Part of the Complete Guide to Understanding Addiction
Table of Contents
- What is Oxycontin?
- How does Oxycontin look?
- Is there a difference between Oxycontin and Oxycodone?
- Oxycontin side effects
- What does Oxycontin feel like?
- How much does Oxycontin cost on the streets?
- How quickly does Oxy work?
- Oxycontin Half-life
What Is OxyContin?
OxyContin is a strong prescription classified as an opioid medication that is intended for pain relief. It is used to mitigate pain from injuries, cancer, arthritis, and other pain-causing conditions. OxyContin is formulated using approximately 10 to 80 milligrams of Oxycodone which offers up to 12 hours of relief from chronic pain.
According to cancer specialist Mary A. Simmonds, MD, most cancer patients may forget to take pills on time which causes pain to build up periodically. OxyContin helps in such situations as it is an ideal medication for patients in need of round-the-clock relief. This is because common pain relief drugs such as codeine and morphine may not provide utmost relief results in moderate to severe pain as compared to OxyContin.
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Nonetheless, OxyContin has become a popular drug in the streets due to its narcotic effects. Most users have compared its high effects to that of heroin. This has resulted in most doctors fearing recommending the medication to patients due to fear of conviction.
Abuse of OxyContin has adverse effects such as addiction, difficulty in breathing, and even fatality. It is also recommended that you consult a medical specialist before using the drug.
Physical Appearance of OxyContin
OxyContin is in tablet form and has round shapes, but higher dosages may come in an oblong oval shape. You should take it as per the prescriptions on the medication guides. In addition, one should take it as a whole pill to prevent incurring adverse effects. Some people may crush it and mix it with water or inhale the powder, which is highly condemned as it may cause death. This is because breaking the tablets distorts the upper layer, which causes instant absorption of the whole dosage in the body.
As stated earlier, OxyContin pills come in various dosages, such as 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg, and 80 mg. Higher dosages are rarely prescribed as they are speculated to cause unfavorable effects. The tablets have letters “OC” printed on one face and the number of milligrams on the other. In pharmaceutical form, they have different colors as articulated below:
- 10 mg- White.
- 15 mg- Grey.
- 20 mg- Pink.
- 30 mg- Brown.
- 40 mg- Yellow.
- 60 mg- Red.
- 80 mg – Green.
- 120 mg- Purple.
Difference Between OxyContin and Oxycodone
OxyContin and Oxycodone have a similar primary component: Oxycodone. Both medications are used to mitigate and manage pain, though they have distinct mechanisms of releasing the medication. OxyContin is an extended-release formulation, while Oxycodone is an immediate release pill.
Both drugs belong to the narcotic family of medicines and face strict regulations due to the high potential for abuse, addiction, and misuse. A doctor decides on whether to use OxyContin or Oxycodone based on the type of pain.
Doctors recommend taking Oxycodone every 4-6 hours while OxyContin has continuous delivery for over 12 hours. Both medications can be used to manage moderate to severe pain, but OxyContin has been preferred in severe and continuous pain, especially where other types of medications can’t solve.
Oxycontin Side Effects
Oxycodone offers short-term treatment of approximately three days or fewer, while OxyContin has long-term treatment. They, however, have similar side effects due to a common base component as discussed below:
- Dry Mouth
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Red eyes
Respiratory complications are likely to occur during the first three days of the treatment, after escalating the dosage, or when taken in large amounts. Prompt withdrawal of Oxycodone and OxyContin may cause dependent symptoms such as pupil dilation, watery eyes, runny nose, insomnia, gastrointestinal complaints, restlessness, irritability, and abdominal pain.
Both OxyContin and Oxycodone have similar drug interactions with medicinal components such as:
- Antibiotics (clarithromycin and erythromycin)
- Antifungal agents (itraconazole and ketoconazole)
- Antidepressants (tricyclic, monoamine, and SSRIs)
- Antipsychotics (butyrophenones, phenothiazines, and thioxanthene)
- Anticonvulsants (phenytoin, primidone, phenobarbital, and carbamazepine)
- Migraine medications
- Medications that may lead to drowsiness
- Muscle relaxants
- Medications that affect serotonin.
What Does OxyContin Feel Like?
OxyContin is a prominent pain reliever as it works with the brain to tweak how the body perceives pain. The drug’s strength, method of use, and consistency matter a lot in OxyContin’s implications on the body.
Ian McLaughlin, PhD, a specialist in neurobiology, states that the effects of using OxyContin resemble other opioids. He also states that its usage may cause signs such as:
- Feeling sleepy
- Reduced appetite
- Feeling slow and weak
- Skin itching
- Mumbled speech
High symptoms can be perceived rapidly after consuming the tablets. Moreover, nasal and intravenous consumption causes almost prompt “high effects” after consumption. When taken in the recommended dosage, there are no high feelings due to its extended-release function.
Rookie consumers may feel high at first but diminish as they continue with the consumption. Most people claim that the first experience is an exceptional high feeling that cannot be compared with any drug usage. Hence, it has been nicknamed “chasing the high.”
Taking OxyContin for a long duration or in a higher dosage than recommended may spike consumption cravings. This causes addiction that causes one to consume more than the required dosage for them to feel normal. It is, however, unsafe as it may cause effects such as breathing complications or even death.
Taking OxyContin and alcohol may enhance a pleasurable high but is dangerous than OxyContin itself. Incorporating opioids with alcohol may lead to arrested breathing, lowered blood pressure, lowered pulse, coma, and even death.
How Much Does OxyContin Cost on The Streets?
OxyContin is a highly sought opioid in the streets, and its price may differ based on location and dosage. The average price of OxyContin on the streets is roughly $1 per mg. A bottle may cost hundreds of dollars based on its size.
An OxyContin street value per tablet is about $50 to $80. Conversely, Oxycodone costs around $12 to $40 per pill. This is because OxyContin has a longer-lasting high duration than Oxycodone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the total economic cost of prescription abuse is over $70 million per year. This amount accumulates from the funds, time, and energy spent on curbing abuse of drugs such as OxyContin.
How Quickly Does OxyContin Work?
OxyContin prescriptions state that its consumption is safe when taken in tablet form. Some people may crush and sniff it or dissolve it in water for intake via injection, which causes instant effects. Additionally, taking OxyContin for the first time may cause an exceptional experience, and effects can kick in fast than in seasoned consumers.
Its effects last for 12 hours which may require consumption twice a day. The version of the drug taken may also have a variation in the duration it takes to feel the effects. The duration in which OxyContin stays in the body depends on parameters such as:
- Dosage amount
- Method of consumption
- The body’s metabolism
- Dosage took before stopping
- Body size
- Incorporation with other medications.
Oxycontin Half -Life
OxyContin may remain in the body for a longer duration than its effects. Below is a discussion of different aspects and the duration in which the drug stays in the body.
Oxycodone has a half-life of 4.5 to 6.5 hours. This depends on the dosage form, and it is the time that the drug takes to decrease by half in the blood concentration. After passing the 24-hour mark, blood concentrations are low or diminished.
Since the last dosage, Oxycodone stays in the urine for approximately 2 to 4 days. A study by Oxford Academic stated that a single dose could result in the presence of the drug for roughly 30 hours in urine.
Oxycodone hair tests are the most sensitive as hair contamination is highly susceptible even when one is not using the drug. Its traces can remain on hair ends for months or years even when one has seized using it.
Oxycodone presence in breast milk varies. A certain study revealed that Oxycodone levels in breast milk approximately two hours after the last dose. However, there have been substantial variations in the amount of Oxycodone present in breast milk.