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How Do I Know The Drug I’m Taking is Oxycodone? And Not OxyContin?

Oxycodone is a generic chemical opioid that has also been found in the brand name OxyContin. While research has proven that Oxycodone and OxyContin addiction are typically the same, is there really no difference between the two? How can one know Oxycodone from the other?

  • Oxycodone is found in Oxycontin as its main ingredient.
  • It is widely used as a powerful opioid for pain relief.
  • The drug can attach itself to the receptors in the gastrointestinal tract, brain, and spinal cord.
  • Once the medication is taken, the body’s perception of pain can automatically be altered with the euphoric effect of the drug.

Drug Addiction Liability

Oxycodone, in any form, can be habit-forming to anyone and that is the risk. In fact, drug tolerance and physical dependence have been known outcomes of regularly treating with Oxycodone. The disadvantage of prescribed pain pills, even when administered properly,  is it can cause addiction and without a doubt, can be detrimental to one’s health.

OxyContin, on the other hand, in its modern variation is reformulated as an Extended Release drug expected to discourage the misuse and abuse of it. The purpose of reformulation is to prevent its users from cutting, chewing, crushing,breaking or dissolving OxyContin for the purpose of releasing “more” of the drug. The new formulation seeks to prevent its users from tampering, which often encourages snorting and injecting it.

Immediate & Extended Release

OxyContin is widely known as a controlled and extended-release drug. This is different from generic Oxycodone, which is can be either in immediate release or extended-release.

Immediate Release Oxycodone

Immediate release (IR) opioids, as the name suggests, have a rapid onset but shorter therapeutic effect. IR opioids can start working in the body 15 to 30 minutes after taking it. The peak analgesic effect can then be felt 1 to 2 hours after. The active pain relief of IR medication, however, can only last a maximum of 4 hours.

While IR medication can treat acute pain, the expected duration is only for a few days. In a number of cases, Oxycodone is allowed to test a patient’s response or tolerance to opioid therapy. The prescription is also extended to individuals who are experiencing unmanageable chronic pain.

Extended Release Oxycodone

Extended Release (ER) opioids have been found in prescriptions for patients, who are in need of treatment for moderate and severe chronic pain disorders. ER opioids boast a longer therapeutic effect, which follows that those who are prescribed ER drugs can take them less frequently than IR drugs. Other names of ER opioids are Long-Acting Opioids, Sustained Release (SR) opioids, and Controlled Release (CR) opioids.

As for the analgesic efficiency of the Oxycodone, studies have shown that Extended Release (ER) variations including OxyContin offer almost no advantages over Immediate Release (IR) formulas. In fact, ER formulations been found inferior to IR Oxycodone and Acetaminophen combined. The only clinical advantage of ER variations over IR variants is less frequent administration.



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