OverviewDosageSide EffectsInteractionsHalf-Life

Hydrocodone vs oxycodone – which is better? After all, these are two drugs often used for pain relief. Although they have similar mechanisms, they are different in many ways. 

Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone is typically used for chronic pain as opposed to short-term use for acute pain like oxycodone. It is also offered in many cough suppressants for adults. It has some of the same side effects as oxycodone, such as constipation and sleepiness, and is an opioid with a risk of addiction. 

Dosage

  • The initial dose can be around 10 mg every 12 hours for a week. 
  • The dose may increase to 20 mg for the second week. 
  • Titration or adjustment of hydrocodone dose is based on the individual patient’s response to their initial dose and occurrence of side effects.
  • Doses ranging from 40 to 80 mg tend to be only for opioid-tolerant patients. 

Side Effects

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Muscle tightening
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Constipation
  • Sleepiness

Oxycodone

Oxycodone is an opioid drug used primarily for acute pain management when alternatives fail to provide relief. 

Dosage

  • The initial dose for oxycodone is 5 to 15 mg every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain.
  • Titration or adjustment of oxycodone dose is based on the individual patient’s response to their initial dose and occurrence of side effects.

Side Effects

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

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