What is Hydrocodone?
Hydrocodone is an opioid medication used to treat severe pain. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Hydrocodone is only used to treat people who are expected to need medication to relieve severe pain around-the-clock for a long time and who cannot be treated with other medications or treatments. Hydrocodone extended-release (long-acting) capsules or extended-release tablets should not be used to treat pain that can be controlled by medication that is taken as needed. Hydrocodone is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics.”
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is an opioid medication used to treat moderate or severe pain. The U.S. National Library of Medicine states, “Oxycodone extended-release tablets and extended-release capsules are used to relieve severe pain in people who are expected to need pain medication around the clock for a long time and who cannot be treated with other medications. Oxycodone extended-release tablets and extended-release capsules should not be used to treat pain that can be controlled by medication that is taken as needed. Oxycodone extended-release tablets, extended-release capsules, and concentrated solution should only be used to treat people who are tolerant (used to the effects of the medication) to opioid medications because they have taken this type of medication for at least one week. Oxycodone is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics.”
Both hydrocodone and oxycodone work by changing the way the brain responds to pain. Painkillers bind to and activate opioid receptors in the brain, the spinal cord and several other parts of the body. They block pain signals sent to the brain while simultaneously releasing large amounts of dopamine, a “feel good” chemical. This leads to an intense rush of euphoria — a feeling that can be addictive in and of itself.
Is Oxycodone More Addictive than Hydrocodone?
Both oxycodone and hydrocodone are potent, powerful and frequently misused. Tolerance develops rather quickly in the case of both medications, meaning after several weeks of taking the same dose, the effects are no longer felt. But is one of these two medications more addictive than the other? In short, both drugs can be equally addictive. The main difference between the two medications lies in their common side effects. For example, hydrocodone is more likely to cause nausea, constipation and stomach pain. Oxycodone is more likely to cause dizziness, drowsiness and fatigue.