What is Oxycodone & What is it For?

“Pain Specialists often prescribe Oxycodone to treat severe pain. – Conditions include: a serious injury, post-operation pain, & pain from various types of cancer. Further, it is frequently used for patients’ long-standing pain, when weaker painkillers such as
aspirin, ibuprofen, & paracetamol, have not helped” [1].

In a Nutshell

Oxycodone, which is only available via a prescription, is known as an opioid painkiller. So now you may be asking yourself “What exactly is an opioid?” Well, an opioid is a ‘morphine-type’ of medication, which is produced using synthetic (or partly synthetic) substances. Opioids act as ‘morphine-type’ medications, and are frequently prescribed by Pain Specialists to quell moderate to severe pain. This medication comes in various different forms: capsules, slow-release tablets, and liquid. Further, Pain Specialists and other medics, can administer Oxycodone injections [1].

The Low Down on How Oxycodone Works

Oxycodone (which is also known by the brand names OxyContin and Oxynorm), works by binding to opioid receptors (docking stations) in the central nervous system. – Opioid receptors are found in countless regions of the nervous system. These regions are concerned with
transmitting pain and control, and include: the thalamus (a small structure within the brain that is positioned just above the brain stem in-between the cerebral cortex and the midbrain); the midbrain; the spinal cord, and primary sensory nerves [1].

Fast Facts

• Oxycodone takes effect by suppressing the pain signals which transmit through the nerves to the brain
• Oxycodone capsules & liquid work within half an hour to an hour, however, the effect dissipates after 4 to 6 hours
• Addiction to oxycodone is possible, however, your Pain Specialist will show you how to lower any risk to such addiction
• Should your condition dictate the need to take Oxycodone for longer than a few weeks, then your Personalised Treatment Plan will state how & when you should cease taking it [1]

Does Oxycodone Have Any Side Effects?

All medications have potential side effects, although these are often mild. In the case of Oxycodone,
common side effects include: feeling drowsy, feeling sick, and suffering from constipation [1].

Booking an Appointment With a Pain Specialist

Any form of pain should be dealt with as soon as possible, and seeking professional help by visiting an experienced Pain Specialist, is essential in order to establish the root cause (if it is not already known), and stopping any resulting damage to the body.


[1]. NHS (2021). “Oxycodone.”