Compare Oxycodone vs. Percocet

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

Oxycontin
(oxycodone)

Percocet
(oxycodone / acetaminophen)

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 moderate to severe pain. Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) is the strongest prescription combination pain medicine for as needed pain relief, but make sure you don't take too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) to avoid liver problems or death.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.17Oxycodone
Reviews for Oxycodone
66%
of people (All ages) say Oxycodone is worth it
50%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
1241 reviews
Have you used Oxycontin (oxycodone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Percocet
70%
-4% worse vs. Oxycodone
49%
+1% better vs. Oxycodone
15%
-4% worse vs. Oxycodone
1399 reviews
Have you used Percocet (oxycodone / acetaminophen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
OxycodonePercocet
  • Constipation 16%
  • Nausea 12%
  • Drowsiness 19%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Itching 11%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Dry mouth 4%
  • Muscle weakness 6%
  • Sweating 3%
More Oxycodone side effects »

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

More about Percocet side effects »
How it works
OxycodonePercocet
Oxycontin (Oxycodone) is an opioid medicine (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception.Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) is a combination pain medicine. Oxycodone 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
OxycodonePercocet
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
OxycodonePercocet
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for
OxycodonePercocet
Risk factors for serious side effects
OxycodonePercocet
  • 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 »
  • Current liver disease
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines with acetaminophen
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
Detailed Percocet (oxycodone / acetaminophen) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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

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
OxycodonePercocet
No alcohol related info.
  • Avoid alcohol.
Food
OxycodonePercocet
  • 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
OxycodonePercocet
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • The acetaminophen component in Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) can hurt your liver. Using more than 4000 mg of the acetaminophen (or 12 tablets of Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen) can cause serious harm to your liver that may make you need a liver transplant and can be life-threatening. Don't take more than your doctor prescribes, and avoid other medicines that have acetaminophen when using Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen).
  • Don't take more than instructed to prevent liver damage.
Pain
OxycodonePercocet
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pain relief lasts 4-6 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 opioid component (oxycodone) and non-opioid component (acetaminophen or Tylenol) that takes advantage of different modes of pain relieve in a single pill.
  • Generally considered stronger than Norco or other combination pain medicine for treating pain.
Sleep
OxycodonePercocet
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
  • Can help you fall asleep easier.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
Upsides and benefits
OxycodonePercocet
  • 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 (oxycodone) 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.
  • Generally considered stronger than Norco or other combination pain medicine for treating pain.
  • 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.
  • Lower rates of misuse compared to pure opioid medicines.
  • Can help you fall asleep easier.
Downsides and risks
OxycodonePercocet
  • 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 Percocet 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 Percocet, 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
OxycodonePercocet
  • 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).
  • Starts working in 30 minutes.
  • Works best if you take it as soon as you start feeling pain.
  • Pain relief lasts 4-6 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 possible, 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 OxycodoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Oxycontin (oxycodone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PercocetSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Percocet (oxycodone / acetaminophen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it