonged use can lead to physical dependence on oxycodone and addiction in the form of opioid use disorder. This is among the most dangerous oxycodone side effects long term.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: If you stop taking oxycodone abruptly, you may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation.
  • Overdose: Symptoms of oxycodone overdose can be life-threatening and should be treated as a medical emergency.

Use oxycodone under the guidance of a healthcare professional, and discuss any concerning side effects with your doctor.

A man at the beach in a slump, as experiences the side effects of oxycodone use

Dangers of Oxycodone Misuse

Any misuse of oxycodone  can have serious consequences. One of the most significant dangers of oxycodone misuse is the risk of developing addiction. The brain can become dependent on the drug, leading to cravings and a compulsive need to use it.

Taking oxycodone in larger amounts than prescribed or using it recreationally can result in overdose. Oxycodone overdose can be life-threatening and may cause respiratory depression, unconsciousness, and, in severe cases, death. Respiratory depression should be treated as a medical emergency.

Over time, individuals who misuse oxycodone may develop tolerance, requiring higher doses to achieve the same level of pain relief or euphoria. This escalation can increase the risk of overdose.

When someone becomes dependent on oxycodone and tries to quit or cut down, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. These can include intense cravings, anxiety, restlessness, muscle aches, and nausea. Sometimes, the fear of opioid withdrawal prompts individuals to continue using the substance.

Misuse of oxycodone can also lead to various health complications, including gastrointestinal problems, liver damage (if combined with acetaminophen), and worsening of adrenal or thyroid conditions.

Obtaining or using oxycodone without a prescription may result in legal consequences, including fines and imprisonment.

Misuse of opioids like oxycodone can strain relationships with family and friends, leading to social isolation and emotional distress.

Use oxycodone only as prescribed by a healthcare professional and be aware of the potential dangers associated with its misuse. If you or someone that you care about is struggling with oxycodone misuse or addiction, seek help from a healthcare provider or addiction treatment specialist.

Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction

Treatment options for oxycodone addiction include:

  • Detoxification: The first step is typically medical detoxification, where the drug is safely removed from the body. This process is supervised by medical professionals to manage withdrawal symptoms.
  • Behavioral therapy: Behavioral therapies like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), can help people understand and change the behaviors associated with addiction.
  • Medications: Medications like methadone or buprenorphine may be prescribed to help manage cravings and reduce the risk of relapse.
  • Support groups: Participation in support groups like NA (Narcotics Anonymous) can provide peer support and encouragement.
  • Inpatient or outpatient rehab: Depending on the severity of addiction, inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs can provide comprehensive treatment.
  • Counseling: Individual and family counseling can address the emotional and psychological aspects of addiction.
  • Aftercare: Continued support through aftercare programs is essential for long-term recovery.

Consult with a healthcare provider or addiction specialist to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for oxycodone addiction. Recovery is possible with the right support and resources.

An image of the Gratitude Lodge facility, where treatment is available for oxycodone abuse

Get Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

If you or someone that you know needs treatment for addiction to oxycodone, we can help you at Gratitude Lodge in Southern California. Our welcoming and pet-friendly rehab centers located in Long Beach and Newport Beach, CA, allow you to engage with inpatient detoxification and ongoing therapy, providing an immersive recovery experience.

Detoxing from opioids like oxycodone takes a week or so. Medications can streamline the intensity of withdrawal, with continuous care available to help you address cravings during opioid detox.

Treatment options during ongoing therapy include:

  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Psychotherapies
  • Family therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Holistic therapies
  • Aftercare and support

If you want to enjoy life opioid-free, take the first crucial step by calling 888-861-1658.

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Russe MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

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