Compare Acetaminophen With Codeine vs. Morphine Sulfate

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Treats mild to moderate pain.

Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine) is a good option to treat pain and cough as needed when over-the-counter medicines can't control the symptoms, but must make sure you don't take too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) to avoid liver problems or death.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 581 reviewsforAcetaminophen With Codeine
Treats severe pain.

Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) provides good long-term pain control without the need to take medicine frequently, but watch out for constipation.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 541 reviewsforMorphine Sulfate
Upsides
  • Combination pain medicine with an opioid component (codeine) and non-opioid component (acetaminophen or Tylenol) that takes advantage of different modes of pain relieve in a single pill.
  • Provides quick relieve for mild to moderate pain to improve quality of life.
  • Good for as-needed pain and control.
  • Generally well tolerated by people, especially if taken with food to lower risk of stomach upset.
  • Lower rates of misuse compared to pure opioid medicines.
  • Can help you fall asleep easier.
  • Provides longer relieve for moderate to severe pain to improve quality of life.
  • Good for chronic pain that requires around-the-clock relief.
  • Might have fewer side effects than other opioid pain relievers.
Downsides
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • Everyone will get constipation - always stay hydrated and take stool softener or stimulant on days you're taking Acetaminophen with codeine if you need.
  • All opioid containing medicines have the risk of physical dependence and possibility of withdrawal when used long-term.
  • The non-opioid part of Acetaminophen with codeine, acetaminophen (Tylenol), has a high risk of liver failure and death if you take more than the maximum daily dose. Be very careful.
  • Relies on the users to be aware of how much acetaminophen (Tylenol) they are using since it is a very common ingredient in many prescription and non-prescription pain medicines.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Doesn't work for as-needed or quick pain relief.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • Everyone will get constipation - always stay hydrated and take stool softener or stimulant on days you're taking Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) if you need.
  • Long term use will likely cause physical dependence.
  • Must be weaned slowly off the medicine after use longer than 2 weeks.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
Price
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Reviews
581 reviews so far
69%
saidit'sworth it
41%
saiditworked well
9%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)?

Leave a review
541 reviews so far
55%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
20%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
No information currently available
  • Death from lack of oxygen to the body (respiratory depression)
    • Current use of medicine that affects liver enzyme CYP 3A4
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Higher dose
    • People with not enough thyroid hormones
    • History of lung problems
  • Death from overdose
    • Children age 18 and younger
  • Death in newborn babies from opioid withdrawal (Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome)
    • Long-term use during pregnancy
  • Tolerance, dependence, and addiction
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Age 65 or greater
  • Low blood pressure
    • Age 65 years or older
See more detailed risks and warnings