Does Oxycodone Cause Nausea?

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Oxycodone is a potent painkiller often prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain. While it can be an effective medication for pain relief, one of the common side effects of oxycodone use is nausea. The incidence and severity of nausea associated with oxycodone use can vary from person to person, but it is important to be aware of this potential side effect when taking the medication.

If you or a loved one is struggling with oxycodone addiction or any substance use disorder, seeking professional help is crucial for recovery. Guardian Recovery is a leading addiction treatment center that offers comprehensive care for individuals seeking to overcome addiction. With a team of experienced and compassionate professionals, Guardian Recovery provides evidence-based therapies and personalized treatment plans tailored to meet each individual’s unique needs. Contact Guardian Recovery today to learn more about how they can help you or your loved one achieve lasting recovery.

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Why Does Oxycodone Make You Feel Sick?

Oxycodone is a powerful opioid pain medication that works by binding to receptors in the brain and nervous system to reduce pain signals. While it can be an effective painkiller, oxycodone can also cause a range of side effects, including nausea and vomiting. The mechanism behind why oxycodone makes you feel sick is not entirely clear, but it is believed to be related to the drug’s effects on the digestive system and the central nervous system. Oxycodone can slow down the movement of the digestive system, leading to constipation, which can trigger nausea. Additionally, the drug can affect the part of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting, leading to a feeling of queasiness.

The Role of Opioid Receptors & Vestibular System in Nausea Caused By Opioids

Opioid receptors play a crucial role in the nausea caused by opioids such as oxycodone. When opioids bind to these receptors, they can trigger a cascade of events that can lead to nausea and vomiting. Additionally, the vestibular system, which is responsible for maintaining balance and spatial orientation, also plays a role in the nausea caused by opioids. Opioids can disrupt the function of the vestibular system, leading to a feeling of dizziness and queasiness. These effects can be particularly pronounced when opioids are used at high doses or for extended periods of time. Understanding the complex interplay between opioid receptors and the vestibular system is important for developing effective strategies to manage nausea caused by opioids.

Nausea Caused By Dizziness, Stomach Symptoms, & Headaches

Nausea can be caused by a variety of factors, including dizziness, stomach symptoms, and headaches. When dizziness is the underlying cause of nausea, it is often related to inner ear problems or changes in blood pressure. Stomach symptoms such as acid reflux, gastritis, or ulcers can also cause nausea by irritating the lining of the stomach. Headaches, particularly migraines, can be a common cause of nausea as well. The exact mechanisms behind why headaches cause nausea are not entirely clear, but it is believed to be related to the activation of certain pathways in the brain..

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The Role of Dosage & Extended Release Formulations in Nausea Effects

The dosage and formulation of opioids, such as oxycodone, can also play a significant role in the development of nausea. High doses of opioids can overwhelm the body’s natural ability to manage the side effects of the drug, leading to a higher likelihood of nausea and vomiting. Extended-release formulations of opioids, which are designed to release the medication slowly over time, can also contribute to nausea. This is because the extended-release formulations can cause a build-up of the medication in the body, which can lead to higher blood levels and more pronounced side effects.

Do All Opioids Cause the Same Level of Nausea & Vomiting?

Not all opioids cause the same level of nausea and vomiting. While many opioids, including oxycodone, can cause nausea and vomiting, the incidence and severity of these side effects can vary depending on the specific medication and individual factors. For example, fentanyl, a highly potent opioid, is associated with a lower incidence of nausea and vomiting compared to other opioids.

How Do You Get Rid of Nausea From Taking Oxycodone?

There are several strategies that can be used to help manage nausea caused by taking oxycodone. One of the first steps is to speak with your healthcare provider about adjusting your medication dosage or exploring alternative pain management strategies. You may also want to try taking oxycodone with food or milk to help reduce stomach irritation and alleviate nausea. Ginger supplements or ginger tea may also be effective in reducing nausea.

Antiemetic Drugs for Nausea Symptoms

Antiemetic drugs are medications designed to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting. These drugs work by blocking specific neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for triggering the sensations of nausea and vomiting. Commonly used antiemetic drugs include ondansetron, metoclopramide, and prochlorperazine. These drugs are often used in combination with other treatments to manage nausea caused by a variety of factors, including chemotherapy, surgery, and motion sickness.

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What Other Side Effects Can Oxycodone Cause?

In addition to nausea and vomiting, oxycodone can cause a range of other side effects. Common side effects of oxycodone include constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, dry mouth, sweating, and itching. More serious side effects can include difficulty breathing, confusion, seizures, and changes in mood or behavior. Long-term use of oxycodone can also lead to physical dependence and addiction, which can be difficult to overcome without professional help. It is important to closely monitor for any potential side effects while taking oxycodone and report them to your healthcare provider promptly. If you are experiencing persistent side effects or are concerned about the potential risks of taking oxycodone, it is important to discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider and explore alternative treatment options.

If you or a loved one is struggling with oxycodone addiction or experiencing persistent nausea or other side effects from oxycodone use, it is important to seek professional help. Guardian Recovery offers comprehensive addiction treatment services that are tailored to meet each individual’s unique needs. Our experienced and compassionate team of professionals can help you or your loved one achieve lasting recovery and improve your overall quality of life. Contact Guardian Recovery today to learn more about our addiction treatment services and start your journey to recovery.


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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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