OxyContin Dosage | 10mg, 20mg, 30mg, 80mg, & 160mg

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on December 6, 2022

OxyContin is an extended-release formulation of the potent prescription opioid analgesic oxycodone. It should only ever be used as prescribed without exceeding your individual dosage amount or frequency.

OxyContin is an extended-release formulation of the semi-synthetic opiate pain medication oxycodone hydrochloride. While it’s able to effectively relieve both chronic pain and severe pain for prolonged periods, it’s also highly addictive and prone to abuse.

Individuals should only use OxyContin if it has been properly prescribed to them while also carefully observing all instructions included with their medication guide.

OxyContin Dosages

As with other opioid pain relief medications, OxyContin is available in different strengths that are prescribed based on individual need and tolerance:

  • OxyContin 10 mg
  • OxyContin 20 mg
  • OxyContin 30 mg
  • OxyContin 80 mg
  • OxyContin 160 mg

Starting Dose

In general, OxyContin tablets (oxycodone extended-release) are prescribed to opioid-naive adults for serious pain control at an initial dose of 10 mg every 12 hours.

Opioid-tolerant patients switching from another medication may start at a higher dosage. And, your prescribing caregiver may increase your dosage as needed with the goal of using the smallest possible effective dose to achieve analgesia.

Max Dose

The maximum possible recommended daily dose of this medication is no more than 288 mg.


Any use of oxycodone by children must be approved by a medical provider who will carefully determine the dosage and frequency of use.

Pregnant Women

Prolonged use of oxycodone medications during pregnancy may cause a condition known as neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening. As such, OxyContin is not recommended for use by pregnant women, though medical help is available if use is required.

Likewise, OxyContin is not recommended for use by those who are breastfeeding, as it is able to pass into breast milk.

Other Oxycodone Medications

Oxycodone is also used in a variety of generic and brand name medications which may provide a greater or lesser dose of oxycodone effective for varying lengths of effect.

These medications include:

  • long acting extended-release or controlled-release formulations (OxyNEO)
  • shorter acting immediate-release formulations (Roxicodone)
  • combination medications containing an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen (Percocet)

Side Effects Of OxyContin

Oxycodone acts as a full opioid agonist, similar to other strong opioids like hydromorphone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and oxymorphone. 

It binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system with analgesic effects, mimicking the body’s natural endorphins to reduce feelings of pain and relieve stress and anxiety.

While this is useful for pain management, oxycodone also acts as a potent central nervous system depressant and is associated with a large number of potential side effects.

Common side effects of OxyContin may include:

  • confusion
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • headaches
  • itchiness or rash
  • nausea
  • gastrointestinal discomfort
  • feeling sleepy or tired (sedation or somnolence)
  • dizziness or a feeling of spinning (vertigo)

Allergic reactions and other adverse effects, while uncommon, are also possible and should be referred to your prescribing physician as soon as possible.

Symptoms Of OxyContin Overdose

OxyContin overdose and toxicity can be critically dangerous. Signs and symptoms of oxycodone/opioid overdose include:

  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • mood swings
  • blue colored lips or fingertips
  • cold clammy skin
  • constricted/pinpoint pupils
  • nausea and vomiting
  • low blood pressure/hypotension
  • weak or unsteady heart rate
  • slow, shallow, or interrupted breathing
  • becoming unresponsive/coma
  • seizures

Oxycodone overdose can be treated using naloxone (Narcan), which is carried by first responders. If you suspect an overdose has occurred, immediately call 911 and provide first aid until help arrives.

OxyContin Dependence

Physical dependence and tolerance are natural processes that occur as the body adapts to certain medications like oxycodone. 

While dependence and withdrawal symptoms can form after medical use, often requiring medication to be tapered down over time, they tend to develop even more aggressively if a medication is abused recreationally in higher doses than recommended.

Common oxycodone withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • cold or flu-like symptoms
  • restlessness or anxiety
  • mood disturbances
  • increased sensitivity to pain
  • goosebumps
  • sweating
  • stomach pain or cramps
  • nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • muscle or joint pain
  • rapid heart rate
  • blood pressure changes
  • insomnia
  • suicidal thoughts

OxyContin Drug Interactions

Due to an increased risk of adverse reactions and respiratory depression, the FDA cautions against concomitant use of oxycodone medications with other CNS depressant substances including: 

  • alcohol
  • benzodiazepines
  • anesthetics
  • muscle relaxants

In addition, cytochrome P450 3A4 (cyp3a4) inhibitors (ritonavir) and inducers (phenytoin) may increase and decrease oxycodone’s effect, respectively.

OxyContin should also not be taken within fourteen days of a MAO inhibitor, and use of the medication with other serotonergic drugs or supplements could lead to serotonin syndrome.

Other Precautions

Other warnings and contraindications for OxyContin relate to:

  • unsteadiness when standing
  • paralytic ileus
  • sleep apnea
  • prior history of drug abuse
  • infertility
  • hepatic impairment
  • pancreatitis
  • tumors or head injuries

Always let your doctor know what medications or drugs you are using and share your full medical history before beginning treatment with OxyContin.

For information on how our healthcare professionals treat oxycodone addiction on an inpatient basis, please contact Ohio Recovery Center today.

  1. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — OxyContin HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION https://www.fda.gov/media/131026/download
  2. Mayo Clinic — Oxycodone (Oral Route) Proper Use https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/oxycodone-oral-route/proper-use/drg-20074193

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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