Oxycodone is the most potent painkiller that can be taken in pill form, and is a favorite choice among doctors for post-operative pain, despite its potential for addiction. It is the active ingredient in drugs that carry the brand names OxyContin, OxyNorm, OxyIR, Percocet, Endocet, Roxicet, Percodan, Endodan, and Roxiprin. When taken in moderate doses over a short time period (no longer than several weeks), there are few side effects.
However, when taken for longer periods, the body will build up a tolerance to the drug, and larger and larger doses are required for its analgesic properties to be useful. When used for longer than the recommended period, oxycodone addiction can result–though this fact is disputed by drug companies, and several lawsuits are still pending. Some doctors even prescribe oxycodone for chronic pain symptoms, despite the potential for tolerance and addiction. When this happens, professional oxycodone addiction treatment is necessary.
Oxycodone (oxycontin) is an opiate that is manufactured in controlled release tablets which are twice as potent as morphine. When used legally, this medication is intended to alleviate moderate to severe pain and is an active ingredient in percocet and percodan. Originally approved for use by the FDA in 1995, this pain killer has become a popular recreational drug along with heroin, vicodin, lortab and other similar opiates.
The original labeling of this medication carried a warning that users should not crush these tablets because the result would be a release of lethal amounts of this drug. However, in addition to warning patients using the drug for legal purposes of this danger, it also informed recreational users of an added method of abuse. Oxycodone binds to pain receptors in the brain so that the sensation of pain is reduced. However, if used more frequently than prescribed or in larger doses, it also causes both mental and physical addiction by triggering intense feelings of pleasure in the brain – followed by a feeling of contentment that lasts for several hours.
As you take a drug regularly, your body tries to maintain a normal level of functioning. In effect, your brain conditions itself to believe that the presence of the drug is “normal,” and you will feel best when it is in your system. You see this in the building of tolerance–since a certain amount of the drug is part of normal brain function, it takes a stronger dose to have any analgesic effect. This process is what causes oxycodone withdrawal. Your brain is used to having a drug around, and has adjusted so that the presence of the drug does not disrupt its function. When the drug is removed, though, you start to crave the drug–since your brain has effectively re-calibrated itself to thinking that the drug is normal.
Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can include headaches, trembling, cramps, and nausea, and can last for up to a few days. This period of withdrawal is what makes it so hard to detoxify, because you have to convince your body that it no longer needs a drug to function.