Compare Tramadol vs. Oxycodone

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

Ultram
(Tramadol)

Oxycontin
(Oxycodone)

Treats moderate to severe pain. Ultram (Tramadol) works well to treat severe pain and mood changes. Although it's a little weaker than other opioids, it can still be addictive.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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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.62Tramadol
Reviews for Ultram (Tramadol)
61%
of people (All ages) say Ultram (Tramadol) is worth it
40%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
642 reviews
Have you used Ultram (Tramadol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Oxycontin (Oxycodone)
66%
+5% better vs. Ultram (Tramadol)
50%
+10% better vs. Ultram (Tramadol)
19%
-3% worse vs. Ultram (Tramadol)
1241 reviews
Have you used Oxycontin (Oxycodone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
TramadolOxycodone
  • Nausea 15%
  • Dizziness (not vertigo) 13%
  • Constipation 13%
  • Headache 5%
  • Drowsiness 9%
  • Flushing 6%
  • Itching 8%
  • Sleep difficulty 5%
  • Vomiting 4%
  • Dry mouth 5%
More Tramadol 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
TramadolOxycodone
Ultram (Tramadol) is an atypical opioid pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it alters certain brain chemicals to lower pain perception and improve mood.Oxycontin (Oxycodone) is an opioid medicine (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception.
Type of medication
TramadolOxycodone
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
TramadolOxycodone
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
Used for
TramadolOxycodone
Risk factors for serious side effects
TramadolOxycodone
  • Higher dose
  • Using other medicines that can cause seizures
  • History of seizures
  • Alcoholism
  • Eating disorders
  • Brain infections
  • Suicidal or at risk
  • Taking other medications that affect serotonin
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • History of allergic reactions to codeine or other opioid pain relievers
  • Phenylalanine sensitivity
  • Stopping Ultram (Tramadol) suddenly
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    Detailed Ultram (Tramadol) 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
        TramadolOxycodone
        No alcohol related info.
        • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
        Food
        TramadolOxycodone
        • Take Ultram (Tramadol) with food to avoid an upset stomach.
        • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
        Kidneys and liver
        TramadolOxycodone
        • There are different doses for people who are older or who have liver or kidney disease, so work with your doctor to get the right dose.
        No kidneys and liver related info.
        Pain
        TramadolOxycodone
        • Relieves moderate to severe pain. It has been shown to work as well as other opioid pain medications.
        • It isn't used for short-term, as-needed 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
        TramadolOxycodone
        No sleep related info.
        • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
        Upsides and benefits
        TramadolOxycodone
        • Relieves moderate to severe pain. It has been shown to work as well as other opioid pain medications.
        • Compared to typical opioids, it provides unique pain relief and effects on your mood when taken regularly.
        • Has a lower chance of causing breathing problems compared to other typical opioids.
        • Doesn't cause as much constipation as other opioid pain medicines. Staying hydrated and taking laxatives can help treat this side effect.
        • 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
        TramadolOxycodone
        • Some people think it's weaker than other opioid pain medications. It can also cause more upset stomach.
        • Like other opioid pain relievers, Tramadol has a high risk of addiction, abuse, misuse, overdose, and death. It should only be used for severe pain that requires daily, around-the-clock treatment once alternative treatments haven't worked.
        • It isn't used for short-term, as-needed pain relief.
        • It's a controlled substance regulated by the federal government. This means that your use of Ultram (Tramadol) will be tracked to prevent potential prescription abuse.
        • To get Ultram (Tramadol) in the pharmacy, you'll need to bring in a paper prescription directly from your doctor.
        • 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
        TramadolOxycodone
        • Starts working in one hour and works best if you take it regularly.
        • Can make you dizzy or drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how this medicine affects you.
        • Take Ultram (Tramadol) with food to avoid an upset stomach.
        • There are different doses for people who are older or who have liver or kidney disease, so work with your doctor to get the right dose.
        • Swallow the extended-release tablets whole. They're designed to release the drug slowly and breaking, crushing, or chewing them could cause a serious overdose.
        • 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 TramadolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Ultram (Tramadol)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about OxycodoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Oxycontin (Oxycodone)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it