Codeine vs. Vicodin
Codeine is an opioid pain reliever available by prescription, and the same is true of Vicodin. People often wonder about the differences between codeine vs. Vicodin, and have questions such as “which is stronger, Vicodin or codeine.” The following is an overview of codeine vs. Vicodin.
Vicodin is a brand name drug that contains the opioid hydrocodone as well as acetaminophen, so it’s a combination drug. There are other drugs that include a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone including Lortab and Lorcet.
Both codeine and hydrocodone are seen as having legitimate medical uses in the U.S., and they have some differences but also some similarities.
First, both codeine and Vicodin are used to relieve pain, and they can also be prescribed for cough suppression. Many of the side effects of codeine and Vicodin are similar to one another. Some of the common side effects of both codeine and Vicodin include feeling lightheaded, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and sedation. Other codeine and Vicodin side effects can include constipation and abdominal pain.
Both codeine and Vicodin have the risk of serious side effects as well such as slow or stopped breathing, because of how they affect the central nervous system. There is a potential for abuse and addiction with both drugs, and physical dependence can occur, meaning that a person will go through withdrawal if they stop taking suddenly after using them for a period of time.
Vicodin is considered somewhat stronger in many cases, but oddly enough, codeine is classified as having a higher potential for abuse under the Controlled Substances Act when it’s on its own. This may have something to do with the fact that codeine on its own is more potent than a combination drug like Vicodin.
Also, since Vicodin contains acetaminophen, someone is more likely to overdose on this component before they overdosed on the opioid aspect of the drug. Overdosing on acetaminophen can lead to severe health complications including liver damage or failure.
Codeine withdrawal is also reportedly more difficult to endure than withdrawal from Vicodin, and many people say withdrawing from codeine is more painful than doing the same with Vicodin.
For the most part, however, codeine and Vicodin are pretty similar in their effects and their potency.
Overall there are very few differences when comparing codeine vs. Vicodin. Both codeine and Vicodin are prescription opioids that are helpful for treating certain levels of pain, but also have risks such as addiction and physical dependence. Long-term use of opioids like codeine and Vicodin can also lead to complications including impaired sexual function, increased sensitivity to pain, and a decline in immune function.
One of the biggest differences when comparing codeine vs. Vicodin is the fact that codeine is an opioid pain reliever on its own, while Vicodin is a brand name combination drug that includes hydrocodone and acetaminophen.
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