The information provided below is for readers based in the United States of America. Readers outside of the United States of America should seek the information from local sources.


Oxycodone is not recommended while trying to conceive. If oxycodone is required during pregnancy or breastfeeding, infants should be monitored for drowsiness and breathing difficulties.

What is oxycodone?

Oxycodone is an opioid or narcotic medication. Oxycodone is supplied as continuous release, immediate release, and extended release oral tablets or capsules.

What is oxycodone used to treat?

Oxycodone is used to treat moderate to severe pain.

How does oxycodone work?

Oxycodone interacts with opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, decreasing the feeling of pain in the body. 

If I am taking oxycodone, can it harm my baby?

There is limited evidence on the safety of oxycodone during pregnancy. Oxycodone is expected to cross the human placenta to reach the developing baby. The National Birth Defects Prevention Study published in 2011 found an increased incidence of birth defects with maternal oxycodone use around the time of conception. This medication should only be used during pregnancy when there are clear indications. Women who take long-term oxycodone therapy can give birth to infants who are dependent on oxycodone and who display signs of neonatal withdrawal syndrome including slowed breathing and drowsiness. Oxycodone should not be used during labor and delivery because of the risk for slowed breathing in infants. Any woman taking oxycodone during pregnancy should be warned about the risks to the developing baby.

If I am taking oxycodone and become pregnant, what should I do?

Women who are trying to become pregnant or discover they are pregnant should avoid the use of oxycodone. Based on results from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, oxycodone may increase the incidence of birth defects if taken around the time of conception.

If I am taking oxycodone, can I safely breastfeed my baby?

Oxycodone can be excreted into breast milk. Breastfeeding is not recommended in women who are taking oxycodone because of the risk for slowed breathing and drowsiness in nursing infants. Non-opioid pain relievers can be used in place of oxycodone. If women continue nursing while on oxycodone, they should receive the smallest dose of oxycodone for the shortest amount of time and they should monitor their infants for drowsiness, slowed breathing, and any changes in feeding. Maternal doses of oxycodone should not exceed 30 mg/day.

If I am taking oxycodone, will it be more difficult to get pregnant?

Yes, chronic oxycodone use can have negative effects on both male and female fertility.

If I am taking oxycodone, what should I know?

It is important to speak with your doctor to discuss the safety of oxycodone during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Oxycodone is not recommended during conception, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. However, women who require oxycodone therapy should be informed of the risks. Infants should be monitored for signs of withdrawal including drowsiness and breathing difficulties.

If I am taking any medication, what should I know?

This report provides a summary of available information about the use of oxycodone HCl during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Content is from the product label unless otherwise indicated.

You may find Pregistry's expert reports about the individual medications used to treat pain here,  and our report about pain here.   Additional information can also be found in the resources below. 

For more information about oxycodone during and after pregnancy, contact (800-994-9662 [TDD: 888-220-5446]) or check the following link:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration:  OxyContin Prescribing Information

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General information

It is very common for women to worry about having a miscarriage or giving birth to a child with a birth defect while they are pregnant. Many decisions that women make about their health during pregnancy are made with these concerns in mind.

For many women these concerns are very real. As many as 1 in 5 pregnancies end in a miscarriage, and 1 in 33 babies are born with a birth defect. These rates are considered the background population risk, which means they do not take into consideration anything about the health of the mom, the medications she is taking, or the family history of the mom or the baby’s dad. A number of different things can increase these risks, including taking certain medications during pregnancy.

It is known that most medications, including over-the-counter medications, taken during pregnancy do get passed on to the baby. Fortunately, most medicines are not harmful to the baby and can be safely taken during pregnancy. But there are some that are known to be harmful to a baby’s normal development and growth, especially when they are taken during certain times of the pregnancy. Because of this, it is important to talk with your doctor or midwife about any medications you are taking, ideally before you even try to get pregnant.

If a doctor other than the one caring for your pregnancy recommends that you start a new medicine while you are pregnant, it is important that you let them know you are pregnant.

If you do need to take a new medication while pregnant, it is important to discuss the possible risks the medicine may pose on your pregnancy with your doctor or midwife. They can help you understand the benefits and the risks of taking the medicine.

Ultimately, the decision to start, stop, or change medications during pregnancy is up to you to make, along with input from your doctor or midwife. If you do take medications during pregnancy, be sure to keep track of all the medications you are taking.