What is the Difference between Oxycontin and Oxycodone: Two Dangerous Painkillers
It’s undeniable that there is an opioid problem in the U.S. The use of opioids including prescription painkillers and also heroin have become so pervasive that it’s often called the opioid epidemic. Two of the most prominent painkiller opiates at the center of the opioid epidemic are OxyContin and oxycodone, both of which are potent, dangerous and potentially deadly.
Despite the risks of OxyContin and oxycodone they are still frequently prescribed for the treatment of pain in various situations, ranging from severe acute pain to chronic pain.
People often wonder what is the difference between OxyContin and oxycodone and what are the similarities? Below is a comparison and overview of the difference between OxyContin and oxycodone, and also a rundown of features the two prescription opioids share in common.
OxyContin is the brand name for a time-released version of oxycodone, which is a narcotic analgesic used to treat pain. It can be used for injuries, cancer pain and even arthritis.
OxyContin usually contains anywhere from 10 to 80 mg of oxycodone in the time-released formula, which provides pain relief for up to 12 hours. OxyContin stood out in the opioid market because of its ability to provide constant pain relief, unlike other shorter-lasting opioids.
While there is a lot of value in using OxyContin to treat various forms of pain, it also has a high potential for abuse. People who abuse OxyContin will often crush up tablets and dissolve them to inject it, or they’ll snort it which alleviates the time-release functionality of the drug. That gives them a faster, fuller effect than they would otherwise get from OxyContin.
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Oxycodone is available as a single-ingredient medicine, but it’s also used in various combination medicines as well. It’s often paired with acetaminophen for more effective pain-fighting abilities. Oxycodone is the active ingredient in not only OxyContin but also drugs like Percocet and Percodan, which are brand names of combination medicines.
Oxycodone is a strong opiate, and when someone is addicted to it, it’s much like an addiction to heroin.
The primary difference is the fact that OxyContin is time-released and oxycodone isn’t, and as a result, OxyContin can provide around-the-clock pain relief. OxyContin doesn’t theoretically have to be taken as often as oxycodone, and the effects will span a longer period of time. Compared to the ability of OxyContin to treat pain for up to 12 hours, oxycodone usually lasts for around four to six hours.
The time release feature of OxyContin stems from the fact that it’s prepared differently than oxycodone. OxyContin has a is strong, but it releases slowly into the bloodstream when it’s taken as instructed.
In theory, OxyContin would be less likely to be abused than oxycodone because it’s time-released, but this hasn’t necessarily proven to be the case since people crush up the pills and administer them in other ways to get past the time-released mechanism of the medicine.
In fact, a lot of experts say OxyContin is the most abused prescription opioid in the U.S. because it has a strong dosage and is readily available. Many people have said that when they crush OxyContin and snort it or inject it, they experience a high very similar to heroin.
In terms of an overdose, there is also a difference between OxyContin and oxycodone. OxyContin can be more dangerous in an overdose situation because the amount of a dosage is higher than with oxycodone.
So, the primary difference between OxyContin and oxycodone is the time-release feature of OxyContin, which can make it a longer-lasting pain medicine but can also make it more dangerous if it’s abused.