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How does oxycodone work in the body?


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January 17, 2011 4:43AM

Oxycodone, an opiate analgesic, creates several different effects in the body. Some of these include the relief of pain (analgesia), relief of diarrhea, decreased sensitivity to discomfort, blocking of unpleasant stimuli, sense of well-being, and euphoria. Some possible side-effects include nausea, itching, constipation, shrinking of pupils, lethargy, trouble achieving orgasm, and possibly death in the case of a MASSIVE overdose.


When oxycodone is taken (as prescribed and as intended by doctors), it first enters the stomach of the user. The stomach's acids begin to break apart and digest the tablet/pill/capsule. Most oxycodone tablets (such as Percocet, Tylox, Endocet, Roxicodone) are known as instant-release (IR) tablets. This type of tablet/pill releases all of the oxycodone at once upon digestion. This creates a much faster onset of the drugs effects, and makes effects more profound (depending upon dosage and user tolerance), but in turn makes the drug's effects shorter acting. Other types of Oxycodone tablets (such as OxyContin) are called time-release, extended-release, or continuous-release tablets (all are accepted names). This type of tablet/pill releases the drug over an extended period of time, instead of all at once like the previously mentioned IR tablets. This causes a slower onset, but makes the drug's effects much longer lasting (usually lasting anywhere from 8-12hrs.) These signals tell the brain how the body is being stimulated. When something hurts you, the body's nerves carry a signal to the brain which "jumps" or fires across the synapse's tiny gap, and tells the brain "OUCH! That hurt!". The synapses work similar to how electricity jumps from one wire to another when an electrical charge or "signal" is induced to complete the circuit. Pain signals from the body must reach the brain to "complete the circuit" in much the same manner. In essence, the nervous system works like an electrical circuit.**) Basically, the oxycodone molecule slows down or blocks these signals of pain and other unpleasant stimuli. It also causes a slight feeling of numbness in the user's body. Now that these unpleasant signals are blocked, it may also cause a very pleasant feeling like being "lightweight" or "floating". This releases the brain's natural endorphins of pleasure, such as serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are found naturally in the brain, and are what gives you the feelings and emotions of pleasure, happiness, fun, and joy. Oxycodone causes more of these endorphins to be released than is done naturally. These chemicals also cause a drastic drop in the perception of pain by causing the brain to bypass or ignore the negative signals. These endorphins are what causes the feeling of "euphoria" or intense happiness when oxycodone is taken. There are also receptors in the brain which causes the symptoms of diarrhea, nausea, and itching. The oxycodone molecules block diarrhea symptoms, much like they block symptoms of pain. However, on the other hand, the molecules may trigger or cause symptoms of nausea, and itchiness. Since oxycodone is a depressant-narcotic, it depresses or slows down the Central Nervous System (CNS), like described previously. When the CNS is depressed or slowed, it causes changes in the body's functions. It changes the way one perceives time, and may cause dizziness, uncoordinated movement, sleepiness, lethargy, slowed heartbeat, and slowed breathing. Oxycodone also causes a feeling of warmth and relaxation. Oxycodone may also cause trouble achieving orgasm, or lack thereof, in some users. This is because the signals from the sexual organs, or genitals, is slowed down or blocked from reaching the brain. This may cause a feeling of desensitivity in the genitals and/or the rest of the body. This makes the feelings of sexual pleasure less noticeable in some people, therefore making orgasm harder to achieve.

Oxycodone improves the lives of those who are in true pain, but destroys those who abuse it. DO NOT USE OXYCONTIN UNLESS UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A DOCTOR.