Compare Fentanyl vs. Oxycodone

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

Duragesic
(fentanyl)

Oxycontin
(oxycodone)

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 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.
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Coupons for Fentanyl
Best available price for 2 (5 patches of 25mcg/hr) cartons of fentanyl
Coupons for Oxycodone
Best available price for 120 (5mg) tablets of oxycodone
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 Oxycodone
66%
+13% better vs. Fentanyl
50%
+20% better vs. Fentanyl
19%
+5% better vs. Fentanyl
1241 reviews
Have you used Oxycontin (oxycodone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
FentanylOxycodone
  • 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 »
  • Constipation 16%
  • Nausea 12%
  • Drowsiness 19%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Itching 11%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Dry mouth 4%
  • Muscle weakness 6%
  • Sweating 3%
More Oxycodone side effects »
How it works
FentanylOxycodone
Duragesic (Fentanyl) is an opioid (narcotic) medicine that works in the brain to lower pain perception.Oxycontin (Oxycodone) is an opioid medicine (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception.
Type of medication
FentanylOxycodone
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
FentanylOxycodone
  • Patch
  • Patch extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Mouth spray
  • Lozenge
  • Buccal tablet
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
Used for
FentanylOxycodone
Risk factors for serious side effects
FentanylOxycodone
  • 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 »
  • 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 Oxycontin (oxycodone) risks & warnings »
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 haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Alcohol
FentanylOxycodone
  • Never drink alcohol when using Duragesic (Fentanyl).
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
Food
FentanylOxycodone
No food related info.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
Pain
FentanylOxycodone
  • Duragesic (Fentanyl) isn't for everyone. It's a really strong pain medication and taking too much can be deadly.
  • For pain, the patch takes 12 hours to start working and all other forms start working in 30 minutes or less.
  • 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.
Sleep
FentanylOxycodone
  • Often causes drowsiness and constipation. If using it long-term, use a stool softener.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
Upsides and benefits
FentanylOxycodone
  • 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 and risks
FentanylOxycodone
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
FentanylOxycodone
  • 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.
  • Opioid pain medicine that provides longer pain relief—up to 12 hours.
  • Works best when taken regularly instead of as-needed.
  • Especially useful for people with chronic pain problems.
  • May not be the best choice for people who have never taken an opioid pain medicine because it lasts so long.
  • Swallow it whole. Don't crush, chew, or split the medicine.
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
  • Avoid activities that 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 taking laxatives can help.
  • 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 OxycodoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Oxycontin (oxycodone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it