10mg oral oxycodone = 5mg SC oxycodone = 10mg SC morphine

= 20mg oral morphine

Oxycodone has good oral bioavailability. The example above illustrates the dose conversion when oxycodone is regarded as being 2 times more potent than oral morphine.

Oxycodone is an alternative option if morphine is not tolerated. Care should be taken to ensure clarity when prescribing immediate release capsules or modified release tablets. The modified release tablets also deliver a small dose which is immediate release.

Oxycodone preparations

Immediate release (OxyNorm®) capsules, for p.r.n. use: 5mg (orange/beige), 10mg (white/beige), 20mg (pink/beige) (packs of 56) Oral solution (OxyNorm®) : 1mg/ml (250ml)

Concentrated oral solution (OxyNorm®): 10mg/ml (120ml)

Modified release tablets (OxyContin®) for 12-hourly administration:

5mg–light blue, 10mg–white, 15mg–grey, 20mg–pink, 30mg – brown, 40mg–yellow, 60mg–red, 80mg–green, 120mg–purple (packs of 56).

Injection (Oxynorm® injection) 10mg/ml: 1ml, 2ml ampoules.

50mg/ml: 1ml ampoules.

Targinact®: The opioid antagonist naloxone is added to counteract opioid induced constipation by blocking the action of oxycodone at opioid receptors locally in the gut.

Seek advice from specialist palliative care before prescribing.

See Constipation