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What Is Oxycodone/APAP Used For?

Oxycodone/APAP is typically used for the management of short-term pain associated with surgery, a dental procedure, or injury. However, it may also be prescribed to treat conditions that cause chronic pain, such as migraines or cancer. As a combination medication, oxycodone/APAP's effectiveness may be enhanced and its potential for abuse lessened. Possible off-label oxycodone/APAP uses include treating insomnia and coughing.

Oxycodone/APAP Uses

Oxycodone/APAP (Endocet®, Magnacet™, Percocet®, Roxicet™, Tylox®) is a prescription pain medicine approved for the treatment of moderate to moderately severe pain. Several different oxycodone/APAP products are currently available.
Typically, healthcare providers prescribe this medication for treating short-term pain, such as pain caused by a surgery, dental procedure, or injury. However, sometimes, oxycodone/APAP is used to treat migraines, chronic pain, cancer pain, or other types of recurring or long-term conditions that cause pain. It is often used (or rather, abused) inappropriately, as it contains oxycodone, a narcotic medication. Oxycodone/APAP (even when used at high doses) is not appropriate for treating severe pain.

How Does the Medication Work?

Oxycodone/APAP contains two different medications that work together to control pain: acetaminophen and oxycodone hydrochloride. Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic, opioid pain reliever. It is chemically related to codeine. Oxycodone is effective at decreasing pain, but also causes drowsiness and suppresses the drive to breathe (which is known medically as "respiratory suppression").
Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer commonly found in non-prescription medications, such as Tylenol®. "APAP" is an acronym for one of the chemical names for acetaminophen. Adding acetaminophen to oxycodone makes both medications more effective at relieving pain and may limit the abuse potential of oxycodone, as the maximum dose of oxycodone/APAP is often limited by the acetaminophen content.
Make sure to carefully monitor your acetaminophen intake, including acetaminophen from other sources, while taking oxycodone/APAP in order to avoid toxicity (see Drug Interactions With Oxycodone/APAP and Oxycodone/APAP Dosage for more information).
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