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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.
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