Oxycodone Dosage | Proper Use Vs. Abuse

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on August 16, 2023

Proper oxycodone use involves taking the drug in doses and intervals given by your doctor. Oxycodone abuse involves using the drug without a prescription or taking it in a way that’s not prescribed.

Using oxycodone as directed likely involves taking capsules or tablets between 5 mg and 80 mg as directed. 

Oxycodone may be taken in once-daily or several times daily doses, depending on the patient’s need for chronic pain relief. Proper use of oxycodone likely involves prior approval from a prescribing healthcare professional.

Oxycodone abuse can involve taking the drug in higher doses than instructed or by an unapproved method of ingestion, such as snorting or injecting. Taking oxycodone without a prescription is also considered substance abuse.

OxyContin, a brand name prescription for oxycodone, is a Schedule II controlled substance. 

In 2020, oxycodone and other semi-synthetic opiates were involved in less than 10 percent of all overdose deaths. However, serious side effects from oxycodone abuse may be a public health issue in Ohio.

Proper Oxycodone Use & Dosage

As a legal opioid analgesic, oxycodone can be prescribed in the following formulations:

  • immediate-release tablets: 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg
  • extended-release tablets: 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg

Healthcare providers may instruct you to take an oxycodone tablet every 4 to 6 hours to treat acute pain, chronic pain, or severe pain. Higher or long-acting doses may be prescribed for intense pain management. You may be monitored for side effects as oxycodone use continues.

Patients with preexisting medical conditions such as kidney (renal) or hepatic (liver) impairment may require lower starting doses of oxycodone. 

Taking oxycodone as directed by your doctor, in proper opioid doses and intervals, can minimize the risk of adverse effects and central nervous system damage.

Forms Of Oxycodone Abuse

Forms of oxycodone abuse may include:

  • taking oxycodone in higher doses than instructed
  • taking oxycodone without a prescription
  • taking oxycodone in an unapproved manner, such as snorting or injecting
  • taking oxycodone to get high
  • concomitant use of oxycodone with other CNS depressants such as alcohol

The risk of serious side effects may increase if oxycodone is abused

Risks Of Oxycodone Use

Any form of oxycodone use can cause side effects such as constipation, dry mouth, sedation, and drowsiness.

Oxycodone may be contraindicated, or not recommended for use, in patients who are breastfeeding, who have paralytic ileus, or who have a serious head injury. Patients with these conditions who take oxycodone, even at low doses, may experience serious adverse effects.

Drug Interactions

Mixing oxycodone with other substances can lead to dangerous drug interactions inside the body. Substances that can interact with oxycodone may include:

  • CYP3A4 inhibitors (ketoconazole, ritonavir, erythromycin)
  • CYP450 inducers (carbamazepine, phenytoin)
  • benzodiazepines
  • other opioid agonists (hydrocodone, oxymorphone, codeine, methadone)
  • alcohol

These substances can cause serious side effects, such as impairment, extreme drowsiness, hypotension (low blood pressure), and other adverse reactions.

Opioid Overdose

Illicit use of oxycodone can lead to an increased risk of opioid overdose.

Opioid overdose can cause life-threatening respiratory depression, or a state of impaired breathing. Signs of an opioid overdose may include blue lips and fingernails, gurgling noises, and a state of unconsciousness.

First responders can administer naloxone to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Naloxone can be readily available to Ohio residents with family members or loved ones at risk of an overdose.

Opioid Use Disorder

Abusing oxycodone can lead to an opioid use disorder, where continued oxycodone use negatively impacts your life. Opioid use disorder can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit.

Oxycodone Addiction Treatment

Oxycodone abuse in Ohio may be less prevalent than synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. 

However, all forms of opioid abuse may require medical attention and treatment. Medication such as methadone and buprenorphine can reduce opioid cravings, especially when combined with behavioral therapy.

To find out if our opioid addiction treatment program works for you or your loved one, please contact Ohio Recovery Center today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Oxycodone-2020_0.pdf
  2. Food and Drug Administration https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/020553s060lbl.pdf
  3. National Library of Medicine: StatPearls https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482226/

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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