By Naomi Carr
Last updated: 17 November 2023 & medically reviewed by Morgan Blair
Roxicodone is an opioid analgesic used to treat severe pain. Like other opioids, Roxicodone has a high-risk potential for abuse and addiction and can cause dangerous effects, especially in overdose. Treatment for Roxicodone addiction includes medical detox, rehab, therapeutic interventions, and medications.
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What is Roxicodone?
Roxicodone is one of the brand names for the medication oxycodone. Other brand names for this medication include OxyContin and Oxaydo. Roxicodone (oxycodone) is an opioid analgesic, also known as a narcotic.
Roxicodone (oxycodone) is only available with a prescription, although it is also illicitly sold and used. Because of its potential for abuse and addiction, oxycodone and all brand-name versions of this medication are Schedule II controlled substances.
What is Roxicodone used for?
Roxicodone (oxycodone) is an opioid analgesic medication, meaning that it is used as a pain relief. It is intended and approved for use in the treatment of severe pain that requires long-term and continuous management that cannot be treated by other pain relief medications.
Roxicodone side effects
When starting a new medication, it is common to experience side effects. If side effects occur that are severe or persistent, it is recommended to consult a doctor immediately.
Common side effects
Severe side effects
Irregular, rapid, or slowed heartbeat
Extreme drowsiness and fatigue
Pain or tightness in the chest
Swelling in the mouth, face, or throat
Severe dizziness or falls
Rash or hives
Severe muscle pain or stiffness
Prolonged use of Roxicodone (oxycodone) can lead to the development of tolerance and physical dependence.
Over time, the body develops a tolerance to the medication, which means that the current dose no longer has the same effect. Higher doses are then required to achieve the desired effects.
Physical dependence occurs with prolonged use and causes the onset of withdrawal symptoms when the medication is stopped. Withdrawal symptoms of Roxicodone (oxycodone) can include agitation, irritability, sweating, pain, vomiting, increased heart rate, and insomnia.
Can you overdose on Roxicodone?
Taking a higher dose than prescribed
Administering the medication in an unintended manner, including snorting or injecting
Being used alongside other substances, particularly alcohol or benzodiazepines
Being taken by someone for whom the prescription is not intended, especially children
Extreme weakness and tiredness
Slowed or stopped breathing
Cold, clammy, or blue skin
Small, pinpoint pupils
Loss of consciousness
In many cases, Roxicodone (oxycodone) overdoses can be severe and even fatal. In the event of an overdose, a medication can be administered, such as Naloxone, which blocks the effects of the drug and prevents life-threatening consequences.
Is Roxicodone addictive?
Opioids, including Roxicodone, impact neurotransmitter levels and cause an increased release of dopamine. Dopamine is the primary neurotransmitter involved in the brain’s reward circuit and contributes to increased feelings of pleasure and euphoria. This reinforces the use of the drug and contributes to long-lasting changes in brain chemistry, thus creating and maintaining an addiction.
Addiction is a psychological and behavioral condition, involving continued drug use regardless of harmful consequences. Addiction causes compulsive seeking and use of substances that takes priority over other obligations or responsibilities. With prescription opioids, such as Roxicodone, drug-seeking may include ‘doctor shopping’ to obtain numerous prescriptions.
Roxicodone (oxycodone) addiction is more likely to occur when the medication is abused, although it can occur even when it is used exactly as prescribed. Additionally, although they are distinct and can occur independently, abuse and addiction may be more likely to occur following the development of tolerance and physical dependence.
Roxicodone vs OxyContin
Roxicodone and OxyContin are both brand names for the generic medication oxycodone. Because they are made from the same substance, Roxicodone and OxyContin are similar in their uses, effects, and risks.
To treat severe pain that cannot be managed by a non-opioid medication
To treat severe pain requiring constant management, that cannot be controlled by other medications
Typical dose of 5-30mg every 4-6 hours
Typical dose of 10-40mg every 12 hours (higher doses can be prescribed to opioid-tolerant patients)
Tablets available in 5mg, 15mg, 30mg strengths
Tablets available in 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, 30mg, 40mg, 60mg, 80mg strengths
Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, constipation, insomnia, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, itching, and headache
Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, constipation, drowsiness, itching, dizziness, headache, sweating, dry mouth, and weakness
Risk of addiction
High risk of addiction and physical dependence
High risk of addiction and physical dependence
Risk of overdose
High risk of overdose
High risk of overdose
Treatment for Roxicodone addiction
If an individual is addicted to Roxicodone (oxycodone), they may be diagnosed with an opioid use disorder (OUD). The first step to treating OUD is to reduce and stop drug use. Opioid withdrawals can be very unpleasant and, in some cases, dangerous. As such, reducing and stopping Roxicodone (oxycodone) should be done with professional advice and monitoring.
Reducing and stopping Roxicodone (oxycodone) can occur via outpatient treatment or in a hospital or rehab center. This allows professionals to monitor and treat any withdrawal symptoms that occur and provide psychological and medical support throughout the detox process.
Typically, it is advised to gradually reduce the dosage of Roxicodone (oxycodone), as this can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Some people may choose to stop using the drug altogether (cold turkey), which can cause severe withdrawal symptoms.
Medications can be prescribed to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, including methadone and buprenorphine. These medications can be used as a short-term treatment to help during withdrawal and can also be used long-term as a maintenance treatment for OUD.
It is often beneficial for individuals with OUD to receive ongoing treatment and support, to help maintain abstinence and improve addiction recovery. This can include group therapies and support, such as 12-step programs and Narcotics Anonymous.
Additionally, psychosocial therapies should be provided to improve social and professional skills and functioning. Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can be effective at treating OUD as these therapies focus on reducing addictive behaviors and developing coping skills to manage emotional distress, cravings, and triggers.