Norco and oxycodone are prescription painkillers that treat moderate to severe pain that ducked the efforts of other pain relievers. Both Norco and oxycodone are opium derivatives and are part and parcel of the ongoing and escalating opioid epidemic in the United States. These two drugs possess very similar characteristics, though a few aspects do set them apart.
People suffering from chronic pain, cancer, and other serious medical conditions can benefit from the powerful pain-relieving effects of Norco and oxycodone, but it is critical to be aware of their effects on the body and brain as well as their great potential for abuse, dependencies, and addictions.
At Laguna Shores Recovery, our Orange County drug rehab understands the cycle of addiction and how to combat it effectively. Here is our guide to norco vs oxycodone.
Norco is a prescription-strength medication containing two active ingredients; acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever that works by blocking the body’s ability to produce certain inflammation-causing chemicals. Hydrocodone is an opioid that binds itself to receptors in the brain and spinal cord that regulate pain signals.
What are the Side Effects of Norco?
Side effects of Norco medication can vary from person to person. Possible side effects of taking Norco are:
- Constipation. Oxycodone can slow down bowel movement, making it harder to pass stools.
- Nausea and vomiting. Oxycodone can make you feel sick or throw up, especially when you first start taking it or when your dosage changes.
- Drowsiness and dizziness. Oxycodone can increase feelings of sleepiness or dizziness, which affects your ability to perform tasks that require alertness.
- Pruritus. Oxycodone can cause severe or mild itching and possibly rashes.
- Headache. Oxycodone (ironically) can cause mild or severe headaches.
- Dry mouth. Oxycodone can reduce the saliva levels in your mouth, making it dry and uncomfortable.
- Sweating. Oxycodone can make you sweat more than usual, which can make you feel hot and uncomfortable, and trigger dehydration.
- Asthenia. Oxycodone can make you feel weak and tired, which can affect your daily activities and energy levels.
Which Drugs Interact With Norco?
Norco can also interact with many drugs and substances, which increase the risk of overdose, and side effects, or reduce its effectiveness. Some drugs that interact with Norco are.
- Alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant that can enhance the sedative and “downer” effects of Norco, leading to bad decision-making, impaired coordination, and breathing struggles.
- Other opioids. Other opioids, including illegal drugs like heroin, can increase the risk of overdose, respiratory depression, coma, or death when combined with Norco.
- Anxiety medications. Medications such as lorazepam or alprazolam belong to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines and mixed with Norcocause cause severe drowsiness, confusion, and breathing problems.
- Muscle relaxants. Carisoprodol and other muscle relaxants can combine with Norco’s chemical effects and lead to extreme sedation, light-headedness, and difficulties drawing breath.
- Other central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Sleeping pills, antihistamines, or tranquilizers can interact with Norco and cause effects similar to alcohol and benzodiazepines.
- Medications affecting Norco metabolism. Some medications can affect the liver’s ability to break down Norco, leading to a Norco build-up and backlog in the body.
- MAOIs. MAOIs are a type of antidepressant that can combine with Norco and cause a potentially fatal condition called serotonin syndrome, where there is an overload of serotonin in the brain.
- Medications that increase serotonin. Some medications increase the brain’s serotonin levels and combine with Norco to cause serotonin syndrome.
- Diuretics. Diuretics mix with Norcoand eliminate it from the body so quickly that its effectiveness is reduced
- Anticholinergic drugs. These drugs interact with Norco to cause severe constipation and paralytic ileus, a condition where the intestines stop working altogether.
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a synthetic but more potent drug that is similar to morphine and belongs to a class of drugs called opioids. Oxycodone works by adhering to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, inducing a euphoric state while reducing sensations of pain.
What are the Side Effects of Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a type of painkiller that belongs to the opioid group of drugs. It can help relieve severe pain that is not controlled by other medicines, but it can also cause some unwanted effects. Some of the common side effects of oxycodone are1234.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Drowsiness and dizziness
- Dry mouth
Which Drugs Interact With Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a powerful painkiller and can react with other medications to produce, mostly negative, side effects. Some drugs that interact with oxycodone are.
- Pain medications. Certain pain medications, such as pentazocine, can cause withdrawal symptoms and reduce the effect of oxycodone while other pain medications, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin, can increase oxycodone’s effects, but at the cost of increased risk of liver damage, bleeding, or stomach ulcers.
- Other opioids. Heroin and other opioids combined with oxycodone lead to an increased risk of overdose, coma, or death.
- Alcohol. Alcohol enhances the sedative and depressant effects of oxycodone, leading to impaired judgment, poor coordination, and breathing difficulties.
- Anxiety medications. Anxiety medications are benzodiazepines and cause drowsiness, confusion, and breathing difficulties when mixed with oxycodone.
- Muscle relaxants. Muscle relaxants, such as carisoprodol, can cause excessive sedation, dizziness, and breathing difficulties when mixed with oxycodone.
- Other (CNS) depressants. CNS depressants interact with oxycodone and cause similar effects to alcohol and benzodiazepines.
- Medications that affect oxycodone metabolism. Some medications can block enzymes in the liver that metabolize oxycodone, resulting in higher levels of oxycodone in the body.
- Medications that increase serotonin. Various medications can increase serotonin levels in the brain using different mechanisms from MAOIs, and interact with oxycodone to cause serotonin syndrome.
- Diuretics. Diuretics interact with oxycodone and reduce its effect by increasing its elimination rate from the body.
- Anticholinergic drugs. These drugs interact with oxycodone to cause constipation and paralytic ileus.
Are Oxycodone and Norco the Same Thing?
Nope. Both oxycodone and Norco are prescription painkillers containing an opioid and acetaminophen, but they have different active ingredients. Oxycodone is the opioid contained in Percocet, while Norco contains hydrocodone as the opioid component. Oxycodone is considered the stronger painkiller of the two.
Though oxycodone and hydrocodone are both opioid-derived painkillers, there are some differences between them, such as.
- Oxycodone is derived from the opioid alkaloid thebaine while hydrocodone is derived from a different opium alkaloid, codeine.
- Oxycodone, milligram for milligram, is approximately 50% stronger than hydrocodone This means that lower doses of oxycodone can achieve the same level of pain relief as higher doses of hydrocodone.
- Oxycodone only has pain-relieving effects, while hydrocodone is also an effective cough suppressant.
- Oxycodone poses a higher risk for potential for addiction and abuse.
- Both oxycodone and hydrocodone are available in different forms and combinations. Oxycodone can be taken alone or in combination with other pain relievers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen. Hydrocodone can be combined with the same drugs, as well as with antihistamines or decongestants.
Opioids are powerful drugs that are excellent at relieving severe pain but also have a high potential for abuse, dependency, and addiction. Were one to become addicted to either of these medications, there are treatments available for recovery and rehabilitation.
One of the most effective treatments for Oxycodone or Naro is medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which incorporates FDA-approved medications such as buprenorphine or methadone to reduce cravings, prevent withdrawal, and restore normal functioning in people with opioid use disorder (OUD). These medications act on the same receptors in the brain as opioids, but without releasing the euphoric effect or risk of overdose. These medications are taken only under strict medical supervision and are typically combined with behavioral therapies and support services to increase their effectiveness. Another medication, naltrexone, blocks the effects of opioids and reduces their appeal and comes in the form of a pill or as a monthly injection.
People addicted to Narco or oxycodone will benefit from other treatment forms such as counseling, group therapy, peer support, relapse prevention, family therapy, education, and aftercare. These treatments are tantamount to helping people address the root causes of their addiction, cope with triggers and stress, develop healthy coping skills, rebuild relationships, and maintain recovery. Addiction treatment is a personalized affair where each person will follow a bespoke and unique path to recovery.
Substance use disorders and addictions to prescription painkillers are an ever-present reality in today’s world. Such medications should only be used for short periods, and the doses should be followed religiously. We at Laguna Shores Recovery recognize that despite your greatest efforts, it can be easy to succumb to opioids’ euphoric and relaxing effects.
Our competent staff at our facility located in Orange County, California, are ready to help you along the road to recovery. We offer different addiction therapy services and recovery programs that will be tailor-made to suit your particular needs and requirements. We spare no expense to ensure that your treatment is as comfortable, supported, and streamlined as possible.
Contact us today to schedule a facility tour, speak with our experts about your particular needs, or ask any questions you have concerning our practices and care.