According to recent surveys, over 14 million Americans admit to misusing prescription drugs, including oxycodone and oxycontin. Oxycodone and Oxycontin are opioid pain relievers available only by prescription. They are most often used to manage moderate to severe pain, but they have a high potential for abuse. People often wonder about the differences and similarities between oxycodone and oxycontin.
If you have been prescribed either one of these powerful painkillers, you may be wondering for yourself. It is important to take these medications only as prescribed and only for a short period of time. They are both classified as controlled substances with a high addiction potential. Here’s what you need to know.
Opioid Pain Killers
When analyzing the similarities and differences between oxycodone vs. oxycontin, it is important to understand their attributes. Both oxycodone and oxycontin are opioid pain relievers that are used to treat moderate to severe pain. They are both most commonly available in pill form and have a very addictive chemical makeup.
Oxycodone and Oxycontin are both closely regulated by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for their high abuse potential. They work by blocking pain signals in the body, but they also change how the nervous system and the brain respond to pain. Patients should be educated on the potential hazards of these drugs when they are first prescribed.
Oxycodone vs. Oxycontin
While these two medications are very similar, there are some differences. Oxycontin is a brand of oxycodone medication, and it is only available in extended-release form. There is no generic form of oxycontin as it continually releases oxycodone medication into the bloodstream. Both oxycodone and oxycontin have the same active ingredients.
Oxycodone, on the other hand, is a shorter-acting medication that comes in both extended and immediate-release forms. Oxycodone is available in capsules, tablets, and liquid form. It is prescribed for immediate pain management, usually for pain after surgery or severe injuries.
How They Work
Opioid drugs like oxycodone vs. oxycontin bind themselves to receptors in the brain and spinal cord to block pain signals. They are semi-synthetic drugs sourced from the poppy plant and chemically processed. As the opioids block pain signals, they relax the user and release a rush of dopamine into the system, causing a euphoric feeling. Both oxycodone and oxycontin have a high potential for abuse, making them highly addictive controlled substances.
Opioids like oxycodone vs. oxycontin should only be taken under close medical supervision when absolutely necessary. They should only be taken for a short period of time after the patient has been properly educated on the potential hazards. They can also cause similar side effects, such as headache, nausea, drowsiness, and stomach cramps.
Opioids Are Dangerous Drugs
Opioids like oxycodone vs. oxycontin are powerful narcotic pain relievers that are highly addictive. Patients who have been prescribed opioids should not abruptly stop taking them, as the withdrawal symptoms can be severe and harsh. If you have been prescribed one of these opioid pain relievers, consult your physician before taking them and ensure you take them only as prescribed. If you need help to stop taking them, comprehensive medical intervention may be necessary to safely detox off the drugs. With the right help and support, it is possible to live a healthy life free of opioid medication abuse.