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(oxycodone - naloxone)

How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

This combination medication contains two active ingredients: oxycodone and naloxone. Oxycodone belongs to the group of medications known as opioid analgesics (narcotic pain relievers). Naloxone belongs to a group of medications known as opiate antagonists and is used to lessen the constipation caused by oxycodone. This combination is used to treat severe pain in adults who require 24-hour pain relief for several days or more.

Oxycodone decreases pain by working on the central nervous system. Naloxone works by blocking receptors in the gut that slow the elimination of the stool. This medication relieves pain for up to 12 hours.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use this medication?

The usual recommended dose of oxycodone - naloxone is one tablet taken by mouth every 12 hours. This medication should be started at a low dose and gradually increased as needed for further relief.

Swallow the tablet whole and do not chew, break, crush, or dissolve it. It can be taken with or without water and should be taken with enough fluid (e.g., a glass of water). Do not take this medication by the rectal route.

Due to the formulation of the tablets, you may see the remains of the tablet in your stool. This empty matrix no longer contains any medication.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light, heat, and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

10 mg/5 mg tablet
Each white, oblong, controlled release tablet with a film coating, marked "OXN" on one side and "10" on the other contains 10 mg oxycodone hydrochloride and 5 mg naloxone hydrochloride. Nonmedicinal ingredients: tablet core: ethylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, povidone K30, stearyl alcohol, and talc; tablet coating: opadry II white, polyethylene glycol (Macrogol 3350), polyvinyl alcohol, talc, and titanium dioxide (E171).

20 mg/10 mg tablet
Each pink, oblong, controlled release tablet with a film coating, marked "OXN" on one side and "20" on the other contains 20 mg oxycodone hydrochloride and 10 mg naloxone hydrochloride. Nonmedicinal ingredients: tablet core: ethylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, povidone K30, stearyl alcohol, and talc; tablet coating: opadry II pink, iron oxide red (E172), polyethylene glycol (Macrogol 3350), polyvinyl alcohol, talc, and titanium dioxide (E171).

40 mg/20 mg tablet
Each yellow, oblong, controlled release tablet with a film coating, marked "OXN" on one side and "40" on the other contains 40 mg oxycodone hydrochloride and 20 mg naloxone hydrochloride. Nonmedicinal ingredients: tablet core: ethylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, povidone K30, stearyl alcohol, and talc; tablet coating: opadry II yellow, iron oxide yellow (E172), polyethylene glycol (Macrogol 3350), polyvinyl alcohol, talc, and titanium dioxide (E171).

Who should NOT take this medication?

Oxycodone - naloxone should not be taken by anyone who:

  • is allergic to oxycodone, naloxone, or to any of the ingredients of the medication
  • is breast-feeding, pregnant, or during labour and delivery
  • is dependent upon opioids
  • is taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (or within 14 days of such therapy)
  • has a recent head injury
  • has acute alcoholism, delirium tremens, and convulsive disorders (seizures)
  • has acute asthma or other obstructive airway, and status asthmaticus
  • has acute pain
  • has acute respiratory depression, increased carbon dioxide levels in the blood, and cor pulmonale
  • has immediate post-operative pain (i.e., surgery less than 24 hours ago)
  • has known or suspected mechanical gastrointestinal obstruction (e.g., bowel obstruction, strictures) or any diseases or conditions that affect the movement of the bowel
  • has mild, intermittent, or short duration pain that can be managed with other pain medications
  • has moderate to severe liver impairment
  • has severe CNS depression, increased cerebrospinal or intracranial pressure, and head injury
  • has suspected surgical abdomen (e.g., acute appendicitis or pancreatitis)

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness or lightheadness
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • nausea
  • sweating
  • vomiting

Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • bouts of sweating
  • muscle pain
  • restlessness
  • severe diarrhea (or diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days)

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • cold, clammy skin
  • feeling faint, dizzy, confused, or unable to think, walk, or talk normally
  • hallucinations
  • seizures
  • severe drowsiness
  • slow, shallow breathing or difficulty breathing
  • slow heartbeat

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Dependence: As with other opioid medications (narcotics), this medication may become habit-forming if taken for long periods of time. Misuse of oxycodone - naloxone usually is not a problem when it is used appropriately for pain relief. Withdrawal symptoms (e.g., body aches, diarrhea, nausea, nervousness, restlessness, runny nose, sneezing, goose bumps, shaking, shivering, nausea, stomach cramps, fast heart rate, fever, sweating) may occur if oxycodone - naloxone is stopped suddenly. People who are taking this medication for a long time and no longer require it for pain control should stop the medication gradually as directed by their doctor.

Drowsiness/reduced alertness: People taking oxycodone - naloxone should not drive a car or perform hazardous tasks until they determine that this medication does not impair their ability to perform these tasks safely.

Medical conditions: People with low blood pressure, heart disease, lung problems, head injury, kidney or liver problems, seizures, or mental health disorders should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Proper use of medication: Oxycodone - naloxone must be swallowed whole and is meant to work over a 12-hour period. Do not chew, break, crush, or dissolve the tablet because the entire 12-hour dose will be absorbed quickly into your body. This can cause serious problems such as overdose, which can be fatal.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. It is not recommended for breast-feeding mothers.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between oxycodone - naloxone and any of the following:

  • alcohol
  • antidepressants known as MAO inhibitors (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine, moclobemide or selegiline)
  • antihistamines
  • heart medications known as beta-blockers (e.g., metoprolol, atenolol)
  • medications that cause drowsiness (e.g., sleeping pills, lorazepam, zopiclone, phenothiazine, antidepressants)
  • other opioid type medications (e.g., codeine, morphine)
  • warfarin

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source:

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