Compare Morphine Sulfate vs. Oxycodone

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

Ms Contin
(morphine sulfate)

Oxycontin
(oxycodone)

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 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.
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 Oxycodone
66%
-11% worse vs. Morphine Sulfate
50%
-7% worse vs. Morphine Sulfate
19%
-1% worse vs. Morphine Sulfate
1241 reviews
Have you used Oxycontin (oxycodone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Morphine SulfateOxycodone

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

More about Morphine Sulfate 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
Morphine SulfateOxycodone
Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) is an opioid 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
Morphine SulfateOxycodone
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Morphine SulfateOxycodone
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
Used for
Morphine SulfateOxycodone
Risk factors for serious side effects
Morphine SulfateOxycodone
  • 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 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.

Food
Morphine SulfateOxycodone
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
Pain
Morphine SulfateOxycodone
  • Good for chronic pain that requires around-the-clock relief.
  • Doesn't work for as-needed or quick pain relief.
  • 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
Morphine SulfateOxycodone
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
Upsides and benefits
Morphine SulfateOxycodone
  • 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.
  • 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
Morphine SulfateOxycodone
  • 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. 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
Morphine SulfateOxycodone
  • 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.
  • 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 Morphine SulfateSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ms Contin (morphine sulfate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about OxycodoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Oxycontin (oxycodone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it