Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Pain Management Forum

oxycontin- can breaking them open cause physical harm?

I have been taking 4-5 40mg of oxycontin aday for about 6 mths I break them in half - work better and quicker I know you're not suppose to or it won't work properly as release agent but can it harm you physically in doing so? Recently have had increased stomach problems (also possible blood in bowel movements) could this be related? Thanks for your help Kim
Did you find this post helpful?
|

User Profile
replied March 4th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
Kbrooksie,

The reason that the OxyContin tablets are not to be divided, broken, chewed, or crushed, it that this can bypass the extended release mechanism and possibly cause the medication to be dumped quickly into the system, the whole dose all at once.

In some patients this could cause an overdose and respiratory depression, possibly leading to death.

Basically, by cutting them in half you are getting double the immediate dose, or more. OxyContin is a biphasic medicine. It provides about half of the dose within the first hour, then releases the rest over an extended period of time.

So, by cutting the tablet in half, you expose more of the tablet's surface to the gastric acids of the stomach. Thus, you essentially have upped you dose to almost double for the first phase, then you have just that much less over the extended period of time. You basically make it just an immediate release medicine.



If the medication is not holding you for the full 12 hours, then you should speak with your physician about adding in an immediate release dose inbetween the two 12 hours doses. Or, just stop the extended release OxyContin, and just go with the immediate release oxycodone at intervals of 4 ot 6 hours.

Also, since you are having blood in your stools, you really need to see your physician.

No one here on the internet can tell you that it is okay to take your medicine any other way, than how it is supposed to be taken.

Speak with your physician.

Good luck.
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Must Read
Chronic pain affects more than 70 million Americans. But what is pain? And how can pain management help relieve different types of pain? Basic facts here....
How does the nervous system work to register pain? And what are the major causes of acute and chronic pain? Plus, who's at risk of pain here....
Acute and chronic pain manifest different symptoms. Learn the difference here and know when to seek medical help for pain....