Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic narcotic with effects similar to morphine; the most significant effect is the impact on the central nervous system and organs composed of smooth muscle. Oxycodone is synthesized from poppy-derived thebaine to improve on the existing opioids: morphine, diacetylmorphine (heroin), and codeine.

Oral oxycodone is generally prescribed for moderate to severe pain relief due to medical issues such as childbirth, cancer, arthritis, surgery, and fractures. Dependency can develop when oxycodone is taken repeatedly over a long period of time, due to a developed tolerance and larger doses are needed to receive the same effect. Side effects can include: constipation, nausea, dry mouth, excessive sweating, and headaches.

Oxycodone can be formulated either as single ingredient products or compounded products, such as oxycodone with acetaminophen/paracetamol or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen. Different forms of oxycodone are available as generics, and are made under various brand names. Purdue Pharma’s brand for time-release oral oxycodone is known as oxycontin. Oxycodone is also known by several other names such as: Percocet, Tylox, Percodan, and Oxycontin.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports that 1.9 million people in the United States have taken Oxycodone in an illicit way. The abuser enjoys a euphoric feeling, that also lessens anxiety. Oxycodone is popular among teenagers and young adults due to the availability of the drug. However, the use of alcohol or any other depressant along with benzodiazepines can be life threatening.