Compare Morphine Sulfate vs. Acetaminophen With Codeine

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

Ms Contin
(morphine sulfate)

Tylenol #3
(acetaminophen / codeine)

Treats severe pain. Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) provides good long-term pain control without the need to take medicine frequently, but watch out for constipation.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.
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Reviews & ratings
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4.79Morphine Sulfate
Reviews for Ms Contin (morphine sulfate)
55%
of people (All ages) say Ms Contin (morphine sulfate) is worth it
43%
say it works well
20%
say it's a big hassle
541 reviews
Have you used Ms Contin (morphine sulfate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tylenol #3 (acetaminophen / codeine)
69%
+14% better vs. Ms Contin (morphine sulfate)
41%
-2% worse vs. Ms Contin (morphine sulfate)
9%
+11% better vs. Ms Contin (morphine sulfate)
581 reviews
Have you used Tylenol #3 (acetaminophen / codeine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Morphine SulfateAcetaminophen With Codeine

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

More about Morphine Sulfate 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
Morphine SulfateAcetaminophen With Codeine
Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) is an opioid 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
Morphine SulfateAcetaminophen With Codeine
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
Morphine SulfateAcetaminophen With Codeine
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
Morphine SulfateAcetaminophen With Codeine
Risk factors for serious side effects
Morphine SulfateAcetaminophen 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
  • 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 Ms Contin (morphine sulfate) 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
Morphine SulfateAcetaminophen With Codeine
No alcohol related info.
  • Avoid alcohol.
Food
Morphine SulfateAcetaminophen With Codeine
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
Morphine SulfateAcetaminophen With Codeine
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Don't take more than instructed to prevent liver damage.
Pain
Morphine SulfateAcetaminophen With Codeine
  • Good for chronic pain that requires around-the-clock relief.
  • Doesn't work for as-needed or quick pain relief.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Sleep
Morphine SulfateAcetaminophen With Codeine
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • Can help you fall asleep easier.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
Upsides and benefits
Morphine SulfateAcetaminophen With Codeine
  • Provides longer relieve for moderate to severe pain to improve quality of life.
  • Good for chronic pain that requires around-the-clock relief.
  • Might have fewer side effects than other opioid pain relievers.
  • 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
Morphine SulfateAcetaminophen With Codeine
  • Doesn't work for as-needed or quick pain relief.
  • 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 Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) if you need.
  • Long term use will likely cause physical dependence.
  • Must be weaned slowly off the medicine after use longer than 2 weeks.
  • 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
Morphine SulfateAcetaminophen With Codeine
  • 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.
  • 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 Morphine SulfateSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ms Contin (morphine sulfate)?
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