Compare Fentanyl vs. Percocet

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

Duragesic
(Fentanyl)

Percocet
(Oxycodone / Acetaminophen)

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 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.
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Reviews & ratings
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5.849056603773585Fentanyl
Reviews for Duragesic (Fentanyl)
79%
of people (All ages) say Duragesic (Fentanyl) is worth it
75%
say it works well
13%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Duragesic (Fentanyl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen)
69%
10% vs. Duragesic (Fentanyl)
49%
26% vs. Duragesic (Fentanyl)
15%
2% vs. Duragesic (Fentanyl)
1389 reviews
Have you used Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
FentanylPercocet
  • Feeling cold 4%
  • Feeling unwell 3%
  • Heart pounding or racing sensation 3%
  • Muscle spasms 2%
More Fentanyl side effects »

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

More about Percocet side effects »
How it works
FentanylPercocet
Duragesic (Fentanyl) is an opioid (narcotic) medicine that works in the brain to lower pain perception.Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) is a combination pain medicine. Oxycodone 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
FentanylPercocet
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Opioid
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Prescription only
Available as
FentanylPercocet
  • Patch
  • Patch extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Mouth spray
  • Lozenge
  • Buccal tablet
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for (click to learn more)
FentanylPercocet
Risk factors for serious side effects
FentanylPercocet
  • 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
  • Children age 18 and younger
  • Long-term use during pregnancy
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Long-term use
  • History of drug abuse
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed Duragesic (Fentanyl) risks & warnings »
  • Current liver disease
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines with acetaminophen
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
  • People with not enough thyroid hormones
  • History of lung problems
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Long-term use
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use of opioids in mother
  • Breastfeeding while taking Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen)
  • Children age 18 and younger
  • Taking more than prescribed dose
  • Mixing with alcohol or drugs that interact with Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen)
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Circulation problems
    Detailed Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) 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 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
    FentanylPercocet
    • Never drink alcohol when using Duragesic (Fentanyl).
    • Avoid alcohol.
    Food
    FentanylPercocet
    No food related info.
    • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
    Kidneys and liver
    FentanylPercocet
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    • Don't take more than instructed to prevent liver damage.
    • The acetaminophen component in Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) can hurt your liver. Using more than 4000 mg of the acetaminophen (or 12 tablets of Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) can cause serious harm to your liver that may make you need a liver transplant and can be life-threatening. Don't take more than your doctor prescribes, and avoid other medicines that have acetaminophen when using Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen).
    Pain
    FentanylPercocet
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Generally considered stronger than Norco or other combination pain medicine for treating pain.
    • 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.
    • Talk to your doctor if it doesn't work well enough to relieve your pain, or if the side effects are really bad.
    Sleep
    FentanylPercocet
    • 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
    FentanylPercocet
    • 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 (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 and risks
    FentanylPercocet
    • 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 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.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    FentanylPercocet
    • 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 work well enough to relieve 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 PercocetSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it