What are roxies?

Understand roxies (Roxicodone), a prescription opioid. Learn about misuse signs, addiction risks, withdrawal symptoms, and health consequences.

Ophelia team
What are roxies?
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Arthur Robin Williams, MD

Commonly called by the street name “roxies,” Roxicodone® is a brand name version of the FDA-approved prescription drug oxycodone. It’s a narcotic prescribed to patients experiencing moderate to severe levels of pain. Given its strength, Roxicodone is typically prescribed when non-opioid medications have proven to be ineffective at managing a patient’s pain.

This medication is also related to Roxicet™, which is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Since these product names sound similar, it can be hard to tell them apart and understand their potential for misuse. This guide outlines what you should know about roxies in a medical context and as an illicit drug.

How does Roxicodone work?

Roxicodone is an immediate-release form of oxycodone that binds to opioid receptors inside the brain, increasing the release of dopamine and changing how pain is perceived. It is also a Schedule II controlled substance due to its potentially addictive properties. Because of this, it’s important to understand what Roxicodone is used for and its potential dangers, especially when misused.

Dosages can vary at a medical provider’s discretion and may depend on the patient’s body size for effectiveness. The dosage can also be adjusted to treat the level of pain the patient is experiencing. Typically, a dose is taken every 4 hours and can range between 5 and 30 mg.

Since Roxicodone is an immediate-release formula, the effects start to kick in as quickly as 10 to 30 minutes. The drug’s half-life is a little over 3 hours, which means it takes that much time for half of it to be eliminated from the body. However, this can vary based on a person’s weight, metabolism, and liver function.

What is Roxicet?

Roxicet is a brand name for the combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Like Roxicodone, Roxicet treats moderate to severe pain. Since this formula includes acetaminophen, there is an additional risk of liver side effects, including jaundice and organ failure if misused.

The Roxicet brand has been discontinued, but oxycodone and acetaminophen combination drugs are still available as generics and under other brand names, including Percocet®.

Signs of misuse and addiction

Roxicodone misuse is defined by taking it in a way that it’s not prescribed. This can include:

  • Taking doses that are too large or too frequent
  • Ingesting the drug in formats other than a solid tablet, such as crushing and inhaling or mixing the powder into a liquid injection
  • Using the without a prescription and demonstrated need

Misuse can result in addiction and, ultimately, to health issues which may be lethal.

In addition to the behaviors listed above, signs of Roxicodone misuse include continued use beyond the medical provider’s directions, experiencing strong cravings for the drug, and going through exertive efforts to obtain it.

A person’s behavior and function can also signal a potential addiction. Someone who is experiencing addiction may have problems completing school or work tasks or fulfilling family obligations. They may also begin to skip social and recreational activities and spend their time taking Roxicodone instead.

If they have begun to reduce their usage and are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, they may have developed a physical dependence on the drug. The key difference between physical dependence and addiction is the behavioral component. Withdrawal symptoms due to physical dependence also differ from precipitated withdrawal, which can occur when a person is taking medication for addiction treatment (MAT) while actively using opioids.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Since withdrawal can be a sign of addiction, it’s important to understand what this process is. When someone’s body becomes used to the effects of a particular drug, it can experience negative symptoms when the drug is no longer being used. These are some of the most common symptoms that can occur:

  • Flu-like symptoms, such as chills and fever, runny nose, sneezing, and sweating
  • Feelings of anxiety, agitation, or depression
  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep
  • Muscle pain, weakness, or cramps
  • Joint pain
  • Vomiting and Nausea
  • Fast breathing and elevated heart rate
  • Diarrhea

Health risks of Roxicodone misuse

In addition to psychological dependence, misuse of Roxicodone can have physical and social consequences. The social impact of addiction can include strained relationships with loved ones and colleagues, affecting academic, career, and relationship opportunities. The health-related consequences include:

  • Depression and increased risk of suicidal thoughts
  • Heart attack and heart infections
  • Tooth decay 
  • Osteoporosis and increased fractures
  • Decreased immune function
  • Infertility and sexual dysfunction
  • Tuberculosis
  • Constipation 
  • Irregular menstrual cycles 
  • Skin lesions or nasal damage

It is also possible to overdose on Roxicodone, which can lead to permanent damage or death, making it a serious emergency. Signs that someone is overdosing include difficult or stopped breathing, unresponsiveness, limp body, clammy skin, large changes in the pupils, and severe drowsiness or not being able to wake up. Choking, vomiting, and a blue or purple tinge to the fingernail beds and lips are also signs. Always call 911 if you see someone experiencing these symptoms.

Treating Roxicodone Addiction 

It’s clear that Roxicodone addiction can be detrimental to a person’s wellbeing, which makes effective treatment a top priority. Suboxone® and other buprenorphine-naloxone medications are considered the gold-standard treatment for opioid addiction (important safety information), meaning it can be a crucial part of your wellness plan.

When you meet with an Ophelia care team, they’ll determine the right course of action based on your needs. From Suboxone prescriptions and other comfort medications to routine virtual check-ins and access to ongoing emotional and behavioral support, we address opioid treatment from all sides to provide the most comprehensive care possible


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