- Differential Diagnosis
Drug Information for OXYCODONE AND ACETAMINOPHEN Tablets, USP (American Health Packaging): DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE
- INDICATIONS AND USAGE
- ADVERSE REACTIONS
- DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE
- DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
- HOW SUPPLIED
- External Links Related to OXYCODONE AND ACETAMINOPHEN Tablets, USP (American Health Packaging)
Oxycodone and acetaminophen tablets are a Schedule II controlled substance. Oxycodone is a mu-agonist opioid with an abuse liability similar to morphine. Oxycodone, like morphine and other opioids used in analgesia, can be abused and is subject to criminal diversion.
Drug addiction is defined as an abnormal, compulsive use, use for non-medical purposes of a substance despite physical, psychological, occupational or interpersonal difficulties resulting from such use, and continued use despite harm or risk of harm. Drug addiction is a treatable disease, utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach, but relapse is common. Opioid addiction is relatively rare in patients with chronic pain but may be more common in individuals who have a past history of alcohol or substance abuse or dependence. Pseudoaddiction refers to pain relief seeking behavior of patients whose pain is poorly managed. It is considered an iatrogenic effect of ineffective pain management. The healthcare provider must assess continuously the psychological and clinical condition of a pain patient in order to distinguish addiction from pseudoaddiction and thus, be able to treat the pain adequately. Physical dependence on a prescribed medication does not signify addiction. Physical dependence involves the occurrence of a withdrawal syndrome when there is sudden reduction or cessation in drug use or if an opiate antagonist is administered. Physical dependence can be detected after a few days of opioid therapy. However, clinically significant physical dependence is only seen after several weeks of relatively high dosage therapy. In this case, abrupt discontinuation of the opioid may result in a withdrawal syndrome. If the discontinuation of opioids is therapeutically indicated, gradual tapering of the drug over a 2-week period will prevent withdrawal symptoms. The severity of the withdrawal syndrome depends primarily on the daily dosage of the opioid, the duration of therapy and medical status of the individual.
The withdrawal syndrome of oxycodone is similar to that of morphine. This syndrome is characterized by yawning, anxiety, increased heart rate and blood pressure, restlessness, nervousness, muscle aches, tremor, irritability, chills alternating with hot flashes, salivation, anorexia, severe sneezing, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, dilated pupils, diaphoresis, piloerection, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and insomnia, and pronounced weakness and depression.
"Drug-seeking" behavior is very common in addicts and drug abusers. Drug-seeking tactics include emergency calls or visits near the end of office hours, refusal to undergo appropriate examination, testing or referral, repeated "loss" of prescriptions, tampering with prescriptions and reluctance to provide prior medical records or contact information for other treating physician(s). "Doctor Shopping" to obtain additional prescriptions is common among drug abusers and people suffering from untreated infection.
Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Physicians should be aware that addiction may not be accompanied by concurrent tolerance and symptoms of physical dependence in all addicts. In addition, abuse of opioids can occur in the absence of true addiction and is characterized by misuse for non-medical purposes, often in combination with other psychoactive substances. Oxycodone, like other opioids, has been diverted for non-medical use. Careful record-keeping of prescribing information, including quantity, frequency, and renewal requests is strongly advised.
Proper assessment of the patient, proper prescribing practices, periodic re-evaluation of therapy, and proper dispensing and storage are appropriate measures that help to limit abuse of opioid drugs.
Like other opioid medications, oxycodone and acetaminophen tablets are subject to the Federal Controlled Substances Act. After chronic use, oxycodone and acetaminophen tablets should not be discontinued abruptly when it is thought that the patient has become physically dependent on oxycodone.
Interactions with Alcohol and Drugs of Abuse
Oxycodone may be expected to have additive effects when used in conjunction with alcohol, other opioids, or illicit drugs that cause central nervous system depression.
- Drug Information Provided by National Library of Medicine (NLM).