Compare Oxycodone vs. Morphine sulfate

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

Oxycontin
(Oxycodone)

Ms Contin
(Morphine Sulfate)

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 severe pain. Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) provides good long-term pain control without the need to take medicine frequently, but watch out for constipation.
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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 Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate)
55%
11% vs. Oxycontin (Oxycodone)
43%
7% vs. Oxycontin (Oxycodone)
20%
1% vs. Oxycontin (Oxycodone)
Side effects
OxycodoneMorphine sulfate
  • Drowsiness 19%
  • Constipation 16%
  • Nausea 12%
  • Itching 11%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Dry mouth 4%
  • Sweating 3%
More Oxycodone side effects »

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

More about Morphine sulfate side effects »
How it works
OxycodoneMorphine sulfate
Oxycontin (Oxycodone) is an opioid medicine (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception.Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) is an opioid medicine that works in the brain to lower pain perception.
Type of medication
OxycodoneMorphine sulfate
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Available as
OxycodoneMorphine sulfate
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
Used for (click to learn more)
OxycodoneMorphine sulfate
Risk factors for serious side effects
OxycodoneMorphine sulfate
  • 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 »
      • 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 »
      Pregnancy category
      OxycodoneMorphine sulfate
      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.
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      Food
      • 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
      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
      OxycodoneMorphine sulfate
      • 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.
      • 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.
      Downsides and risks
      OxycodoneMorphine sulfate
      • 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.
      • 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.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      OxycodoneMorphine sulfate
      • 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 OxycodoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about Morphine sulfateSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert