An Introduction to Oxycontin

 

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What is Oxycontin?

Oxycontin is a slow release form of oxycodone. It is an opioid medication used to treat moderate to severe pain.

Unlike other oxycodone, oxycontin is prepared with the AcroContin delivery system. This system controls its release. Its effect allows the drug to have immediate effects in as early as one hour after taking and can last for as long as 12 hours. This is ideal for those dealing with consistent pain. Due to its slow-release process, oxycontin should not be used on an as-needed basis.

Oxycontin comes in tablet forms that are taken orally. The tablets come in different dosages such as 5 milligrams, 10 milligrams, 15 milligrams, 20 milligrams, 30 milligrams, 40 milligrams, 60 milligrams, 80 milligrams and 120 milligrams.

The dosages prescribed to patients depend on their age, condition, and if they are opioid-tolerant or not. Opioid-tolerance is when patients experience lower to no effects when taking opioid medication. Often this is the result of opioid abuse. For adults who are not opioid-tolerant, the recommended starting dosage is 10 milligrams taken orally every 12 hours.

Oxycontin cannot be purchased without a doctor’s prescription. The doctor will determine the recommended dosage, how often it must be taken, and for how long. It’s highly advisable to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking Oxycontin.

What are the side effects?

Like all other medications in the market, oxycontin can have undesired side effects. Misuse of oxycontin can lead to more serious side effects.

Common side effects of Oxycontin include nausea, constipation, appetite loss, drowsiness, lightheadedness, stomach aches, vomiting, itchiness, excessive sweating, dry mouth, and numbness.

Other side effects are more serious. If such side effects occur, it’s best to tell your physician. A different dosage or alternate medication may be needed.

Addiction

Oxycontin, like other opioid medications, is classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency. This is because opioid medicines are highly addictive. Addiction to Oxycontin can lead to many side effects that can permanently affect our health. This is why it is strictly required to have a doctor’s prescription before you can obtain this drug.

Oxycontin addiction often leads to oxycontin abuse. Abusing or misusing the drug could put the patient at risk to more serious health conditions. One condition that can result from addiction and Oxycontin abuse is a dependency on the drug. This is when the patient can no longer function without the drug despite its effects on their body.

Because of this, removing the drug from their system and their daily activity will cause withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can vary from being uncomfortable to painful. This includes lethargy, inability to focus, vomiting, anxiety, and depression.

Respiratory Depression

Respiratory depression is a common side effect of opioids. This is due to how opioids affect the central nervous system.

Oxycontin, like other opioids, crosses the blood-brain barrier. This allows it to directly affect the brain. This is the reason why it’s highly effective in managing pain. Opioids block pain and cause a calming effect by reducing activity in the central nervous system. But we need to remember that the central nervous system controls many of our other organs. This includes 0the respiratory system. With reduced activity in the central nervous system, this could lead to reduced activity in lungs. In such case, the patient will experience shortness of breath.

Severe Constipation and Vomiting

Oxycontin can also reduce the activity of the gastrointestinal tract. This would cause the stomach and intestine to function less effectively as they would. With slower activity in the stomach and intestine, this will incur severe constipation and even excessive vomiting. These conditions can lead to severe weight loss and even infection in the gastrointestinal tract.

Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders

Our emotions and moods are triggered by chemicals in our brain. These chemicals are what opioid drugs mimic to create their effect. They are called neurotransmitters. With misuse of oxycontin, the brain’s production of neurotransmitters will decrease. The brain will be dependent on the drug’s mimicry of the neurotransmitters. This can cause the brain’s reaction to neurotransmitters to malfunction. The brain can even be overwhelmed with the effects of oxycontin. This would result in many neurological and psychiatric conditions. These conditions can span from migraines to depression.

Modern medicine is still on the mission to make medicine more available without any repercussions. Oxycontin is one of many medicines developed through science and research. But even it can have undesired effects. This is why it’s important to take medicines with caution and follow the advice of your doctor.

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