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Difference btw hydrocodone and oxycodone?
What is the exact difference between hydrocodone/Vicodin/ loratab and oxycodone/ Percocet? I know Percocet is supposed to be lil stronger but what is the real difference? Does one work better on other pains? What's the difference btw hydro and oxy? Thanks!!
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vicodin, lortab, lorcet - all contain the narcotic HYDROCODONE while percocet contains the narcotic OXYCODONE.  They have different chemical make-ups.  All of the hydrocodone meds I listed also contain acetaminophen (tylenol).  As far as I'm aware, they do not make a hydrocodone pill that does NOT contain acetaminophen.

Percocet also contains acetaminophen, however, you can get oxycodone alone wthout the acetaminophen in it.  Oxycodone can also be obtained in a long-acting formula called Oxycontin.

Since everyone is different and their pain is also different, it's impossible for anyone to say whether one is better than the other.  I'd suggest talking with your doctor about pain control if you require it and let him/her suggest/prescribe what he/she thinks is most appropriate for you.

Best of luck!
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1331804 tn?1336870958
Geminigirl explained the differences between Percocet and Vicodin very clearly.  I would just add that based on pharmacology, hydrocodone (contained in vicodin, lortab, norco) is about 0.6 times the strength of morphine (i.e., 10 mg of morphine equals 16 mg of hydrocodone).  Oxycodone (contained in percocet, roxicodone, oxycontin) is about 2 times the strength of morphine (i.e., 10 mg of morphine equals 5 mg of oxycodone).  Therefore, 5 mg of oxycodone is about 16 mg of hydrocodone so oxycodone is about 3 times stronger than hydrocodone.  However, geminigirl is right in that everyone is different.  I have read that some say hydrocodone works better for their pain than percocet and viceversa.  For me, percocet works a lot better for my pain.

Hydrocodone does not come without acetaminophen...yet.  There is a drug in development called, Zohydro that would be a long-acting form of hydrocodone without acetaminophen.  Clinical trials are underway but the drug won't be on the consumer market until probably early 2014.

femmy
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Thank Femmy! That's basically the answer I wanted! I knew all the other info that Geminigirl said but I just wanted to know the pharmaceutical info detail. Like why is oxy stronger and what makes it oxy and what makes it hydro... I know their synthetic derivatives of codeine. I've taken both. Oxy is a lil stronger but makes me itch more and makes me agitated. Thanks both of y'all!;)
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I acctually did hear about the new Vicodin coming out with just hydro in it! It's about freaking time!!! Lol
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I'm still not sure of the exact difference in the oxy and hydro. Years ago when I started to PM my PC was giving me the hydro, and because I was not getting the best relief on the hydro, they started me off on Percocet and I understood that it was stronger, They had to take it out of a locked box at the pharmacy and all that, so I thought I would finally get some relief, but low and behold, it barely did anything, and caused me to itch, so they changed me back to hydro. I am 10 yrs later and still using the Norco 10/325 and it does still work amazingly pretty good, but my now pain mgnt doctor gives me 5 mg oxydodone twice a day in addition to the Norco for more relief. I didn't realize it at the time but that is Percocet which I took yrs ago, and I noticed when I got this that it didn't seem to help much at all. But my real question here is why does it make me itch? The hydrocodone does not. I didn't notice it last month that much, but this month it has been bad on the itching.
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I itch with all narcotics. They cause a histamine release so usually taking Benadryl will help if it isn't a severe itch I can't have morphine because I literally rub my face and arms raw and Benadryl does nothing.
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Hydrocodone can be found without acetaminophen. There is a combination of hydrocodone and ibuprofen which is called vicoprofen. Just an FYI.
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I can't take any anti-inflammatory meds, boy, you talk about a stomach ache!
And,I'm sorry that I can't, because with this arthritis it would help. I am still struggling with this oxycodone thing just not seeming to do anything for my pain. Everybody keeps saying how much stronger it is but I can honestly say I can't tell that it does anything for me. I get 5 mgs twice a day, and even taking them together, nothing. I am to see my pain doctor Monday and I am going to plead with him to just give me back an extra hydrocodone like I use to be on. I know they fear for the   acetaminophen affects on the liver, but it is pretty much a waste of money. Does anyone have any idea why it just doesn't work?
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One thing I have not see anyone say about the differences in hydrocodone and oxycodone is that hydrocodone is schedule III while oxycodone is a scheduled II...... I am a nurse who also suffers chronic pain due to 3 spinal surgeries & I am a chronic pain sufferer activist, and the reason many doctors will write hydrocodone and not oxycodone is due that difference in scheduling, unfortunately the DEA frowns upon doctors who write for pain meds as the war on rugs I actually a war on he pain patient an the doctors who treat them
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If I understand what you are saying dmoe32 I agree with you.  I too am in chronic pain because of a twisted spine caused by polio.  I've tried everything and the only thing that helps at all is narcotic pain meds.  With the government involvement it is getting harder and harder to get the meds I need to function.  I wish there was some way to convince the powers that be that at my age it doesn't really matter if I am dependent on meds as long as I can still function.
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  Itching is common for ppl on opiates. Its often due to an allergy to something in the medication. It could be to the hydro itself or to one of the inactive ingredients in the pill. Only by experimenting with different meds can you narrow it down to exactly what U R allergic to.
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I agree.  At my age and health, what is the problem with being addicted?  I have arithiritic, which grows spurs and have permanent back problems.  I need 2 knee replacements.  I can't funtion without pain medicine and I am almost 70. Just let me be comfortable for what time I have left!!!!!  I have degenerative disc and bone disease, am diabetic, have migraines, I can hardly walk because of severe knee pain.  Daddysgirl600
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Here is an article about the subject
http://ethehealthadvisor.com/oxycodone-vs-hydrocodone/

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You know daddysgirl600 and savak, who cares if you're dependent on a medication prescribed by your doctor whether it's a narcotic or not, whether you take it and it makes you feel sleepy, or calm or even loopy. It doesn't necessarily mean you're addicted even medically speaking. Hear is the medical definition of addiction.

Habitual psychological and physiological dependence on a substance or practice beyond one's voluntary control.

I take solace in those last words in the definition. I am prescribed Norco 10mg/325. I have been taking hydrocodone for eight years regularly and much longer than that if I had an occasional severe pain situation. I didn't want to increase my refills from six months on average to every other month to monthly and increase my mg and dosage but my doctor and I felt it was the best option available to me and I am always allowed to take them as needed. I do have a withdrawal symptoms if I don't take one for a day or two, and the withdrawal strength can vary depending on if I took my full daily doses or needed less and if this was  for one day, or a week straight , I have never wanted to go and take a pain pill for NON PAIN withdrawal symptoms(unless I mistake them for candy, even for a second. But that's rare now that I don't  keep any pills in my pez dispensers lol:). Now, many of my family members are prescribed a wide assortment of medications, and if they miss one dosage on most of these and not just things that are obvious, like psyche-meds, but just maintanence type meds, like for cholesterol, blood pressure or blood thinners, their withdrawal symptoms are much more severe than my worst withdrawal session and it's definitely more mental addiction than what I deal with because if I can figure out what's wrong with that person and give them the dosage missed, they immediately have a reduction in symptoms. Even before that damn thing could hit their stomach they feel and act a major reduction in symptoms. Yep, mind over matter on that but they can't do it without having that pill head down their throat. So there you go, who gives a **** if people are addicted to something that will help them lead a better quality of life? As long as you aren't going rogue on your meds and trying to get a high, you are only trying to improve your quality of life, same thing doctors used to always be able to help us with without worrying about breaking a law, or more likely, not being able to get an HMO, or a medical insurance company, or maybe even a hospital bureaucracy to allow our doctors to do their job.
Sorry I went off about that, but I get a lot of guff from one person in my family for taking narcotic pain relievers and I don't think we should have to worry about 'addiction' and all the nastiness it entails when we aren't doing this to get by, be high or ignore life.
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All of you with itching caused by these or any drugs (and/or foods for that matter) PLEASE pay attention to your body's reaction...a little topical itching is one thing. But... as a rule of thumb, if you are itching on the outside, what is it doing to you on the inside?? A true allergic reaction can be life threatening. Sorry--the nurse in me just had to say that. And...Best of luck with your pain management!
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7721494 tn?1431631564
All opioids cause a histamine release in mammals, which is dependent on dose, route of administration, and heterogeneity of the patient.

This is why most people itch when taking opioids. Opioid-related itch can be treated with an oral antihistamine, for instance, 25-50mg of benedryl.

In extremely rare occasions, opioids can cause a true anaphylactic reaction that requires a full emergency response including airway management and treatment with injectable antihistamine and/or epinephrine.

Many people who have an allergic response to strong opiates like morphine but do not actually express a true immunoglobulin-mediated allergy, will show an intolerance to the drug. In this case, anesthesiologists will often substitute hydromorphone without incident.
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Funny, I was just discussing this with my doctor yeterday.

I think its been well explained here that oxycodone is MUCH stronger than hydrocodone.   But if you really want to know, the only difference from a pharmacological point of view, is that on the 14th carbon, with Hydro, there is an 'H' atom, and with oxy, there is a hydroxyl group ("OH".)

I have a degree in pharmacology and am fascinated by how such a tiny change can have such an enormous effect on the human body.

In my state, a doctor can phone in a script for hydrocone.  But oxy?  NO way. You have to physically bring in the piece of paper yourself.
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I have been taken both hydrocodone and oxycodone for seven years the latter for 6 3/4 yrs the hydrocodone was just prescribed tome with slow release morphine pills. I have stop taking or I should miss taking my medication every once in a while and I get no mental withdraw problems but I do get extreme pain in my back ( I have 2 crushed disc in my back,and the only reason I don't have an operation is everyone I have talked to have been in worse shape than when they were before their operation,some needing several more of them with same results) but I have found the combination of the morphine pills and hydrocodone I take less pill and have less side effects like constipation . I like the oxycodone for keeping the pain away better but I would like to get one of these Meds without Tylenol because my liver enzymes have been going up had hepatitis c got rid of it and I don't want to get it again, the treatment almost killed me.
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7721494 tn?1431631564
acetaminophen , in daily doses greater than 4 g / day can cause irreversible toxicity to the liver. and once the liver goes, you're only hope for survival is a transplant -- a proocedure with limited success.

Opioid pain medications combined with acetaminophen ha e changed recently -- these medications, like Vicodin and Norco, Percocet, and others now have 50% less acetaminophen than they once contained.

Still, anyone requiring large amounts of opioid pain releiver should be prescribed medications w/o acetaminophen (called paracetamol in Europe).

If you are requiring more than 10 pain pills per day containing this known liver poison, talk to your doctor about hepatotoxicity or liver damage caused by acetaminophen/paracetamol.
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655875 tn?1295698707
Percocet works better for pain and it lasts longer in the body.
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There is a hydrocodone without acetaminophen in it.  I've been on & off it for years.  It's called Vicoprofen (with ibuprofen), so it's not nearly as hard on the liver.
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Thank You.  Finally someone gave me the answer I was looking for.  Much appreciation for your knowledge and time.
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547368 tn?1440545385
Tsat,

I'll glad this thread has given you a better understand of these two drugs. As with all old threads some of this information is old and no longer correct.

Hydrocodone for example is now the same Schedule as Oxycodone - or maybe better put it's considered "equal" by the DEA.

There are also some statements that are a bit off - remember we all have our own opinion and are entitled to it. There are no "experts" on this forum.

If you have a specific question I encourage you to begin a new thread - "question" - and obtain answers that are current and correct.

Take Care,
~Tuck
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Another chronic pain patient - severe degenerative disc disease - 4 fusions, L2-S1 and both SI joints. And access to narcotic pain relief to those who need it to at least have some quality of life is ridiculous! I've just had DNA testing for
Drug interactions due to cytochrome P450, which tells how you metabolize certain drugs, including opioids. It's been around for quite some time and neither pain clinic told me about it. I have defects on 3 and am a rapid metabolizer, which means for some drugs I've metabolized them out before I've gotten the effects - why some people need higher doses to work or why some pain meds work better than others. Hydrocodone 10/325 works great for me, hydromorphon, nothing, oxycontin, little. I just had to have bone shave in my shoulder and they gave me percocet, not really helping. Today they had to give me quite a bit of fentynal to get pain under control and I could tell nurse was concerned - but they obviously didn't look at the test results I gave them. Have to call doc tomorrow to let him know I need something different.
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547368 tn?1440545385
Hello and Welcome,

This is a very old thread and the member you addressed your post to hasn't been active since she posted this.

You have great information to share. Ppl don't read old threads very often - to obtain better visibility and more responses I encourage you to begin a new thread. Go to the to the top of this thread and click on the green bar (on the right hand side) that says, "Post a Question."

Recently we've discussed DNA testing for opiates - the pros and cons. Most of us are fearful of such testing - but much of that is the fear of something new and not understanding how - or if it may be beneficial to us.
Your post will help us understand better.

I am delighted to see that I am not crazy - well maybe that's yet to be determined. Hydrocodone is more effective for me that oxycodone. Most ppl cannot understand that - it terms of what's the stronger opiate it doesn't make sense. It terms of how my system processes the drug - it does make sense.

Again please begin a new thread. Your info is important to all chronic pain patients. Thanks so much!

Peace,
~Tuck
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I am new therefore I do not know if I should go to the questions forum.  You explained the difference very well but where does exalgo fall in this category?  
Mine is a very long story so I will just, for now start at the end.  I just dumped my pain management dr, (who is never there), For complicated reasons.  I am now seeing my primary care doc.   Please, if you know,  where does exalgo fall in the mix?   The last 2 wks. I dumped both the exalgo and oxycodone.  I am just beginning to feel normal.  I am taking hydrocodone when needed.  I have had 3 major back surgeries,  2 rods, screws  and Ray cage which began the whole nightmare with drop foot.  I did not know what I was in for.  My husband has been terrific.  Well I didn't mean to ramble on, but if you can answer the in tial question I would appreciate it.
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Hi nuronitemare.  :)

Yes, you should go to the top of this page and click on the "green" button that says Post a Question and re-post this so we can give you the she same help that the original poster received in 2012.  When posts are so old most people won't even click to see what is posted now.  I, and others, look forward to trying to help you, also.

Thanks,   Sherry.  :)
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Yes it does, it's called loratab ASA, look it up for yourself, it contains asprin.
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I agree with that, and it is my life and health, and I want to be in charge of what I can take.
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I agree whole heartily. I'm 72 same reasons
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yes I always say, "At my age, what difference does it make"?
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Oxycodone hits 4 times more brain receptors then hydrocodone. This includes the ones that will give a much more euphoric effect. For this reason Oxycodone is more addictive physically and mentally then hydro. On the morphine side 15mg of oxymorphone is comparable to 60mg of morphine. However it is my opinion 60mg of morphine is much better for pain. Although 15mg of oxymorphone would give a stronger euphoric effect then 60mg of morphine, it is more addictive and your body will adapt to the oxymorphone quickly. After a few month's your pain will return and now you have a New drug problem when you have your medicine you hurt like before and when without med you hurt worse then can imagine before. If you seek pain relief and are NOT chasing a high; it is my opinion morphine is best option for moderate to severe pain. Similar concept with when comparing hydrocodone to Oxycodone.
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The war on prescribing pain meds is ridiculous, it is under treating chronically and acute patients who lose their ability to function by taking them off pain meds and dosages that work. It is costing patients, Dr's, clinics more money. It has created a higher street drug need because of taking pain meds opiates away from those that actually need them, forcing them to live in agony. Break the law! Doctors are afraid to prescribe opiates as their licences are in jeopardy. It is wrong what DEA and others are doing, monitoring the doctors care of critically, chronic pain and disabled patients! Patients have the right to have drugs without the same stress we are all put through! Let the provider doctors, family practice, internists, go back to practicing critical care patients. Let patients who are in agony with pain from so many illnesses live their lives using pain meds they truly need. The drug cartels love the DEA and insurance companies who are allowed to practice medicine without a license. I am 70, been ill since I was 24, managed to cope, but now have cancer, leukemia rare type causing neuropathy in feet, spine surgery due to L3,4,5 and spurs both sides, fibromyalgia , 25 years or more, my nerves that feel burn like fire as they die. In my feet, losing ability to do daily functions as meds are denied me or don't work together, major depression and now psoriasis all over. Beside don't work due to meds taken for depression! Multi complex Medicare, poor patient, doctors don't want to treat me,as they can't, pain clinics treat you as addicts, not as medical problem! Up a creek, not alone, many seniors and chronically ill are tormented by what is happening with non treatment in this country!   CHANGE IT BACK!!GIVE US OUR PAIN MEDS WE CAN GET RELIEF ON AND CAN AFFORD!  
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