Oxycodone (OxyContin) Addiction, Side Effects, & Treatment

Oxycodone can be an effective short-term pain management tool when used properly. However, it also carries significant health risks and potential for misuse and addiction.1 According to the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in the past year, 8.5 million people misused prescription pain medications, including oxycodone, and 5.6 million people struggled with addiction to prescription pain relievers.2

This page will explain what oxycodone is, the risks of oxycodone addiction, and how to get help for yourself or a loved one living with addiction to prescription pain medications.

What Is Oxycodone (Oxycontin)?

Oxycodone is a prescription opioid pain medication used to treat severe pain and for the management of pain for which alternative treatments are insufficient.1  In its extended release form, oxycodone is prescribed under the brand name OxyContin.3

Oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance,1 meaning that is has some medical value but carries a high risk for dependence and addiction.4

Side Effects of Oxycodone

The most common side effect of oxycodone include:

  • Nausea.
  • Constipation.
  • Vomiting.
  • Headache.
  • Insomnia.
  • Dizziness.
  • Itchy skin (pruritus).
  • Weakness.
  • Drowsiness.

Is Oxycodone Addictive?

Oxycodone and products containing oxycodone have a known risk for misuse and addiction.

Misusing prescription opioids like oxycodone involves taking them in amounts or ways not prescribed by a doctor, such as using someone else’s medication or using oxycodone for its euphoric effects.1

Oxycodone misuse increases the risk of becoming addicted to it.1 Addiction is the continued compulsive use of a substance despite negative consequences to a person’s health, life, and relationships.1

Dangers of Oxycodone Addiction

Oxycodone addiction carries several risks that can have serious consequences. Most critically, oxycodone addiction exposes individuals to an increased risk of overdose and death.1 Other risks include:

  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome caused by prolonged use of oxycodone while pregnant.1
  • Concomitant use of CNS depressants, including alcohol or benzodiazepines, with oxycodone can result in profound respiratory depression, coma, and death.1
  • Increased likelihood of becoming dependent on or addicted to heroin.5

Oxycodone Overdose Symptoms

There is a serious risk of overdose resulting from oxycodone misuse. Symptoms of an oxycodone overdose include:1,6

  • Constricted “pinpoint” pupils.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Slowed or no breathing.
  • Choking or gurgling sounds.
  • Limp body.
  • Cold or clammy skin.
  • Discoloration of skin, especially in the lip or fingers.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms & Detox

When someone has become physically dependent on oxycodone, they may experience withdrawal symptoms when use is abruptly slowed or stopped.

Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Restlessness.
  • Watering eyes.
  • Muscle and joint pain.
  • Excessive yawning.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Runny nose.
  • Irritability.
  • Gastrointestinal upset (nausea, cramping, vomiting, diarrhea).

While opioid withdrawal is very rarely fatal, it can be intensely uncomfortable and difficult to get through on your own.However, a medically supervised detox can help make the process easier. In a detox setting, addiction treatment specialists, including nurses and doctors, are on hand to respond to your needs, manage withdrawal symptoms, and make you as safe and comfortable as possible.

Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction in Florida

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to oxycodone or other prescription medications, there is help. At our inpatient rehab near Tampa, FL we get people on the road to recovery using evidence-based addiction-focused healthcare so they can get back to living the life they deserve.

Contact our compassionate and knowledgeable admissions navigators at to learn more about our different levels of care and how to start admissions. Our navigators can also answer your questions about what to expect in rehab, ways to pay for rehab, or how to use your insurance for addiction treatment. Recovery is possible. Call us today.


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