Compare fentanyl vs. Norco

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

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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.

4.2/ 5 average rating with 84 reviewsforfentanyl
Treats moderate to moderately severe pain.

Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) is a good option to treat pain when over-the-counter medicines haven't worked, but it can lead to dependence and tolerance if taken for a long time.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 1194 reviewsforNorco
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) has two medicines to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. The combination is more effective than either drug alone.
  • Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) is more potent than many over-the-counter options.
  • You can take this with or without food.
  • This medicine also comes as a liquid if you have trouble swallowing.
  • Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) is available as a generic.
Downsides
  • Duragesic (fentanyl) isn't for everyone. It's a really strong pain medication and taking too much can be deadly.
  • The patch doesn't provide quick pain relief.
  • Often causes drowsiness and constipation. If taking long-term, use a stool softener.
  • Shouldn't be used by people with breathing problems (like asthma and COPD), a slow heart rate, or are elderly.
  • Constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea can commonly occur.
  • Since Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) is a controlled medication, it cannot be refilled or transferred to another pharmacy.
  • Long-term use can cause dependence and tolerance.
  • Too much Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) can damage the liver.
  • Not effective in treating all kinds of pain.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Patch
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Mouth spray
  • Lozenge
  • Buccal tablet
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
84 reviews so far
79%
saidit'sworth it
70%
saiditworked well
14%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Duragesic (fentanyl)?

Leave a review
1194 reviews so far
67%
saidit'sworth it
44%
saiditworked well
13%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen)?

Leave a review
Side effects
34possible side effects
  • Vomiting
    34%
  • Nausea
    24%
  • Dizziness
    17%
  • Drowsiness
    17%
  • Headache
    16%
  • Constipation
    13%
  • Diarrhea
    13%
  • Itchy skin
    13%
  • Weakness
    9%
  • Abdominal pain
    9%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    6%
  • Rash
    6%
  • Swelling in the limbs
    5%
  • Confusion
    4%
  • Difficulty breathing
    4%
  • Upper abdominal pain
    4%
  • Loss of appetite
    4%
  • Anxiety
    4%
  • Tremor
    3%
  • Hypersensitivity
    3%
  • Urinary retention
    3%
  • Sweating
    3%
  • Accidental injury
    2%
  • Abnormal gait
    2%
  • Dry mouth
    2%
  • Nervousness
    2%
  • Dilation of blood vessels
    2%
  • Abnormal vision
    2%
  • Burning/pricking sensation
    2%
  • Confusional state
    2%
  • Fatigue
    2%
  • Muscle spasms
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Hallucination
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Slowed breathing (respiratory depression)
    • Taking other medicines that interact with Duragesic (fentanyl)
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Taking benzodiazepines, other opioids, and/or alcohol
    • Asthma or COPD
  • Death from overdose
    • Children age 18 and younger
  • Death in newborn babies from opioid withdrawal
    • Long-term use of Duragesic (fentanyl) during pregnancy
  • Tolerance, dependence, and addiction
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Age 65 or greater
  • Medication errors
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Liver failure
    • Current liver disease
    • Taking Norco (hydrocodone / acetaminophen) with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines containing acetaminophen
  • Slowed breathing
    • Age 65 or greater
    • High dosages
    • History of lung problems
    • Taking other painkillers or sedatives
  • Severe allergic reactions
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of substance abuse
    • Younger age
  • Tolerance, dependence, and addiction
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse
    • Younger age
  • Constipation
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Long-term use of opioids
    • Taking drugs that cause constipation
  • Confusion and drowsiness
    • Drinking alcohol
    • Age 65 years or older
See more detailed risks and warnings