Oxycodone vs. Hydrocodone

If you are experiencing pain, you may want to compare hydrocodone versus oxycodone for pain relief. Both are narcotic, opioid medications and both have similar side effects, drug interactions, and warnings. However, oxycodone has more potential for abuse than hydrocodone, which means there are stricter laws regarding the sale and use of oxycodone. Also, oxycodone is typically considered a stronger painkiller than hydrocodone.

Oxycodone vs. Hydrocodone: The Similarities

Hydrocodone and oxycodone are both active ingredients in prescription pain medications. Both are narcotic, opioid (morphine-like) medications, and they are chemically very similar. Both are classified as controlled substances, which means they have significant abuse potential.
Both medications are available in generic form and are relatively inexpensive (in generic form). Both are taken by mouth and are available in several different strengths. They have similar side effects, drug interactions, and warnings and precautions.
Alcohol should be avoided (or, at the very least, limited) while taking either hydrocodone or oxycodone. Both medications can be very dangerous in the case of overdose.

Oxycodone Versus Hydrocodone: The Differences

Oxycodone is generally a stronger painkiller, compared with hydrocodone (although some people may find hydrocodone to work better, due to individual differences in how people react to medications). Oxycodone is available by itself (in both short-acting and long-acting products) or in combination with other painkillers. Hydrocodone is available only in combination products; it is not available by itself.
All of the hydrocodone products currently available are classified as Schedule III controlled substances, while oxycodone medications are Schedule II controlled substances. This means that oxycodone products have more of an abuse potential, compared with hydrocodone products.
Oxycodone prescriptions cannot have refills (a new prescription is required each time) and cannot be phoned in or faxed to a pharmacy. Hydrocodone prescriptions can have refills (up to six refills in five months), and your healthcare provider may phone in or fax the prescription to your pharmacy.
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