OxyNorm Side Effects

Updated May 10, 2017

OxyNorm is an opiod (opium based) analgesic drug used to reduce moderate to severe pain. The active ingredient in OxyNorm is oxycodone hydrochloride. It is usually prescribed to relief pain after surgical procedures. OxyNorm reduces the sensations of pain by acting on the opoids receptors (a specialised cell or group of nerve endings) in the nervous system. The prolonged use of OxyNorm may cause symptoms of withdrawal if it is abruptly discontinued.


OxyNorm is an effective pain reliever that may be administered as intravenous infusion, as a single injection or into the subcutaneous tissue (the third of the three layers of the skin) under the skin. It is also available in a capsule form. This medication is not recommended for patients under 18 years of age. Older patients usually require lower doses of OxyNorm.

Side Effects

The common side effects of OxyNorm include itching, nausea and vomiting and dry mouth, as well as headache, sleepiness and drowsiness along with dizziness and euphoria (extreme happiness and feelings of well-being). There may also be difficulty passing urine and with prolonged usage of OxyNorm constipation may be a problem. Contact your doctor for advice regarding any of these symptoms.

Less Common Side Effects

These side effects may include upset stomach, loss of appetite and slow body movements or tiredness, insomnia and disorientation along with low blood pressure and rapid heart beat. Other less common side effects are vision problems, hiccups or shortness of breath along with fast or deep breathing. These symptoms need immediate medical care.

Other Side Effects

These side effects may include confusion, nervousness and anxiety or hallucinations and hypothermia (a drop below the normal body temperature) There may also be facial flushing, rigid muscles and nervousness as well as difficulty swallowing. Seek immediate medical care for any of these problems.

Rare Side Effects

These side effects may include speech disorder, some loss of sensation to the feeling of touch and tingling sensations or numbness in the fingers or toes. There may also be amenorrhoea (absence of the menstrual cycle), decreased sexual drive or impotence. In addition there may be oedema (swelling) of the legs, ankles and feet. Seek medical advice for any of these symptoms.

Allergic Reaction

A serious life threatening side effect may be an allergic reaction. This is a medical emergency that needs immediate medical care. These symptoms include a rash or hives with itching. In addition there may be swelling of the face, mouth and tongue along with shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.


Discuss your medical history with your doctor including any medications you may be taking including over the counter medications and any allergies you may have. It's important to inform you doctor if you are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressant drug, if you have a heart problem or long standing lung problem or if you are pregnant or breast feeding.

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About the Author

Norma Chew is a retired registered nurse who has been a freelance writer since 1978. Chew's articles have appeared in the "Journal of the Association of Operating Room Nurses" (AORN), "Point of View Magazine" and "Today's OR Nurse." Chew has a master's degree in health care administration from Nova Southeastern University.