Compare Codeine vs. Percocet

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

Codeine

Prescription only
Treats mild to moderate pain.

Codeine works well for mild to moderate pain, but it may not be an great option for all people.

Treats moderate to severe pain.

Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) is the strongest prescription combination pain medicine for as needed pain relief, but make sure you don't take too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) to avoid liver problems or death.

5.2/ 7 average rating with 1399 reviewsforPercocet
Upsides
  • Effective option for relieving mild to moderate pain that wasn't controlled by non-opioid medications.
  • Available as a generic in both tablets and oral solution.
  • Can be used for the short-term relief of a dry cough.
  • Combination pain medicine with an opioid component (oxycodone) and non-opioid component (acetaminophen or Tylenol) that takes advantage of different modes of pain relieve in a single pill.
  • Provides quick relief for moderate to severe pain to improve quality of life.
  • Generally considered stronger than Norco or other combination pain medicine for treating pain.
  • Good for as-needed, short-term use, but may be helpful to manage more long-term pain problems if used at the appropriate doses and intervals.
  • Lower rates of misuse compared to pure opioid medicines.
  • Can help you fall asleep easier.
Downsides
  • Codeine is changed to an active form in the body by a liver enzyme. About 10% of people don't have this enzyme and don't get enough pain relief.
  • There are many drug interactions with Codeine, such as antidepressants. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new medicine or making any changes.
  • Other pain medications are more potent than Codeine.
  • It's possible to build a tolerance and become dependent on Codeine.
  • Can cause constipation, so you'll need to drink plenty of water or take a stool softener while on it.
  • 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 Percocet 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 Percocet, 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Price
Lowest price near you
$26.9
Find instant savings
Lowest price near you
$24.06
Find instant savings
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, and other pharmacies.
Reviews
Not enough review data.Leave a review
1399 
70%
think this treatment is worth it
49%
think this treatment works well
15%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Codeine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Serious breathing problems

    Age 17 years or younger

  • Driving impairment

    Taking with alcohol

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Low blood pressure

    Age 65 years or older

  • Serotonin syndrome

    Using other medications that affect serotonin

  • Tolerance and dependence

    Taking more than the prescribed dose

    ...and 2 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Death from liver failure

    Current liver disease

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Death from lack of oxygen to the body (respiratory depression)

    Age 65 or greater

    ...and 3 more risk factors

  • Driving impairment

    Taking with alcohol

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Tolerance and dependence

    Taking more than the prescribed dose

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Neonatal withdrawal syndrome

    Long-term use of opioids in mother

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Death from overdose (extended-release tablet)

    Children age 18 and younger

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Low blood pressure

    Age 65 years or older

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings