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Oxycodone is often compared with hydrocodone because they are both powerful narcotic painkillers. They are also only available via prescription from a licensed doctor because they can be quite addictive, just like most narcotics.
The way they work is by blocking the pain signals from entering the brain. They interfere with the central nervous system, and in the process affect the brain’s reward system. They can cause euphoria in users. This is what gets people hooked.
Both of these pain medications are prescribed for the management of short-term pain caused by an injury or by surgery. But they can also be used for the treatment of long-term and chronic pain. This includes arthritis, pain from cancer, and traumatic pain.
In fact, these two substances are so potent that they are both Schedule II drugs, meaning they are recognized for their high potential for being misused.
On this article, we will be comparing them side by side, to see which one is more powerful, so that you can be safer when taking these as prescription painkillers.
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is used for moderate to severe pain. People who are given this medication usually take it on an around-the-clock basis, until the doctor ends their prescription. This means oxycodone isn’t supposed to be taken on an as-needed basis, the way you would with over-the-counter painkillers.
What is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is also used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, and should only be taken as prescribed by your doctor. It is worth noting that hydrocodone is one of the most misused opioids in the US.
Which One is Stronger?
Both oxycodone and hydrocodone are occasionally combined with other painkillers to achieve more potent effects. But both drugs are already potent enough on their own, able to treat pain effectively.
In the event of an emergency situation, researchers have found that the two drugs treat pain equally. However, hydrocodone has been found to cause constipation more frequently than oxycodone.
Another interesting thing is that oxycodone mixed with acetaminophen is 1.5 times stronger than hydrocodone with acetaminophen, even when taken at equal doses.
What are the Side Effects?
Even the side effects of oxycodone and hydrocodone are somewhat similar. These common side effects include shallow breathing, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, dry mouth, and itching. Some users experienced motor skill impairment while taking these narcotics.
Do take note that side effects may happen even if you are taking them at proper doses. But if you experience any severe side effect, you have to contact your doctor immediately.
Severe side effects include seizures, unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat, heart failure, painful urination, and confusion. These occur less frequently, but the risk of severe side effects is higher if you abuse these medications and take them to get high.
Oxycodone is more likely to cause dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, and headaches. It is also more likely to make a person feel euphoric.
Hydrocodone is more likely to cause constipation and stomach pain.
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If your doctor prescribes either of these narcotics, make sure you tell them about your health history and any pre-existing conditions you have. Also, tell them if you are taking any other medication at the moment.
Although helpful, these drugs have their own risks, so it is best to use them properly. If you know someone who is addicted to oxycodone or hydrocodone, a proper treatment plan may be necessary to help them recover. Look for a drug rehab facility near you today and find out more about how addiction treatment works.