Compare Norco vs. Oxycodone

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

Norco
(hydrocodone / acetaminophen)

Oxycontin
(oxycodone)

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.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.
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Prices and coupon for 60 (5mg/325mg) tablets of hydrocodone / acetaminophen
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Prices and coupon for 120 (5mg) tablets of oxycodone
Reviews & ratings
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5.03Norco
Reviews for Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen)
67%
of people (All ages) say Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) is worth it
44%
say it works well
13%
say it's a big hassle
1194 reviews
Have you used Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Oxycontin (oxycodone)
66%
-1% worse vs. Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen)
50%
+6% better vs. Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen)
19%
-6% worse vs. Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen)
1241 reviews
Have you used Oxycontin (oxycodone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NorcoOxycodone

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

More about Norco 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
NorcoOxycodone
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.Oxycontin (Oxycodone) is an opioid medicine (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception.
Type of medication
NorcoOxycodone
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
NorcoOxycodone
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
Used for
NorcoOxycodone
Risk factors for serious side effects
NorcoOxycodone
  • 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 »
    • 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 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.

        Alcohol
        NorcoOxycodone
        • Avoid alcohol.
        • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
        Food
        NorcoOxycodone
        • 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
        NorcoOxycodone
        • Don't take more than instructed to prevent liver damage.
        • 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).
        No kidneys and liver related info.
        Pain
        NorcoOxycodone
        • 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.
        • 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.
        • 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
        NorcoOxycodone
        • Can help you fall asleep easier.
        • Dizziness and drowsiness is common.
        • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
        Upsides and benefits
        NorcoOxycodone
        • 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.
        • 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
        NorcoOxycodone
        • 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.
        • 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
        NorcoOxycodone
        • 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.
        • 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 NorcoSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about OxycodoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Oxycontin (oxycodone)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it