Oxycodone: Case study Paper

Oxycodone: Case study Paper

Mechanism of action

Oxycodone is a drug used for people to ease mild to extreme pain. The compound is produced by modifying the thebaine, which is inorganic chemical contained in opium. The drug is made into tablets of various types, weights, and colors, depending on the dosage and the brand. The drug is often administered in liquid form. This prescription is also administered in addition to other medications, such as ibuprofen. The medicine is administered as an analgesic to a patient suffering from cancer, arthritis, and other physical conditions (Sadiq et al., 2019). The Controlled Substances Act categorizes the drug as an opioid drug in Schedule II. This indicates that there are greater chances of misuse of the drug. Oxycodone: Case study Paper.

How to determine the level of pain the patient is experiencing

Because pain is subjective, self-reporting is known to be the benchmark and the most precise indicator of pain. The PQRST pain management approach is a valuable instrument for objectively identifying, measuring, and recording the pain of a patient (Karsioglu et al., 2018). The approach also helps in the selection of suitable pain medications and the evaluation of treatment response.

The first method is provocation where the nurse asks questions such as when the pain started the cause of the pain and the factor that triggers the pain. The second method is assessing the quality of the pain. It involves describing the pain by using words such as burning, sharp, stabbing, dull, throbbing, shooting, or stretching. Radiation is another method where the nurse examines the location of the pain and whether it radiates. The nurse also uses the severity scale to evaluate how severe the pain using a scale of 0-10. Timing is the last stage of assessment where the nurse identifies the longevity of pain, the times it occurs, and whether it is sudden or gradual.

Potential side effects

There are several side effects associated with oxycodone medication. The common side effects include; constipation, stomach discomfort, nausea or vomiting, feeling dizzy, feeling sleepy, headache, confusion, and itchiness. The serious side effects include; stiffness of the muscles, having low energy, and feeling tired which could indicate high blood pressure.

How the side effects can be treated

With constipation, the client should be advised to take foods that are high in fiber including vegetables, fruits, and cereals. Stomach discomfort can be combatted by taking oxycodone after taking a meal in order to ease the sickness feeling (Poelaert et al., 2015). The medication should also be swallowed with a full glass of water. To reduce the risk of dizziness, the patient should learn to slowly get up when rising from a lying or sitting posture.

How to know if the patient is becoming tolerant to the medication

The FDA describes a patient as oxycodone -tolerant if he has been administered with oral morphine 50mg / day for 1 week; transdermal fentanyl 30mcg / hour; oral oxycodone 25mg / day; oral hydromorphone 10mg / day. Oxycodone: Case study Paper. Oxycodone tolerance implies a lower vulnerability to its effects — both detrimental and therapeutic — and may result in a lower receptivity to oxycodone effects (Sadiq et al., 2019). Acute pain can occur postoperatively due to severe surgical injury and other acute illnesses. Acute pain in oxycodone-tolerant patients poses a threat to pain control, and the threat of undertreatment because of stigma and prejudice can be one of the biggest risks linked with pain medication in this demographic.



Karcioglu, O., Topacoglu, H., Dikme, O., & Dikme, O. (2018). A systematic review of the pain scales in adults: which to use?. The American journal of emergency medicine36(4), 707-714.

Poelaert, J., Koopmans-Klein, G., Dioh, A., Louis, F., Gorissen, M., Logé, D., & van Megen, Y. J. (2015). Treatment with prolonged-release oxycodone/naloxone improves pain relief and opioid-induced constipation compared with prolonged-release oxycodone in patients with chronic severe pain and laxative-refractory constipation. Clinical therapeutics37(4), 784-792.

Sadiq, N. M., Dice, T. J., & Mead, T. (2019). Oxycodone. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

You are taking care of a patient who is 24 hours post-operative laparotomy. He is prescribed oxycodone 10 mg every 4 hours as needed for pain.

In a one-two-page essay, discuss this case, answering the following questions:

  • What is the mechanism of action for this medication?
  • How will you determine the level of pain the patient is experiencing?
  • What are potential side effects of this medication?
  • How can the side effects be treated?
  • How will you know the patient is becoming tolerant to the medication? Oxycodone: Case study Paper.