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At first glance, it’s hard to tell the difference between OxyContin and oxycodone. They even have similar names! And most of us are pretty sure they are the exact same thing. But this is actually a tricky question, and the answer is more important than you may think.
Exploring the differences between OxyContin and oxycodone can actually give us an idea of how prescription drugs are being abused and why addiction is a disease that needs to be treated. Let’s have a closer look at these two commonly prescribed medications.
Oxycodone is the generic name for a semi-synthetic opioid that is used to treat pain. It is known to be twice as potent as morphine. It is prescribed for patients who are dealing with acute and chronic pain. Nowadays it is available in a variety of branded formulations, including the well-known drug Percocet.
And while oxycodone may be highly effective when it comes to alleviating pain, it is also highly addictive if misused. People are prone to taking this in higher doses because of its euphoric effects. Some are surprised to find that this drug is habit-forming, and can’t help but keep taking it.
Others take the prescription drug recreationally, increasing their risk of developing dependence and becoming addicted.
OxyContin is the extended-release version of oxycodone, hence the many similarities. Both drugs are prescription painkillers. The only difference is that OxyContin is designed with a special mechanism that allows it to be released again into the system after a certain number of hours. The effect stays longer.
The drug is given for those who need long-lasting relief. It is also designed to help minimize the risk of addiction.
Is OxyContin just a Safer Version of Oxycodone?
While they are very similar, the two aren’t exactly the same. OxyContin even has a different purpose, and that is to provide continuous pain relief for those who are in constant pain, particularly after an injury or surgery. Its pain relief can last for up to 12 hours.
However, it doesn’t mean the drug is completely harmless. Some people would purposely crush the pills and snort the drug. This is extremely dangerous because it could easily lead to an overdose. The body isn’t supposed to absorb all that OxyContin so quickly. This can be life-threatening in some cases.
And unlike Percocet, OxyContin does not have additional ingredients that can minimize the risk of overdose.
So with both OxyContin and oxycodone, the biggest risk is the same: the risk of abuse is high, because it is entirely dependent on the user’s behavior and how they take the drug.
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These drugs are so potent that you can experience its side effects even if you are taking them properly. If your doctor prescribes either of these drugs, make sure you follow the prescription carefully. Do not take larger doses, and do not take them more often than you are supposed to. This is the best way to minimize the risks.
If you encounter any side effect, be sure to tell your doctor about it. Look for an addiction treatment facility near you today if you know someone who is abusing these opioids. Learn more about the treatment process and help your loved one get back to living a sober life.