OxyContin Side Effects | Warnings & Interactions

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on December 11, 2022

OxyContin is a prescription opioid drug used to treat severe or chronic pain. Side effects range in severity and can include sedation, a fast heart rate, or respiratory depression. There are also a number of warnings associated with OxyContin, including harmful drug interactions.

Oxycodone (brand name OxyContin) is an opioid medication that helps to treat moderate to severe pain. OxyContin is offered in immediate-release and extended-release tablets depending on the severity of pain a person experiences.

This prescription drug can produce a number of serious side effects, and is considered a Schedule II controlled substance. This means the pain reliever has a high potential for abuse and can lead to psychological or physical dependence.

OxyContin Side Effects

For pain relief, oxycodone works by acting on opioid receptors and targeting the central nervous system (CNS). There are a number of side effects of oxycodone, some of which can be life-threatening.

In fact, depending on the dose of OxyContin taken and the period of time in which a person takes the drug, a potential OxyContin overdose can occur.

Common Side Effects

Some of the common side effects of OxyContin may include:

  • sedation
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • constipation or stomach pain
  • loss of appetite
  • lightheadedness
  • low blood pressure

Withdrawal Symptoms

Some of the withdrawal symptoms that may occur if OxyContin use is abruptly stopped include:

  • excessive yawning
  • runny nose
  • muscle pain
  • tiredness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fast heart rate

OxyContin Overdose

An opioid overdose can be life-threatening. A person suffering from an OxyContin overdose may experience:

  • clammy skin
  • shallow breathing or respiratory depression
  • extreme sleepiness
  • confusion
  • fainting
  • coma
  • sudden death

For those who suspect an OxyContin overdose has taken place, contact 911 immediately and seek urgent medical attention—a healthcare provider may assist the person suffering by administering naloxone, a medication used to help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

OxyContin Warnings

There are a number of warnings to know when taking OxyContin. Be sure to listen to any information provided by your prescribing doctor as well as the drug information which comes with your medication.


Allergic reactions can take place, so be sure to inform your doctor immediately if you experience hives, breathing problems, or other adverse events. 

In addition to this, those who are breastfeeding should avoid OxyContin as the drug may pass from the breast milk to the child, creating withdrawal symptoms for the baby.

Those with previous head injuries and those who suffer from any medical condition which creates a blockage within the intestines should notify their healthcare provider before taking OxyContin.

Drug Interactions

Those who take OxyContin should not underestimate the strength of this pain medication. As stated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), combining other substances, especially CNS depressants, with OxyContin can lead to life-threatening health problems.

Some of the drugs and substances to avoid while taking OxyContin include:

  • benzodiazepines
  • muscle relaxants
  • carbamazepine
  • ritonavir
  • alcohol
  • the combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone, or Percocet
  • supplements and certain vitamins
  • antidepressants such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • anti fungal medications such as ketoconazole
  • over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • phenytoin
  • rifampin
  • antibiotics such as erythromycin
  • other prescription opioid medications such as hydrocodone, roxicodone, and tramadol

Since many who take OxyContin suffer from chronic pain, always inform your doctor of any medications or substances you currently take.

If you or a loved one struggles with prescription drug abuse, Ohio Recovery Center can help. To learn more, please contact us today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration — Oxycodone https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Oxycodone-2020_0.pdf
  2. Food and Drug Administration — OxyContin https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2021/022272s046lbl.pdf
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse — What are Prescription Opioids? https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-opioids
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Oxycodone https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682132.html

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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