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Definition of OxyContin

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

OxyContin: A prescription painkiller that has become a popular and dangerous recreational drug. Also called "Oxy" in the street.

OxyContin is a time-release morphine-like narcotic intended to relieve chronic pain of moderate to severe proportions. One pill of OxyContin is designed to last 12 hours.

The active ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone, an opioid, a close relative of morphine, heroin, codeine, fentanyl, and methadone.

OxyContin has been much abused. It is highly addicting. Those who abuse "Oxy" usually crush the pills -- to disable their time-release mechanism -- and then snort or inject them for a powerful and immediate opiate high.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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