Compare Morphine sulfate vs. Norco

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

Ms Contin
(Morphine Sulfate)

Norco
(Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)

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 moderate to severe pain. Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) is a good option to treat pain 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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4.7781954887218046Morphine sulfate
Reviews for Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate)
55%
of people say Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) is worth it
43%
say it works well
20%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)
67%
+12% vs. Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate)
44%
+1% vs. Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate)
13%
+7% vs. Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate)
Side effects
Morphine sulfateNorco

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

More about Morphine sulfate side effects »

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

More about Norco side effects »
How it works
Morphine sulfateNorco
Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) is an opioid medicine that works in the brain to lower pain perception.Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) is a combination pain medicine. Hydrocodone 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 sulfateNorco
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Opioid
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Prescription only
Available as
Morphine sulfateNorco
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for (click to learn more)
Morphine sulfateNorco
Risk factors for serious side effects
Morphine sulfateNorco
  • 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 »
  • 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
    • Long-term use of opioids in mother
    • Breastfeeding while taking Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse
    Detailed Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    Morphine sulfateNorco
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    No specific alcohol-related info.
    • Avoid alcohol.
    Food
    • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
    • Generally well tolerated by people, especially if taken with food to lower risk of stomach upset.
    • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
    Kidneys and liver
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
    • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
    • Dizziness and drowsiness is common.
    • Can make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid activities need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.
    • Hydrocodone, one of the medications in Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) passes into breast milk. Women with a history of long-term opioid use increase the risk of neonatal withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms in the newborn include irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, tremor and lack of weight gain. Opioid withdrawal in infants is a life-threatening emergency and needs medical help right away.
    Upsides and benefits
    Morphine sulfateNorco
    • 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 opiod component (hydrocodone) 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 sulfateNorco
    • 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.
    • Everyone will get constipation - always stay hydrated and take stool softener or stimulant on days you're taking Norco 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 Norco, 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 sulfateNorco
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
    • 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. Starts working in 30 minutes and pain relief lasts 4 to 6 hours.
    • Can make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid activities need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
    • 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 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.
    • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
    Learn more
    More about Morphine sulfateSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about NorcoSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert