Oxy and Hydrocodone both fall under the same group of drugs called opiates. Most opiates either come from the opium in poppy plants or mimic its properties. Both of these drugs treat pain in a similar way. In fact, many people assume these drug are the same. However, there are some differences that are important to understand.
Oxy and Hydrocodone: How They Differ
Despite having similar names, these two drugs actually contain different ingredients. Hydro comes from codeine while oxy consists of thebaine. However, both of these drugs have a similar chemical make up. The codeine in hydrocodone allows it to treat a cough and act as a decongestant. Furthermore, doctors may combine both of these drugs with milder pain relievers. In fact, doctors most commonly combine hydro with acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Of these two drugs, oxy is best at treating severe pain. That is because oxy is slightly more potent than the same dosage of Hydro. For this reason, doctors prescribe it more for injuries or cancer patients. In addition, oxy also presents a higher rate for abuse. Which means that people are more likely to become addicted to oxy than to hydrocodone. For this reason, oxy is a Schedule II drug while hydro carries less weight as a Schedule III.
Furthermore, since oxy has a higher risk for abuse and is Schedule II, a doctor must write a prescription. For some drugs, such as hydrocodone, a doctor may just “call it in”. But in the case of oxy, a patient must see a doctor and obtain a written prescription.
What is my safest option?
In regards to which drug may be safest, both drugs prove moderately safe when taken the right way. However, hydrocodone does have a lower abuse rate than oxy, which would make it a safer option in that respect. Furthermore, studies suggest that hydrocodone can also be the better option for pregnant woman. This is because it appears to present less risk to the fetus. Likewise, since it has a lower abuse risk, the baby is less likely to become dependent while in the womb.