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Precautions and Warnings With Oxycodone/APAP

Specific Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking oxycodone/APAP include the following:
  • Some oxycodone/APAP products contain metabisulfite, a chemical that can cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to sulfites. If you have a sulfite allergy, check with your pharmacist before taking oxycodone/APAP.
  • Oxycodone/APAP is a narcotic medication with significant potential for abuse. It is not a good choice for people who have a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Do not take the drug more frequently, longer, or at a higher dose than prescribed. If you feel you may be developing a problem with oxycodone/APAP, please seek help from your healthcare provider.
  • Oxycodone/APAP contains acetaminophen (Tylenol®). Taking too much oxycodone/APAP, or taking oxycodone/APAP in combination with other products that contain acetaminophen, can cause severe liver problems or even death due to Tylenol poisoning. Oxycodone/APAP may not be a good choice for people who already have liver disease.
  • The medication can cause problems in people with head injuries or high intracranial pressure. Oxycodone/APAP should only be used with extreme caution in such circumstances.
  • Oxycodone/APAP can cause slow and irregular breathing. In severe situations, this may cause life-threatening complications. This may be especially dangerous in people with lung problems.
  • Oxycodone/APAP can cause a decrease in blood pressure, which can be especially dangerous if you already have low blood pressure.
  • Oxycodone/APAP can interfere with the diagnosis of many conditions that cause severe abdominal (stomach) pain.
  • Like any other narcotic, oxycodone/APAP can cause dizziness and drowsiness, and may increase the risk of falls in elderly people.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how oxycodone/APAP affects you. Your reflexes and reaction times may be significantly affected, even if you feel fine.
  • Check with your healthcare provider before taking the drug if you have hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, an enlarged prostate, epilepsy, gallbladder problems, pancreatic disease, or kidney disease, as oxycodone/APAP may not be the best choice for you.
  • Narcotics such as oxycodone/APAP are likely to cause constipation. This side effect does not go away as you continue to take the drug. Usually, laxatives are necessary to treat and prevent constipation due to oxycodone/APAP.
  • Oxycodone/APAP can potentially interact with several other medications (see Drug Interactions With Oxycodone/APAP).
  • Oxycodone/APAP is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Oxycodone/APAP and Pregnancy).
  • Oxycodone/APAP passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Oxycodone/APAP and Breastfeeding).
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