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.

Drug Schedule

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.

Approved Uses

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
  • sedation
  • euphoria
  • drowsiness
  • low blood pressure
  • constipation

Serious Side Effects

In addition to common side effects, these drugs may create similar serious side effects that may include:

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
  • alcohol
  • antihistamines
  • 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.

For information on our substance abuse treatment center in Ohio, please contact Ohio Recovery Center today.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Understanding Drug Overdoses and Death
  2. Food and Drug Administration — Percocet
  3. Food and Drug Administration — Vicodin
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse — What are Prescription Opioids?
  5. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Hydrocodone Combination Products
  6. National Library of Medicine: Medline Plus — Oxycodone

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: December 19, 2022

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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