Percocet Vs. Vicodin | Similarities & Differences
The primary difference between Percocet and Vicodin is the opioid ingredient. While both drugs contain acetaminophen, Percocet is made of oxycodone and Vicodin is made of hydrocodone.
The combination of oxycodone/acetaminophen (brand name Percocet) and the combination of hydrocodone/acetaminophen (brand name Vicodin) are prescription drugs used to help those suffering from moderate to severe pain.
While these medications have many similarities, they also have a number of differences.
Similarities Between Percocet & Vicodin
There are various similarities between these two opioid medications.
These prescription opioids are powerful pain medications considered to be controlled substances.
According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Vicodin and Percocet belong to Schedule II, meaning they have a high potential for abuse that can lead to physical or psychological dependence.
When it comes to Vicodin vs Percocet, both are used to provide pain relief. These painkillers may be needed after surgery, to relieve pain, and can be prescribed to you by your prescribing healthcare provider.
Before taking Vicodin or Percocet, notify your doctor of any medical conditions you suffer from. In addition to this, notify your healthcare representative of other medications you currently take.
How They Work
To assist with pain management, Vicodin and Percocet affect the central nervous system (CNS). This takes place when the prescription medications bind to the opioid receptors of the body, resulting in blocked pain signals within the body.
Depending on the severity of pain, a person may be prescribed either of these drugs for short-term pain or chronic pain. In addition to pain relief from chronic and acute pain, these prescription opioids may create various side effects.
Common Side Effects
Another similarity these opioids have in common include some of the side effects they may cause. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), common side effects of Vicodin and Percocet may include:
- dry mouth
- low blood pressure
Serious Side Effects
In addition to common side effects, these drugs may create similar serious side effects that may include:
- mood changes
- liver damage
- withdrawal symptoms
- mental health issues such as anxiety or depression
- breathing problems
Similar Substances To Avoid
Ask for medical advice from your doctor before taking either drug. Vicodin and Percocet are chemically similar, which means you may need to avoid certain drugs. Some of the substances to avoid while taking Percocet or Vicodin include:
- muscle relaxants
- other pain relievers
- certain over-the-counter medications
- other opioids such as codeine, fentanyl, or tramadol
- antidepressants such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- benzodiazepines such as Ativan or Klonopin
- other drugs containing acetaminophen tablets such as Norco
Differences Between Percocet & Vicodin
The primary difference between these opioid medications is the fact that Percocet combines acetaminophen and oxycodone while Vicodin includes acetaminophen and hydrocodone.
Strength & Dosage
Another difference in the medications include the available strength of the drugs. For instance, Vicodin combines 300 mg of acetaminophen with 5 mg, 7.5 mg, or 10 mg of hydrocodone.
When it comes to Percocet, however, 325 mg of acetaminophen is used per dose. Strength options include 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, and 10 mg of oxycodone.
Additionally, the 7.5 mg option may be combined with 500 mg of acetaminophen and 10 mg can be joined with 600 mg of acetaminophen instead.
Taking more of these medications than prescribed can be life-threatening to your health and is considered drug abuse, which may require treatment.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Understanding Drug Overdoses and Death https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html
- Food and Drug Administration — Percocet https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/040330s052lbl.pdf
- Food and Drug Administration — Vicodin https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2006/088058s027lbl.pdf
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — What are Prescription Opioids? https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-opioids
- National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Hydrocodone Combination Products https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a601006.html
- National Library of Medicine: Medline Plus — Oxycodone https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682132.html