Long-Term Effects of Taking Oxycodone

Oxycodone is a schedule II narcotic analgesic. Schedule II drugs have a high risk of abuse but are also considered safe for accepted medical treatment protocols. An analgesic is a type of medication used to control pain. Oxycodone is marketed either alone or in combination with other medications, such as aspirin, to control moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone pain reliever is available in pill form in a variety of combinations, and any product that contains oxycodone is a schedule II narcotic.


Living drug free may not be possible if you experience pain daily. Work with your physician to create a treatment protocol that controls your pain. If a derivative of oxycodone is included in the treatment recommendations there are several factors that should be considered. Oxycodone acts like an opiod drug. In high doses it causes sedation and poor oxygen exchange. Oxycodone should not be prescribed to women who are pregnant or anyone who has a history of addiction to prescription or street drugs. If you are elderly, have liver or kidney damage, or are currently on another opiod-type drug, the amount prescribed will vary to accommodate your particular needs. People who have or are suspected to have a paralytic ileus or who have acute or severe asthma should not take oxycodone.

Side Effects

The side effects of oxycodone are related to the organs that are affected by the drug, such as the liver, brain and kidneys. Some of the more-common side effects include nausea, constipation, vomiting, headache, itchy skin, insomnia and dizziness. Side effects that are not common can include allergic reaction, chills and fever, migraine headaches, palpitation, anemia, gout, arthritis or bone pain, edema, agitation, anxiety, confusion, dry mouth, personality disorder, heart failure or gingivitis.

Long-Term Effects of Oxycodone

One of the long-term effects of oxycodone is addiction that is characterized by greater dependence on the drug and tolerance to the dosage. Tolerance to a drug means that you must take more and more of the medication to get the same early effect.

After long-term use of oxycodone, men may also experience a decreased level of testosterone or enlargement of the prostate. Other long-term effects include excessive sweating, swelling in the arms and legs, and chronic constipation.

Because chronic use leads to tolerance and dependence, you may experience withdrawal symptoms if a prescription is reduced or stopped. These withdrawal symptoms can involve signs of central nervous system hyperactivity and will peak 48 to 72 hours after your last dose. Physical symptoms will be eliminated within a week but it may take longer to erase the psychological addiction.

Withdrawal from oxycodone will begin with anxiety followed by an increased rate of breathing, runny nose, stomach cramps, tearing and sweating. Although withdrawal from oxycodone is distressing it is not fatal.

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