Comparing Oxycodone and Hydrocodone for Pain Relief - The Best Medications

Comparing Oxycodone and Hydrocodone for Pain Relief – The Best Medications

Posted On July 26, 2023 at 5:14 pm by / No Comments

Comparison – Oxycodone and Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone and oxycodone are both opioid analgesic medications used to treat moderate to severe pain. These narcotics work by altering the brain’s functioning to prevent the processing of pain signals from the body. Due to their potency, these drugs are prescribed for individuals who have undergone surgery or experience pain that cannot be managed by other medications. Both hydrocodone and oxycodone are classified as Schedule II controlled substances, indicating a high potential for abuse and addiction.

Difference between oxycodone and hydrocodone

The dosage of both medications varies based on age and the patient’s condition. Oxycodone is usually prescribed alone, with immediate-release versions available as OxyIR and extended-release versions as OxyContin. It is also available in combination with other drugs, such as Percocet, which contains oxycodone and APAP. Hydrocodone is commonly found in brand names like Norco or Vicodin, often combined with Tylenol. It is available in tablet or liquid form and can also be combined with ibuprofen to treat cough.

Who They’re for?

Hydrocodone and oxycodone are suitable for individuals experiencing moderate to severe pain due to injuries, cancer, surgery, or chronic pain. These medications are typically recommended for short-term treatment, along with rest and exercise. They are also available in long-acting formulations for individuals requiring ongoing treatment with opioids. However, it is important to note that opioids can interact with other medications and can be addictive, making them unsuitable for individuals with a history of substance abuse or those taking other opioid medications.

Drug Class of Hydrocodone and Oxycodone and How That Class Works?

Both hydrocodone and oxycodone belong to the class of drugs known as opioid analgesics or narcotics pain medications. These drugs interfere with the brain’s functioning and bind to mu-opioid receptors, blocking pain signals from reaching the brain. As a result, they provide relief from pain. However, due to their potential for abuse and addiction, these medications are classified as controlled substances and require a prescription.

Forms and Dosing

Hydrocodone and oxycodone are available in immediate-release and extended-release formulations. The dosage varies for each individual, and it is important to follow the doctor’s guidelines to avoid overdose. Tolerance may develop over time, leading to a gradual increase in dosage. These medications come in various forms, including tablets, capsules, liquids, and concentrated liquids. Extended-release tablets should not be tampered with or altered in any way.

How to take these medicines?

It is crucial to take these medications exactly as prescribed by a doctor. They are available in different forms and may be combined with other pain-relieving drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. Extended-release tablets should be taken once a day at the same time. Crushing, chewing, snorting, or injecting these tablets can be extremely dangerous. It is important to consult a doctor before discontinuing the use of these medications to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms.


Oxycodone and hydrocodone are equally effective in treating moderate to severe pain. Studies have shown similar pain relief provided by both drugs. However, it is important to note that these medications only address the symptoms and do not treat the underlying cause of pain. Due to the potential for abuse and addiction, doctors usually explore non-opioid pain medications before prescribing opioids.

Side Effects of These Medications

Both hydrocodone and oxycodone can cause similar side effects due to their opioid nature. These side effects can range from mild to severe, and it is important to seek medical help if experiencing severe symptoms. Common side effects include dry mouth, fatigue, reduced sex drive, confusion, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, itching, sweating, and severe breathing problems.

Warnings and Interactions

These medications come with warnings from the FDA, including the risk of abuse, addiction, and misuse. They can cause severe respiratory problems and should be kept out of reach of children to prevent accidental overdose. Opioid usage during pregnancy can lead to withdrawal symptoms in newborns. These medications can interact with other drugs and should not be used with benzodiazepines or CNS depressants. Patients with respiratory depression or severe bronchial asthma should avoid these drugs. It is important to reduce the use of these medications gradually to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms.

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