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Oxycontin effects


Oxycontin effects are widespread throughout the body.  Oxycontin is a controlled-release oral derivative of oxycodone used extensively for the around-the-clock management of moderate to severe pain for an extended period of time.  As with all opiods, increasing dosage increases oxycontin effects on analgesia.  The areas that experience the oxycontin effects the most are the central nervous system, the gastrointestinal system, and the cardiovascular system.

The oxycontin effects on the central nervous system are primarily those of pain relief.  The precise mechanism through which oxycontin exerts its effects is unknown though receptors have been found throughout the brain and spinal cord.  Oxycontin depresses respiratory activity and responsiveness to carbon dioxide and stimulation.  Coughing is also suppressed. These oxycontin effects arise via direct action on the brainstem respiratory centre.  Oxycontin also stimulates the natural reward system in the brain which can lead to addictions.

Oxycontin Effects
Oxycontin effects


In the gastrointestinal tract, the oxycontin effects are limited to constipation and decreased secretions of digestive enzymes.  The primary oxycontin effects are reduction in gastric motility and increased muscle tone.  This reduces propulsion throughout the length of the intestine resulting in constipation.  Gastric secretions are also limited due to spasm of sphincters controlling their release.

The cardiovascular system is not immune to the oxycontin effects either.  Oxycontin administration may produce release of a compound called histamine.  This is better known in its role in allergic reactions.  This release may be associated with peripheral vasodilation.  These oxycontin effects result in itchy skin, flushing, red eyes, and hypotension when standing up.


The oxycontin effects when prescribed and administered properly are valuable to managing chronic pain.  However, the oxycontin effects are not limited to managing pain and should be thoroughly discussed with a licensed medical practitioner.