Patient Information Resources

Centre for Orthopaedics
Suite 10-33/34/35 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road
Singapore, 329563, Singapore
Ph: (65) 6684 5828
Fax: (65) 6684 5829

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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My doctor has prescribed Oxycontin for me due to chronic back and leg pain. I've heard so much about drug addiction, I'm afraid to take it. How can I avoid problems with this drug?

OxyContin is considered an opioid analgesic. In other words, it is a morphine-based painkiller. For most patients with chronic pain, opioid analgesics can be used with very few problems. They are not recommended for anyone with a previous history of drug or alcohol addiction.

OxyContin is a sustained-release drug. It lasts 8 to 12 hours. Most patients take one or two a day to get the pain relief needed. If you find you need more pills than the number given, then make an appointment with your doctor. It's probably time to review the type of drug or the dosage.

Be aware that drugs of this type create physical dependency, which is not the same as addiction. Dependency means the body becomes accustomed to the chemicals in the drug. If you stop taking them all of a sudden instead of slowly tapering the dose, the body goes through withdrawal. To avoid this problem stop taking the drug only with your doctor's instructions and supervision.

The biggest problem patients have with this type of medication is constipation. Stay hydrated and physically active to avoid this problem. Use a stool softener if needed.


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