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Tylenol #3 Alternatives

(Acetaminophen / Codeine)

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Compare Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine) or used for similar purposes.

Tylenol #3
(Acetaminophen / Codeine)

Norco
(Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)

Percocet
(Oxycodone / Acetaminophen)

Ultram
(Tramadol)

Oxycontin
(Oxycodone)

Ms Contin
(Morphine Sulfate)

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.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 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.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.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
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4.987455197132617Acetaminophen with codeine
Reviews for Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
70%
of people say Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine) is worth it
41%
say it works well
9%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Norco (Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen)
67%
3% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
44%
+3% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
13%
4% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
Reviews for Percocet (Oxycodone / Acetaminophen)
69%
1% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
49%
+8% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
15%
6% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
Reviews for Ultram (Tramadol)
61%
9% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
39%
2% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
16%
7% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
Reviews for Oxycontin (Oxycodone)
66%
4% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
50%
+9% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
19%
10% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
Reviews for Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate)
55%
15% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
43%
+2% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
20%
11% vs. Tylenol #3 (Acetaminophen / Codeine)
Side effects
Acetaminophen with codeineNorcoPercocetTramadolOxycodoneMorphine sulfate

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

More about Acetaminophen with codeine side effects »

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

More about Norco side effects »

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

More about Percocet side effects »
  • Dizziness (not vertigo) 21%
  • Flushing 12%
  • Itching 11%
  • Dry mouth 10%
  • Dizziness 9%
  • Sleep difficulty 8%
  • Positional low blood pressure 3%
More Tramadol side effects »
  • 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
Acetaminophen with codeineNorcoPercocetTramadolOxycodoneMorphine sulfate
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.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.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.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.Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) is an opioid medicine that works in the brain to lower pain perception.
Type of medication
Acetaminophen with codeineNorcoPercocetTramadolOxycodoneMorphine sulfate
Pain reliever
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Opioid
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Opioid
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Opioid
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Pain reliever
Opioid
Prescription only
Available as
Acetaminophen with codeineNorcoPercocetTramadolOxycodoneMorphine sulfate
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
Used for (click to learn more)
Acetaminophen with codeineNorcoPercocetTramadolOxycodoneMorphine sulfate
Risk factors for serious side effects
Acetaminophen with codeineNorcoPercocetTramadolOxycodoneMorphine sulfate
Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.
Pregnancy category
Acetaminophen with codeineNorcoPercocetTramadolOxycodoneMorphine sulfate
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
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
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
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
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
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Avoid alcohol.
No specific alcohol-related info.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • Take Ultram (Tramadol) with food to avoid an upset stomach.
  • 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.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
  • 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 specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common.
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid activities need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • 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.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
Acetaminophen with codeineNorcoPercocetTramadolOxycodoneMorphine sulfate
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lower rates of misuse compared to pure opioid medicines.
  • Can help you fall asleep easier.
  • 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.
  • 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
Acetaminophen with codeineNorcoPercocetTramadolOxycodoneMorphine sulfate
  • Everyone will get constipation - always stay hydrated and take stool softener or stimulant on days you're taking Acetaminophen with codeine if you need.
  • 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.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • All opioid containing medicines have the risk of physical dependence and possibility of withdrawal when used long-term.
  • 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.
  • Everyone will get constipation - always stay hydrated and take stool softener or stimulant on days you're taking Norco if you need.
  • 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.
  • All opioid containing medicines have the risk of physical dependence and possibility of withdrawal when used long-term.
  • 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.
  • Everyone will get constipation - always stay hydrated and take stool softener or stimulant on days you're taking Percocet if you need.
  • 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.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • All opioid containing medicines have the risk of physical dependence and possibility of withdrawal when used long-term.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Doesn't work for as-needed or quick pain relief.
  • 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.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Acetaminophen with codeineNorcoPercocetTramadolOxycodoneMorphine sulfate
  • 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 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).
  • 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.
  • Use it for the shortest time and at the lowest dose possible, to lower your chance of becoming addicted.
  • 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.
  • Talk to your doctor if it doesn't work well enough to relieve 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Acetaminophen with codeineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about NorcoSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about PercocetSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about TramadolSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about OxycodoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about Morphine sulfateSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert