What are the differences and similarities between oxycontin and oxycodone?
Oxycodone and OxyContin are names given to different pharmaceutical formulations of the same opioid medication. They are essentially the same substance. Oxycodone is the opioid substance that is the main ingredient in several pain medications including OxyContin. OxyContin is a slow-release version of oxycodone. It is slowly released in the body. Hence, it need not be taken as often. The words OxyContin and oxycodone are often used interchangeably because they are essentially the same substance with this minor difference.
Both OxyContin and oxycodone work by binding to specific receptors in the brain that are referred to as endogenous opioid receptors. These brain receptors have an affinity for neurotransmitters such as endorphins and enkephalins and activate them to reduce stress, pain and anxiety. If these drugs are taken repeatedly, they increase dopamine levels that are associated with feelings of reinforcement, satisfaction, euphoria, pleasure and other strong positive feelings. Therefore, there is a risk of physical dependence and abuse with these drugs.
Is oxycodone or OxyContin better?
This depends on what doctors want to use the medication for. Both can significantly reduce pain, stress and anxiety. Doctors may prefer prescribing extended-release OxyContin to people with severe pain who require the effect to last for up to 24 hours. Doctors may prescribe immediate-release oxycodone to patients with moderate or severe acute or chronic pain. Doctors may prescribe oxycodone with combination formulations with other analgesics (pain-relieving medications) such as oxycodone–acetaminophen and oxycodone–ibuprofen. Oxycodone can be used instead of morphine. Combination formulations have additional pain relief or anti-inflammatory benefits.
Uses of oxycodone:
Oxycodone can be used for the following.
- Acute, severe, uncontrollable and spontaneous pain
- Trauma or injuries
- Neurological pain, for example, in shingles
- Chronic pain due to chronic medication such as cancer-related pain, bone pain etc.
Uses of OxyContin:
OxyContin can be used for children older than 11 years of age if they are able to tolerate it. It is used for pain control in patients with moderate to severe chronic pain such as osteoarthritis and those requiring 24-hour treatment. It is usually used only occasionally. People who can't swallow pills should not take OxyContin because it is not possible to cut, break, chew, crush or dissolve it because that would reduce its efficacy.
Both oxycodone and OxyContin have similar side effects because they have the same medicinal ingredient. Side effects may include
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