The effects of OxyContin may begin to wane once a person uses the drug for some time. Eventually, tolerance may build as a person develops physical dependence on OxyContin. Drug dependence does not always accompany tolerance and may not mean a person is addicted. Find out what it looks like to treat the effects of tolerance to OxyContin and notice the signs in a loved one.


Developing Tolerance

Opioid tolerance to medications such as OxyContin occurs because brain cells, which have opioid receptors, may gradually become less responsive to opioid stimulation over time. When the body accommodates for OxyContin, the drug’s ability to work with the same effectiveness is compromised.  Persons with addiction to OxyContin may eventually need more of the drug to produce pleasurable effects compared with initial dosing episodes. It may be hard to predict a person’s tolerance level as some people have natural blocks to certain types of drugs. A dependence may have developed if withdrawal symptoms are present with the drug is stopped.



Common symptoms which may point to tolerance of OxyContin may include:

  • Exceeding recommended or prescribed maximum daily doses of OxyContin
  • Feeling little pain relief when taking the drug
  • Maintaining normal functions without the presence of withdrawal symptoms


Addiction is not necessarily present just because the following symptoms are present. Several other factors also play a role in addiction. This may include experiencing OxyContin withdrawal symptoms and the presence of psychological dependence on the drug to help cope with day-to-day life.  



A person may develop tolerance to OxyContin quite quickly but each person experiences it at a different rate. Extended use of opioid medications like OxyContin produces drug tolerance due to the nature of the drug. OxyContin is a commonly abused substance and, once taken, a high can never be produced in the same way again. Tolerance is dangerous for this reason as people chase the first high by increasing amounts of the drug which quickly leads to physical dependence and addiction. A person may be able to notice tolerance levels have gone up if:

  • More than 30mg daily is needed
  • Seeking the maximum prescribed amount of 160mg
  • Continue to seek dosage increases regardless of effects


OxyContin may not work for a person and tolerance builds easily. It may be best to find another drug which works best for the symptoms an individual seeks to relieve. Abuse of OxyContin will only continue to grow and cause widespread problems.


An individual who believes tolerance to OxyContin has developed may seek to lower the tolerance level to the drug by consulting with a prescribing doctor before halting the medication. Give the body time to readjust and, after some time, the tolerance will level will lower and it may be possible to take the drug again. OxyContin is meant more for short term therapy than long term use for the reason it may be highly addictive and, eventually, ineffective as a pain reliever.


If you or a loved one are struggling to quit OxyContin or believe tolerance symptoms are present, contact Hired Power. We are here to support you in getting the best resources and information on available treatment options for prescription drug addiction.