What is OxyContin?

OxyContin is a brand-name time-release formula of oxycodone. Produced by Purdue Pharma, OxyContin received FDA approval in 1995 as a narcotic pain reliever.

What is Percocet?

Percocet is a brand-name formula comprised of oxycodone and paracetamol (acetaminophen) used to treat moderate to severe pain. Produced by Endo Pharmaceuticals, Percocet received FDA approval in 1976.

What is oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic analgesic (pain reliever) synthesized from thebaine, an opiate alkaloid derived from poppy plants (opium). Thebaine is chemically similar to that of morphine and codeine. Oxycodone was developed in Germany in the early 1900s, and it was synthesized as an improvement on other existing opioids such as morphine and codeine.

What are the similarities and differences between OxyContin and Percocet?

Oxycontin and Percocet are the two major types of brand-name oxycodone. Because they both contain oxycodone they have a lot of the same side effects. One main difference between their side effects, however, relates to the paracetamol (acetaminophen) content in Percocet. Consuming too much acetaminophen can result in very harmful side effects and possible death. In terms of the differences between them, OxyContin is far more potent than that of Percocet. Not only is OxyContin made of pure oxycodone, but as a time-release narcotic OxyContin also lasts much longer. While Percocet provides pain relief for approximately 5 hours, OxyContin provides up to 12 hours of pain relief. Due to its potency the distribution of oxycodone, and especially OxyContin, is highly regulated and monitored.

What are the short-term side effects of oxycodone?

Short term side effects of oxycodone include pain relief, euphoria, feelings of relaxation, constipation, swelling, itching, drowsiness, dizziness, vomiting, dry mouth, sweating, weakness, nausea, headache, papillary constriction and the possibility of contracting diseases such as HIV and hepatitis if injected. Large doses can lead to respiratory depression and possible death. Consuming large doses of acetaminophen (like in Percocet) can lead to hepatotoxicity (liver damage), jaundice and possible liver failure at 10-15g per day. Consuming 15-20g per day can be fatal. Hepatotoxicity can be sometimes avoided by consuming large amounts of water, as acetaminophen is water-soluble.

What are the long-term side effects of oxycodone?

Long-term abuse of oxycodone can lead to tolerance and dependence. Oxycodone is highly addictive and can result in severe withdrawal symptoms, especially when long-term use is stopped abruptly.

What are the symptoms of an oxycodone overdose?

Symptoms associated with an oxycodone overdose include clammy hands, reduced blood pressure, reduced heart rate, severe drowsiness, a comatose state, respiratory depression, respiratory arrest, skeletal muscle flaccidity and death.