Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed March 08, 2018
This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy, clarity, and style by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and attorneys and in accordance with our editorial standards.
The last updated date refers to the last time this article was reviewed by FindLaw or one of our contributing authors. We make every effort to keep our articles updated. For information regarding a specific legal issue affecting you, please contact an attorney in your area.
Oxycontin is a drug that generates a lot of attention. If it's not about reports of increases in overdoses and fatalities or celebrities discussing addiction, then it's about news of police crackdowns and rising crime. There are a lot of misconceptions and confusion surrounding Oxycontin and its role as one of the most prominent drugs contributing to the national opiate epidemic. The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Oxycontin, its risks, and legal information.
Q: Is there a difference between Oxycontin and oxycodone?
A: Oxycodone and Oxycontin are both narcotic painkillers. Oxycodone is combined with non-narcotic analgesics in a number of prescription drugs such as Percodan (oxycodone and aspirin), Percocet (oxycone and acetaminophen). The main ingredient in Oxycontin is oxycodone. However, Oxycontin has been manufactured to include a time-release mechanism. This just means that Oxycontin users don't have to take the medication as often.
Q: What conditions does Oxycontin treat?
A: Oxycontin is used to help relieve ongoing pain associated with cancer, arthritis, and other conditions. However, it's not intended to relieve mild pain or pain that will subside in a couple of days; in other words, Oxycontin is not intended be used on an "as needed" basis.
Q: Do I need a prescription to take Oxycontin?
A: Yes, a physician's prescription is required before you can take Oxycontin. However, abusers of the drug acquire Oxycontin unlawfully by either illegally purchasing it on the streets or by faking chronic pain to obtain a prescription.
Q: What are the side effects associated with Oxycontin?
A: Constipation, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, sleepiness, tiredness, drowsiness, dizziness, light headiness, weakness, itching, headache, dry mouth, sweating, decrease in the ability to feel pain, respiratory depression, hypotension (low blood pressure), heart attack, and abnormal heartbeats.
Q: What are the risks associated with taking Oxycontin?
A: Taking Oxycontin with other drugs raises the risk for side effects. When you take Oxycontin and it interacts with other narcotic pain medications, sedatives, tranqualizers, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, or other medicines, such combinations can make you sleepy or slow your breathing. Additionally, Oxycontin, like other opioids, is highly addictive; some patients may not become addicted but instead may develop a tolerance for Oxycontin and need to be slowly weaned off the drug.
Q: What's the dosage for Oxycontin?
A: Oxycontin is available in controlled-release tablets in 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 60, 80 and 160 mg tablets for most patients. The starting dosage for patients who aren't opioid tolerant is 10 mg orally every 12 hours.
Q: Are there any other names for Oxycontin?
A: Oxycontin is Purdue Pharma's brand name for the time-release version of oxycodone. However, Oxycontin is also known under the following nicknames: Ox, Oxy, OxyCotton, OC, hillbilly heroin, and Kicker.
Q: What about Oxycontin OP?
A: Oxycontin OP refers to the reformulated version of Oxycontin. The drug maker, Purdue Pharma, made changes to control the misuse of Oxycontin. Oxycontin abusers crush the tablet and ingest or snort it or they can dilute it in water and inject it; this results in an immediate high that users compare to the euphoria associated with illicit drugs like heroin. Oxycontin OP, unlike the original version of Oxycontin, doesn't immediately release oxycodone when it's broken up.
Q: Can you file a lawsuit based on Oxycontin addiction?
A: Yes. As the company that makes Oxycontin, Purdue Pharma must ensure the safety of their products. They are liable for certain types of damages associated with Oxycontin's misuse and abuse. There are numerous lawsuits regarding the drug maker's role in the nation's opioid crisis.
Want More Information? Get a Free Attorney Match
If you've been harmed by Oxycontin through misuse or abuse, then you need to know more information to see what you can do about it. You can be paired with an experienced attorney. Get started today with a free attorney match.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.