Oxycodone: Therapeutic use
Last modified: Saturday, 20. June 2009 - 2:32 pm
The primary Therapeutic use of oxycodone is to relieve moderate to severe pain. However, the drug also is used before or during dental extractions and other surgery both to relieve pain and to improve the effectiveness of certain anesthesia drugs.
Chronic back pain is a common reason many people use oxycodone or other opioids. The drugs can provide enough relief so that people with unbearable back pain can work and carry on with other daily activities. People may also use the drugs to obtain relief from chronic pain syndromes. Although the term is vague, chronic pain syndrome can refer to any muscle, joint, or body pain that is debilitating to the patient, and is long-lasting or recurs frequently. One example of a patient who would fit into this category is someone who had a serious car or motorcycle accident that left him or her with chronic pain for months or years after the incident. Another example might be a woman who has experienced years of chronic pelvic pain whose cause is not known. For most of these patients, oxycodone is not used on a daily or even a weekly basis. Rather, a prescription is written with instructions to use oxycodone on an as-needed basis, and patients only take the pills when the pain becomes intolerable or interferes with their daily lives.
Another Therapeutic use of oxycodone is to relieve the pain of chronic moderate to severe osteoarthritis, arthritis that results from degeneration of cartilage and/or bone in a joint. In a study of patients who had been experiencing osteoarthritis pain for at least one year, controlled-release oxycodone was more effective than a placebo in relieving the pain. The researchers suggested in their report that although opioid analgesics are strong medicines, they might be worthwhile for patients with osteoarthritis who do not get adequate pain relief from other types of pain medication.
Oxycodone also can be helpful to people with diabetes or AIDS who have a painful condition known as peripheral neuropathy. The condition causes burning pain and tingling in the hands, feet, and toes. Over time, the pain worsens and can lead to difficulty sleeping, walking, and performing other normal daily activities.
The decision to give oxycodone or one of the combination drugs consisting of oxycodone and acetaminophen or oxycodone and aspirin may be based on a number of factors. If a person has significant inflammation in addition to pain, for example, an acetaminophen-oxy-codone combination drug such as Endocet, Percocet, Roxicet, Roxilox, or Tylox may be the best option. If fever is present in addition to pain, an aspirin-oxycodone combination drug such as Percodan, Percodan-Demi, or Roxiprin may be the most effective treatment. If chronic, uncontrolled pain is the main problem, however, a long-acting oxycodone drug such as OxyContin that controls pain effectively for 12-hour periods may be best. Doctors who treat cancer patients say that OxyContin is one of the most powerful treatments available to relieve patients of treating crippling pain, and unlike morphine, OxyContin does not cause frightening side effects, such as hallucinations, in long-term users.