Oxycodone and ibuprofen are two drugs that are considered to be relatively safe in combination, but only under a doctor's supervision. The drugs carry a risk of side effects, and can also interact badly with other drugs. Together, these substances are only a short-term solution to a pain problem, as a patient can become addicted to the medication over time.
Ibuprofen is a drug that reduces inflammation. Swollen tissue may reduce in size when taking this medication, and the area affected becomes less painful as a result. This part of the oxycodone and ibuprofen combination medication acts directly on the painful area of the body.
The oxycodone portion of the medicine acts much differently. Instead of actively altering processes that cause pain, the drug works on the brain, and tricks it into thinking the pain has lessened. Together, these medications are relatively strong painkillers.
Due to the strength of the medication, the combination is typically only available on prescription. A doctor will also only provide a patient with enough of the drugs to last for about a week. After this time, the potential for the patient to become addicted rises. Withdrawal symptoms can arise if a patient stops taking the medicine suddenly, after a long treatment period, or when he or she has taken high dosages. These symptoms include an abnormally fast heartbeat, hallucinations and insomnia.
A patient should only take oxycodone and ibuprofen together only under a doctor's supervision for this reason and for a number of others, as well. Certain medical conditions may mean the patient is at higher risk of side effects than others. These conditions include recurrent stomach issues, circulatory system problems and issues with the thyroid. Even such mild problems as difficulty urinating, high blood pressure or heartburn can all make oxycodone and ibuprofen unsuitable for use.
Other drugs can interact badly with the painkiller. The list includes antihistamines for allergies, some medications for depression and drugs that thin the blood such as warfarin or aspirin. Herbal medicines can also be dangerous when taken with this medicine, and alcohol can make the side effects worse.
Apart from interactions with drugs or exacerbation of existing medical conditions, oxycodone and ibuprofen carry their own unique side effects. The most common are relatively mild. Of the gastrointestinal symptoms, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea can occur.
Mental symptoms that may include insomnia and an increase in anxiety are also possible using this combination of medications. Abnormal weakness and excessive tiredness are other possible side effects. Tasks like driving may be impaired by the medication, as it can cause dizzy spells and fainting.