Compare Fentanyl vs. Norco

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

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.

4.2/ 5 average rating with 84 reviewsforFentanyl
Treats moderate to moderately severe pain.

Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) is a good option to treat pain when over-the-counter medicines haven't worked, but it can lead to dependence and tolerance if taken for a long time.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 1194 reviewsforNorco
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) has two medicines to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. The combination is more effective than either drug alone.
  • Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) is more potent than many over-the-counter options.
  • You can take this with or without food.
  • This medicine also comes as a liquid if you have trouble swallowing.
  • Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) is available as a generic.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea can commonly occur.
  • Since Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) is a controlled medication, it cannot be refilled or transferred to another pharmacy.
  • Long-term use can cause dependence and tolerance.
  • Too much Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) can damage the liver.
  • Not effective in treating all kinds of pain.
Used for
  • Moderate to severe pain
Dosage forms
  • Patch
  • Patch extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Mouth spray
  • Lozenge
  • Buccal tablet
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
84 reviews so far
79%
saidit'sworth it
70%
saiditworked well
14%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Duragesic (Fentanyl)?

Leave a review
1194 reviews so far
67%
saidit'sworth it
44%
saiditworked well
13%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen)?

Leave a review
Side effects
37possible side effects
  • Vomiting
    34%
  • Nausea
    24%
  • Dizziness
    17%
  • Somnolence
    17%
  • Headache
    16%
  • Constipation
    13%
  • Diarrhea
    13%
  • Pruritus
    13%
  • Asthenia
    9%
  • Abdominal pain
    9%
  • Insomnia
    6%
  • Rash
    6%
  • Edema peripheral
    5%
  • Confusion
    4%
  • Dyspnea
    4%
  • Abdominal pain upper
    4%
  • Anorexia
    4%
  • Anxiety
    4%
  • Tremor
    3%
  • Hypersensitivity
    3%
  • Urinary retention
    3%
  • Hyperhidrosis
    3%
  • Erythema
    3%
  • Accidental injury
    2%
  • Abnormal Gait
    2%
  • Dry Mouth
    2%
  • Nervousness
    2%
  • Vasodilatation
    2%
  • Sweating
    2%
  • Abnormal vision
    2%
  • Paresthesia
    2%
  • Confusional state
    2%
  • Dry mouth
    2%
  • Fatigue
    2%
  • Muscle spasms
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Hallucination
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Liver failure
    • Current liver disease
    • Taking Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines containing acetaminophen
  • Slowed breathing
    • Age 65 or greater
    • High dosages
    • History of lung problems
    • Taking other painkillers or sedatives
  • Severe allergic reactions
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of substance abuse
    • Younger age
  • Tolerance, dependence, and addiction
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse
    • Younger age
  • Constipation
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Long-term use of opioids
    • Taking drugs that cause constipation
  • Confusion and drowsiness
    • Drinking alcohol
    • Age 65 years or older
See more detailed risks and warnings