Have you or a loved one been prescribed the painkiller OxyContin?  Have you noticed a change in mood? Know what to expect!  Typical side effects of OxyContin may differ with side effects of OxyContin addiction or withdrawal. Most often, anger is only a side effect of OxyContin withdrawal.

What is OxyContin?

OxyContin is the brand name of the medication Oxycodone, from the opioid class of drugs. Doctors may prescribe OxyContin to help relieve patient’s moderate to severe pain. It is essential to take OxyContin exactly as prescribed by your doctor, as opioids are known to be high-risk for addiction.

Typical OxyContin Side Effects

Changes in mood can occur, but anger and aggression is not a typical side effect of OxyContin (See the full list of side effects below).

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Weakness
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness

Seek medical help right away for any of the following symptoms:

  • Interrupted breathing during sleep
  • Changes in heartbeat
  • Severe stomach/abdominal pain
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Unusual loss of appetite
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Fainting
  • Fever
  • Allergic reaction (rash, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing)
  • Mental/mood changes (such as agitation, confusion, hallucinations)


The effects of this painkiller are more likely to make a person feel euphoric or high, not angry.  If aggressive mood swings occur, please seek the advice of a medical professional immediately.

Of course, people are prescribed this medication due to physical pain. Small initial moments of frustration or agitation could be a natural response to that physical pain, not the drug.

OxyContin Dependence, Addiction, and Mood

Mood swings could occur in someone struggling with dependence or abuse of OxyContin. The more the opioid is consumed, the more the body becomes dependent upon it. This could cause someone to experience unusual behavior or bursts of aggression. The FDA warns that OxyContin is a high risk drug for addiction.

Other possible psychological side effects of OxyContin abuse include altered perception of reality, depression, anxiety, negative self-esteem, paranoia, confusion, or drastic changes in personality. Doctor switching and anger due to difficulty getting the opioid has also been reported.

OxyContin Withdrawal and Mood

Anger or mood swings connected to OxyContin is most often caused by withdrawal. If you notice strong personality or emotional changes, it might be a sign of withdrawal. Withdrawal is the body’s initial reaction after suddenly stopping the use of a substance. For many, withdrawal can begin within 8 hours of the last dose and last about 2 weeks.

Early withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Mood changes
    • Agitation, irritation, aggression
    • Anxiety, Restlessness
  • Sleep changes or insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Cold-like symptoms (runny nose, sweating)

Late withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Reduced appetite
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blurry vision
  • Chills
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure


Withdrawal symptoms are typically non-life threatening, but can be difficult to manage without proper medical guidance. Medicines, detox programs, and support from therapy and rehabilitation facilities can help!


Remember that medicines will interact with everyone differently. However, significant aggression or personality changes could be side effects of OxyContin dependence, addiction, or withdrawal. If you are concerned with your reactions to OxyContin, whether they are mood swings or other symptoms, please speak to your doctor. Therapists are trusted sources for guidance, especially if there are any concerns about possible opioid problems. With knowledge and support, you can overcome OxyContin addiction or withdrawal safely and successfully.