Oxycodone vs Hydrocodone: Which Medication Best Suits Your Needs?

Oxycodone vs Hydrocodone: Which Medication Best Suits Your Needs?
Feb 2021

The two best pain relievers on the market at oxycodone and hydrocodone. Each has their own benefits, but individuals have developed their own preferences when it comes to dosages. The oxycodone vs hydrocodone debate runs still deep, but there may finally be a clear winner. If you’re on the fence about either of these pain relievers, the results may be surprising. 


Oxycodone is an oral drug prescribed to stop severe or moderate pain. As an opioid, it changes how the brain responds to pain. This temporary relief has the additional effect of lowering stress and anxiety. Oxycodone can be taken without food, and doesn’t produce any ill side effects when taken this way. It makes oxycodone useful for individuals that take a dosage daily, but at different times of the day. It is still recommended to stick to a normal diet while on oxycodone so that your body has the energy to function normally. 

If there are any ill side effects when taking the drug, try it with food. Doctors also recommend lying down for a bit the first few times you take oxycodone. This extra step goes away with time as your body gets used to the dosages. 


Just like oxycodone, hydrocodone is an oral medication used to treat moderate and severe pain. Hydrocodone is unique since it uses both opioid and non-opioid addition for additional effects. The full name hydrocodone-acetaminophen makes reference to its hybrid nature. When taking orally, hydrocodone-acetaminophen reduces pain, fever, stress and anxiety. 

You don’t need food to take the drug, but it is recommended for the first week.  Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen has both a pill and a liquid form. Children can take the medicine, but the amount given is based on weight. 

Which One Is Better?

Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen is the more flexible of the two opioids. It is safe for children and adults to take it, and is naturally less addictive than normal opioids. It is a bit of a jack of all trades for pain, but there are some drawbacks when it comes to strength.

That is where oxycodone comes in, and becomes the best choice for pure pain relief. You could even make the argument that oxycodone is too strong. The right dosages are much more important for oxycodone than it is for hydrocodone-acetaminophen. 

Side effects for both are similar, but oxycodone has the benefit of not needing food for its dosages. Individuals will have varying effects based on their own personal health, but consistency seems to be better with oxycodone. 

For the best pain relief, oxycodone is the best choice. If you better compatibility with other medications, then hydrocodone-acetaminophen is the correct option. In the end they are both opioids, so use them responsibly. 

Wrap Up

Blocking your body’s pain signals allows you to lead a normal life. Even if it’s temporary, that nullification of pain is necessary to get through a day. Oxycodone and hydrocodone are good choices, so you can’t go wrong with either one. Consult with your doctor to start the first step of a pain-free journey.