Perspectives on Intravenous Oxycodone for Control of Postoperative Pain

Joseph V. Pergolizzi, Francis Seow-Choen, Steven D. Wexner, Gianpietro Zampogna, Robert B. Raffa, Robert Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Intravenous (IV) analgesia has particular advantages in the immediate postoperative period. For example, IV administration results in a faster onset of pain relief and results in more predictable pharmacokinetics than does administration by other routes. It also allows for convenient dosing before or during surgery, permitting the initiation of effective analgesia in the early phase of the postoperative period. In addition, when patients are able to tolerate oral intake, they can be switched from IV to oral dosing based on maintaining the predictable analgesia established by the IV route. IV morphine is widely used for the control of postoperative pain, but there is a trend toward the use of oxycodone. Oxycodone (which may be mediated partly through kappa- as well as mu-opioid receptors) offers several potential advantages. Published studies comparing IV oxycodone to other IV opioids for postsurgical pain report that oxycodone is a safe and effective analgesic. Some studies show that IV oxycodone may be associated with greater pain control, fewer or less severe adverse events, and faster onset of action, although the results are not consistent across all studies. Oxycodone has been reported to be safe in the geriatric and other special populations when adequate clinical adjustments are made. Thus, the clinical reports and oxycodone's pharmacologic profile make intravenous oxycodone a potentially important “new” old drug for postoperative pain control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)924-934
Number of pages11
JournalPain Practice
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • acute pain service
  • analgesia
  • analgesics
  • intravenous
  • opioid
  • opioid analgesics
  • opioids
  • oxycodone
  • pain
  • postoperative
  • review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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