Q. My husband had hip replacement surgery in January. For two days after the surgery, he was a bit groggy. By the third day he was hallucinating.

I was trying to prevent him from injuring his new hip while he was seeing bobcats, raccoons, cattle trucks and airplanes, all in his hospital room. He threatened to divorce me because I wouldn’t take him home. We've been through Hell.

We thought he'd had a stroke but that was ruled out. We finally figured out it was probably the OxyContin he was given for pain.

Since this happened I've heard of other people on this drug who have had hallucinations. Why don't they get that drug off the market?

A. OxyContin (timed-release oxycodone) is a very effective pain reliever, but like other narcotics, it may sometimes cause hallucinations. Doctors should alert patients and their families about this possibility so they don’t have to go through the terror you experienced.

 

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  1. Dave K
    Reply

    I’m a 59 yo male who recently underwent spinal disc fusion for two discs. This was a difficult surgery for me (I’ve previously had both my knees replaced) but I’m four weeks out and doing well. After being taken off the morphine I was places on 12 hour timed release oxy and norco.
    After about a week (at home) I had two of the most horrible nightmares/hallocinations. They were brief and both followed a difficult struggle back to reality. Fortunately my wonderful wife pulled be through. Took me off the oxy, modified my norco dose and problem solved. Now I’m daytime Tramdol and small doses of norco at night,
    Bottom line, tell Dr ASAP and insist that they listen. My doc was super and we fixed the problem quickly, He gave me lots of options and was up to date on the problems related to the 12-hour oxy that affects a small percent of patients.

  2. Mary S H
    Reply

    Day 2 of taking Oxycodone / Percocet for septoplasty nose surgery. Trying to stop meds asap. I saw a figure of my son standing in the room staring at me (like a scary movie) and then he turned into a wire sculpture of a person and I knew. It wasn’t logical so I stared it down and it slowly faded away bit by bit.
    Heard whispering and throughout day. The trees outside appear to be moving like a waterfall and the pool veranda outside my room is waiving/moving. I’m not taking these drugs as I know they are doing more harm than good.
    It is like your brain gets mis-wired when trying to make the right logical connections for what your eyes/ears are perceiving. Will return them to Walgreens for safe disposal. Yikers.

  3. lk
    Reply

    I just had gall bladder surgery. I had bilateral carpal tunnel surgery in December and was given oxycodone for the pain. I can’t remember if I took 1or2 at a time, but just at bedtime for the first 3 or 4 days with no problem. I still had plenty of pills left so my gall bladder surgeon said I could take them. The first night I took one and then another 3 or 4 hours later- no problem. However, tonight because the pain was so bad I took 2 (which is prescribed). While I was reading a book in bed I heard a loud voice w couple of times. I didn’t think anything of it. Then I went to sleep and had hallucinating nightmares.
    I work in a high school office and dreamed that our office aides were running around screaming. That wasn’t so bad but to escape their screaming I went to bed (in my dream) and tried pulling up my covers and there was someone under them who wouldn’t let go. I screamed to please give me my covers and who was there, but when I felt around there was no one. They kept coming back and were like some monster but I couldn’t find them. I woke up and haven’t had any problems but I’m afraid to go back to sleep. I decided to research if it’s the oxy and now believe it is. I think I will just take Advil.

  4. C.P.
    Reply

    I had hip replacement surgery in 2012 and was given oxycontin. Took one in evening at home and awoke at 3 am hysterical. Had nightmares/hallucinations so horrible I couldn’t remember them. But the fear, dread, terror and panic wouldn’t stop. All I could say was “oh my god, oh my god”. I felt like I was going out of my mind. I knew I would have to kill myself before falling back to sleep ever again (sounds crazy now but…) I “knew” I was ok and should calm down but couldn’t. Went to ER and I presume the nurses felt I was drug seeking as they didn’t do anything for an hour and couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
    Doctor came in and wanted me evaluated by mental health, who had to be called to come to hospital. Finally, after suffering for 2 hours at hospital plus the couple more while I was at home prior to going to the hospital, I received one lorazapam and the inner chemistry changed. Relief! Will never take any form of oxy again. Tylenol was all I could consider using for the hip recovery pain. Wish I’d been aware of this issue before being so traumatized.

  5. Sophie N.
    Reply

    I was given slow release oxy condon for pain, after little more than 2 days I was having very vivid dreams/hallucinations when I closed my eyes before sleeping, I then knew I was hallucinating when I closed my eyes in the middle of the day and started to see beautiful flowers. This stuff is crazy – just after 2 days it’s was doing this to me. Thank goodness I was getting better and could stop taking the heavy pain meds. I didn’t have this problem on morphine or tramadol. But I think endone gave me similar crazy dreams.

  6. Owen
    Reply

    I have recently had several bizarre hallucinations as a result of “Endone”. Opening my eyes returned things to normal. Two pills were given to me, about a day apart.
    I declined any further pills, and declined the hospital offer to take a few home. Weird stuff and bad news in my view, furthermore, I don’t think they worked too well as a pain killer after an appendectomy.

  7. Richard
    Reply

    I’m so glad I found this site. I’m now convinced my hallucinations were caused by pain meds. I had knee replacement surgery two months ago. While in the hospital I was given Oxycodone (Oxycontin) for severe pain. After being on this med for about 24 hours I began seeing odd things in my hospital room that I knew weren’t right. It became time for me to go home, three days after surgery, but the Docs and nurses decided I was so agitated I shouldn’t go. I was so verbally abusive to my wife she left because see was so upset seeing me in this state. I accused my wife of trying to steal all my money and other things.
    I got out of bed and started down the hallway of the hospital using me walker yelling for help. At some point I became worried about my family and wanted to go home. During the night I tried several times to get out of my room and down a stairwell. I had all kinds of hallucinations during the night the worst were of people watching me from the other side of the walls. I woke up the next morning it was all over. I will never take Oxycodone again.

  8. sarah
    Reply

    After a spinal surgery last summer, my doctor out me on oxycodone after about 2 days of another drug I think.
    I had the worst hallucinations and begged my parents to let me die. The actual scenes I saw weren’t so scary and they were included things that were around me the past day so it was almost like a normal dream, except I felt like it was greatest pain on earth that I wanted to die. When asked to explain it I couldn’t because the thought of even describing it scared me and then when u did describe it, I probably be sounded nuts.
    Oddly enough’ my parents who had spent so much time at my bedside caring for me’ were a part of the pain in a my ‘dream’ so I had the head nurse st with me for two hours, dead tired but unable to sleep in fear of what I might see.
    When I think of my life entire experience, this is one of the worst parts. Its hard to think about and I get emotional when I talk about it. The pain was so real and so close to my heart that I wanted my life to end. Oddly enough though, when I Google the side effect, hallucinations didn’t even come up.

  9. Kari
    Reply

    Hi
    I had shoulder surgery in feb. have been on Percocet since then. I have a sensory thing going on, like I can taste or smell things that are not there. It happens really quick and I can’t describe it. I hate that sensation! Also, my moods have completely changed. Depressed and crabby. People have commented. I am going to try to get off the this medication to see if it is indeed the problem.

  10. Oleander
    Reply

    I’m 23 and have been on oxycodone for 4 1/2 years after sustaining many back, neck, and knee injuries when I was hit by a drunk driver.
    I don’t have hallucinations anywhere near this, and I am SO so sorry you have all had to suffer through this. But I am happy to know I am not crazy. Every time I close my eyes and start to nod off, if there is no background noise I hear voices whispering in my head. Nothing harmful, nothing even sensical, just words and very small sentences being whispered. If I fall asleep in the dark, which I no longer do, I saw awful, horrifying images in my head. Faces being distorted, turning into monsters, murder, etc. And I am terrified of everything when I am on it, you name it, I’m scared.
    When I stand by my balcony door at night to blow my cigarette smoke outside (I refuse to go outside on roxies), my mind just says “black eyed kids, shadow people, aliens, serial killers” etc etc. I cannot turn it off, I have zero control over my thoughts. My mind just runs through everything I am afraid of on the pills and it cannot be stopped. My mind tells me if I keep thinking of these things they will come for me. It also makes up these almost rituals like, if I don’t stand up before the commercial is over, I’ll die. Or if I don’t finish my cigarette before my game is done saving, someone will get me. I can’t close my eyes to wash my fave too long because I feel like someone will come into my bathroom and get me. I have opened my eyes with soap covering them many times just because the feeling got so intense.
    I assumed I was going mad. But recently, I lost my pills a little over a week before my script was due to be refilled and I went through withdrawal. I was afraid of absolutely nothing. None of those thoughts came, I went outside alone in the dark, everything was fine. It was so nice not having the terror all the time, but my normal pain, amplified by the withdrawal was unbearable.
    I’m at the point where I am getting a little better at telling myself “none of this is true, stop thinking it”, because I can’t deal with the pain and still live a semi normal life, I can’t even walk or take care of myself without them.
    It’s just unfair we have to choose to be in agony or be “sane”
    I wish you all the absolute best of luck in regards to your minds and bodies.

  11. JXM
    Reply

    I was given oxy after surgery to repair a broken ankle. I went to a nursing home for physical rehab. I think the nurses were giving me too much medication and after several days there I starting hallucinating. I had my husband come and get me and take me to the ER. While I was in ER I had the worst one yet. A large polar bear was breaking through the wall and coming after me. The doc gave me a shot of something and I started feeling better. It was terrifying.

  12. SG
    Reply

    I have been prescribed oxycodone after tring almost every other pain med to control my fibro pain, which is exacerbated by my heart meds whose side effects are all muscle pain added onto the pain I already have! However, I though I was losing my mind when I went to bed one night a found spider webs hanging like a canopy over my bed…I reached out to touch it to see if it was real and the centres of the webs started to burst open releasing fluorescent spiders….I HATE SPIDERS! This has happened twice now, and recently it was snake skin that was draped over my head! I hear voices in white noise… but apparently this happens to people not on drugs too .Lots of fun!!

  13. Trish
    Reply

    How long did it take to feel better after stopping Oxy?

  14. Linda C.
    Reply

    In Dec 2010, my 22 year old son, who lived with me, was given a month’s supply of both OxyContin and Endone after microsurgery for an injury to his hand. During that month his behaviour became very erratic and he was not sleeping well. I believed it was the drugs and was glad when he finished the prescription. But his strange behaviour continued and he had by then started to hallucinate.
    One night in February 2011 he kept me up all night raving about how he was controlling the weather and other weird things. The next day he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. They dismissed my concerns about the OxyContin and Endone and diagnosed him with bipolar. He was in the hospital for 3 weeks then was released on very heavy anti-psychotic medication.
    Within a month of being released, he stopped the medication as he couldn’t work because it made him too tired. The doctor told him that he would relapse because he was bipolar and would need to be on meds for years if not for the rest of his life. He still refused to take the anti-psychotics. 18 months later and there have been no further hallucinations. Finding this site has confirmed for me that it was the oxycontin that triggered the psychotic symptoms.
    It’s terrible that a person can be told they have a psychiatric illness and would need to be on medication for the rest of their life when it is a side-effect from a prescribed drug. I’m so grateful that he didn’t continue taking that the anti-psychotics when he didn’t need them. I would love to see this drug taken off the market – the pain and trauma that it caused to our family (it is a very difficult thing to schedule your child into a psychiatric hospital) and to my son has been dreadful.

  15. CAB
    Reply

    I have chronic pain. The level comes and goes and is dependent on weather, what I’ve attempted the day before, lack of sleep, etc. I have been having visual and audio hallucinations. I take the regular and long-acting oxycontin. I can’t decide if it’s better to have the pain or be goofy part of the time.
    These comments do help me to know I’m not off my rocker but I feel so depressed at going off the med and having such devastating body aches and constant pain. The fatigue is unending! Sleep or no sleep I still have hallucinations. I’m participating in the conversations as well as having another conversation with a patient. What can I use that will eliminate these side effects. I never feel rested.
    I had a TIA 12/10 and have had double vision since that time as well. Is there a medication that will treat my pain sans oxycontin? I am having a knee replacement this month and I hope again in the fall. Do you know of anything heavy duty to treat the pain? Thanks.

  16. Alexis
    Reply

    My husband had a knee replacement and took Oxycontin for a couple of days and had bad hallucinations. The hospital staff almost did not believe us.
    Be wary if you take it!

  17. Noah F.
    Reply

    December of 2011 I was 13..I was put on Oxycontin because I had a tumor in my knee that was surgically removed. My 2nd day on Oxy I starting having terrible hallucinations. It was about Mid-Night and my mother was on the couch while I was on an air mattress. According to my mother I starting rapping..Then I looked at her and said “MOM LOOK AT THE WALL” She looked and said there is nothing there? Then I said “GRAMMY, HAHA SHE IS DEAD ON THE WALL. AND I TOOK ALL OF HER CLOTHES OFF. My mother was telling me she didn’t know what was going on..Then I starting Screaming..I remember yelling MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA..I killed Grammy I’m going to hell. MAMA please..
    Then I tried rolling out of bed and killing myself. Unable to walk at the time so I start squirming. My mom got my dad to hold me down before I fell out of bed and tore 1 of the staples in my knee sealing the 4 inch scar. Then my mom got the phone and had me call my grandfather. I called my grandfather screaming saying I”M SORRY THAT I KILLED GRAMMY. Then my grandpa said she is in bed right now with me? So my mom explained everything.. My mom and dad started to think my Hallucinations were gone, so they let go. Sadly the hallucinations were not gone. I rolled out of the 1.6ft tall air matress on the ground. It hurt so bad that I screamed for hours and hours. My dad put my back onto the bed and layed with me until the hallucinations were for sure gone. He took off my big cast thingy and my knee was covered in blood. I tore 3 staples..We called the doctor the next day. He said everything is fine, it my just take more time then expected to recover. I did not take Oxy ever again..

  18. MSL
    Reply

    Years ago I had quite the experience with oxycontin. Reading these comments, I am glad to know I am not the only one because I felt like I was going crazy when it happened. After about 4 days of being on oxycontin due to the chronic pain of injuring my pelvis, the side effects started. I was laying down trying to sleep when I hallucinated that I was levitating and paralyzed.
    I guess that I fell asleep since I could do nothing to get myself out of this state. When I woke up, my arms were numb, and I couldn’t control them. They were limp and heavy and just flopped at my sides when I tried to raise them. I also had one of the worst headaches of my life. All of this was terrifying because I was home alone. When I finally got enough coordination to dial my cell phone, I called a friend to take me to the doctor. He switched me to ultracet. It didn’t give me hallucinations.
    I wondered whether people have the same stories about ultracet as I did with oxycontin since many narcotics cause hallucination. I feel that doctors or pharmacists should ask patients to keep there eyes out for hallucinations every time the prescribe.

  19. D.A.G.
    Reply

    My wife was given oxycodone for kidney stones a month or two ago. Nothing seemed to happen to her. 3 days ago, I started having pain in my shoulder so I took 1 every 6 hours (the bottle says 1 to 2 every 4 to 6 hours so I’m not abusing them) I’ve been having visual and audible hallucinations. I try to sleep but see gruesome faces and images when I close my eyes, hear grim sounding voices muttering and I’m soaked in sweat. I think I’m having nightmares but I’m not sure I’m even falling asleep. I feel its better to just deal with the pain.

  20. Taylor
    Reply

    I’m 13 years old and I got hit by a car when I was 9 and that was 3 years ago when My doctor put me on Oxycodon I started to see hallucinations I tried telling my Doctor that I think its coming from the Oxycondon but he said I just wasn’t getting any sleep.
    Well that night when I went to sleep I tried to wake my body up but I couldn’t move my body but my eyes were open and these monster hallucinations were coming for me and pulling my hair. I was so scared and stressed that I haven’t slept for about 2 weeks. My mother was getting stressed because I wasn’t sleeping that she took me off the xycondon but as she took me off the xycondon my hallucinations started to get worse. I and my mother didn’t know what to do, were scared for me. I’m scared for myself and my doctor keeps saying that I’m not getting any sleep, well I tell him I would get sleep if I never took that xycondon. so please don’t put someone that you love on xycondon.

  21. JM
    Reply

    My husband hallucinated on oxycontin after knee replacement surgery. Fortunately, he figured out that he was hallucinating because it didn’t make any sense for the things he was seeing to be there. He called me to come and be with him and told the nurses and the doctor changed his pain meds right away. It’s just so lucky that he could deal with the situation so well, but he’s like that.

  22. Srs
    Reply

    My mother is addicted to oxycodone and is now hallucinating from them
    I think she may be overdosing herself and I called her doc to let him know
    He said he can’t discuss anything with me due to HIPA laws. He continues to prescribe them to her and I’m afraid of them killing her. Can I personally get her committed to a drug rehab without her permission?

  23. hmm
    Reply

    My Mother had a knee replacement done Wednesday before last. She was put on Oxycontin for the pain. For the past week she has had severe hallucinations. It got so bad that she almost tried to take all of her Ambien because she just wanted the depression and anxiety to stop. She said that is was the darkest place she has ever been in in her whole life. She said that she could not even watch TV because her mind was picking out all the negativity on the programs she was watching.
    Someone has had to be sitting right next to her constantly because she refuses to be alone. I called the doctor and got her changed to Lortab which has taken away all the horrible symptoms. I can’t believe I almost lost my mother over her taking Oxycontin. I hate this drug. Please think twice before you or anyone you love starts taking this drug, please ask for a different drug if the doctor wants to put you or someone you love on Oxycontin!

  24. EAHE
    Reply

    My mother in law was just released from the hospital and has begun having these hallucinations at home. She is waking up with extreme anxiety and has recently had a conversation with her baby brother who has been deceased for over ten years. Is there anything I can do to help her with this? Other than assure her she isn’t crazy?

  25. Richard
    Reply

    While in the hospital about 3 years ago for diverticulitis surgery I was put on two morphine pumps for the pain. I had such bad hallucinations
    that I though I was home watching TV, cooking, and lying on my couch. Then I felt like I was walking up the walls ceiling in the hospital room I was in. I told my doctor about it and he had it removed and order pain pills for me if I needed it, which I did not.

  26. nancy Parker
    Reply

    I had a double knee replacement, and remember nothing but the hallucinations about 8 days later when I saw dead people being wheeled into my room at the nursing home. I broke thru the screen and dropped to the ground and rolled down the sidewalk and yelled for the cops. I knew the nurses were going to kill me. I got popped into the psych ward until my docs settled on another drug, vicodin which was fine. I did not break anything, lucky for me. I am terrified of being out of my mind and will never use it again. My husband is a doctor and he attended my side all day every day and did not pick up on my missing mind.

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