How long can I take my prescription of Oxycodone without worrying about getting addicted?

There is no clear answer to your question. Some doctors try to limit the use of opioid (narcotic) drugs like Oxycodone to a three-month period of time. Others see no reason not to use the medications for as long as the patient needs help controlling or managing their pain.

There have been a few studies done to try and determine the best long-term use of opioids. But so far, there haven't been enough studies done for a long enough time period to help answer the question.

The problem of addiction always comes up when discussing opioids. Yet studies show only a small number of patients actually ever become addicted. Because there is such a great concern, patients are usually monitored carefully. If anything, many patients are probably under medicated and don't get the full benefit of these pain relievers.

If you find yourself taking more pills than are prescribed each day, you may need to talk to your doctor about a change in dosage or drug. If you are tempted to see another doctor to get an extra prescription, you may be in danger of drug addiction.

The fact that you are concerned about addiction is a good first step. Opioids can be very effective in the management of chronic pain. Combined with exercise, psychologic, and behavioral programs, they can be a very useful tool to help patients get control of their lives and avoid the decline into disability.

Reference: 

Michael C. Rowbotham, MD, and Calandra Diamond Lindsey, DO. How Effective is Long-Term Opioid Therapy for Chronic Noncancer Pain? In The Clinical Journal of Pain. May 2007. Vol. 23. No. 4. Pp. 300-302.

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