Compare Fentanyl vs. Oxycodone

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

Duragesic (Fentanyl)

Prescription only

Oxycontin (Oxycodone)

Prescription only
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 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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. 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
  • Patch
  • Patch extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Mouth spray
  • Lozenge
  • Buccal tablet
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • 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
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
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
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
  • 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
  • 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