The active ingredient in many painkillers are oxycodone and hydrocodone. They are both prescription medicines that are very similar in their chemical structure. They are termed as narcotics and both lead to addiction, when used for a long time. In this article, we will cover some information on oxycodone vs. hydrocodone.
Difference between Oxycodone and Hydrocodone
Oxycodone is prescribed to patients to help relieve moderate to high pain. It also helps to suppress coughing in some cases. It is similar to morphine and is given to patients for round-the-clock relief from pain due to trauma, injury muscle pain, fracture, arthritis, cancer, etc. Oxycodone is classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule II drug. Therefore it is approved for medical use, but has a high risk of drug abuse and other serious problems.
Hydrocodone is also a pain reliever drug that belongs to the opioid family. It is similar to heroin and prescribed by doctors for mild to moderate pain management. Hydrocodone is classified as a Schedule II narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. But medications that contain certain amounts of hydrocodone are classified under the Schedule III list of Controlled Substances.
The oxycodone vs. hydrocodone strength helps differentiating between the two. Hydrocodone is not as strong as oxycodone. It helps in relieving mild to moderate pain. Whereas, oxycodone is stronger in strength and helps relieve moderate to severe pain.
Oxycodone is available as a short-acting drug and long-acting drug. It is also available along with other painkillers. In case of hydrocodone, it is available only in combination with other drugs. Hydrocodone is never available as itself. Thus, hydrocodone products are classified as Schedule III drugs and oxycodone is under Schedule II of controlled substances.
The side effects of hydrocodone and oxycodone is another differentiating factor. The oxycodone side effects include constipation, nausea, fatigue, headaches and excessive sweating. One may even have blurred vision, drowsiness, weakness and drying of mouth and sleeplessness. Sometimes one may develop anxiety, diarrhea, euphoria and dyspepsia.
Hydrocodone side effects include feelings of calmness and delight. Headache, dry mouth, anxiousness, dizziness and drowsiness are amongst the most common side effects of hydrocodone. One may even develop bradycardia and convulsions. Stomach ache, itching on arms and legs or yellowing of skin can be observed in case of overdose.
A patient can have refills of his drugs under the advice of his doctor. Oxycodone can never have refills until and unless accompanied with a new prescription. Hydrocodone on the other hand can have refills. The prescription can be send over by phone or fax by the healthcare provider to the pharmacy. In case of oxycodone, no prescription sent by phone or fax is accepted at any pharmacy. A hydrocodone prescription can be refilled up to 6 times in five months.
As both are narcotics and addictive drugs, there are many oxycodone vs. hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms. In case of withdrawal symptoms of oxycodone, one may experience abdominal cramps, vomiting, intense pain in the body, anxiety, excessive sweating, body chills, insomnia, goose bumps, paranoia and loss of appetite. Withdrawal symptoms of hydrocodone include yawning, diarrhea, body aches, muscle pain, sleep deprivation, irritability, strong cravings for the drugs, etc.
These were a few points of the debate oxycodone vs. hydrocodone. Both these drugs are good pain killers, but very dangerous if one becomes addicted to them. You need to follow your doctor's advice, when prescribed with these narcotic medications. Use these drugs with extreme caution and speak to your doctor regarding any doubts about oxycodone or hydrocodone. If you feel you are addicted to either of the medications, speak to your doctor and get help from a drug rehabilitation center as soon as possible. After all it is a question of your own life.