Oxycodone vs. Hydrocodone.
Narcotic painkillers are often in the news these days. While some feel doctors over-prescribe, some people need such strong medications to deal with chronic intense pain. It seems there should be a happy medium, but one has not yet been found. Two medications that are both commonly prescribed and recognizable by name are oxycodone and hydrocodone. Both narcotics are prescribed for chronic pain management. What is the difference in these two drugs and is one superior to the other? Read on to learn more.
Oxycodone is a prescription medication that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. This medication comes in extended release tablets and capsules. Treats those who need pain medication around the clock and cannot be served by other pain medication types. Oxycodone is often available with a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen for added effectiveness.
Though there are reasons to use oxycodone, there are also side effects. Common side effects include dry mouth, stomach pain, drowsiness, headache, mood changes, and flushing of the skin. Worse side effects and those that can be seen with abuse or overdose. You can expect changes in heartbeat, agitation, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, weakness, dizziness, sexual disfunction, rash, itching, and swelling of the face or extremities. Overdose symptoms may also include slowed breathing, weak muscles, and loss of consciousness. The medication Naloxone can stop the effects of Oxycodone by blocking the medication. However, if Naloxone is used, 911 was be called immediately.
Hydrocodone is also a narcotic used to relieve severe pain. It is used in much the same way as Oxycodone for those who need around the clock pain relief and cannot use other medications. Hydrocodone, much like Oxycodone comes in tablet or capsule form. It can be combined with other medications such as acetaminophen. Also like Oxycodone, this medication has a host of side effects. Side effects include stomach pain, tiredness headaches, ringing in the ears, muscle tightening, and foot, ankle, or leg swelling. More serious side effects include chest pain, hallucinations, nausea, loss of appetite, and weakness, as well as difficulty swallowing or breathing. Naloxone can also be used to treat an overdose of Hydrocodone.
Which is Best
There are a lot of similarities between Oxycodone and Hydrocodone. With so many similarities being good and bad. However, which is the best when treating pain?
If your dealing with chronic pain, anything that offers relief would be considered effective. However, some studies show that Oxycodone is about 1.5 times stronger than Hydrocodone when used in combination with acetaminophen. Unfortunately, the stronger effectiveness makes it more likely to cause addiction. While both described drugs are highly addictive, anything with extra strength makes the probability of addiction even stronger. So the honest answer is that neither of these medications are extremely safe. While their use may be prescribed and in some cases necessary, they can be dangerous to the user.
If you take and have become addicted to your prescription of Oxycodone or Hydrocodone, seek help. These are not medications that can be stopped cold turkey, nor should they be continued not monitored. Help can be found at centers such as DARA for any addiction. Whether to a prescription medication or otherwise. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed, you are worth the effort.
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