Compare fentanyl vs. oxycodone

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

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Duragesic (fentanyl)

Prescription only

Oxycontin (oxycodone)

Prescription only
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 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • Patch
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Mouth spray
  • Lozenge
  • Buccal tablet
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Extended-release 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
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
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
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
  • 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
  • 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