OxyContin can be dangerous to your health, so it is important to know what you’re getting into before you start taking it.
Why Is OxyContin prescribed?
OxyContin is a medication that is prescribed to combat moderate to severe ongoing pain. Doctors often prescribe it to patients who have severe conditions like cancer, but it can also be prescribed to someone who has been injured in an accident.
Doctors need to be careful when prescribing it, but sometimes they aren’t. This can lead to people being given the drug when they should be using a milder, and less addictive, form of pain relief. This can lead to unnecessary addiction problems.
What Is OxyContin Made Of?
OxyContin, like some other pain-relieving drugs, is an opioid. That means it’s naturally derived from poppy flowers or made in a lab using a semi-synthetic substitute.
How Is It Delivered?
OxyContin is available in tablet form. Typically, dosages ranging between 10 milligrams and 160 milligrams are prescribed, depending on how much medication is needed to manage the pain.
How Does OxyContin Work?
Opioids work by attaching to particular sites in the brain, which are known as opiate receptors. This helps block messages of pain traveling to the brain. As a result, the brain will no longer feel pain sensations as intensely.
OxyContin is a very effective way to block pain and can be beneficial if used appropriately. Sometimes, opioid medications like OxyContin are combined with other pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which makes them even stronger.
Concerns Over Prescription Drugs
OxyContin is prescribed by doctors all over the country, and there is an ongoing concern about the rate at which these prescriptions are being handed out. Many medications have oxycodone, the active ingredient in OxyContin, in them, including medicines like Vicodin that are frequently prescribed for sports injuries and recovery from medical procedures.
These drugs, despite the obvious downsides, are among the most prescribed in the country, with too many doctors using them as go-to medications. In many cases, patients are not educated about the risk of becoming addicted.
The Risk of Addiction
Prescriptions of opioids like OxyContin have resulted in a growing number of physical dependency and addiction cases. Studies have linked the use of these kinds of pain medications to the rising number of heroin addicts across the country.
Doctors must only prescribe these kinds of addictive medications when absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Opioids like OxyContin are highly addictive and should be treated as such.
Too often, doctors forget to mention important factors. For example, opioids have a very specific and calming effect on the brain.
While most medical professionals will tell you that your OxyContin is a controlled substance, few take the time to explain to their patients that it can lead to feelings of euphoria and wellbeing that may cause a patient to turn to this medication for purposes other than pain management. This can lead to dependency and ultimately addiction.
Once they have been cut off from their ability to use OxyContin, addicts frequently turn to illicit drugs that have a similar effect, such as heroin.
OxyContin Side Effects
As with any medication, OxyContin has the potential to cause serious side effects. The most common of these is respiratory depression. Respiratory depression is slowed breathing that can result in the body being deprived of sufficient oxygen, blackouts, and even death.
Additional side effects of medications like OxyContin include the following:
- Mood changes
- Loss of appetite
- Severe weakness
Doctors Have a Responsibility
Doctors have a duty not to harm patients. Anyone who was incorrectly or irresponsibly prescribed OxyContin and suffered harm, including addiction, as a result may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
Medical malpractice claims can help patients obtain the compensation they need to recover from the injuries a healthcare professional caused them. If you’re in this situation, speak with an attorney about your case.