Doctors have been prescribing painkillers, narcotics in nature after surgery for pain management, and to counter cancer, which lands us to the long-fought Oxycodone vs Hydrocodone debate, the bitter and better catfight. For starters, first let’s try to understand, what exactly Oxycodone and Hydrocodone are? Oxycodone and Hydrocodone are prescribed medications that act as painkillers and can treat chronic pain caused by an injury or surgery, just like morphine. They may also be used to treat pain that is either short-term or long-term. Also, both might also be prescribed to treat other medical conditions such as Chronic Cough, Arthritis and pain from cancer. Both the medication can be taken individually. That being the case, different combination and composition of both the drug can also be found. For instance, acetaminophen, another kind of painkiller is sometimes added to Oxycodone to make a specific narcotic analgesic. This combination calms a person’s mood and control the level of stress released to prevent excessive bleeding or trauma, which gives the painkiller enough time to kick in.
Another example of the same is, Hydrocodone is often mixed with antihistamines to concoct a syrup that suppresses the cough reflex and provides relief from pain and throat soreness associated with the coughing. So, next time you are prescribed, make sure to check the composition. Although you might be dumbfounded at the very least you can identify Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, if it’s there.
Oxycodone and Hydrocodone is either used to treat moderate to severe pain from an injury or surgery. Patients who are prescribed with the medication of Oxycodone intake it on an around-the-clock basis until the doctor breaks the cycle by ending their prescription and tells them to stop taking it. However, there are a bit more risks with Hydrocodone, comparatively. Although just like Oxycodone, Hydrocodone should also be taken, given its prescribed by the doctor because the risk of addiction is slightly or a bit higher than Oxycodone. This is because of its prescribed manner and as a result, Hydrocodone causes dependency and addiction than Oxycodone. Hydrocodone has been misused on a much wider scale than any other opioid in the United States and in many European countries. And thus had been highly restricted for many years in European Countries. Hence, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone mustn’t be taken on an as-needed basis the way just like over-the-counter painkillers for these painkillers are narcotic in nature and can cause addiction way too soon. After all, it will be no exaggeration to say that once you have tasted something forbidden, you become an addict and probably can’t get keep your hands off it again. And the same goes for both the drugs without a shadow of a doubt.
Oxycodone vs Hydrocodone: Who relieves the pain better?
Both Oxycodone and Hydrocodone are narcotic painkillers and have shown to be highly effective at treating pain, leading to its continuous usage in the medical field. And in a recent study of an emergency situation, researchers have discovered that both the medications reliefs the pain equally, thereby declaring a draw in their effectiveness. Since after both the drugs, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone were successfully administered, the participants showed equal pain relief that lasted for about 30 to 60 minutes after the drugs kicked in their system. However, those who were given Hydrocodone experienced constipation more frequently than participants who were given Oxycodone. According to some study, it’s found that an equal dose of the combination of Acetaminophen and Oxycodone was 1.5 times more effective than the combination of Hydrocodone with Acetaminophen.
Oxycodone vs Hydrocodone: Different yet so similar
Narcotics such as Oxycodone and Hydrocodone possess the high potential of abuse, even though if taken as prescribed. The chances of becoming addicted to Oxycodone and Hydrocodone increase exponentially, if used illicitly. Prolonged and chronic abuse of Oxycodone or Hydrocodone can eventually result in Brain structures alteration. And thus making it difficult for individuals to stop using either drug on their own for its blurs the line of need and dependency, thereby making them addict to remain sane.
The behaviour of dependency outside of prescription is a common sign of addiction. Reason? These drugs are similar to other drugs of abuse, like alcohol, heroin or cocaine because they function to elevate the dopamine (chemical) levels in the Brain. The probability of fatal overdose is also extremely high when misusing these prescription drugs. Eventually, the body and brain become accustomed to these drugs doses in their system and thus develop tolerance to them. Once the body establishes tolerance, it demands larger and more frequent doses of these drugs to achieve the desired level of intoxication.
And in the worst-case scenario, if the body develops a tolerance to Oxycodone or Hydrocodone abusive dosage, it becomes dependent on the drug. And once physical or psychological dependence to either drug has been developed, the body will be in continuous need of that drug in its systems to function normally. And gradually demand more potent and huge dosage to be effective than the regular tolerance level. If someone who is dependent on opioids suddenly lowers their dose or stops taking them, severe withdrawal symptoms can occur. This situation can be proved extremely dangerous for abusing these drugs cost precious to the body. Because abusive dosage of Oxycodone or Hydrocodone can cause certain dangerous effects on the important functions of the body such as decreased breathing and heart rates due to their opioid nature. And so as the dosage and frequency of Oxycodone and Hydrocodone increases, risk of dangerously steady breathing and heart rates also increase as well. And if someone who is dependent on opioids tried to counter, by lowering the dosage suddenly severe withdrawal symptoms will occur eventually resulting in death.
Abusive dosage of Oxycodone or Hydrocodone is dangerous because both the drugs are also available in extended-release (ER) forms. As to why these drugs are all the more dangerous when consumed in ER form? Because in the extended-release version of these drugs, they are often removed from their extended-release capsule and crushed, thereby resulting in a direct and highly toxic dose administration at once, instead of over a 12-hour period. This greatly increases the possibility of fatal overdose from the drugs.
Withdrawal symptoms from Oxycodone and Hydrocodone:
Withdrawal symptoms of either of the drugs include Anxiety, excessive sweating, fever, Insomnia, excruciating Muscle pain, Nausea, runny nose and other flu-like symptoms. Once your body begins to develop a tolerance due to over the time abusive dosage. You will have to increase the dosage gradually to achieve the same level of pain relief. And as you indulge yourself in it, your brain chemistry began to change rapidly due to the chemicals in the active ingredients. Several functions such as the Dopamine release become dependent on the presence of the drugs.
If you have misused the drugs to the point that you have to take very high dosages to feel sane, the absence of dopamine can be felt more strongly. And as a result, you will have to increase the dosages, if not, you will start to feel depressed and will become prey to depression. However, there are other options available as well namely, Substance abuse treatment. It refers to the practice of discussing your situation with a therapist who treats substance abuse by offering you several options such as:
– Detoxification, to breaks the physical dependency your body has built on either drug.
– Enrolment in a pain recovery program, to help you manage chronic pain and other persistent symptoms.
– Talk therapy, to overcome the stress and circumstances that compelled you to become an addict.
– Group therapy, to build a support system with others in similar situations, thereby creating a bond.
– Holistic Therapy, to provide you with a whole-person approach to the treatment.
Because abuse of these drugs can quickly lead to dependence and withdrawal, formal treatment programs often begin with a detox phase. The debate whether Oxycodone vs Hydrocodone cannot be justified and hence mustn’t be abuse or become dependent on. Both the drugs are narcotic in nature and cause you to entrust yourself to the fangs of addiction. Which is a fatal disease that blurs the boundary between need and dependency thereby rendering an individual helpless in the pit-black hole of depression. And so, there is much medically-supervised detoxification that allows individuals in recovery from addiction or dependence to Oxycodone or Hydrocodone. It helps them to rid their bodies of the drug for good so that they can continue to counselling, therapy and other treatment in an inpatient treatment program and welcome a happy and healthy life.