What Are Roxies? Addiction, Side Effects & Treatment Options

September 8, 2022

Table of Contents

Roxies is a street name for Roxicodone, a brand-name prescription painkiller. While this drug has legitimate medical uses, it is also an opioid. It has significant abuse and addiction potential. 

Roxicodone Misuse

Roxicodone tablets, sometimes called Roxies, are a brand-name medication of the drug oxycodone hydrochloride, an opioid.

Oxycodone is a painkiller with significant misuse potential. Doctors and patients have to be very careful when considering the drug’s potential benefits for treating pain. The effects of a single dose of Roxicodone typically last three to six hours.

Roxicodone can be addictive. If misused, it can cause potentially life-threatening effects. It becomes significantly more dangerous if not taken as prescribed. It is only intended to be taken orally.[1]

While the discussion around oxycodone is often focused on OxyContin, an equal dose of Roxicodone is just as dangerous. The active drug in both is oxycodone, a semisynthetic opioid receptor agonist.

Semisynthetic opioids like oxycodone are one of the leading causes of opioid deaths in the United States and a major contributor to the ongoing opioid epidemic.[2] 

Signs & Symptoms of Roxicodone Use

Opioid use is characterized by the following common effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Pain relief
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Flushing
  • Headache
  • Mood changes
  • Stomach pain

More serious side effects that may signal a medical emergency include the following:[3]

  • Changes to heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Hives
  • Hoarseness
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Itching
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or loss of appetite
  • Rash
  • Seizures
  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Weakness

Overdose Symptoms

An overdose on Roxies is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Slowed or outright stopped breathing
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Significant narrowing or widening of the pupils
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • A lack of responsiveness or an inability to wake up

These symptoms should be considered a medical emergency, as they can be life-threatening and may result in death or permanent brain damage. Call 911 immediately if these symptoms are present or any other symptoms seem serious. If available, an emergency dose of naloxone, a drug that can counteract the effects of opioids, should be administered.

An opioid overdose becomes more likely if Roxicodone is combined with other drugs that can affect breathing.[4] Common drugs people combine with oxycodone that can be very dangerous include benzodiazepines, alcohol, gabapentinoids, stimulants and other opioids.

Roxicodone should never be taken with drugs that may affect a person’s breathing without first discussing it with a doctor, even if one is only using Roxicodone as prescribed.

Short-Term & Long-Term Effects of Roxicodone misuse

In the short-term, opioid misuse increases the risk of serious side effects and potentially developing an opioid use disorder. The development of drug dependence can be difficult to predict and can make stopping drug misuse much harder. Even occasional misuse of drugs can sometimes do serious harm, especially if combined with other drugs or if someone is at risk for certain health conditions.

Over time, many people who develop opioid use disorders experience a notable deterioration in their ability to care for themselves and those around them. They may experience financial difficulties, have trouble maintaining social and work relationships, and see other declines in their mental and physical health. 

Withdrawal From Roxies

Opioid withdrawal is often described as a “flu-like,” illness, involving the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Chills
  • Cramps
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Insomnia and similar sleep problems
  • Irritability
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Nausea, vomiting, and appetite changes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Yawning

MAT for Roxicodone OUD

If a person has an OUD, medication assisted treatment (MAT) is considered the gold standard for treatment. MAT consists of three FDA approved medications: Methadone, Suboxone, and Naltrexone.

At Bicycle Health, we specialize in using Suboxone therapy for MAT. Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) can prevent withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids, allowing the individual to focus on their recovery.[5]

The buprenorphine component of Suboxone occupies opioid receptors, thereby preventing withdrawal. If the medication is misused, such as crushed and injected, the naloxone component is activated, preventing overdose and serving as an additional safety mechanism and misuse-deterrent. Suboxone is widely viewed as an effective and safe method of supporting recovery from opioid use disorder.[6,7]

Suboxone and other forms of MAT are available via prescription. As part of a MAT program, the individual will also receive counseling and other forms of support.

If you are concerned about your use of Roxicodone and interested in medication assisted treatments, reach out to your doctor or to someone at Bicycle Health to get started.

Medically Reviewed By Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where she works as a primary care physician as well as part time in pain management and integrated health. Her clinical interests include underserved health care, chronic pain and integrated/alternative health.

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Citations

  1. Roxicodone. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/021011s002lbl.pdf. Accessed August 2022.
  2. Overdose Death Rates. National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates. January 2020. Accessed August 2022.
  3. Oxycodone. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682132.html. February 2021. Accessed August 2022.
  4. Oxycodone. Drug Enforcement Administration. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/oxycodone/oxycodone.pdf. March 2020. Accessed August 2022.
  5. Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. CNS Drugs. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6585403/. June 2020. Accessed August 2022.
  6. Suboxone: Rationale, Science, Misconceptions. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5855417/. Spring 2018. Accessed August 2022.
  7. Recovery From Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) After Monthly Long-Acting Buprenorphine Treatment: 12-Month Longitudinal Outcomes From RECOVER, an Observational Study. Journal of Addiction Medicine. https://journals.lww.com/journaladdictionmedicine/fulltext/2020/10000/recovery_from_opioid_use_disorder__oud__after.27.aspx. September/October 2020. Accessed August 2022.

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