If you are in an immediate emergency, call 911. If you are looking for more information on substance abuse treatment and it is not a medical emergency, call our 24/7 Oxycodone Helpline at 877-542-1036.

Oxycodone is a popular prescription pain medication that treats moderate to severe pain, but it is also associated with a high risk for abuse, dependence, and addiction. Oxycodone is a major contributor to the recent “opioid epidemic” that has swept America and, as a result, has been under scrutiny from medical care providers and law enforcement alike.

Legitimately prescribed oxycodone may be safe when taken at the lowest effective dose, only when needed and for a short period. However, regular oxycodone use can lead to dependence and addiction, even when taken as prescribed. Because of its addictive nature, oxycodone should never be taken without a legitimate prescription or in any way other than prescribed. However, if you have been misusing oxycodone, addiction treatment can help.

What Is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone, like other opioids, is derived from the poppy plant. Poppy plants naturally produce some opioids such as heroin and morphine, but oxycodone is known as a semi-synthetic opioid. The natural poppy product it’s derived from requires structural modification in a laboratory in order to become oxycodone.

What Is Oxycodone Used For?

Oxycodone is prescribed to help people manage moderate to severe acute or chronic pain caused by cancer, physical injury or surgery. However, due to oxycodone’s significant dangers and potential for abuse and addiction, prescription rates have decreased.

Oxycodone Dosage

Oxycodone doses will vary depending on the reason it is prescribed. Initial dosing is recommended to start between five and 15 milligrams (mg) every 4–6 hours as needed to control acute pain. For people with chronic pain, the dosage may be increased over time if the initial dose is insufficient. However, some research has shown that opioid doses over 50 MME are no more effective than lower doses at controlling long-term pain.

The onset of action for immediate release oxycodone is 10 to 30 minutes and the duration of action ranges from three to six hours. The onset for controlled-release oxycodone is about one hour, and it lasts for approximately 12 hours.

The maximum dose of oxycodone in 24 hours varies between patients, and there are no studies that have determined a single maximum dose that applies to everyone. People who have never taken opioids will have a far lower maximum dose than people who take them regularly. For moderate, acute pain, dosing guidelines suggest that the maximum dose should not exceed 75 mg per day.

A lethal dose of oxycodone is difficult to determine, but oxycodone can be highly lethal. Anyone who takes it should follow prescribing guidelines exactly. Recent data from the CDC shows that deaths involving prescription opioids, including oxycodone, increased from 14,139 in 2019 to 16,416 in 2020. This statistic alone underscores the serious consequences of misusing prescribed oxycodone.

Oxycodone may be provided as a pill, tablet, capsule or liquid. Oxycodone capsules and pills are intended to be taken by mouth — they should never be broken, crushed, chewed or dissolved in liquid.

What Does Oxycodone Look Like?

Some examples of what generic oxycodone tablets look like may include:

  • 5mg: Round white pills that are stamped with “M” on one side and “0552” on the other side
  • 10mg: Round pink pills that are stamped with “ETH” on one side and “461” on the other side
  • 15mg: Round green pills that are stamped with “M” on one side and “15” on the other side
  • 20mg: Round gray pills that are stamped with “ETH” on one side and “462” on the other side
  • 30mg: Round blue pills that are stamped with “M” on one side and “30” on the other side

Generic oxycodone capsules are provided in 5mg opaque white and yellow capsules that are imprinted with “LV 901”. Depending on the generic manufacturer, oxycodone pills may have different shapes, sizes and colors for the same strength of oxycodone. 

Although larger doses are available in some brand-name formulations, generic oxycodone is not prescribed as tablets or capsules higher than 30mg due to the risks associated with high doses. Higher-dose tablets are provided only to people who have developed opioid tolerance.

Generic oxycodone liquid is supplied in formulations that include:

  • 5mg/5 ml: Red liquid solution
  • 100mg/5 ml: Yellow liquid solution

Brand Names

There are several oxycodone brand names, including:

  • Tylox
  • Percodan
  • Oxycontin
  • Oxycet
  • Percocet
  • Roxicet
  • Roxicodone

Brand name tablets or capsules may look different than their generic versions. Be aware of the brand, dose and prescribing directions before you take your first dose of oxycodone.

Street Names for Oxycodone

There are several oxycodone street names. Among the most common are:

  • Oxy
  • Ox
  • OC
  • Perc
  • Kicker
  • Roxy
  • Hillbilly heroin

Oxycodone Side Effects

Oxycodone is associated with several physical and psychological side effects. Elderly people and pregnant women have particular risks that they must understand before taking oxycodone.


Common physical side effects of oxycodone include:

  • Constipation
  • Hypotension or low blood pressure
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Dry eyes
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea/vomiting

At high doses, people may experience respiratory depression, which is characterized by shallow and/or irregular breathing. This can be fatal if not addressed.


Common psychological side effects of oxycodone include:

  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Sleepiness
  • Reduced libido

Regular oxycodone use can quickly lead to dependence and addiction, which are both associated with potentially debilitating drug cravings.

Oxycodone Side Effects in the Elderly

Oxycodone side effects in the elderly include all physical and psychological side effects that are normally linked to oxycodone use, but there are additional side effects that must be considered before people older than 65 take oxycodone.

Elderly people have a higher risk of kidney or liver insufficiency, which may make oxycodone more dangerous. Oxycodone can accumulate in the body when kidney or liver function is reduced, leading to potentially lethal respiratory depression or central nervous system toxicity.

Oxycodone and Pregnancy

Oxycodone use during pregnancy has been linked to serious side effects:

  • Embryo/fetal toxicity: Oxycodone may harm developing fetuses and cause delayed growth, congenital abnormalities and preterm delivery.
  • Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome: Women who regularly take oxycodone put their infant at risk for withdrawal symptoms after birth.

Newborns are highly sensitive to opioid pain relievers. Oxycodone transmitted through breast milk can cause increased sleepiness, breathing difficulties or limpness and may lead to dependence and addiction in breastfeeding babies. It is generally recommended that mothers not take oxycodone while breastfeeding. Mothers who take oxycodone while breastfeeding should limit their dose to 30mg or less per day.

Peak oxycodone levels in breast milk are measured 1–2 hours after taking the drug. Higher doses and frequent administration are associated with increased oxycodone levels in breast milk, and it may be measurable for up to 36 hours.

Is Oxycodone Addictive?

Oxycodone is powerfully addictive, even when taken as prescribed. People often ask, “How long does it take to get addicted to oxycodone?” There is no simple way to determine how long it will take any one person to become addicted to oxycodone, but studies have shown that opioid dependence can begin to set in after as few as five days of regular use, even when taken as directed. Not everyone who takes oxycodone will develop dependence within days, but the risk of dependence and addiction increases with each additional day of use.

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System?

Larger doses, increased dose frequency and longer durations of use are associated with a larger detection window, but in most cases, oxycodone can be measured for the following amounts of time:

  • Blood: 1–2 days
  • Urine: 2–4 days
  • Hair: Up to several months or even years, depending on which part of the hair is used
  • Breast milk: Up to 36 hours

Oxycodone Overdose

Deaths caused by prescription opioids have skyrocketed in recent years. According to the CDC, 46 Americans die every day from prescription opioid overdoses, and oxycodone overdoses account for a substantial portion of these deaths.

Oxycodone overdose risk increases considerably when alcohol or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, such as benzodiazepines or other opioids, are taken at the same time as oxycodone. Combining CNS depressants leads to a synergistic effect, meaning that the actual effect is greater than expected based on each drug’s effects. For example, someone who can safely take 10mg of oxycodone or have two beers risks a serious, potentially life-threatening overdose if they combine 10mg of oxycodone with two beers.

Signs and symptoms of an oxycodone overdose include:

  • Shallow, irregular breathing or respiratory depression
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Muscle flaccidity or weakness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Coughing
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Death

An oxycodone overdose is a medical emergency. If you suspect an overdose, call 911 immediately.

In the case of an overdose, an opioid antagonist called naloxone will be administered. An antagonist is a drug that prevents another drug from continuing to work, so naloxone will prevent oxycodone from slowing the person’s breathing and heart rate. In cases where someone has stopped breathing, life support including artificial respiration may be required.

Quitting oxycodone after becoming dependent on it can be difficult. The experts at Orlando Recovery Center understand the unique challenges associated with quitting oxycodone. We will work with you to detox from oxycodone and create a long-term recovery plan tailored to fit your particular needs. Contact us today to learn how we can help you get your life back.

Oxycodone Withdrawal

Discontinuing oxycodone can lead to multiple withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can vary from person to person and depend on many factors. For example, an individual who is struggling with oxycodone may also be using other substances like alcohol, which can make the withdrawal process more severe. Dosage, frequency and length of use also impact withdrawal symptoms. 

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms are similar to withdrawal symptoms from other opioid pain medications. Withdrawal symptoms can begin 8–24 hours after last use for short-acting opioids, and 12–48 hours for long-acting opioids. These symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Perspiration
  • Muscle cramps
  • Watery discharge from eyes and nose
  • Diarrhea 

Oxycodone Detox

Oxycodone detox should always be done under the direct supervision of a medical professional. The goal of detox is to help the person struggling with addiction to safely and effectively clear the body of its physical dependence and to ease the severity of withdrawal symptoms. 

Orlando Recovery Center specializes in medical detox. Their team of experts is ready to assist in all forms of care, including medication administration and wellness therapy. Treatment for oxycodone detox should be tailored to each individual’s circumstances. Upon admission to Orlando Recovery Center, an assessment of your personal situation will be conducted and a plan developed to begin the recovery process. Regardless of where you are in the detox process, Orlando Recovery Center has programs that can benefit you now and keep you on the road to recovery in a comfortable and relaxed setting.

Oxycodone Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Oxycodone addiction treatment requires a comprehensive approach to meet a person’s needs. Orlando Recovery Center has the ability to meet these needs by offering various levels of care. During the medical detox component, medical professionals monitor the withdrawal process to ease any discomfort that may occur due to withdrawal symptoms, with or without medications. 

Orlando Recovery Center also provides inpatient treatment. This gives the client constant support during this delicate time in the recovery process. Patients live onsite at the facility and receive 24-hour medical care and a structured schedule of individual, group, family and recreational therapies.   

A unique partial hospitalization program is offered to those who are ready to progress to the next phase in their recovery. This stage allows the client to further develop coping skills and participate in more unstructured time.  

Once an individual is ready, Orlando Recovery Center offers intensive outpatient services that continue to provide group and individual therapy. To foster long-term recovery, outpatient care and aftercare are essential once a person returns to life at home. Regular check-ups will ensure progress is maintained.

Orlando Recovery Center offers a wide array of indoor and outdoor amenities, including:

  • Lakefront views that provide a peaceful environment, contributing to well-being 
  • Fully equipped gym  
  • Swimming pool 
  • Art therapy 
  • Yoga 

Orlando Recovery Center is an accredited Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Facility offering the highest standards of care, led by an impressive team with combined decades of experience assisting people through their recovery process. This facility is located just outside the heart of downtown Orlando, Florida. There are numerous hotels and restaurants in the surrounding  area, and Orlando International Airport is a 15-minute drive to the facility. 

If you’re concerned about your oxycodone use, give us a call today to speak with one of our skilled and compassionate staff members.

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.