Oxycodone (OxyContin) Nursing Considerations

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Generic Name


Trade Name





binds to opiate receptors in CNS altering the perception and sensation of pain

Therapeutic Class

Opioid Analgesic

Pharmacologic Class

opioid agonists, opioid agonists/nonopioid, analgesic combinations

Nursing Considerations

• may cause respiratory depression, constipation, confusion , sedation, hallucinations, urinary retention
• use caution with increased intracranial pressure
• don’t use with MAOIs
• assess hemodynamics
• assess pain
• may elevate pancreatic enzymes
• can cause physical dependence
• assess bowel function

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Okay, let’s take a look at the drug oxycodone as also known as Oxycontin. This is an oral medication, as you can see here, and it comes in the IV form. It could also be given intranasally rectally as an IM injection sublingually. So the therapeutic class of oxycodone or how it works in the body is an opioid analgesic in the pharmacologic class, or the chemical effect is an opioid agonist. So oxycodone works by binding to opiate receptors in the central nervous system, which alters the perception and sensation of pain, which is why we use it for pain. Some of the side effects that we see with this drug and opioids in general are things like constipation, confusion, sedation, and also urinary retention. Let’s take a look at some of the nursing considerations for oxycodone. In addition to the side effects already mentioned, it can cause respiratory depression and also hallucinations. 

Be sure to assess your patients, hemodynamics their pain and also their bowel function because re member opioids can cause constipation use caution in patients who have increased intracranial pressure and know that oxycodone may elevate pancreatic enzymes. Be sure to teach the patient that oxycodone is an opioid and it can cause physical dependence, especially does not use exactly as per prescribed. Guys. It’s important that patients are tapered off of this drug. So they don’t experience any withdrawal symptoms, which I have ha happened to see in many patients, that’s it for oxycodone or Oxycontin now go out and be your best self today as always happy nursing.

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