What is the difference between oxycodone and hydrocodone?

There is oxycodone, hydrocodone, OxyContin, and Roxy, all used for pain. How do they differ?

asked 11 Jun '12, 13:49

greenpea's gravatar image

greenpea
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prescription-drugs

Prescription Drugs

Hydrocodone- and oxycodone-based medication is available by prescription only.

opiates

Opiates

Hydrocodone and oxycodone are opiates used for the treatment of mild to severe pain.

painkillers

Painkillers

We often refer to pain relief medication as "painkillers".

oxycontin

Oxycontin

Oxycontin is the most commonly prescribed oxycodone-based medication for chronic pain.

hydrocodone

Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone is often combined with less-powerful, non-opioid compounds, like Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen, to lessen general toxicity.


Oxycontin is classified as a Schedule 2 drug in the US and is available as single ingredient medication. Whereas Hydrocodone is a Schedule 2 drug and contains acetaminophen which when taken for long periods of time causes liver damage and other adverse effects.

Oxycontin is stronger than Hydrocodone which is a 1.5 times less potent opioid than oxycodone.

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answered 28 Jun '13, 15:59

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T James
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oxycodone (active ingredient in Oxycontin) is Schedule II in the United States, not Schedule I. There is a clear medical use for oxycodone.

(23 Jun, 14:33) Detox Advisor ♦

Zohydro is pure hydrocodone, and was recently approved for medical use. Also, many hydrocodone-containing drugs are Schedule III, but the FDA has requested a rescheduling of those to Schedule II. For reference on Zohydro see http://thecounselingcenter.com/blog/zohydro/.

(23 Jun, 14:44) admin ♦♦

To the addict , there is no real difference as these are both opioids and similarly addicting. The amount of satisfaction obtained will ary with potency (dose) and other factors that vary with the individual and individual chemistry - which includes what other susbtances are being used at the same time (such as alcohol, or sleep remedies, or anxiety meds).

So the choice of oxy or hydro is typically a matter of preference for specific pills/formulations, not the actual synthetic molecule.

There is a good web page about hydrocodone and oxycodone here.

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Asked: 11 Jun '12, 13:49

Seen: 1,356 times

Last updated: 23 Jun, 14:44