Oxycodone: new 'old' drug
Olkkola KT, Hagelberg NM.
Department of Anaesthesiology,
Intensive Care, Emergency Care and Pain Medicine,
University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2009 Apr 14.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Since the introduction of oral immediate release and controlled-release oxycodone preparations to the market in the 1990s, the clinical use and scientific interest in oxycodone has increased greatly. RECENT FINDINGS: Recent studies have shown that the pharmacokinetics of oxycodone are dependent on age of the patient and therefore individual titration of the dose is necessary, especially in the elderly. Oxycodone has good oral bioavailability and it produces more predictable plasma concentrations than morphine, which has a poor and more variable bioavailability. Oxycodone has clinically significant drug interactions with drugs affecting cytochrome P450 3A enzymes. Clinical studies have demonstrated that oxycodone is a useful opioid analgesic in acute postoperative pain, cancer pain, visceral pain and chronic nonmalignant pain. SUMMARY: The availability of oxycodone preparations has increased its clinical use exponentially during the last decade. Further clinical studies are still needed to fully understand its clinical pharmacology. Oxycodone is still a new 'old' drug whose pharmacology and clinical potential is not yet fully understood.
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