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OxyContin Warnings and Precautions

Specific OxyContin Precautions and Warnings

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking OxyContin include the following:
  • Breaking, chewing, dissolving, or crushing OxyContin tablets will cause too much of the medication to be released too quickly. A potentially fatal overdose could occur. OxyContin tablets should be swallowed whole.
  • OxyContin is not meant for "as needed" use. It is meant only for continuous, around-the-clock pain control.
  • The higher strengths of OxyContin (60 mg, 80 mg, and 160 mg tablets) are only for use in people accustomed to taking opioid medications. They contain too much medication for people who are new to opioids.
  • You may notice what looks like undissolved OxyContin tablets in your stool. However, this is not a cause for concern, as they are just the outer shells that remain after the medication is released from the tablets.
  • Like any other narcotic, OxyContin 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 OxyContin affects you. Your reflexes and reaction times may be significantly affected, even if you feel fine.
  • OxyContin can cause slow and irregular breathing, especially at high doses. In severe situations, this may be life-threatening. This may be especially dangerous in people with lung problems.
  • OxyContin 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 (see OxyContin Addiction). 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 OxyContin, please seek help from your healthcare provider.
  • This medication can cause problems in people with head injuries or high intracranial pressure. OxyContin should only be used with extreme caution in such circumstances.
  • OxyContin can interfere with the diagnosis of many conditions that cause severe abdominal (stomach) pain.
  • Check with your healthcare provider before taking the drug if you have hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, an enlarged prostate, or kidney disease, as OxyContin may not be the best choice for you.
  • Narcotics such as OxyContin 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 OxyContin (see OxyContin and Constipation).
  • OxyContin can potentially interact with several other medications (see OxyContin Drug Interactions).
  • OxyContin is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see OxyContin and Pregnancy).
  • OxyContin passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see OxyContin and Breastfeeding).
8 Frequent Pain Syndromes

OxyContin Medication Information

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