Hydrocodone vs. Oxycodone

Prescription opioids are a very significant topic of discussion in the U.S. today, as the addiction epidemic sweeps across entire communities.

Two drugs at the center of the opioid epidemic are hydrocodone and OxyContin. People often wonder what the differences are when comparing hydrocodone vs. OxyContin, and also what they should know about the hydrocodone vs. oxycodone high and addiction information.

The following provides an overview of each separately and a comparison of hydrocodone vs. OxyContin.

Hydrocodone vs. OxyContin | Hydrocodone vs. Oxycodone High and Addiction
Before comparing hydrocodone vs. OxyContin, what is hydrocodone? Hydrocodone is an opioid drug that’s often used in combination prescription painkillers like Vicodin and Lortab. This narcotic pain medication that binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system, and changes the way pain is perceived. It also slows the overall activity of the central nervous system, which includes respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure. This slowing of the CNS is why it’s particularly important for people to follow dosing instructions and take hydrocodone exactly as prescribed. Some of the side effects of hydrocodone can include nausea, vomiting, itching, constipation, headache, and drowsiness. While hydrocodone does have benefits in a therapeutic sense, as with other opioids, there is also the risk of addiction and dependence. When people take opioids, particularly in high doses, it can create a euphoric high, so this is something that can lead to addiction.
OxyContin is a prescription opioid pain reliever that includes pure oxycodone. Oxycodone is a potent opioid that is also often available in combination medicines with other drugs like Tylenol. When you’re comparing hydrocodone vs. OxyContin, there are a few key differences. Perhaps the biggest difference is the fact that OxyContin is a brand-name drug that’s time-release. This means that it has a large amount of the opioid oxycodone, and when someone takes it, it’s intended to gradually release into their bloodstream over a period of about 12 hours or so. Hydrocodone, on the other hand, is immediate-release, and its effects usually only last for a few hours. OxyContin is also a brand name drug, while hydrocodone is the generic name of an opioid drug.
Unfortunately, people frequently abuse prescription pain relievers, leading them to wonder about the differences between the hydrocodone vs. oxycodone high. As mentioned, oxycodone is the generic version of OxyContin, and OxyContin is time-release, while oxycodone is immediate release. Both hydrocodone and oxycodone are powerful pain relievers. There is a potential of getting high with both hydrocodone and oxycodone, but doctors believe hydrocodone may be more likely to cause dependence as compared to oxycodone. Hydrocodone is the most abused opioid in the U.S. Both hydrocodone and oxycodone are classified as schedule II drugs by the DEA in the U.S., which means both are considered to have a high potential for abuse and addiction.
When comparing hydrocodone vs. oxycodone, which is stronger? Both are intended to treat pain ranging from moderate to severe, and both are often combined with other drugs like acetaminophen. Both hydrocodone and oxycodone can also be prescribed in extended-release versions for the treatment of around-the-clock and chronic pain. Both are powerful, and in most studies looking at hydrocodone vs. oxycodone, their strength is similar to one another. There has been one study that showed a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen was better at treating pain than hydrocodone with acetaminophen, however. In general, though, the answer to hydrocodone vs. oxycodone: which is stronger, is that they’re very similar in strength and potency.
Just as the strength and pain relieving effects of both hydrocodone and oxycodone are similar to one another, so are the side effects. The most common side effects of both hydrocodone and oxycodone are shallow breathing, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, itching, motor skill impairment and lethargy. However, there is one difference between hydrocodone vs. oxycodone side effects, and that’s the fact that hydrocodone is more likely to cause gastrointestinal side effects and constipation than oxycodone.
Is the hydrocodone vs. oxycodone addiction risk similar? In general, yes. There is a similar risk when looking at hydrocodone vs. oxycodone addiction. Both are classified as schedule II drugs, meaning a high abuse potential. It’s important for people to take both of these drugs exactly as instructed to avoid the risk of addiction, which can occur even when a person is prescribed either of these drugs. So, to sum up, are there any major differences seen when looking at hydrocodone vs. OxyContin? There are a few, namely the fact that OxyContin is a brand name prescription drug that’s extended release, while hydrocodone is immediate-release on its own, and is generic. However, with hydrocodone vs. oxycodone, there are many similarities, and both are generic opioids often used in extended-release and combination drugs. The side effects and addiction potential are very similar when looking at hydrocodone vs. oxycodone.
Hydrocodone vs. Oxycodone
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