- Surprising Reasons You're in Pain Slideshow
- Take the Pain Quiz
- Joint-Friendly Exercises to Reduce RA Pain Slideshow
Oxycodone vs. codeine
- Oxycodone (OxyContin, Roxicodone, Oxecta, Oxaydo, Xtampza ER, and Roxybond) and codeine are both narcotic pain relievers. Both are also used as cough suppressants similar to morphine and hydrocodone.
- Oxycodone and codeine also cause sedation and drowsiness, and depress breathing.
- Both drugs are available in generic form.
- Both oxycodone and codeine are often available in forms combined with other non-narcotic pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin.
- Similar side effects of oxycodone and codeine include lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, itching, and rash.
- Combining opioids such as oxycodone and codeine with alcohol or other central nervous system depressants may result in severe sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death.
- Both oxycodone and codeine have potential for abuse and addiction. Withdrawal symptoms for both drugs include restlessness, watery eyes, runny nose, yawning, sweating, chills, muscle pain, and dilated pupils.
What is oxycodone? What is codeine? How do they work?
Codeine is another narcotic pain-reliever and cough suppressant similar to morphine and hydrocodone. The mechanism of action of codeine is not known but codeine binds to receptors in the brain and increases tolerance to pain, decreasing discomfort, but the pain still is apparent to the patient. Codeine also causes sedation and drowsiness, and depresses breathing. Codeine is often combined with acetaminophen or aspirin for more effective pain relief.
What are the uses for oxycodone vs. codeine?
Oxycodone is prescribed for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term treatment with a narcotic, and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate for the relief of moderate to severe pain.
Codeine is used for the relief of mild to moderately severe pain and for suppressing cough.
What are the side effects of oxycodone vs. codeine?
Codeine side effects
The most frequent side effects of codeine include:
- Shortness of breath
- Allergic reactions
- Abdominal pain
Serious side effects of codeine include:
- Life-threatening respiratory depression
- Severe low blood pressure
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Accidental ingestion of codeine can result in fatal overdose
Oxycodone side effects
The most frequent side effects of oxycodone include:
- Dry mouth
- Urinary retention
Other side effects of oxycodone include:
- Heart attack
- Abnormal heartbeats
Oxycodone can depress breathing and is used with caution in elderly, debilitated patients and in patients with serious lung disease.
Oxycodone can impair thinking and the physical abilities required for driving or operating machinery.
Oxycodone is habit forming. Mental and physical dependence can occur but are unlikely when used for short-term pain relief. If oxycodone is suddenly withdrawn after prolonged use, symptoms of withdrawal may develop. The dose of oxycodone should be gradually reduced in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
What is the dosage for oxycodone vs. codeine?
- The usual starting dose using immediate release oxycodone tablets is 5 to 30 mg every 4 to 6 hours. Patients who have never received opioids should start with 5-15 mg every 4 to 6 hours. Some patients may require 30 mg or more every 4 hours.
- The usual starting dose using extended release tablets is 10 mg every 12 hours. Extended release tablets are used when around the clock treatment is required for an extended period. Extended release tablets should not be broken, crushed, or chewed but should be swallowed whole. Breaking, crushing or chewing extended release tablets may lead to rapid absorption of the drug and dangerous levels of oxycodone.
- Patients who have been using opioids and have become tolerant to opioid therapy should only use the 60 and 80 tablets or single doses greater than 40 mg. Administration of large doses to opioid-naïve patients may lead to profound depressed breathing. Administration of large doses to opioid-naïve patients may lead to profound depression of breathing.
- The usual adult dose of the oral concentrate (20 mg/ml) is 5 mg every 6 hours.
- The usual adult dose for the oral solution (5 mg/5 ml) is 10-30 mg every 4 hours.
- The usual adult dose of codeine for pain is 15-60 mg every 4-6 hours as needed.
- The dose for cough is 10 to 20 mg every 4-6 hours as needed.
- The maximum dose for treating cough is 120 mg every 24 hours.
Are oxycodone or codeine safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Safety during pregnancy has not been established. Children born to mothers who were taking oxycodone for a prolonged period may exhibit respiratory depression or withdrawal symptoms.
- Small amounts of oxycodone are secreted in breast milk, which may cause side effects in the newborn.
- Small amounts of codeine are secreted in breast milk, but the risk of adverse events in the infant is small.
Codeine and oxycodone are both opioid (narcotic) pain relievers and cough suppressants. Codeine and oxycodone both are similar to hydrocodone and morphine. Similar side effects of oxycodone and codeine include constipation, dry mouth, itching, rash, dizziness, sedation, and lightheadedness. Serious side effects of codeine include severe low blood pressure (hypotension), adrenal insufficiency, and life-threatening respiratory depression. Serious side effects of oxycodone include heart attack, depression, and abnormal heartbeats.
Both codeine and oxycodone are addictive when taken long-term, and may cause withdrawal symptoms if stopped suddenly. Oxycodone or codeine taken accidentally can result in a fatal overdose.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Back Pain Quiz: Test Your Back Pain IQ
There are numerous causes of chronic lower back pain and only one ailment gets more complaints. What is it? Quiz your knowledge...
Pain Quiz: Test Your IQ of Pain
Is pain all in the brain? Take the Pain Quiz to learn everything you've ever wanted to know about the unpleasant sensation we...
Picture of Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. The human jaw has...
Back Pain: Find Relief, Treat Your Back Pain
Back pain conditions are very common. Learn the truth and get the facts behind myths, remedies, causes and treatment for back...
Exercises for Knee Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain
Learn about osteoarthritis and exercises that relieve knee osteoarthritis pain, stiffness and strengthen the knee joint and...
Pain Management: Surprising Causes of Pain
What’s causing your pain? Learn the common causes of lower back pain, as well as pain in the knee, stomach, kidney, shoulder,...
Pelvic Pain: What's Causing Your Pelvic Pain?
There are many causes of pelvic pain in women including cysts, PMS, appendicitis, and bladder infections. Pelvic pain has...
Low Back Pain: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Relief
Do you suffer from low back pain? Watch this slideshow to see common triggers of lower back pain and what kind of treatments you...
11 Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief
One of the best low back pain treatments is exercise. Learn more about low back pain exercises--what works, and what doesn't....
Dental Images of Cavities, Dry Sockets, Gingivitis
Learn about dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and oral cancer. Explore procedures such as root canals,...
Pain Management: 15 Easy Ways to Reduce Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be a symptom of many conditions, including arthritis, headaches, and others. Comprehensive pain management...
Arthritis: 16 Bad Habits That Cause Joint Pain
Being overweight, wearing uncomfortable shoes, or carrying a heavy purse can make joint pain and arthritis symptoms worse. Some...
Neck Pain: Causes and Treatment for Relief
What causes chronic neck pain? If you have poor posture, bad sleep habits, or spine problems, these issues can lead to a stiff...
Arthritis: Causes and Treatment for Joint Stiffness and Pain
Arthritis and injuries can leave your joints swollen, tender, and damaged. Discover treatments for morning stiffness, sore...
Leg Pain: Causes and Treatment for Leg, Calf, and Thigh Pain
Leg, calf and thigh pain are symptoms of conditions that may involve the muscles, nerves, and more. Sensations like tingling,...
Back Pain: Bad Habits for Your Back
You’re more likely to have back pain as you get older. Here’s how to avoid making things worse with bad habits....
Back Pain: Tips for Traveling When You Have Back Pain
Don't let back or other pain keep you from your travel adventures. Try these tips to minimize discomfort during your next flight...
Related Disease Conditions
Ankle pain is commonly due to a sprain or tendinitis. The severity of ankle sprains ranges from mild (which can resolve within...
Lower Back Pain
There are many causes of back pain. Pain in the low back can relate to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae,...
Elbow pain is most often the result of tendinitis, which can affect the inner or outer elbow. Treatment includes ice, rest, and...
Acute injuries, medical conditions, and chronic use conditions are causes of knee pain. Symptoms and signs that accompany knee...
A toothache is a pain on or around a tooth. It may be caused by a variety of things from a cavity, abscess, or even sinusitis....
Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain)
Coccydynia is an inflammation of the bony area (tailbone or coccyx) located between the buttocks. Coccydynia is associated with...
Neck Pain (Cervical Pain)
Neck pain (cervical pain) may be caused by any number of disorders and diseases. Tenderness is another symptom of neck pain....
Dental injuries range from a chipped or fractured tooth to a knocked out tooth. Treatment depends upon the severity of the dental...
Cancer is a disease caused by an abnormal growth of cells, also called malignancy. It is a group of 100 different diseases, and...
Chronic pain is pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over a long period of time. In contrast to...
Pain Management: Musculoskeletal Pain
Natural menopause is the permanent ending of menstruation that is not brought on by any type of medical treatment. For women...
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial pain syndrome is muscle pain in the body's soft tissues due to injury or strain. Symptoms include muscle pain with...
Testicular Pain (Men and Boys: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment)
Testicular pain, or pain in the testicle or testicles are caused by a variety of diseases or conditions such as testicular...
An abscessed tooth is an infection within a tooth that has spread to the root. Symptoms of an abscessed tooth may include pain,...
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that people get in their late teens or early twenties. Impacted wisdom teeth that only...
Pain management and treatment can be simple or complex, according to its cause. There are two basic types of pain, nociceptive...
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Pain)
Sacroiliac joint (SI) dysfunction is a general term to reflect pain in the SI joints. Causes of SI joint pain include...
Foot pain may be caused by injuries (sprains, strains, bruises, and fractures), diseases (diabetes, Hansen disease, and gout),...
Shoulder and Neck Pain
Shoulder and neck pain may be caused by bursitis, a pinched nerve, whiplash, tendinitis, a herniated disc, or a rotator cuff...
Arthritis, bursitis, IT band syndrome, fracture, and strain are just some of the causes of hip pain. Associated symptoms and...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Pain Management: Dealing with Back Pain
- Pain Management
- Pain Management: Painkiller Addiction
- Chronic Pain Treatments for Mind and Body
- Chronic Pain: Implantable Pain Control Devices
- Pain Awareness and Management
- Chronic Pain: Dealing With Back and Neck Pain
- Chronic Pain and Fatigue - What You Can Do
- Pain Management: Routes to Relief
- Chronic Pain
- Muscle Pain (Myalgia)
Medications & Supplements
- tramadol/acetaminophen - oral, Ultracet
- codeine (for Pain)
- Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen, Roxicet, Tylox, Oxycet)
- Tramadol: for Pain (Ultram, Ultram ER, Conzip)
- Oxycodone for Pain (OxyContin, Roxicodone, Oxecta, Oxaydo, Xtampza ER, Roxybond)
- hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Dilaudid-5, Dilaudid-HP Injection, Exalgo) for Pain
- Tramadol vs. Codeine
- Codeine vs. Vicodin
- Benzodiazepines vs. Narcotics (Opioids)
Prevention & Wellness
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.