J Pain Symptom Manage. 2005 May;29(5 Suppl):S47-56. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2005.01.010.


Oxycodone has been in clinical use since 1917. Parenteral oxycodone was used mainly for the treatment of acute postoperative pain whereas combinations, for example, oxycodone and acetaminophen, were used for moderate pain. Since the introduction of controlled-release oxycodone, it has been used to manage cancer-related pain and chronic non-cancer-related pain problems. Controlled studies have been performed in postoperative pain, cancer pain, osteoarthritis-related pain, and neuropathic pain due to postherpetic neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy. The pharmacodynamic effects of oxycodone are typical of a mu-opioid agonist. Oxycodone closely resembles morphine but it has some distinct differences, particularly in its pharmacokinetic profile. Being an old drug, the basic pharmacology of oxycodone has been a neglected field of research.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid* / history
  • Analgesics, Opioid* / pharmacokinetics
  • Analgesics, Opioid* / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Drug Interactions
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Liver Failure / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Oxycodone* / history
  • Oxycodone* / pharmacokinetics
  • Oxycodone* / therapeutic use
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy
  • Renal Insufficiency / metabolism


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Oxycodone