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What you need to know about Oxycontin:

Generic Name: Oxycodone hydrochloride
Therapeutic Class: Analgesic
Popular Street Names: 40, 80, blue, hillbilly heroin, kicker, cotton
Side Effects: shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, seizures, clammy skin, severe weakness, fainting, sweating, itching, dry mouth, constipation, loss of appetite

OxyContin is a powerful analgesic opiate that blocks the perception of pain in the brain. It is commonly prescribed for pain relief after surgery, to cancer patients, and for chronic pain sufferers. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, OxyContin abuse has significantly increased since 2002.

OxyContin has a high risk of physical dependence because it has a significantly larger amount of the active ingredient, Oxycodone, than other prescription pain relievers. It is intended to be a time-release medication, but abusers often disable the time-release component making misuse extremely dangerous.

Signs of OxyContin abuse are:

  • Crushing the medications to disable the time-release component
  • Consuming a higher dosage than what is prescribed by your doctor
  • Using OxyContin for a longer time period than prescribed
  • Taking it for non-medical purposes
  • Developing an increased tolerance
  • Seeing multiple doctors to get OxyContin prescriptions
  • Forging prescriptions for OxyContin
  • Experiencing OxyContin withdrawal when you do not take it
  • Continuing use to avoid OxyContin withdrawal symptoms
  • Overall loss of control or obsessive compulsive drug-seeking behavior


Signs of an OxyContin overdose include:

  • Severe respiratory depression
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma

OxyContin withdrawal can be very intense. Symptoms often include flu-like symptoms, anxiety, diarrhea, vomiting and even muscle spasms. Withdrawal from OxyContin can cause severe and fatal symptoms including death. It is for this reason that OxyContin should be reduced slowly in a medically supervised environment to ensure patient safety.

WARNING: Misuse of OxyContin promotes physical dependence, abuse, and addiction. The two highest-strength OxyContin tablets—80 and 160 milligrams—are dangerous for anyone who has not already developed a tolerance for narcotics. If you have been prescribed one of these strengths, do not give the tablets to anyone else; they could impair respiration and lead to death.

For prescription drug abuse help call 800-585-7527.

Fort Lauderdale Hospital is licensed and accredited by the following:

  • State of Florida
  • Certified by Broward County
  • “The Joint Commission” or TJC

We accept Medicare and most other private insurances and have reasonable self-pay rates. For more information call 800-585-7527.

Fort Lauderdale Hospital · 1601 E. Las Olas Blvd. · Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301 · Phone: 954-463-4321 · Toll Free: 800-585-7527
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