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Roxicet Medication: What is it?

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

February 14, 2024

Table of Contents

Roxicet is a combination medication that contains oxycodone and acetaminophen.

Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic that works on the CNS (central nervous system) to alter the way in which your body feels pain and responds to pain. Acetaminophen is a weaker pain reliever that intensifies the effects of oxycodone. Additionally, acetaminophen can alleviate the symptoms of fever.

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The Roxicet pill has been discontinued in the United States. There are still many other medications that combine the pain-relieving properties of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Roxicet medication, like all combination pills containing opioids, carries the risk of abuse and addiction. Medications containing acetaminophen can also be dangerous if abused.

What is Roxicet?

Roxicet is a branded prescription medicine used for the treatment of moderate and severe pain. This form of oxycodone and acetaminophen is now only available in generic form and other branded forms since the discontinuation of Roxicet.

The medication is most effective when administered at the first occurrence of pain.

Prescribed for pain relief, Roxicet contains two different painkillers as active ingredients:

  • Oxycodone: Oxycodone is a potent opioid painkiller that binds to the mu opioid receptors responsible for blocking pain signals traveling to the brain. Like all opioids, oxycodone has a strong abuse and addiction profile, despite having accepted medical benefits.
  • Acetaminophen: Acetaminophen is believed to work by countering the effects of COX (cyclo-oxygenase), an enzyme that occurs naturally in the body.

Roxicet belongs to a class of medicines known as combination narcotic analgesics. Narcotics are opioid-based drugs, while analgesics are painkillers.

The combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen is often used to relieve pain that is severe enough to warrant opioid therapy when other medications proved ineffective or were badly tolerated.

Acetaminophen is prescribed for the relief of pain and fever. Although this medication is not habit-forming, it may trigger negative outcomes in higher doses, especially liver damage and acute liver failure.

Roxicet vs Other Prescription Drugs

Most people seeking medical care require pain relief.

Since the late 1990s, opioids have been more widely prescribed for pain relief. Classified as Schedule II controlled substances, opioids can trigger many adverse side effects, and the use of opioids is also associated with misuse, abuse, and addiction. Despite these drawbacks, no other analgesics are as effective as opioids for pain relief.

There are many alternatives to medications like Roxicet that contain both opioids and acetaminophen. These include:

  • Oxycodone: Taken in isolation, oxycodone can provide relief for moderate and severe pain. In its extended release formulation, oxycodone delivers continuous pain relief. This medication, like Roxicet, has a high potential for all forms of abuse, physical dependence, and addiction.
  • Tramadol: Tramadol is a painkiller prescribed for general pain and nerve-related pain. Side effects of this medication include extreme nausea. The medication can also lead to the development of physical dependence. A Schedule III controlled substance, Tramadol has a lower potential for abuse than other medications in this class. The abuse of Tramadol can trigger mild physical and psychological dependence.
  • Methadone: Methadone is a powerful opioid analgesic that is sometimes used to manage severe pain that has been unresponsive to other potent painkillers. This opioid is more frequently administered for the treatment of opioid addiction (opioid use disorder). Abuse of methadone can provoke severe dependence, both physical and psychological.
  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: NSAIDs like Ibuprofen, Aspirin, and Naproxen can be obtained over-the-counter for mild pain relief. If these medications are combined with opioids, this can reduce the dosage of opioids required.

Roxicet vs Percocet

Roxicet (now discontinued) and Percocet are both popular branded formulations of the combination medication containing acetaminophen and oxycodone.

Both substances are recommended for the treatment of moderate and severe pain. Neither medication is recommended for the treatment of chronic pain.

In most cases, Roxicet and Percocet are prescribed for pain relief following:

  • Acute injuries (broken bones and back injuries)
  • Surgery
  • Dental surgery

Although these medications are broadly similar, there are some small differences between Roxicet and Percocet.

The primary difference concerns the amount of each active ingredient found in Roxicet and Percocet:

  • Roxicet contains oxycodone (5mg) and acetaminophen (325mg).
  • Percocet contains oxycodone (2.5mg or 5mg) and acetaminophen (325mg).

Roxicet vs Vicodin

Vicodin and Roxicet are both opioid narcotic analgesics. Both substances are classified by the DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) as Schedule II controlled narcotics. Both substances carry a strong risk of abuse, physical dependence, and psychological dependence (addiction).

Both medications are prescribed for the relief of moderate and severe pain. Although intended for the treatment of acute pain or short-term pain following surgery or injury, both Roxicet and Vicodin are sometimes prescribed to relieve chronic pain associated with cancer or arthritis.

The main difference between Roxicet and Vicodin is the amount of the active ingredients in each medication:

  • Roxicet contains oxycodone (5mg) and acetaminophen (325mg).
  • Vicodin contains oxycodone (5mg, 7mg, or 10mg) and acetaminophen
  • (300mg).
An image of Roxicet

Is Roxicet Addictive?

Roxicet, like all opioid-based painkillers, can cause tolerance to form rapidly, even when the drug is used as directed. As the effects of the painkiller diminish, many people take more opioids to achieve the desired effects. This abusive pattern of consumption will accelerate the development of physical dependence.

When you become dependent on an opioid like Roxicet, you will require the substance to function normally. Intensely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms will manifest in the absence of Roxicet. Continuing these abusive patterns of consumption will almost always lead to addiction in the form of OUD (opioid use disorder).

Roxicet addiction is especially dangerous due to the acetaminophen content of the medication. The sustained use of acetaminophen, especially in higher doses, can destroy the liver over time.

While there is no cure for opioid addiction, the disorder typically responds favorably to evidence-based treatment with MAT (medication-assisted treatment), counseling, and psychotherapy like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).

Addiction Treatment at Renaissance Recovery

If you are addicted to opioids, we can help you initiate a sustained recovery here at Renaissance Recovery‘s Florida and California rehab programs. We specialize in the outpatient treatment of all addictions and mental health disorders, allowing you to access affordable and flexible treatment without the restrictions of residential rehab.

Choose from the following treatment programs at our luxury rehab in Orange County:

If you require a supervised medical detox to streamline the intensity of Roxicet withdrawal, we can connect you with suitable accredited facilities throughout Southern California.

Once you have detoxed from opioids and chosen the appropriate ongoing treatment program, you can access these services and interventions at Renaissance Recovery’s California and Florida addiction treatment programs:

  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Psychotherapy (talk therapy like CBT or DBT)
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapy

Once you complete your treatment program, you will either step down to a less intensive form of therapy or transition straight back into daily living. Your treatment team will equip you with an aftercare plan, relapse prevention strategies, and access to the Renaissance Recovery alumni program. We’re here to help you from detox to discharge and beyond.

Call 866.330.9449 today for immediate assistance.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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