OxyContin vs. Oxycodone


The active ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone but OxyContin (a brand name derived from "oxycodone continuous") has a time-release mechanism, which means the drug is released in the body over a period of time and patients have to take the drug less often. Regular oxycodone is an immediate-release drug, an opiod narcotic painkiller used to treat moderate to severe pain.

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Active ingredient Oxycodone Oxycodone
Dosage 10mg every 12 hours initially 2.5mg to 10mg orally every 4 to 6 hours, except 12-hour controlled release
Form Time release Liquid, tablet (both controlled release and immediate release), capsule
Use Relief of moderate to severe pain Relief of moderate to severe pain
Side effects Include nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, dizziness, headache, tiredness, dry mouth, sweating and itching Nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, dizziness, headache, tiredness, dry mouth, sweating and itching
Cost $87.78 per month with insurance 120 tablets of generic Percocet (5mg oxycodone + 325mg acetaminophen) is between $23 and $73.
Overdose Potentially fatal. Same symptoms as oxycodone. Greater risk of overdose Potentially fatal. Symptoms include extreme drowsiness, muscle weakness, confusion, clammy skin, shallow breathing, fainting and coma
Pregnancy Safe for pregnancy; not safe for breastfeeding Category B drug in U.S. — may be prescribed if benefit to mother outweighs risk to fetus; not recommended while breastfeeding. Animal reproduction studies have not found adverse effects. Category C drug in Australia.

Contents: OxyContin vs Oxycodone

edit Usage

Oxycodone is used to treat chronic moderate to severe pain, as well as managing breakthrough or acute excessive pain in patients who are treated for chronic pain. OxyContin has similar pain-killing effects but it's used to treat chronic pain. OxyContin is not effective for immediate pain relief (for example in an emergency room).

edit Dosage

The initial adult dose of oxycodone is 5mg to 15mg taken orally every 4 to 6 hours. This can be increased up to 30mg every 4 hours.

Children who weigh over 50kg can take 5mg of oxycodone every 6 hours, which may be raised to 10mg every 3 to 4 hours over time.

OxyContin is only available in time-release form. Its initial dosage is 10mg every 12 hours, increasing to up to 640mg per day in patients with cancer pain. The average daily dose is 105mg per day.

edit Warnings

Oxycodone and OxyContin should not be combined with alcohol, as this can lead to death. It should also not be combined with sedatives, tranquilizers, sleeping pills or muscle relaxers.

edit Efficacy

A study by the NCBI suggests that oxycodone and OxyContin are equally effective in treating moderate to severe pain. Specifically, the study concluded that

Controlled-release oxycodone given every 12 hours was comparable with immediate-release oxycodone given four times daily in efficacy and safety, and it provides convenient, twice-daily, around-the-clock treatment for selected patients with persistent back pain that is inadequately controlled by nonopioids or as-needed opioid therapy.

edit Side Effects

Side effects of oxycodone include nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, dizziness, headache, tiredness, dry mouth, sweating and itching.

OxyContin has the same side effects.

Side effects of oxycodone. Red denotes more serious effects, requiring immediate contact with health provider.
Side effects of oxycodone. Red denotes more serious effects, requiring immediate contact with health provider.

edit Cost

Everydayhealth reports that oxycodone costs, on average, $18.12 per month for those with insurance. OxyContin costs an average of $87.78 per month with insurance. Oxycodone is a generic active ingredient and there are many manufacturers that sell this drug. On the other hand OxyContin is a brand name drug by Purdue Pharma and like all brand name drugs costs significantly more than generics.

edit Pregnancy

Oxycodone and OxyContin are FDA pregnancy category B and so are not expected to harm an unborn baby. You should not breast feed while taking oxycodone or OxyContin.

edit Overdose

Overdose symptoms of oxycodone include extreme drowsiness, muscle weakness, confusion, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, shallow breathing, slow heart rate, fainting and coma. Overdose can be fatal.

OxyContin has the same overdose symptoms. However, the danger of overdose is more significant in OxyContin than in oxycodone, as there are more milligrams of oxycodone per pill. If OxyContin is chewed, it can release 12 hours worth of medicine in a few minutes.

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Comments: OxyContin vs Oxycodone

Anonymous comments (5)

March 6, 2014, 1:04pm

i'm been taking oxycontin (CR) for many years (fentanyl [durogesic] patches before that...).

Note here it says CR is a 12 hour release.... I personally reackon that's crap. My first tablet in the day takes effect 30-75 mins after swallowing (depending upon food in stomach etc), and its effect is strong for 3-4 hours max. Next tablet I take is at 4 hour mark & find it lasts at strength for ~5 hours (as if half-life); next tablet has 'strong' effect for 6 hours (each longer than prior).

Because they act as a stimulant (cause my heart rate to jump significantly) - I can't have any from mid-afternoon-night & try to get asleep before 'withdrawal effects'. Results is a "very unpleasant" morning for at least two hours (start day with two oxy tabs).

My highest prescribed dose is 160mb/day; was given in 40mb tabs; but by getting Dr to give me smaller mg tablets (10mg & 15mg) my use has dropped significantly. Note I'm using 2-3 tabs first time (eg. 2x15mg + 10mg=so original 40mg); but next might be 15+10mg=25mg). Locally federal authority only monitor total mg/day not the tablets used.

ps: thankfully i'm not in US - 168 10mg tabs + whatever the number of 15mg tabs I get each 28 days is $12. ($6 per script - number of tabs is irrelvant to script; same charge for 28 tabs (1 box) or 8 boxes of 28 tabs 0f same dose).

— 203.✗.✗.34

August 1, 2013, 2:16pm

you cannot crush OC to misuse it like that anymore. They have added something to the tablets that prevents this.. gelatin or something.. it won't absorb like that anymore.. (that's not to say it cannot be dangerous- be careful! it is a 12-hr drug.. I don't know how any doc can get around the DEA to write 3x a day or to EVER have more than 160mg twice a day.. not to mention the pharmacy! They're risking everything. It's very serious! I know it doesn't always WORK for some people for 12 hours.. but the DEA doesn't care.)

they started doing this to some of the generic brands around 2005 or so and by the end of 2009 there don't seem to be any, including brand name, that are not like this. I think that they don't work the same that way (using as directed) and give a couple unpleasant effects for me, but apparently we don't get a choice because people break the law and provide these meds to just anyone and they go to addicts (and there's nothing else to change to).. and the people with pain get to suffer. more. nice, huh?

— 24.✗.✗.207

August 1, 2013, 2:20pm

oh-- but the price stayed the same anyway.

forgot to mention that.

And your pharmacist should have told you generics were available.. That's sad! Did insurance cover the cost? (as that could be why he/she didn't say something..)

— 24.✗.✗.207

June 27, 2013, 7:51am

So oxycotin releases 10mg/hr over 12hrs and oxycodone releases 10mg in a one time dose of 10mg and you can take that only once every 4-6 hours. That is why oxycotin if crushed and snorted can result in overdose, because you would be getting an entire 120mg worth of oxycodone in a single dose. That is why oxycotin is so much more expensive.

— 72.✗.✗.12

February 20, 2013, 5:15am

After reading this article I am more confused than ever. I have severe back and neck problems. I had 3 level fusion & plating in my neck and I have 1 more level that needs to be fused. I also have 4 levels of bad discs in my lower middle & upper back. I was taking Oxycontin CR 80 MG Tabs 2 tabs 3 times daily. Now I am taking only 1 tab 3 times daily plus I have also always had up to 4 Hydrocodone/apap tabs 10/325 mgs. to take as a backup if I needed them.
During this whole time, since 2001 when I was first hurt, I have been told that Oxycontin & Oxycodone are the same thing & they are only available from 1 company & there is no other way to get them. When I was taking 6 tabs per day my scripts were running about $2500.00 per month for just the Oxy. Ya think somebody would say something about there being a cheaper form of it available!!!

— 75.✗.✗.35


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