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What is the difference between Oxycontin and oxycodone?

By Dominica Applegate

Both oxycodone and OxyContin is used for pain relief. Basically, the main active ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone. However, Oxycontin has been manufactured to include a time-release mechanism to increase analgesic (pain-killing) effect. Essentially, producers have changed how long OxyContin lasts, which means that OxyContin users do not have to take the medication as often.

Does OxyContin work for everyone? Not always. Here, we review this and other considerations when deciding between the two.   Then, we invite your questions about oxycodone vs. OxyContin use at the end.

The differences between OxyContin and oxycodone

Prescription drug abuse has been on the rise, especially pain pills. In fact, pain pills are highly addictive and rather easy to get your hands on. Plenty of doctors are prescribing them for real (or imagined) pain, and plenty of drug dealers on the streets have them handy for those who are in need. Two of the most frequent prescribed pain pills are OxyContin and oxycodone.

You may think that these two pain pills were the same thing, but there are differences. OxyContin was developed in 1995 for those suffering from mild to moderate pain and needed pain relief around the clock. Basically, OxyContin has oxycodone in it, but it has a time-release factor so that the pain-killing effect lasts longer (meaning the drug does not have to be taken as often).

Oxycodone is an opioid narcotic painkiller that, when taken, has an immediate painkiller effect. It is oxycodone that people believe is the lesser of two evils because it is actually combined with Tylenol or ibuprofen. In fact, Percocet, Tylox, Percodan, and OxyContin all contain oxycodone.

The effects of OxyContin vs. oxycodone

OxyContin has a much stronger effect on pain because it is has a high concentration of oxycodone in it. Medications that have oxycodone added may relieve pain for between 4 to 6 hours, but OxyContin can relieve pain for about 12 hours.

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Dangers of OxyContin abuse and overdose

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that oxycodone has been abused for over three decades, but when OxyContin was introduced, the abuse escalated greatly. In fact, OxyContin is not only highly addictive – it is also lethal. The euphoric feeling that it gives can cause people to want to use more and more of it, which can lead to respiratory failure. If used with other drugs like alcohol, the risk increases greatly.

What is OxyContin called on the street?

There are various names for OxyContin on the street, such as:

  • OC
  • Oxycotton
  • Kicker
  • Hillbilly heroin

Risks of OxyContin addiction

Experts state that OxyContin is the most abused opioid in the United States because of the strong dosage. It is easier to abuse because many people sell such opioids on the streets and still others find plenty of opioids in medicine cabinets of family and friends.

Prescription drug abuse via pain pills is quite high, as many people like the euphoric and relaxed feeling that painkillers give them. There are various ways that those who abuse the drug do so. Some crush the pill and either snort or swallow it. Others may dilute the pill in some water and inject it. What this does is destroy the time-release mechanism so that the person gets a strong euphoric feeling right away. In fact, some users state that they get just about the same feeling when they use heroin.

What to do for prescription drug abuse

If you feel like you are addicted to prescription pain pills, it is important that you reach out for help. You can talk to a therapist, attend a detox, rehab, and find some support through 12 step recovery groups. The statistics on prescription pain pills are alarming; the Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that in 2011 more people died from using pain meds than from using illegal drugs.

Reach out today for help if you feel you are addicted to pain pills as there is abundant help available. You do not have to live a life of addiction, but rather get free and live a life of freedom, peace, and joy. Take the first step toward freedom today by reaching out for help.

About the author: Dominica Applegate is an author, writer, personal development and relationship expert. She has a deep passion for discovering and sharing authentic spiritual truth. She has been discovering herself under all sorts of odd layers and loves to share her stories and lessons learned with anyone that will listen. She loves reading, contemplating, nature, family time, and traveling. Read her ongoing guest blog at Pat Moore Foundation or connect with Dominica through her website.

Photo credit: Grumpy Puddin

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7 Responses to “What is the difference between Oxycontin and oxycodone?
William F
1:51 pm April 20th, 2014

There is no difference in withdrawal.

joeisaverage
4:50 am July 9th, 2015

my mother-in-law gave me a oxycontin while I was on vacation because I had left my oxycodone at home I didn’t think about my pain management urinalyses will the oxycontin show different on this test than my medication

Charlie
9:29 pm January 24th, 2016

How Long do they stay in your system for? I just took one before its the first time I’ve these and was wondering if they show up in a urine test? And if so how long till I’m clear?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:28 am February 2nd, 2016

Hi, Charlie. OxyContin and oxycodone can be detected in the urine up to 1-4 days after the intake.

TJ Williams
7:32 am February 24th, 2016

I am 63 and suffering from chronic, unbearable pain from arthritis. My doctor has prescribed Percocet for the past 4 yrs. Recently she changed to Oxycodone (2 times daily) I keep 25mg of time released morphine in my system (2 daily) . I only take the oxycodone when I have things to do like laundry , shopping etc. but I’m scared because of all the press. I am very careful NOT to take any more than prescribed but I cannot move without these medications. I take the oxycodone about once a day when the pain becomes overwhelming. Am I in danger?

Sean
6:40 pm April 5th, 2016

Yeah their is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between the two drugs. OxycodoneIR has been changed by the FDA since it was re -released. It was pulled from the shelves when the new OP Oxycontin was released, then after strict FDA re-formulation standards, the generic makers of the IR version were allowed to put their OxycodoneIR back on pharmacy shelves. Oxycontin is a very, very, concentrated form of Oxycodone. I personally think Pherdue got it right with their formula, because the OxycontinER works 10x better than the generic OxycodoneIR’s 10/20/30 mg doses.

jo
8:17 am July 11th, 2016

hi,i have chronic pain i have been on fentanyl 50mcg patches for the past 6 years they were great but sometimes at the end of the month the comedown was so severe my whole body would spasm and nausea,2 weeks ago i decided to come off the patches because it was so bad with spasms,the doctor has put me on oxycodone-its been rough cause i got a really bad flu last week,thought i wouldn’t make it,but now 14 days later starting to feel better and spasms are minimal only had 2 when sleeping and 12 dose stopped so looking promising also pain management has been good,just thought i would share my story

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