What is OxyContin helpful for?
OxyContin (oxycodone) is a narcotic pain reliever similar in action to morphine. It has been specially designed for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. You can use the extended-release form of OxyContin for round-the-clock management of pain. Your doctor may also recommend this medicine for a number of other conditions you may have, but you will always have to make sure you follow the instructions exactly.
Things to talk about with your doctor
Your doctor needs to be notified of any particular medical conditions you have that may require additional tests or a dose adjustment. The following medical conditions are supposed to be reported to your health care provider: low blood pressure, mental illness, underactive thyroid, enlarged prostate, Addison’s disease, curvature of the spine, sleep apnea, a history of head injury or brain tumor, asthma, urination problems, seizure disorder, liver disease, a history of drug or alcohol addiction, kidney disease, or gallbladder disease.
How to make sure you benefit from your treatment
Take the exact amount of OxyContin prescribed and avoid using it more often than recommended, as this is unlikely to help you benefit more from the treatment. Each tablet of OxyContin is supposed to be taken with a full glass of water, without being crushed or chewed. Make sure none of the products you are using contain any alcohol, as even small amounts of it may be sufficient for causing an adverse reaction. To avoid constipation, make sure you always drink plenty of water while using the medicine. Also, avoid using laxatives soon after taking OxyContin, and try to eat more fiber in your diet. Tell your health care provider right away if you think OxyContin is not working for your pain, but make sure you do not take more of this medicine than recommended.
Which side effects can be caused by OxyContin?
Some of the side effects OxyContin can cause are likely to impair your thinking and reactions. Always be very careful before you get engaged into any activities that require maximum alertness and concentration, as you may not be able to perform after taking OxyContin. Serious side effects of OxyContin are rare but possible in some people, so you will need to make sure you report them to your doctor right away. Serious side effects may mean your treatment is not going as planned, and some changes need to be made to it. The following symptoms are considered serious: seizure, confusion, clammy skin, shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, light-headedness, as well as severe weakness or dizziness. Mild side effects are usually short-lived and tend to disappear on their own without any need for you to worry. Such mild side effects as loss of appetite, headache, dizziness, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, itching, sweating, tired feeling, or vomiting are possible but usually not supposed to cause concern.
Is OxyContin safe to combine with other medications?
Any drugs you are taking or are planning to take must be reported to your doctor in advance, as some of them can cause interactions, the intensity of which cannot be foreseen. It’s very dangerous to combine OxyContin with drugs for treating insomnia, sedatives, muscle relaxers, tranquilizers, and other narcotic pain medications, as well as nalbuphine, pentazocine, butorphanol, and buprenorphine. Special tests may be required to establish how safe OxyContin is expected to be for you, or your dose of this medicine will need to be adjusted.
Sharing OxyContin with others
OxyContin can form a habit and therefore needs to be taken only by people to whom it was prescribed. Never share your dose of OxyContin with other people to whom it was not recommended, even if you think they are likely to benefit from the treatment.
How to stop taking OxyContin
Unpleasant withdrawal symptoms are possible if you stop taking OxyContin after using it for some time. You can always talk to your health care provider and discus the option of gradual withdrawal. That way you will be able to make sure your treatment goes as planned without causing any unpleasant sensations.
How does OxyContin affect pregnant women and unborn babies?
OxyContin is FDA pregnancy category C: it may cause harm to an unborn baby and pass into breast milk. You always need to make sure you are not pregnant while getting a prescription. If you think you may have become pregnant in the course of the treatment, talk to your health care provider right away. Breastfeeding is not recommended, as the risks may simply not be justified.
Overdose of OxyContin
An overdose of OxyContin can be fatal, but can be avoided if you take it exactly as prescribed. The following symptoms may indicate an overdose and have to be reported to the local emergency center as soon as you spot them: extreme drowsiness, confusion, slow heart rate, shallow breathing, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, fainting, and muscle weakness.