‘You Want a Description of Hell?’ OxyContin’s 12-Hour Problem

May 6, 2016

(Los Angeles Times) – On the strength of that promise, OxyContin became America’s bestselling painkiller, and Purdue reaped $31 billion in revenue. But OxyContin’s stunning success masked a fundamental problem: The drug wears off hours early in many people, a Los Angeles Times investigation found. OxyContin is a chemical cousin of heroin, and when it doesn’t last, patients can experience excruciating symptoms of withdrawal, including an intense craving for the drug. The problem offers new insight into why so many people have become addicted to OxyContin, one of the most abused pharmaceuticals in U.S. history.