Oxycodone and OxyContin are two of the most commonly prescribed opioid pain medications. Both are used to treat moderate to severe pain, but they also have a high potential for abuse and addiction. So what’s the difference between oxycodone and OxyContin? Are they the same medication? Let’s find out.
Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic, meaning it’s a painkilling medication. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and other areas of the body, blocking pain signals. Oxycodone comes in short-acting and long-acting formulations. Short-acting tablets, like Percocet and Roxicodone, release the medication quickly to provide faster pain relief.
Oxycodone is prescribed for short-term pain management, such as after surgery or a significant injury. It’s also used long-term to treat chronic pain conditions like cancer, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Doctors closely monitor oxycodone dosages because it has a high risk for abuse and dependency. Taking too much oxycodone, or combining it with other substances like alcohol, can lead to overdose.
OxyContin is a brand-name prescription medication that contains oxycodone. However, OxyContin utilizes an extended-release formula, unlike short-acting oxycodone. The medication is contained in a time-release tablet that slowly and steadily releases oxycodone over 12 hours. This provides long-lasting pain relief and minimizes the euphoric high associated with opioid medications.
OxyContin is often prescribed for chronic pain conditions when around-the-clock pain management is necessary. It’s available in doses ranging from 10mg to 80mg. The extended-release mechanism makes it more resistant to abuse compared to short-acting oxycodone. However, OxyContin is still frequently misused and abused when the tablets are altered to release more oxycodone at once.
How to compare oxycodone vs oxycontin? While oxycodone and OxyContin are not identical, they share quite a few similarities. Both contain the active ingredient oxycodone hydrochloride and are prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain when other medications are inadequate. They provide pain relief by binding to opioid receptors in the body and produce side effects like drowsiness, nausea, and constipation.
However, there are also some key differences between oxycodone and OxyContin. Oxycodone comes in short-acting and long-acting forms, while OxyContin is long-acting only, utilizing a controlled-release mechanism to slowly release oxycodone over 12 hours.
OxyContin is available in much stronger doses and generally costs more as a brand-name, extended-release medication. OxyContin also has abuse-deterrent mechanisms making it harder to manipulate for misuse and become addicted, while oxycodone does not.
That said, both oxycodone and OxyContin pose a high risk of physical and psychological dependence and are classified as Schedule II controlled substances by the DEA. Due to the euphoric high oxycodone produces, OxyContin and immediate-release oxycodone have a very high potential for addiction and abuse when taken in ways other than prescribed.
Oxycodone and OxyContin share similarities as opioid pain medications and both contain oxycodone hydrochloride. However, OxyContin is a brand-name controlled-release formula of oxycodone. While OxyContin contains oxycodone, it utilizes a special timed-release mechanism. Oxycodone also comes in immediate-release tablets and syrups.
Despite some differences, both oxycodone and OxyContin are highly addictive prescription medications with a significant risk of abuse and overdose if misused. Their shared potency and addictive qualities make oxycodone and OxyContin dangerous to take without a prescription and medical oversight.