Compare Acetaminophen With Codeine vs. Oxycodone

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.

Oxycontin (Oxycodone) provides options for treating both short and long-term moderate to severe pain, but no matter how long you take it, you’ll need to watch out for constipation.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 1241 reviewsforOxycodone
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.
  • Oxycontin (Oxycodone) immediate-release (short acting) works best for “as needed” or “break-through” pain.
  • Long-acting tablets are good for chronic pain that requires around-the-clock relief.
  • Can have fewer side effects than other opioid pain relievers.
  • Generally considered to be stronger than morphine.
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.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
  • You’ll need to take the immediate-release for a few weeks before you can be switched to the long-acting formulation. It’s not safe to start taking the long-acting one if you've never taken an opioid pain medicine before.
  • Everyone will get constipation, so it’s best to stay hydrated and take a stool softener while on Oxycontin (Oxycodone).
  • Long-term use will likely cause physical dependence.
  • Need be weaned slowly off the medicine after using it longer than two weeks.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
Price
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
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
1241 reviews so far
66%
saidit'sworth it
50%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Oxycontin (Oxycodone)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
20possible side effects
  • Abdominal pain
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    5%
  • Dyspepsia
    5%
  • Gastritis
    5%
  • Chills
    5%
  • Fever
    5%
  • Anorexia
    5%
  • Twitching
    5%
  • Abnormal dreams
    5%
  • Anxiety
    5%
  • Confusion
    5%
  • Dysphoria
    5%
  • Euphoria
    5%
  • Insomnia
    5%
  • Nervousness
    5%
  • Thought abnormalities
    5%
  • Dyspnea
    5%
  • Hiccups
    5%
  • Rash
    5%
  • Postural hypotension
    5%
See more detailed side effects
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
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Death from overdose (oral concentrate)
See more detailed risks and warnings