Oxycodone-Related Deaths

"There were 465 oxycodone-related deaths identified between 2001 and 2009. Box 3 shows deaths by year from 2002 to 2008, with the largest number occurring in 2007. Deaths adjusted for quantity of oxycodone prescribed each year fluctuated between 3.8 and 8 deaths per million defined daily doses (Box 3). Only 10% of these deaths were due to oxycodone toxicity alone. Multiple drug toxicity was more predominant (82% of deaths), with benzodiazepines and alcohol commonly implicated in these deaths. The remaining 8% were from other causes (eg, pneumonia or cardiac failure), with drug toxicity (including oxycodone toxicity) being a contributory cause (data not shown)."


Amanda Roxburgh, Raimondo Bruno, Briony Larance and Lucy Burns, "Prescription of opioid analgesics and related harms in Australia," Medical Journal of Australia, 2011; 195 (5): 280-284. doi: 10.5694/mja10.11450