What Are Roxies? Addiction, Side Effects & Treatment Options

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Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD • Updated Apr 22, 2023 • 7 cited sources

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 potential for misuse and opioid use disorder (OUD).

What Are Roxies Used For?

Roxicodone is a brand-name version of the drug oxycodone hydrochloride, an opioid painkiller.[1] 

Doctors use this medication to treat moderate-to-severe pain that hasn’t responded to other therapies. The effects of a single dose of Roxicodone typically last three to four hours.

Doctors and patients must be very careful when considering the drug’s potential benefits for treating pain. Oxycodone has significant misuse potential.

Roxicodone Misuse

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

When discussing oxycodone misuse, many people talk about OxyContin, but an equal dose of Roxicodone can be just as dangerous. 

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

The following common side effects characterize opioid use:[3]

  • 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:[4]

  • 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

Can You Overdose on Roxies?

Opioids like oxycodone cause significant brain changes, which prompt people to take more and more to get a high that once came easily. Their habit can become life-threatening.

Your central nervous system controls heartbeat, breathing rate and more. Oxycodone slows this critical part of your body down. You could take doses that are so large that you stop breathing. An opioid overdose like this is a life-threatening emergency.

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, gabapentin, stimulants and other opioids.

Overdose Symptoms

The following symptoms characterize a Roxies overdose:

  • 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 if any other symptoms seem serious. 

If available, an emergency dose of naloxone (a drug that can counteract the effects of opioids) should be administered.

Short-Term & Long-Term Effects of Roxicodone Misuse

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. But the risks rise with recurring use. 

In the short term, opioid misuse can cause serious issues such as these:[5]

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Constipation 
  • Slowed breathing

Some people develop episodes of such extremely slow breathing that they damage brain cells. This damage can be permanent. 

People who keep misusing opioids can develop long-term problems, including opioid use disorder (OUD). They lose control of their ability to regulate drug use, and they may begin to chew or snort pills. 

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

In time, people with OUD can become physically dependent on drugs. Your body may become accustomed to when the medication is present and struggle when it’s not. If you quit using Roxies abruptly, you can develop withdrawal symptoms. 

Opioid withdrawal is often described as “flu-like,” but discomfort is real and can be significant. If left untreated, distress could prompt you to return to drug use. 

The following symptoms are common during withdrawal:

  • 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 for Addiction Treatment (MAT) is considered the gold standard for treatment. MAT consists of one of three U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications:

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naltrexone

At Bicycle Health, we use Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) therapy for MAT. Suboxone can prevent withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids, allowing the individual to focus on recovery.[6]

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 to support recovery from opioid use disorder.[7]

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

If you are concerned about using Roxicodone and interested in MAT, reach out to Bicycle Health to get started.

Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD

Peter Manza, PhD received his BA in Psychology and Biology from the University of Rochester and his PhD in Integrative Neuroscience at Stony Brook University. He is currently working as a research scientist in Washington, DC. His research focuses on the role ... Read More

  1. Roxicodone. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/021011s002lbl.pdf. Accessed February 2023.
  2. Overdose Death Rates. National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates. January 2020. Accessed February 2023.
  3. Oxycodone. National Library of Medicine. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682132.html. February 2021. Accessed February 2023.
  4. Oxycodone. Drug Enforcement Administration. https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/oxycodone. October 2022. Accessed April 2023.
  5. Prescription Opioids DrugFacts. National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-opioids. June 2021. Accessed February 2023.
  6. Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. CNS Drugs. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6585403/. June 2020. Accessed February 2023.
  7. Suboxone: Rationale, Science, Misconceptions. The Ochsner Journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5855417/. Spring 2018. Accessed February 2023.

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