An accident victim with fractures or a person with burn injuries suffers chronic pain. The most effective solution would be using hydrocodone or oxycodone as pain relievers in such scenarios.

These drugs function by changing how the brains perceive pain and are among the most prescribed medicines. Even so, not many people clearly understand their effectiveness and the risk of misusing them. This article will help you understand how hydrocodone vs oxycodone compare. 

Hydrocodone vs Oxycodone: Differences   

There aren’t many differences between hydrocodone vs oxycodone.  Many people argue that oxycodone takes a shorter time to work compared to hydrocodone.

However, the duration for time relief remains similar-6 hours for both. Another difference is in the prescription. Oxycodone comes as a one-ingredient drug. In contrast, hydrocodone is usually a mix of other drugs like acetaminophen and also in single doses.  

What is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is an opioid medication that the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) classified as a Schedule 2 drug in 2014. Even so, the FDA has approved hydrocodone to manage pain.   

Doctors in the US prescribe hydrocodone more frequently compared to other opioids. You have probably seen the word hydrocodone on some cough syrup. That’s not all of its uses. Apart from helping relieve cough-related pain, hydrocodone also helps to treat patients suffering from persistent pain.

You should not use this drug to treat mild pain as it works best for extreme pain that other medicines can’t treat. Hydrocodone works in the central nervous system to bring relief. You can find it in capsules, tablets, or oral solution forms.

However, you might not find a drug labeled hydrocodone as it comes in different brand names like Vicodin, Norco, and Lortab. 

What is Oxycodone?

Just like hydrocodone, doctors prescribe oxycodone for pain management. Your doctor may advise you to use oxycodone when other pain medications fail. Oxycodone is commonly found in medications such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Percodan. When crushed, oxycodone increases its effectiveness.

People with asthma and respiratory problems shouldn’t use oxycodone. Similarly, if you have a blockage in your stomach, you should avoid this drug. Oxycodone is dangerous during pregnancy. In a study, oxycodone exposure during pregnancy increased the risk of preterm delivery and other birth defects. 

Hydrocodone vs Oxycodone: Abuse and Addiction

Opioid abuse has become a global epidemic.  Millions of Americans over 12 years are struggling with addictions. Doctors only prescribe hydrocodone and oxycodone when non-opioid drugs are not effective. 

They become addictive from their mechanism of working with the brain to create euphoria. This makes the drug to be addictive as users begin to chase the feel-good sensation. 

With time, users take larger doses to take the pain away. Unfortunately, it becomes a cycle where patients develop an over-dependence on the drugs. Monitor signs of over-dependence on these opioids and seek help.

Bottom Line

Hydrocodone vs oxycodone similarities are more than differences. They are effective in alleviating chronic pain and are the most prescribed. The downside is that these drugs can be addictive when users misuse them or have an overdependence.