A new formulation of OxyContin® (oxycodone) tablets, to be released next week, has been designed to reduce diversion for recreation or abuse, by making them harder to crush or dissolve. The new tablet matrix also forms a viscous gel in water to slow the release of oxycodone, but necessitates that the tablets should not be wet prior to swallowing.

Caution is advised in patients with swallowing difficulties or narrowing of the oesophagus, and patients who have, or are suspected to have, impaired gastrointestinal motility or obstruction, should not take the new formulation.

Tablets should be taken whole, one at a time, with enough water to ensure the tablet is completely swallowed immediately after placing in the mouth.

The product name and indication have not changed, and existing supplies may be used until replaced by the new formulation. Prescriptions will remain valid as PBS doses, pack sizes, and codes are consistent, with the exception of the 5mg strength which will be deleted from the schedule due to its discontinuation.

The tablets are slightly different in appearance, thicker and embossed with “OP” rather than “OC” as shown below (click to enlarge).


* Reproduced with permission from Mundipharma Pty Limited. Sydney.

Please review full product information before prescribing.


  1. Chai T. OxyContin reformulation pharmacist letter [letter]. Sydney: Mundipharma Australia. 3 March 2014.

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