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OxyContin’s Negative Effects

In the wake of the Opioid epidemic, it’s important to keep in mind the possible pitfalls when dealing with an OxyContin prescription. They range from mental to physical to social, and each kind of issue can vary from mild to severe.

Prescription Side Effects

Like any prescription medication, OxyContin’s negative effects start with the side effects of taking the pills. As mentioned above, these side effects can vary from mild to potentially fatal, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches
  • Nausea
  • Shallow breathing
  • Sleep apnea
  • Respiratory failure
  • Chemical dependence

Managing An OxyContin Prescription

In order to avoid the most serious side effects of prescription OxyContin, it’s important to make sure you’re following your doctor’s orders closely. This is a powerful Opioid known for its ability to form dependencies, which can lead to serious ramifications if left unchecked.

Managing a prescription includes keeping in contact with your doctor in the event of a question or mistake. Missing a dose and other slip ups are common with any prescription, and given the power of these pills, it’s important to get informed medical counsel. The internet can be a convenient informational resource but bear in mind that no one knows your medical history like your doctor.


The body naturally produces its own Opiates in small amounts. An OxyContin dose for pain is comparatively a massive amount. As you take the Opioid for longer periods of time, the body acknowledges that the natural Opiates it creates are no longer necessary, and so it stops producing them. This transition means that the body has developed a dependence to the prescription and can no longer supply the Opiates necessary in the body.

Once the prescription ends, you may experience withdrawal as the body tries to cope without any Opiates. Symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Withdrawal usually refers to the physical effects, but another risk associated with OxyContin is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). PAWS pertains to a change in mental state after going through a physical dependence and acute withdrawal. Mood disorders like depression and anxiety often begin or intensify during PAWS, and mood swings aren’t far behind.  Physical withdrawal symptoms can last for a few days, weeks, or months, while PAWS symptoms can last for over a year.

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Mortality Related To OxyContin’s Negative Effects

OxyContin’s powerful Analgesic effects often cause people to avoid certain activities in order to accommodate the drug’s numerous effects and side effects.

Car Accidents

As Opioid use came into popularity, studies found that fatal car accidents associated with Opioid use increased. People prescribed Opioids were more likely to be involved in fatal crashes, even when avoiding alcohol use. No mind-altering substance is truly safe to use while driving, and OxyContin is no exception. As one of the most popularly prescribed Opioids in the country, it poses a threat to people who engage in hazardous use and then drive.

The Elderly

Although people 65 and older make up just over 10% of the population in the US, they take 34% of all prescription medications. This group is especially at risk for adverse effects related to OxyContin use. Unintended falls around the home can lead to serious injury and infection during medical treatment. The reduction in coordination and awareness can increase the risk for dangerous falls among the elderly.


Certain substances interact dangerously with Opioids, such as alcohol. Both substances are classified as Depressants, and when combined, their effects can increase the chances of respiratory failure. Elderly patients taking OxyContin are at much higher risk of respiratory failure when mixing with alcohol. When managing an OxyContin prescription responsibly, the risks are reduced, but talk to your doctor about whether or not alcohol is safe with your prescription.

Help For OxyContin’s Negative Effects

If you or someone you love is struggling with hazardous OxyContin use, don’t hesitate to reach out to a dedicated treatment provider. You don’t have to bear the weight of an Opioid Use Disorder alone.

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