An opioid pain medication, oxycodone is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone is taken orally and is available in capsule, tablet, liquid or extended release tablet form. In its extended release form, this medication is specifically used for the round-the-clock treatment of pain.
Given the nature of the medication, the correct starting oxycodone dosage for adults can vary greatly from patient to patient. Before recommending a starting dose to a particular individual, a healthcare provider will weigh up factors such as the type of oxycodone product in question, the patient’s history with painkillers, and the severity of the pain. Other factors that will be taken into consideration include the medical diagnosis, the age of the patient, their body requirements, medications taken concurrently, and the patient’s medical history.
Dosages in Adults for Pain Relief
In many cases, patients are started on a low dose of a short-acting oxycodone product and the dosage is then increased as necessary and as tolerated. Once the individual is on a stable dose, he or she may be switched to a longer-acting product. With the short-acting products, a dose is typically taken every 4 to 6 hours whilst the longer-acting products are usually taken every 12 hours around the clock. There is no universally set maximum oxycodone dosage as such; each individual’s maximum dose is the dosage at which any higher would cause serious side effects.
Dosage Tips and Warnings
- As it is a pain reliever, oxycodone should be taken as needed.
- It is advisable to take this medication with food in order to avoid a sore or upset stomach.
- Even if a dose consists of more than 1 tablet, the tablets should be swallowed one at a time.
- When taking the liquid form of oxycodone, measure the dose out with a special dose-measuring spoon as opposed to a regular one.
- Patients should not drink alcohol whilst taking this drug.
- Drink plenty of water a day to avoid getting constipated whilst using this medication.
Although oxycodone is a useful drug, it must be handled extremely carefully as it is a habit-forming substance. The medication should be taken exactly as prescribed by the patient’s healthcare provider and is only to be used by the person it was prescribed for.