Diagram of the molecular structure of Oxycodone
Brand name: OxyContin®
IUPAC: 4, 5-epoxy-14-hydroxy-3-methoxy-17-methylmorphinan-6-one
FDA approval: Yes

Oxycodone is a pain reliever that can be given as a tablet or liquid. Dosage depends on the form of oxycodone administered. Oxycodone is available in several forms and combinations: OxyContin® controlled-release tablets, OxyFast® oral solution, OxyIR® immediate-release capsules, Percocet® (with acetaminophen), Percodan® (with aspirin), Percolone® tablets, Roxicodone® tablets.1

  • 1. http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/020553s060lbl.pdf

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opiate that binds primarily to the mu opioid receptor to relieve pain, which changes the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain.1

The diagram below shows the 3D structure of Oxycodone. 


  • 1. Oxycodone. MedlinePlus. 2016. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682132.html
Side effects:

Side effects include: light-headedness and dizziness, sedation or drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, constipation, and change in mood.1

  • 1. Oxycodone. MedlinePlus. 2016. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682132.html

Oxycodone can cause respiratory depression. This may result in a potentially dangerous slowing of a patient's breathing rate. Oxycodone can be habit forming. Psychological and physiological withdrawal symptoms can occur if the patient becomes drug-dependent. With prolonged use, tolerance may also become a problem, requiring higher dosages to achieve pain relief. Alcohol can intensify some of the mental and emotional side effects of oxycodone, such as drowsiness and changes in mood. Patients should avoid alcohol consumption while taking oxycodone.1

  • 1. Oxycodone. MedlinePlus. 2016. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682132.html