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What Is Oxycodone ER Used For?

Oxycodone ER is a drug that treats moderate to severe pain. It is meant to provide continuous, around-the-clock pain control and should not be used on an "as needed" basis. This medication is not appropriate for treating pain after a surgery (unless your pain is expected to be moderate to severe and long-lasting). There are currently no uses of oxycodone ER approved for children.

Uses of Oxycodone ER

Oxycodone ER (OxyContin®) is a prescription medication approved to treat moderate to severe pain. It is a strong narcotic painkiller that should not be used to treat mild or short-term pain.
 
Oxycodone ER is meant to be used around-the-clock at scheduled times twice a day. It is not approved for "as needed" use (unscheduled use only when needed). Oxycodone ER is not appropriate for treating pain after a surgery, unless you were already taking oxycodone ER before the surgery or if your pain is expected to be moderate to severe and long-lasting.
 
The highest strengths (60 mg, 80 mg, and 160 mg) are not appropriate (and may be dangerous) for people who are unaccustomed to taking opioid medications, as they contain too much oxycodone for such people.
 
In general, most people who take oxycodone ER switch from other narcotic pain medications (such as from short-acting oxycodone). Often, people need to take additional short-acting "rescue" painkillers in addition to oxycodone ER for "breakthrough" pain.
 
Because oxycodone ER contains oxycodone, it can be used (or rather, abused) inappropriately (see OxyContin Addiction).
 

How Does It Work?

Oxycodone ER tablets are specially designed to release the medication continuously over a 12-hour period. It contains oxycodone, a narcotic, opioid pain reliever. It binds to opioid receptors throughout the body and produces numerous different effects. These effects include (but are not limited to):
 
  • Pain relief
  • Cough suppression
  • Decreased breathing (slow or shallow breathing)
  • Certain changes in the circulatory system
  • Slowing of the digestive tract
  • Release of histamine (which often causes itching)
  • Physical dependence.
     
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Oxycodone ER Drug Information

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