What is it?
Oxycodone hydrochloride (aka Oxy) is a medical opioid prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. It’s a depressant, which means that it slows down the messages between the brain and the body – basically we are a few steps behind the beat! Oxycodone can be found as capsules, tablets, liquid and suppositories, and it also comes in a variety of strengths and is sometimes known as O and hillbilly heroin.
Oxycodone is usually swallowed but is sometimes injected or used as a suppository. With injecting, there is risk of contracting blood borne viruses, such as hepatitis B & C and HIV if needles are shared. There is the risk of infection at the injecting site. Changes have now made the tablets resistant to crushing, and it becomes a thick gel when added to water.
What are the effects?
- Pain relief
- Dizziness or faintness
- Confusion and difficulty concentrating
- Euphoria or negative mood
- Stiff muscles
- Dry mouth
- Stomach-ache and nausea
- Difficulty urinating
- Slow pulse
- Excess sweating, flushing and itching
- Mild allergic rash or hives which requires immediate medical attention
- Dental problems
- Mood swing
- Reduced sex drive and decreased level of testosterone and menstrual problems
If we take a large amount of Oxy or have a strong batch, it’s possible to overdose. Knowing the signs of overdose helps keeps us and others safe, and when we might need to call an ambulance. Watch out for these symptoms and call 000 in an emergency:
Chest pain or discomfort
Decreased awareness or responsiveness
Extreme drowsiness and loss of consciousness
No muscle tone or movement
Slow or irregular heartbeat
Mixing with other drugs
The effects of mixing Oxy with other drugs – including over the counter or prescribed medications can be unpredictable and dangerous. Do not mix Oxy with the following medications as it increases the risk of overdose, and even death:
There are a range of unsafe interactions to be cautious of when mixing Oxy and other drugs, and they can be found at TripSit.
Naloxone is an over the counter drug used to temporarily reverse an overdose on opioids. It can be purchased at local pharmacies and anyone can administer it. It’s handy to have around, just in case!! It can be used as a nose spray or injected – and no, it’s not like Pulp Fiction! Even after naloxone has been used, medical attention should be sought immediately.
The interactions between Oxy and antiretroviral medications are not well known. There’s currently no evidence to suggest that Oxy use directly reduces the efficacy of antiretroviral medications. If some new research comes to light, then we’ll update this section and let you know.
We did find that protease inhibitors and some other medications, including Efavirenz, Etravirine, Nevirapine and Cobicistat can have fatal consequences when mixed with Oxy. Chat with an HIV specialist before taking Oxy.
The interactions between Oxy and PrEP and PEP are not well known. There’s currently no evidence to suggest that Oxy use directly interacts with these medications or reduces their efficacy. We’ll keep looking and update you if any new research comes to light.
To learn about the interactions between specific HIV medications and Oxy head to Liverpool HIV Drug Interactions Checker.
There’s currently no evidence to suggest that Oxy use directly reduces the efficacy of HRT. We’ll keep looking and update this information if something new comes to light.
Oxy is an opioid and Oestradiol can affect our opioid receptors, and therefore how the body processes it, so it’s best to chat with a healthcare professional about whether our dosage needs to be adjusted.
Spironolactone and opioids can potentially lead to a build-up of toxicity and affect our kidneys.
Progesterone and Cyproterone Acetate can have sedative effects and cause tiredness and fatigue, so taking these along with other depressants may lead to feeling more exhausted during or after using opioids.
Both testosterone and opioids can cause water retention, which means we may experience constipation and bloating when taking both.
We don’t yet know enough about how opioid-induced androgen deficiency (OPIAD) may impact bodies that are taking testosterone, including whether it may impact our absorption or processing of our HRT.