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Oxycodone HCl is the generic form of OxyContin, which has become one of the more frequently abused drugs. OxyContin is a timed-release formulation which provides a stable level of pain relief for 12 hours. When OxyContin is abused, it is generally crushed, then snorted or injected, releasing a dangerous level of oxycodone into the system all at once. Besides this, the additional danger with injecting OxyContin is that the oxycodone is bound in an insoluble matrix of polymers. When injected, this matrix is both a foreign substance which can trigger an inflammatory response, and, since there is a limit to how finely drug abusers grind their pills, a swarm of little chunks let loose into the circulatory system, just custom-made to plug up an arteriole somewhere important (like in the brain..).

Pharmacologic class

Narcotic (opioid analgesic)
Brand Names
management of moderate to severe pain when continuous analgesia is necessary for an extended period of time
interact with opioid receptors at spinal cord level depressing pain impulse transmission
allergy, respiratory depression, acute or severe bronchial asthma or hypercarbia, paralytic ileus, head injury, severe hypotension
alcoholism, adrenocortical insufficiency, central nervous system depression, coma, delirium tremens, debilitation, myxedema, hypothyroidism, prostatic hypertrophy, urethral stricture, hepatic, renal, or pulmonary disease, toxic psychosis, acute abdominal conditions, seizures
Increased central nervous system depression: sedatives, hypnotics, general anesthetics, phenothiazines, tranquilizers, alcohol, centrally-acting antiemetics
Withdrawal effects: mixed opioid agonist/antagonist drugs, such as pentazocine, nalbuphine and butorphanol
Increased neuromuscular blockade: skeletal muscle relaxants
Adverse Reactions
respiratory depression, apnea, respiratory arrest, circulatory depression, hypotension, shock, constipation, nausea, vomiting, somnolence, dizziness, itching, headache, dry mouth, sweating, asthenia
Additional Information
OxyContin is an opioid agonist (narcotic) and a Schedule II controlled substance with an abuse liability similar to morphine. OxyContin tablets are NOT intended for use as a prn analgesic. OxyContin tablets are to be swallowed whole and are not to be broken, chewed or crushed. Taking broken, chewed or crushed OxyContin tablets leads to rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of oxycodone.
This warning taken verbatim from Purdue Pharma’s literature about OxyContin
Date of most recent Update
September 10, 2002
Further information is available in the writeup for the brand name(s) of this medication

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