Compare Acetaminophen with codeine vs. oxycodone

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

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Treats mild to moderate pain.

Acetaminophen with codeine (acetaminophen / codeine) is a good option to treat pain when over-the-counter medicines aren't enough, but don't take too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) since it can hurt your liver.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 581 reviewsforAcetaminophen with codeine
Treats moderate to severe pain.

Oxycontin (oxycodone) treats moderate to severe pain, but can be habit-forming, especially if used long-term.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 1241 reviewsforoxycodone
Upsides
  • Combination pain medicine with an opioid component (codeine) and non-opioid component (acetaminophen or Tylenol) that takes advantage of different modes of pain relief in a single pill.
  • Provides quick relief for mild to moderate pain.
  • Good for as-needed pain and control.
  • Generally well tolerated, especially if taken with food to lower risk of stomach upset.
  • Lower rates of misuse compared to pure opioid medicines.
  • Oxycontin (oxycodone) is available in a tamper-resistant form to lessen the risk of abuse.
  • Liquid form is available if you have trouble swallowing.
  • Available in a generic version.
  • The extended-release pill provides around-the-clock pain relief with convenient once or twice daily dosing.
Downsides
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • Many people get constipated taking Acetaminophen with codeine (acetaminophen / codeine).
  • All opioid containing medicines have the risk of addiction and withdrawal when used long-term.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) has a high risk of liver failure and death if you take more than the maximum daily dose. Be very careful since many over-the-counter medicines also have acetaminophen.
  • Constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea commonly occur.
  • Long-term use can cause dependence and tolerance.
  • Not effective in treating all kinds of pain.
  • It’s not safe to start taking extended-release pills if you've never taken an opioid medicine before.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended-release pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
581 reviews so far
69%
saidit'sworth it
41%
saiditworked well
9%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Acetaminophen with codeine (acetaminophen / codeine)?

Leave a review
1241 reviews so far
66%
saidit'sworth it
50%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Oxycontin (oxycodone)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Acetaminophen with codeine (acetaminophen / codeine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
10possible side effects
  • Constipation
    23%
  • Nausea
    23%
  • Sleepiness
    23%
  • Dizziness
    13%
  • Itchiness
    13%
  • Vomiting
    12%
  • Headache
    7%
  • Dry mouth
    6%
  • Weakness
    6%
  • Sweating
    5%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Liver failure and death
    • Alcohol use
    • Taking over-the-counter medicines with acetaminophen
    • History of liver disease
  • High risk to children
  • Use with other CNS depressants
    • Use with alcohol
    • Use with benzodiazepines
    • Use with other opiates
  • Severe allergic reaction
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Slowed breathing
    • Age 65 or greater
    • High dosages
    • After dose change
    • History of lung problems
    • Taking other painkillers or sedatives
  • Harm to newborn babies
    • Long-term use during pregnancy
  • Tolerance, dependence, and addiction
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse
    • Younger age
  • Interactions with other medicines
    • Taking medicines that also cause sleepiness or slowed breathing
  • Confusion and drowsiness
    • Age 65 or greater
    • High dosages
    • Taking other painkillers or sedatives
  • Death from overdose
    • Taking alcohol, other opioids, or benzodiazepines
    • Children age 18 and younger
See more detailed risks and warnings