OxyContin has a significant potential for both physical and psychological dependence and abuse. In fact, it is classified as a controlled substance, meaning that there are special rules and regulations for prescribing and obtaining the medication. For instance, you must have a written OxyContin prescription (not a phoned or faxed prescription) in order to legally obtain the drug.
Because it is a very desirable drug of abuse, people often try to buy it through illegal means, such as from foreign countries or online sources that do not require a prescription. It is readily available and relatively inexpensive (at least in generic form), making it a popular drug of abuse.
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In April 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a reformulated version of OxyContin that is designed to be less likely to be abused. Although the details about the exact changes are vague -- probably intentionally -- apparently, the new formulation is more difficult to crush into a fine powder and more difficult to dissolve.
Drug Store News. Actavis can launch generic OxyContin in January 2014 under settlement with Purdue (April 26, 2013). DSN Web site. Available at: http://drugstorenews.com/article/actavis-can-launch-generic-oxycontin-january-2014-under-settlement-purdue. Accessed August 1, 2013.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed March 7, 2014.
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National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed March 10, 2009.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. FDA approves new formulation for OxyContin (4/5/2010). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm207480.htm. Accessed April 16, 2010.
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