Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Pain

CodeineAlternatives

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Pain
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Compare Codeine to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Codeine or used for similar purposes.

codeine

Duragesic
(fentanyl)

Dilaudid
(hydromorphone)

Oxycontin
(oxycodone)

Opana
(oxymorphone)

Treats mild to moderate pain. Codeine works well for mild to moderate pain, but it may not be an great option for all people.Treats severe pain. Duragesic (Fentanyl) is an excellent pain reliever, but should only be used by people who've tried other opioid pain medications and still need more relief.Treats moderate to severe pain. Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is a fast-acting, potent medication that treats problems needing strong pain relief.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.Coming soon.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
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Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Codeine?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Fentanyl
79%
-29% worse vs. Codeine
70%
+13% better vs. Codeine
14%
-36% worse vs. Codeine
Have you used Duragesic (fentanyl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Dilaudid
78%
-28% worse vs. Codeine
65%
+18% better vs. Codeine
10%
-40% worse vs. Codeine
Have you used Dilaudid (hydromorphone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Oxycodone
66%
-16% worse vs. Codeine
50%
+33% better vs. Codeine
19%
-31% worse vs. Codeine
1241 reviews
Have you used Oxycontin (oxycodone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Opana (oxymorphone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana

We haven’t found good data for Codeine side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Codeine »
  • Nausea 27%
  • Fatigue 19%
  • Vomiting 17%
  • Abdominal pain 15%
  • Dyspnea 15%
  • Headache 14%
  • Dehydration 13%
  • Somnolence 13%
  • Dizziness 13%
  • Insomnia 3%
More Fentanyl side effects »
  • Constipation 15%
  • Nausea 12%
  • Somnolence 9%
  • Headache 8%
  • Vomiting 2%
  • Arthralgia 4%
  • Pruritus 5%
  • Insomnia 1%
  • Asthenia/fatigue 12%
  • Dizziness 11%
More Dilaudid side effects »
  • Constipation 16%
  • Nausea 12%
  • Somnolence 19%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Pruritus 11%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Dry Mouth 4%
  • Asthenia 6%
  • Sweating 3%
More Oxycodone side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Opana side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Opana »
How it works
CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana
Codeine is an opiate agonist. It blocks pain receptors in the brain.Duragesic (Fentanyl) is an opioid (narcotic) medicine that works in the brain to lower pain perception.Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is an opioid medicine (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception.Oxycontin (Oxycodone) is an opioid medicine (similar to morphine) that works in the brain to lower pain perception.Coming soon.
Type of medication
CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana
Prescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Patch
  • Patch extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Mouth spray
  • Lozenge
  • Buccal tablet
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana
  • Anesthesia Adjunct Anxiety
Risk factors for serious side effects
CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana
  • Age 17 years or younger
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
Detailed Codeine 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
Detailed Duragesic (fentanyl) 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
Detailed Dilaudid (hydromorphone) 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
Detailed Oxycontin (oxycodone) risks & warnings »
    Coming soon.
    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 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 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.

    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.

    Interactions
    CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana
    • There are many drug interactions with Codeine, such as antidepressants. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new medicine or making any changes.
    No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.
    Alcohol
    CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana
    No alcohol related info.
    • Never drink alcohol when using Duragesic (Fentanyl).
    • Never use alcohol when taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone).
    No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.
    Food
    CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana
    • Take with food or milk to help prevent upset stomach.
    No food related info.No food related info.
    • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
    No food related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana
    • Codeine is activated in the body by enzymes in the liver. If you're taking other medications or have liver abnormalities, Codeine can be activated too fast and cause increased side effects.
    • Codeine is changed to an active form in the body by a liver enzyme. About 10% of people don't have this enzyme and don't get enough pain relief.
    No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.
    Pain
    CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana
    • Other pain medications are more potent than Codeine.
    • For pain, the patch takes 12 hours to start working and all other forms start working in 30 minutes or less.
    • Duragesic (Fentanyl) isn't for everyone. It's a really strong pain medication and taking too much can be deadly.
    • Works well to relieve moderate to severe pain.
    • 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.
    No pain related info.
    Sleep
    CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana
    • Can cause constipation, breathing problems, nausea, drowsiness, and dizziness. Don't drink alcohol with Codeine.
    • It can cause drowsiness or sleepiness.
    • Often causes drowsiness and constipation. If using it long-term, use a stool softener.
    • Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) will cause drowsiness, so be really careful if you're taking other meds that also cause drowsiness, such as antidepressives, antianxiety meds, or muscle relaxants.
    • Dizziness and drowsiness are common when taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone), but your body may adjust over time.
    • Dizziness and drowsiness is common. While taking this, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
    No sleep related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana
    • Effective option for relieving mild to moderate pain that wasn't controlled by non-opioid medications.
    • Available as a generic in both tablets and oral solution.
    • Can be used for the short-term relief of a dry cough.
    • It's used for people who have tried other opioid medications, but still need stronger pain relief.
    • Duragesic (Fentanyl) is stronger than morphine, works quickly, and doesn't cause as many stomach problems.
    • It's available in many dosage forms, including a patch, injection, film, nasal spray, and lollipop.
    • The Duragesic (Fentanyl) patch provides long-term pain relief and lowers the number of times you need to take pain medications each day.
    • Works well to relieve moderate to severe pain.
    • Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is stronger than morphine and works quicker than other pain medications.
    • It doesn't cause as many side effects, like nausea and rashes, as morphine does.
    • It's available as fast-acting tablets, extended-release tablets, and as a liquid.
    • 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.
    Coming soon
    Downsides and risks
    CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana
    • Codeine is changed to an active form in the body by a liver enzyme. About 10% of people don't have this enzyme and don't get enough pain relief.
    • There are many drug interactions with Codeine, such as antidepressants. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new medicine or making any changes.
    • Other pain medications are more potent than Codeine.
    • It's possible to build a tolerance and become dependent on Codeine.
    • Can cause constipation, so you'll need to drink plenty of water or take a stool softener while on it.
    • Duragesic (Fentanyl) isn't for everyone. It's a really strong pain medication and taking too much can be deadly.
    • It doesn't provide quick pain relief.
    • Often causes drowsiness and constipation. If using it long-term, use a stool softener.
    • Like all opioids, don't use when pregnant, since the baby can become dependent on it and have withdrawal symptoms after birth.
    • Shouldn't be used for people with breathing problems (like asthma and COPD), a slow heart rate, or in the elderly.
    • If using the patch, you won't be able to get the medicine out of your body quickly in case of an overdose.
    • People with breathing problems like asthma and COPD need to be monitored very closely if taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone).
    • Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) isn't usually used for elderly or frail patients.
    • Dizziness and drowsiness are common when taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone), but your body may adjust over time.
    • Everyone tends to get constipation while on this, so you'll need to stay hydrated and may need to take a stool softener medication.
    • Long-term use will likely cause physical dependence.
    • Must be weaned slowly off the medicine after using it longer than 2 weeks.
    • 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.
    Coming soon
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    CodeineFentanylDilaudidOxycodoneOpana
    • Takes about 30 to 60 minutes to start working and can last about 4 to 6 hours.
    • Can cause constipation, breathing problems, nausea, drowsiness, and dizziness. Don't drink alcohol with Codeine.
    • Take with food or milk to help prevent upset stomach.
    • It can cause drowsiness or sleepiness.
    • Codeine is activated in the body by enzymes in the liver. If you're taking other medications or have liver abnormalities, Codeine can be activated too fast and cause increased side effects.
    • Duragesic (Fentanyl) should only be used for people whose pain is not controlled by other opioid medications for at least one week.
    • For pain, the patch takes 12 hours to start working and all other forms start working in 30 minutes or less.
    • If using the patch, keep it away from heat sources like heating pads, or else it'll cause the medication to be unsafely released into your skin.
    • Never stop taking Duragesic (Fentanyl) suddenly or else you'll have withdrawal effects. To stop taking it, you'll need to lower your dose slowly.
    • Never drink alcohol when using Duragesic (Fentanyl).
    • Just one dose can be harmful or fatal to children, so store and dispose of this medication in a way that children can't get to it.
    • Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is usually taken for a short time. If you take it longer than 2 weeks, you'll need to lower your dose slowly to get off it since stopping suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms.
    • Usually works within 30 minutes.
    • Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) will cause drowsiness, so be really careful if you're taking other meds that also cause drowsiness, such as antidepressives, antianxiety meds, or muscle relaxants.
    • Never use alcohol when taking Dilaudid (Hydromorphone).
    • It's very important to keep Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) away from children, since it can stop them from breathing.
    • 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.
    Coming soon
    Learn more
    More about CodeineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Codeine?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about FentanylSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Duragesic (fentanyl)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about DilaudidSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Dilaudid (hydromorphone)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about OxycodoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Oxycontin (oxycodone)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about OpanaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Opana (oxymorphone)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it