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Oxycodone hydrochloride parenteral

Updated 2 Feb 2023 | Opioid analgesics


Solutions for injection or infusion of oxycodone hydrochloride

Drugs List

  • oxycodone hydrochloride 10mg/1ml injection
  • oxycodone hydrochloride 20mg/2ml injection
  • oxycodone hydrochloride 50mg/1ml injection
  • OXYNORM 10mg/1ml injection
  • OXYNORM 20mg/2ml injection
  • OXYNORM 50mg/1ml injection
  • SHORTEC 10mg/1ml injection
  • SHORTEC 20mg/2ml injection
  • SHORTEC 50mg/1ml injection
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Pain - moderate to severe


    Dosage should be based on the level of pain, condition of the patient and previous or concurrent medication.


    The doses below are recommended initial doses. The dose may have to be increased gradually if analgesia is inadequate or the severity of the pain increases.

    Intravenous administration

    Bolus dose - Administer bolus dose of 1 to 10mg slowly over 1 to 2 minutes.
    At least 4 hours should be allowed before administering the next dose.

    Intravenous infusion - An initial dose of 2mg/hour is recommended.

    Intravenous PCA (patient controlled analgesia) - Bolus doses of 0.03mg/kg should be administered with a minimum lock out time of 5 minutes.

    Subcutaneous Infusion

    Initial dose of 7.5mg/day is recommended in patients not previously on opioid therapy, which may be increased according to the severity of pain.
    Cancer patients who have been previously taking oral oxycodone may require much higher doses.

    Subcutaneous bolus administration
    Use the 10mg/ml concentration. A starting dose of 5mg is recommended, repeated every 4 hours as required.


    See Dosage; Adults

    Treat with caution. Treatment should be started at the lowest dose and carefully titrated to control symptoms.

    Additional Dosage Information

    Transferring patients from oral to parenteral oxycodone
    The dosage should be based on the following ratio: 2mg of oral oxycodone hydrochloride is equivalent to 1mg parenteral oxycodone hydrochloride.

    This figure is a guideline, dosage must be individually titrated for each patient.

    Transferring patients from parenteral morphine to parenteral oxycodone
    Patients transferring from parenteral morphine to parenteral oxycodone should do so on the basis of a one to one dose ratio.
    This figure is a guideline, dosage must be individually titrated for each patient.


    For subcutaneous and intravenous administration.

    The solution may be given directly as a subcutaneous bolus dose. After dilution, it may be administered by subcutaneous infusion, intravenous injection or infusion or included in a device for patient-controlled analgesia.


    Acute abdomen
    Children under 18 years
    Predisposition to paralytic ileus
    Acute asthma
    Cardiac failure secondary to pulmonary disorder
    Chronic constipation
    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    Head trauma
    Moderate hepatic impairment
    Paralytic ileus
    Raised intracranial pressure
    Respiratory depression

    Precautions and Warnings

    24 hours post-operatively
    Acute alcohol intoxication
    During surgery
    Impaired consciousness
    Pre-operative administration
    Within 2 weeks of discontinuing MAOIs
    Addison's disease
    Adrenal insufficiency
    Biliary tract disorder
    Delirium tremens
    History of alcohol abuse
    History of drug misuse
    Inflammatory bowel disease
    Mild hepatic impairment
    Mild renal impairment
    Opioid dependence
    Prostate disorder
    Psychiatric disorder
    Pulmonary disease
    Sleep apnoea
    Toxic psychosis

    Reduce dose in hypothyroidism
    Reduce dose in patients with hepatic impairment
    Reduce dose in patients with renal impairment
    Advise patient ability to drive or operate machinery may be impaired
    Advise patient not to drive until they know how the medicine affects them
    Advise patient this medicine may be subject to driving restrictions
    Monitor patient for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression
    Neonate exposed in utero: Monitor for respiratory depression
    Patients on long-term therapy should be regularly reviewed
    Potential for drug abuse
    Tolerance and dependence may occur
    When used with SSRIs, risk of Serotonin syndrome
    Consider dose reduction if sleep-related breathing disorders occur
    Increased risk of central sleep apnoea and sleep-related hypoxemia
    Prolonged use at high doses may result in hyperalgesia
    Progressive withdrawal recommended
    Discontinue if paralytic ileus is suspected
    Consider dose reduction or alternative opioid in cases of hyperalgesia
    Advise patient not to take St John's wort concurrently
    Advise patient to avoid alcohol during treatment
    Advise that effects are potentiated by CNS depressants (including alcohol)
    Alcohol may enhance side effects
    Advise patient grapefruit products may increase plasma level

    Adrenal insufficiency has been reported with opioid use, as opioid may influence the gonadal or the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axes. Changes in serum prolactin, plasma cortisol and testosterone levels have been shown with the use of opioids. If adrenal insufficiency is suspected, gradually wean patient off opioid treatment until adrenal function is recovered. Continue with corticosteroid treatment until adrenal function has recovered and opioid treatment can commence.

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    The manufacturer does not recommend oxycodone in pregnancy or during labour.

    No studies on the effects on fertility or post-natal development have been carried out in humans. Studies in rats and rabbits with oral doses of oxycodone equivalent to 3 and 47 times the adult dose of 160 mg a day, did not reveal evidence of harm to the foetus due to oxycodone. Briggs (2011) reports no evidence to suggest a relationship between maternal use of oxycodone for analgesia and malformations in the foetus.

    Infants born to opioid dependant mothers or mothers treated with opioids, including oxycodone, during pregnancy may show withdrawal symptoms at birth and should be monitored for respiratory depression.

    The use of all medication in pregnancy should be avoided whenever possible; particularly in the first trimester. Non-drug treatments should also be considered. When essential, a medication with the best safety record over time should be chosen, employing the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Polypharmacy should be avoided. Teratogens taken in the pre-embryonic period, often quoted as lasting until 14 to 17 days post-conception, are believed to have an all-or-nothing effect. Where drugs have a short half-life, and when the date of conception is certain, this may allow women to be reassured where drug exposure has occurred within this time frame. Further advice may be available from the UK National Teratology Information Service (NTIS) and through ToxBase, available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).


    Oxycodone is contraindicated in breastfeeding.

    Oxycodone is secreted in breast milk and could cause respiratory depression in infants.

    Briggs (2011) suggests that occasional maternal doses for analgesia present minimal risk for adverse effects during nursing. The infant should be monitored for gastrointestinal effects, sedation, and changes in feeding patterns.

    Neonates, infants born prematurely, those with low birth weight, those with an unstable gastrointestinal function or who have serious illnesses may require special consideration. For any infant, if a drug is prescribed to the nursing mother, it should be at the lowest practical dose and for the shortest time. When drug administration is unavoidable and breastfeeding is to continue, minimisation of exposure of the infant to the drug may sometimes be achieved by timing the maternal doses to just after a feeding episode. Infants exposed to drugs via breast milk should be monitored for unusual signs or symptoms. Interactions between the drug received by the infant from the mother's milk and medication prescribed for the infant should also be considered, for example, when the drug given to the infant may prevent metabolism of the drug received via breast milk.
    Specialist advice is available from the UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service at

    Effects on Ability to Drive and Operate Machinery

    This class of medicine is in the list of drugs included in regulations under 5a of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (England and Wales). When prescribing this medicine: Advise patient the medicine can affect cognitive function and is likely to affect ability to drive. Advise patient not to drive until they know how the medicine affects them.

    Side Effects

    Abdominal pain
    Abnormal thinking
    Allergic reaction
    Anaphylactic reaction
    Anaphylactoid reaction
    Biliary spasm
    Cough suppression
    Dream abnormalities
    Dry mouth
    Dry skin
    Exfoliative dermatitis
    Facial flushing
    Gait abnormality
    Hypersensitivity reactions
    Inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone
    Increases in hepatic enzymes
    Involuntary muscle contractions
    Lability of affect
    Lacrimation disorder
    Mood changes
    Muscle rigidity
    Oral ulceration
    Orthostatic hypotension
    Peripheral oedema
    Reduced libido
    Respiratory depression
    Sleep apnoea
    Speech disturbances
    Supraventricular tachycardia
    Taste disturbances
    Ureteric spasm
    Urinary retention
    Visual disturbances
    Weight changes
    Withdrawal symptoms


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: September 2013

    Reference Sources

    Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk, 9th edition (2011) ed. Briggs, G., Freeman, R. and Yaffe, S. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Oxycodone 10mg/ml solution for injection or infusion. Wockhardt UK Ltd. Revised May 2010.
    Summary of Product Characteristics: Oxycodone 50mg/ml solution for injection or infusion. Wockhardt UK Ltd. Revised July 2013.
    Summary of Product Characteristics: OxyNorm 10mg/ml solution for injection or infusion. Napp Pharmaceuticals Limited. Revised October 2020.
    Summary of Product Characteristics: OxyNorm 50mg/ml solution for injection or infusion. Napp Pharmaceuticals Limited. Revised October 2020.
    Summary of Product Characteristics: Shortec 10mg/ml solution for injection or infusion. Qdem Pharmaceuticals Limited. Revised October 2016.
    Summary of Product Characteristics: Shortec 50mg/ml solution for injection or infusion. Qdem Pharmaceuticals Limited. Revised October 2016. Government departments. Department for Transport. Publications. Drug driving and medicine: advice for healthcare professionals. Drug driving: Guidance for healthcare professionals on drug driving. Available at: Last accessed: 6 January 2015
    New drug driving offence implications for medicines packaging. Medicines Regulatory News. 10 December 2013. Available at: Last accessed: 6 January 2015

    NICE Evidence Services Available at: Last accessed: 16 February 2021

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