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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Coupons for Morphine Sulfate
Best available price for 120 (15mg) tablets of morphine
Coupons for Norco
Best available price for 60 (5mg/325mg) tablets of norco
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.79Morphine Sulfate
Reviews for Morphine Sulfate
55%
of people (All ages) say 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 Norco
67%
-12% worse vs. Morphine Sulfate
44%
-1% worse vs. Morphine Sulfate
13%
-7% worse vs. Morphine Sulfate
1194 reviews
Have you used Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
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
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Morphine SulfateNorco
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for
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
Detailed Ms Contin (morphine sulfate) risks & warnings »
  • Current liver disease
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines with acetaminophen
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
Detailed Norco (hydrocodone / 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
Morphine SulfateNorco
No alcohol related info.
  • Avoid alcohol.
Food
Morphine SulfateNorco
  • 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 SulfateNorco
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • The acetaminophen component in Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) can hurt your liver. Using more than 4000 mg of the acetaminophen (or 12 tablets of Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen) can cause serious harm to your liver. You may develop life-threatening liver problems that need a liver transplant. Don't take more than your doctor prescribes, and avoid other medicines that have acetaminophen when using Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen).
  • Don't take more than instructed to prevent liver damage.
Pain
Morphine SulfateNorco
  • Good for chronic pain that requires around-the-clock relief.
  • Doesn't work for as-needed or quick pain relief.
  • 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.
  • Talk to your doctor if it doesn't work well enough to relieve your pain, or if the side effects are really bad.
  • 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.
Sleep
Morphine SulfateNorco
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • Can help you fall asleep easier.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common.
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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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 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 Morphine SulfateSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ms Contin (morphine sulfate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about NorcoSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it