Compare Oxycodone vs. Acetaminophen with codeine

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

Oxycontin
(Oxycodone)

Tylenol #3
(Acetaminophen / Codeine)

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.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
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.1668022782750205Oxycodone
Reviews for Oxycontin (Oxycodone)
66%
of people say Oxycontin (Oxycodone) is worth it
50%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
70%
+4% vs. Oxycontin (Oxycodone)
41%
9% vs. Oxycontin (Oxycodone)
9%
+10% vs. Oxycontin (Oxycodone)
Side effects
OxycodoneAcetaminophen with codeine
  • Drowsiness 19%
  • Constipation 16%
  • Nausea 12%
  • Itching 11%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Dry mouth 4%
  • Sweating 3%
More Oxycodone 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
OxycodoneAcetaminophen with codeine
Oxycontin (Oxycodone) is an opioid medicine (similar to morphine) 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
OxycodoneAcetaminophen with codeine
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Opioid
Prescription only
Available as
OxycodoneAcetaminophen with codeine
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
OxycodoneAcetaminophen with codeine
Risk factors for serious side effects
OxycodoneAcetaminophen 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 Oxycontin (Oxycodone) risks & warnings »
      Coming soon.
      Pregnancy category
      OxycodoneAcetaminophen with codeine
      BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

      Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

      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
      • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
      • 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. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
      • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
      • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
      • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      OxycodoneAcetaminophen with codeine
      • 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.
      • 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
      OxycodoneAcetaminophen with codeine
      • 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.
      • 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
      OxycodoneAcetaminophen 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.
      • 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.
      • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
      • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
      • 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.
      • 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 possible, and at the lowest dose possible, to lower your chance of becoming addicted.
      • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
      • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
      • 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 OxycodoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about Acetaminophen with codeineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert