Compare Fentanyl vs. Acetaminophen With Codeine

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

Duragesic
(fentanyl)

Tylenol #3
(acetaminophen / codeine)

Treats severe pain. Duragesic (Fentanyl) is an excellent pain reliever, but should only be used by people who've tried other opioid pain medications and still need more relief.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.83Fentanyl
Reviews for Fentanyl
79%
of people (All ages) say Fentanyl is worth it
70%
say it works well
14%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Duragesic (fentanyl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Acetaminophen With Codeine
69%
+10% better vs. Fentanyl
41%
+29% better vs. Fentanyl
9%
-5% worse vs. Fentanyl
581 reviews
Have you used Tylenol #3 (acetaminophen / codeine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
FentanylAcetaminophen With Codeine
  • Nausea 27%
  • Fatigue 19%
  • Vomiting 17%
  • Abdominal pain 15%
  • Shortness of breath 15%
  • Headache 14%
  • Dehydration 13%
  • Drowsiness 13%
  • Dizziness 13%
  • Sleep difficulty 3%
More Fentanyl side effects »

The Acetaminophen With Codeine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Acetaminophen With Codeine side effects »
How it works
FentanylAcetaminophen With Codeine
Duragesic (Fentanyl) is an opioid (narcotic) medicine that works in the brain to lower pain perception.Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine) is a combination pain medicine. Codeine is an opioid (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception. Acetaminophen is a non-opioid pain reliever and fever reducer.
Type of medication
FentanylAcetaminophen With Codeine
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
FentanylAcetaminophen With Codeine
  • Patch
  • Patch extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Mouth spray
  • Lozenge
  • Buccal tablet
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
FentanylAcetaminophen With Codeine
Risk factors for serious side effects
FentanylAcetaminophen With Codeine
  • 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
Detailed Duragesic (fentanyl) risks & warnings »
    Coming soon.
    Pregnancy

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    Alcohol
    FentanylAcetaminophen With Codeine
    • Never drink alcohol when using Duragesic (Fentanyl).
    • Avoid alcohol.
    Food
    FentanylAcetaminophen With Codeine
    No food related info.
    • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
    Kidneys and liver
    FentanylAcetaminophen With Codeine
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    • Don't take more than instructed to prevent liver damage.
    Pain
    FentanylAcetaminophen With Codeine
    • For pain, the patch takes 12 hours to start working and all other forms start working in 30 minutes or less.
    • Duragesic (Fentanyl) isn't for everyone. It's a really strong pain medication and taking too much can be deadly.
    • This is a combination pain medication. It contains both an opioid medicine, and acetaminophen (Tylenol).
    • Works best if you take it as soon as you start feeling pain.
    • Pain relief lasts 4-6 hours.
    • 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.
    • Good for as-needed pain and control.
    Sleep
    FentanylAcetaminophen With Codeine
    • Often causes drowsiness and constipation. If using it long-term, use a stool softener.
    • Can help you fall asleep easier.
    • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
    Upsides and benefits
    FentanylAcetaminophen With Codeine
    • It's used for people who have tried other opioid medications, but still need stronger pain relief.
    • Duragesic (Fentanyl) is stronger than morphine, works quickly, and doesn't cause as many stomach problems.
    • It's available in many dosage forms, including a patch, injection, film, nasal spray, and lollipop.
    • The Duragesic (Fentanyl) patch provides long-term pain relief and lowers the number of times you need to take pain medications each day.
    • 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.
    Downsides and risks
    FentanylAcetaminophen With Codeine
    • Duragesic (Fentanyl) isn't for everyone. It's a really strong pain medication and taking too much can be deadly.
    • It doesn't provide quick pain relief.
    • Often causes drowsiness and constipation. If using it long-term, use a stool softener.
    • Like all opioids, don't use when pregnant, since the baby can become dependent on it and have withdrawal symptoms after birth.
    • Shouldn't be used for people with breathing problems (like asthma and COPD), a slow heart rate, or in the elderly.
    • If using the patch, you won't be able to get the medicine out of your body quickly in case of an overdose.
    • 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.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    FentanylAcetaminophen With Codeine
    • Duragesic (Fentanyl) should only be used for people whose pain is not controlled by other opioid medications for at least one week.
    • For pain, the patch takes 12 hours to start working and all other forms start working in 30 minutes or less.
    • If using the patch, keep it away from heat sources like heating pads, or else it'll cause the medication to be unsafely released into your skin.
    • Never stop taking Duragesic (Fentanyl) suddenly or else you'll have withdrawal effects. To stop taking it, you'll need to lower your dose slowly.
    • Never drink alcohol when using Duragesic (Fentanyl).
    • Just one dose can be harmful or fatal to children, so store and dispose of this medication in a way that children can't get to it.
    • This is a combination pain medication. It contains both an opioid medicine, and acetaminophen (Tylenol).
    • Starts working in 30 minutes.
    • Works best if you take it as soon as you start feeling pain.
    • Pain relief lasts 4-6 hours.
    • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
    • Avoid activities need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
    • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
    • Constipation is common and may not go away while you're taking this medicine. Drinking lots of water and using laxatives can help.
    • Don't take more than instructed to prevent liver damage.
    • Use it for the shortest time possible, and at the lowest dose possible, to lower your chance of becoming addicted.
    • Talk to your doctor if it doesn't help enough for your pain, or if the side effects are really bad.
    Learn more
    More about FentanylSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Duragesic (fentanyl)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about Acetaminophen With CodeineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Tylenol #3 (acetaminophen / codeine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it