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OxyContin Side Effects

Common OxyContin Side Effects:

OxyContin side effects chief hazard is respiratory depression. This occurs most frequently in elderly or debilitated patients. Respiratory depression often follows a large initial dose in non-tolerant patients, or when OxyContin is given in conjunction with other agents that depress respiration. Common OxyContin side effects are constipation, nausea, sedation, dizziness, vomiting, headache, dry mouth, sweating, and weakness. Also, OxyContin causes miosis (the constriction of the pupil of the eye), even in total darkness. Pinpoint pupils are a sign of opioid overdose but are not pathognomonic. Marked mydriasisrather than miosis may be seen due to hypoxia in overdose situations.

This medication should be used with extreme caution in patients with significant chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and in patients having a substantially decreased respiratory reserve, hypoxia, hypercapnia, or preexisting respiratory depression. In such patients, even usual therapeutic doses of this drug may cause OxyContin side effects leading to a decreased respiratory drive to the point of apnea. In these patients alternative non-opioid analgesics should be considered, and opioids should be employed only under careful medical supervision at the lowest effective dose.

Other OxyContin Side Effects:

  • OxyContin Side Effects on the Gastrointestinal Tract and Other Smooth Muscle
    Oxycodone causes a reduction in motility associated with an increase in smooth muscle tone in the antrum of the stomach and duodenum. Digestion of food in the small intestine is delayed and propulsive contractions are decreased. Propulsive peristaltic waves in the colon are decreased, while tone may be increased to the point of spasm resulting in constipation. Other opioid-induced effects may include a reduction in gastric, biliary and pancreatic secretions, spasm of sphincter of Oddi, and transient elevations in serum amylase.
  • OxyContin Side Effects on the Cardiovascular System
    Oxycodone may produce release of histamine with or without associated peripheral vasodilation. Manifestations of histamine release and/or peripheral vasodilation may include pruritus, flushing, red eyes, sweating, and/or orthostatic hypotension.
  • OxyContin Side Effects on Concentration--Efficacy Relationships (Pharmacodynamics)
    Studies in normal volunteers and patients reveal predictable relationships between oxycodone dosage and plasma oxycodone concentrations, as well as between concentration and certain expected opioid effects. In normal volunteers these include pupillary constriction, sedation and overall "drug effect" and in patients, analgesia and feelings of "relaxation." In non-tolerant patients, analgesia is not usually seen at a plasma oxycodone concentration of less than 5&10 ng/mL.

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