hydrocodone vs oxycodone has always been a great point of interest. We have some added information on this to help patients understand better.
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Hydrocodone and oxycodone have many similarities. They’re both in the same drug class and designated as schedule II drugs with high potential for abuse and addiction by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Oxycodone and hydrocodone are both prescription opioids used to treat moderate to severe pain. They’re also both drugs of abuse that have played a large role in the opioid epidemic. Though their similarities outweigh their differences, there are a few distinguishing characteristics between hydrocodone and oxycodone.
What Is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a narcotic analgesic, which is a pain medication containing opioids. It goes by these brand names:
- Percodan (contains aspirin)
- Percocet (contains acetaminophen)
- Roxicet (contains acetaminophen)
- Tylox (contains acetaminophen)
- Oxycodone hydrochloride extended-release tablets (generic version of OxyContin)
Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from the poppy plant. It is combined with thebaine to produce chemical reactions that give it pain-relieving properties. Doctors prescribe this opioid drug for severe pain from cancer, surgery, injuries, and dental procedures. Because of oxycodone’s high potential for abuse and addiction, there is an effort in the medical community to only prescribe when non-opioid medications will not be effective.
What Is Hydrocodone?
You may know hydrocodone by its brand name. These include Vicodin, Lortab, Norco, and Lorcet. Most of the hydrocodone’s forms also contain acetaminophen. Doctors may prescribe hydrocodone to relieve pain in terminally ill patients and those who have had surgery or dental procedures.
Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid. It’s created in labs but synthesized from the poppy plant. Like oxycodone, many doctors are prescribing hydrocodone less since the opioid epidemic shined a spotlight on prescription painkillers.