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Vicodin vs. Percocet

Percocet (acetaminophen and oxycodone) is a medication used for the treatment of moderate to sever pain. It is often prescribed to those with major injuries or those who have just undergone a major surgery. It is also commonly prescribed to those who are undergoing cancer treatment. It has been shown to greatly improve the quality of life for those who have to deal with moderate to severe pain for an extended period of time. Another medication used to treat pain and for pain management is Vicodin. Vicodin is similar to Percocet but each medication has its own unique set of positives and drawbacks. For this reason Vicodin and Percocet are each prescribed for different situations.

Difference between Vicodin and Percocet

Both Vicodin and Percocet contain acetaminophen (paracetamol) which is the active ingredient in Tylenol. Where they differ is in their other active ingredient. Vicodin contains the opiate known as hydrocodone whereas Percocet contains oxycodone. Though both are opiates these two compounds have differing effects. Oxycodone is a stronger opiate than hydrocodone. This means on a milligram to milligram comparison oxycodone has been found to be more potent than hydrocodone. Due to the fact that it is stronger Percocet contains a greater chance of side effects developing. In particular Percocet is generally more addictive than Vicodin. Percocet can also be harder on the gastrointestinal system due to its stronger potency than Vicodin. Vicodin is usually prescribed more for light and moderate pain than Percocet where Percocet is reserved for cases of more severe pain.

Advantages and disadvantages of Vicodin

One of the biggest advantages that Vicodin has when considering Percocet vs. Vicodin is that it is less likely to cause addiction. The reason for this is that hydrocodone is not as potent of an opiate as oxycodone which is the active ingredient in Percocet. For many hydrocodone does not have the effect of producing the amounts of euphoria that Percocet does. This makes it less conducive to abuse as well as reduces its addictive potential. Because of this many doctors prefer to prescribe Vicodin over Percocet whenever it is possible. Vicodin is commonly prescribed after minor surgeries such as dental work or for less severe back pain or broken bones. The disadvantage of Vicodin is that it does not as effectively relieve pain as Percocet. This is a problem for those with very severe pain who need a large amount of relief.

Advantages and disadvantages of Percocet

Percocet's main advantage over Vicodin is that it is more potent. This means it can more effectively reduce and manage pain. For this reason it is often given to cancer patients or those with long term moderate to severe pain. Though potency is Percocet's greatest advantage it is also its greatest disadvantage. Due to its higher potency than Vicodin it is much more likely to be abused. This has made some doctors wary of prescribing Percocet unless it is absolutely necessary. Percocet usage is also more likely to result in addiction due to the feelings of contentedness and euphoria it is capable of producing in many who are prescribed it.

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