OxyContin is an opioid-based pain reliever that is similar to morphine. These medications are also referred to as narcotics. Medications like OxyContin are used to treat moderate to severe pain that will continue for a significant period of time. Unlike some other medications, OxyContin is intended to treat pain around the clock. In some cases, OxyContin may be used to treat other conditions based on your doctor's evaluation of your symptoms.
Precautions of Taking OxyContin
Prescribed by Doctor: OxyContin can be habit-forming. It should only be taken by those who have been given a prescription and should be kept in a secure location where others cannot get it.
Away for Alcohol: You should not drink alcohol while using OxyContin as this can put you at risk of death. This includes foods that may contain alcohol.
Dosage: You should never take OxyContin in larger doses than what you have been prescribed, nor should you continue to take this medication longer than you have been instructed. If your medication appears to stop working effectively to treat your symptoms, talk to your doctor to see what should be done.
Health Disorders: Those that have had an allergic reaction to other narcotic medications or medications that contain hydrocodone, codeine or dihydrocodeine should not take OxyContin. Also avoid using this medication if you suffer from bowel obstructions such as paralytic ileus or asthma attacks. Those that suffer from low blood pressure, curvature of the spine, underactive thyroid, liver or kidney disease, Addison's disease, gallbladder disease, trouble swallowing, mental illness, epilepsy, enlarged prostate or a history of addiction problems should not use OxyContin.
Caution with Pregnancy: OxyContin is listed in the FDA pregnancy category B, which means it is not expected to harm an unborn child. However, you should tell your doctor if you are pregnant or attempting to conceive before you start using this medication. OxyContin may pass through the breast milk and can harm a baby that is nursing, so you should not breastfeed while you are using this medication.
Impact on Reaction: OxyContin may impair your reaction time or the way you think. Until you know how this medication will affect you, it is important to avoid activities like driving or operating heavy machinery.
Withdrawal Symptoms: Do not stop taking OxyContin suddenly as this can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor will help you create an appropriate step down program when it is time for you to stop using this medication to help you avoid these effects.
How to Use OxyContin
- Follow all instructions on the label and tell your doctor if the medication does not appear to be working properly to relieve your symptoms.
- When taking your prescription, you should swallow the medication whole without breaking, crushing or chewing the tablet.
- Do not get the pills wet, lick them or presoak them before eating. Instead, drink water to help you swallow the pill. Breaking the tablet or getting it wet can cause too much medication to go into the system at once, which may lead to an overdose.
- Never mix OxyContin into a liquid and inject it into the vein. This practice is incredibly dangerous and can result in death.
- You shouldn't take OxyContin for longer than it was prescribed or in larger doses than you were instructed.
- While using this medication you should drink plenty of water each day to help prevent constipation and make a point of eating plenty of fiber. If you find that you are having trouble with constipation, talk to your doctor about whether or not it is appropriate to use a stool softener to relieve your symptoms.
- OxyContin should be stored at room temperature in an area that is dry and dark. Make sure you keep track of how much medication you have less and confront anyone that may be abusing your prescription immediately.
- Once you have stopped using this prescription, flush all remaining pills down the toilet to avoid anyone using this drug recreationally. The FDA is currently working with manufacturers to determine the safest way to dispose of OxyContin pills while posing the smallest threat to others. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about what to do with your medicine when you are finished with it.
Side Effects of Taking OxyContin
- Side effects of OxyContin include nausea, itching, sweating, dry mouth, constipation loss of appetite, vomiting, feeling tired, dizziness or headache.
- More serious side effects of this medication include seizures, confusion, cold and clammy skin, feeling like you may pass out, shallow breathing or slow heartbeat. Let your doctor know if any of these symptoms occur so you can determine if it is safe for you to continue using this medication.
- If you begin to develop hives, swelling of the throat, face or tongue, or difficulty breathing, stop using your medication and contact emergency medical services right away. This is a sign that you are having a serious allergic reaction to your medication.
If you would like to know more about how to use OxyContin or the potential side effects of this medication, visit http://www.drugs.com/oxycontin.html.