OxyContin® (oxycodone ER) is a long-acting opioid pain reliever. It is a narcotic and a "controlled substance" in the United States. Available in tablet form, OxyContin is specially designed to release the medication slowly over 12 hours. This provides patients with the convenience of taking the medication just twice a day (instead of several times a day, as is necessary with short-acting oxycodone) and provides for more steady pain control.
There is great variation in the dosage of OxyContin that can be tolerated and that will effectively relieve pain, depending on several factors. People who have taken OxyContin or other similar medications for a long time may need (and will tolerate) larger OxyContin doses. Also, some people seem to naturally be more sensitive to OxyContin than others.
It is common for healthcare providers to start patients with a low dose of a short-acting oxycodone product and increase the dosage as necessary and as tolerated. Once the dose is stable (if continued pain control is needed), the healthcare provider may recommend a switch to OxyContin.
(Click OxyContin Dosage for more information on when and how to take OxyContin and to find out what factors your healthcare provider may consider before making a dosage recommendation.)