What are the Different Oxycodone Side Effects?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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Oxycodone is a prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. As is the case with any medication, there are potential side effects associated with the use of oxycodone. Some of the most common oxycodone side effects include drowsiness, itching, and dry mouth. Less common oxycodone side effects may include anxiety, nervousness, or diarrhea. In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction may occur, causing potentially life-threatening complications such as loss of consciousness or difficulty breathing.

Many patients are able to take oxycodone without experiencing bothersome side effects. Those who do experience the more common side effects of this medication are not normally bothered enough by these side effects to discontinue the medication. Dizziness, drowsiness, and fatigue are among the most common oxycodone side effects, so extreme caution should be taken when performing any activity that requires focus and concentration.

Dry mouth and itching are commonly reported oxycodone side effects. Constipation, nausea, and vomiting may also develop as a result of taking this medication. Some patients may also experience side effects such as headache, insomnia, or excessive sweating.

Less frequently reported oxycodone side effects may include appetite loss, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Anxiety, nervousness, or feelings of extreme euphoria are possible with the use of this medication. Some people have reported hiccups, pain when breathing, or sexual dysfunction when taking oxycodone.


Patients who abuse this medication are more prone to developing some of the more serious oxycodone side effects, such as confusion, agitation, or seizures. Cardiac problems, including rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, or circulation disturbances may also occur. Some patients may develop severe breathing problems or even stop breathing altogether. Abuse or misuse involving oxycodone can be fatal in many cases, especially if emergency medical attention is not obtained right away.

Rarely, oxycodone side effects may involve severe allergic reactions that should always be treated as a medical emergency. Some symptoms that may indicate this type of allergic reaction include itching, rash, or hives. Swelling, especially involving the face and throat, is also common when an allergic reaction is occurring. If not treated immediately, the ability to breathe may become compromised, leading to a potentially life-threatening situation.

While most oxycodone side effects do not pose a serious risk to the health and well-being of the patient, any bothersome side effects should be reported to a doctor for further evaluation. Due to the potential for addiction or misuse, it is extremely important that this medication is taken exactly as prescribed by a physician. If addiction is suspected, a doctor should be notified so that the proper treatment can begin.


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