Oxycodone vs Hydrocodone

How do heroin and powerful prescription painkillers, like oxycodone (Oxycontin), hydrocodone, roxy, Fentanyl, and Opana, differ? What is the difference between heroin and oxycodone, hydrocodone?

asked 14 Aug '12, 16:54

iKnew's gravatar image

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Hydrocodone (C18H21NO3) is IUPAC (4R,4aR,7aR,12bS)-9-methoxy-3-methyl-1,2,4,4a,5,6,7a,13-octahydro-4, 12-methanobenzofuro[3,2-e]isoquinoline-7-one and is also known as Dihydrocodeinone, DICO, Hydrocodon, Codinovo, Hydrocone, Dicodid, Hydroconum, Bekadid, or Multacodin. Molecular weight is 299.36424

Oxycodone (actually C18H22ClNO4 oxycodone HCL) has IUPAC (4R,4aS,7aR,12bS)-4a-hydroxy-9-methoxy-3-methyl-2,4,5,6,7a, 13-hexahydro-1H-4,12-methanobenzofuro[3, 2-e]isoquinoline-7-one;hydrochloride) is also known as Oxycodone hydrochloride, Roxicodone, Oxycontin, Oxecta. Molecular weight is 351.82458

(24 Dec '13, 17:58) admin ♦♦



Heroin is an opiate commonly abused on the street.



Hydrocodone-based medication is often combined with less powerful painkillers, like Acetaminophen, to lessen general toxicity.



Oxycodone-based medication is available by prescription only because of its strength and risk for abuse and addiction.

Hydrocodone and oxycodone are both generic drugs (molecules) that cause effects very similar to heroin and other opium-derived chemicals used for pain treatment. The chemical structures are very similar. The naming comes from the differences at one part of the molecule : hydrocodone and oxycodone have the same basic molecular structure, but hydrocodone is missing an oxygen.

See also "opiate vs opioid - what is the difference? Opiate vs. Opioid - What is the difference between Opiate and Opioid?

Hydrocodone is listed as "a narcotic analgesic related to CODEINE, but more potent and more addicting by weight" with chemical structure http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/image/fl.html?cid=5463977

Oxycodone is listed as a "a semisynthetic derivative of CODEINE" with chemical structure http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/image/fl.html?cid=5284603


answered 24 Dec '13, 18:15

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admin ♦♦
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I would say there are more things that are similar than different. As Dr. Andrew Kolodny, President of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), puts it:

"There is very little difference between any of them... It's all heroin! They are all basically conversions of the same thing."


answered 15 Aug '12, 14:49

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Jack ♦
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Heroin has naturally occurring elements and is considered an opiate.

Oxycodone is a synthetic creation and is considered an opioid.


answered 15 Aug '12, 16:10

JFrank's gravatar image

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They are both opiates. They are both addictive. They are both analgesics. Both of them can kill you when abused...

But I would say that heroin is less predictable and carries the risk of being dirty or laced with some mystery substance. The prescription opioids available today are all produced by large pharmaceutical companies that make sure each and every pill is the same. The risks are different. However, today's prescription opioids, especially oxycodone and fentanyl, are super powerful. For their size, they pack a heavy punch.


answered 15 Aug '12, 14:58

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Asked: 14 Aug '12, 16:54

Seen: 19,824 times

Last updated: 24 Dec '13, 18:22