Oxycodone is an opioid painkiller, similar in effect to morphine. Derived from thebaine, the analgesic helps alleviate moderate to severe forms of pain. Generic oxycodone hydrochloride comes in 5- to 30-milligram doses every four to six hours as needed. There are additional, different types of oxycodone pills including time-release formulas and pills that have been compounded with other active ingredients, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naloxone.
A well-known brand of time-release oxycodone pills is OxyContin. Time-release tablets are designed to provide pain relief for an extended amount of time, usually 12 hours, and are taken in a regular, continuous dose rather than as needed. Due to this, the tablets must be swallowed whole and not crushed or chewed, which can result in too much of the medication being absorbed too quickly. Time-release oxycodone is available in 10- to 160-milligram tablets. Dose is based on severity of pain, and patients are usually prescribed two tablets per day.
Brands including Percocet, Endocet, and Tylox combine oxycodone and acetaminophen. The acetaminophen is added to increase the effect of the oxycodone. These pills come in oxycodone/acetaminophen combinations of 2.5/325 milligrams, which is generally prescribed as one to two tablets every six hours with higher doses of 5/325, 7.5/500, and 10/650 milligrams. Patients normally take doses as one tablet every six hours as needed.
Percodan and Endodan are brands of oxycodone that include aspirin. The aspirin is combined with the oxycodone due to its anti-inflammatory properties and because it also helps to reduce pain and fever. These pills are also available in varying doses and prescribed according to the severity of a patient's pain. Typically, doctors prescribe them in doses of 2.5 or 4.5 milligrams of oxycodone combined with 325 milligrams of aspirin. The lesser dose can be taken in one to two pills every six hours and the greater as one tablet every six hours.
Oxycodone is also combined with ibuprofen. Combunox, for example, combines 5 milligrams of oxycodone with 400 milligrams of ibuprofen to be taken once every six hours as needed. The ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, is included to help reduce pain and inflammation. Doctors recommend that this type of oxycodone pill should be taken for shorter periods of time than most, generally no more than seven days.
Finally, Targinact combines oxycodone pills with naloxone. Oxycodone causes constipation as a side effect, and this is reduced by the inclusion of naloxone. Doctors prescribe this type of tablet to patients with conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, where constipation can increase the risk of infection. Also available in variable doses according to the degree of pain, it is typically prescribed in oxycodone/naloxone ratios of 5/2.5, 10/5, 20/10, or 40/20 milligrams. Designed as a time-release formula, one pill is typically taken every 12 hours.
No matter which different type of oxycodone pills are prescribed, none should be taken with alcohol. All the pill types have similar side effects, including dizziness, nausea, and fatigue, and all should be reduced in dose before a patient stops taking them. Failure to taper oxycodone can result in a number of withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, nausea, and insomnia.