Roxicodone is an immediate-release tablet form of oxycodone hydrochloride. It's active ingredient is oxycodone, which is also found in other brand name pharmaceuticals such as Percodan, Oxycontin, and Tylox. Being an opiate-based substance, it burdens the user with the same high potential for addiction and withdrawal symptoms as other opiates like heroin and morphine. Ironically, it was first first developed as an alternative to those two highly addictive, but highly effective, pharmaceuticals. To gleen a complete history of Roxicodone requires looking back in history at Roxicodone's two infamous predecessors and how the substance has evolved into the pharmaceutical known today.
Morphine has been known for centuries to be a very effective, but very addictive, pain reliever. Derived from poppy seeds, morphine has been extracted and used for pain relief since the Byzantine era. As science became more technologically advanced, finding a non-addictive, but just as effective, alternative to morphine became a challenge scientists were willing to accept, and thus was born the next evolutionary stage, heroin.
Heroin was initially developed as a less-addictive alternative to morphine. It was developed by two german scientists in 1874 by adding two acetyls to morphine. From this, diacetylmorphine was born and, not long after, the head of Bayer began experimenting with it on both animals and humans. He had even tried it on himself and was quite impressed with the results. He was so impressed, in fact, that in 1898 Bayer began marketing their new cough syrup called heroin, which quickly became hugely popular in dozens of different countries.
When patients began demanding the substance, even when not ill, doctors realized this dream-come-true was not what it appeared. It turned out, as we know today, that heroin is even more addictive than morphine and, by 1913, Bayer realized they had made a mistake and stopped the manufacture and sale of it. By that time, it is estimated Bayer's sale of heroin created 300,000 addicts in the United States alone. It was from this failed attempt that oxycodone, and subsequently Roxicodone, was born.
After Bayer ceased manufacture of heroin, the race was on once again to find a truly non-addictive alternative to morphine. In 1916, two german scientists thought they found that alternative. At that time, oxycodone, the active ingredient in Roxicodone, was first synthesized using the opiate derivative known as thebaine. It was not until 1939 that it was first introduced to consumers in the United States, but at that late stage it was not very popular with consumers.
That changed in 1950 when Percodan, oxycodone cut with aspirin, was introduced to the public. From that time until present day, many forms of oxycodone have been manufactured, including Roxicodone, which is manufactured by and a registered trademark of Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals. While Roxicodone is a slightly less addictive substance than morphine and heroin, it is no less dangerous and still produces the same agonizing withdrawal symptoms as other opiate-derived substances.
Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals has recently been hit with several lawsuits regarding two of their other pharmaceuticals, Darvon and Darvocet. Under the financial stress of these lawsuits, it was announced in August 2012 that Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals would be selling the rights to Roxicodone to Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.
Founded in 1867 and based in St. Louis, Missouri, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals has an interesting history all on it's own. It is the only company in the United States licensed to import coca leaves and is the only source of legal cocaine in this country. Additionally, they are also one of very few companies licensed to import opium from India.
At this time, a pharmaceutical called Roxicodone is not available on the Mallinckrodt website, but oxycodone hydrochloride, which they state compares to Roxicodone, is available. At the bottom of the screen, it states Roxicodone is a registered trademark of Xanodyne, indicating the legal red tape has not been completely cleared as yet. Whether Mallinckrodt will begin to manufacture oxycodone hydrochloride under the purchased trademark name of Roxicodone or simply be content with buying out a competitor and thus increasing the sales of their generic version remains to be seen.
While Roxicodone may or may not be a pharmaceutical name we see in the future, the generic form of the drug, oxycodone hydrochloride, will no doubt continue to be manufactured and sold. Being an opiate-derived substance, it would behoove any individual who feels they may have developed physical or psychological addiction to the substance to seek both medical help and counseling to overcome the addiction.
Opiate-based pharmaceuticals are one of the most addictive substances available no matter how they are derived or synthesized and the withdrawal symptoms are numerous, excruciating, and in some cases fatal. With the combination of both counseling and medical help, a the addicted individual will be able to taper down on the medication safely, minimizing withdrawal symptoms, and simultaneously receive the support and encouragement necessary to overcome the psychological addiction.