Oxycodone vs. OxyContin: Similarities and differences

Oxycodone and OxyContin are two prescription medications that contain the same active ingredient: oxycodone. Oxycodone is an immediate-release tablet, whereas OxyContin is an extended-release formulation.

Doctors prescribe these medications for treating and managing pain. Oxycodone and OxyContin are part of the narcotic family of medicines, so they are subject to strict regulation because of their potential for addiction, abuse, and misuse. Depending on the type of pain, a doctor may choose oxycodone or OxyContin.

In this article, we review the similarities and differences between oxycodone and OxyContin.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved oxycodone for the management of acute or chronic pain. As oxycodone is a narcotic, doctors will reserve this treatment for people who are living with moderate-to-severe pain and have found other medications ineffective.

Oxycodone is a narcotic prescription medication. Other prescription oral narcotics available for pain treatment include:

  • codeine
  • morphine
  • hydromorphone

Among oral narcotic prescription medications, codeine is the least potent, and hydromorphone is the most potent. To compare different narcotic pain relievers, doctors convert the dose of the narcotic to the equivalent dose in morphine.

When switching a person from one type of narcotic to another, doctors must prescribe an equivalent dosage. The oxycodone-to-morphine dose equivalent ratio is approximately 1-to-1.5.

For people who find swallowing pills difficult, doctors may prescribe oxycodone in a liquid formulation. There are also some medications that combine oxycodone with other pain relievers, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and acetylsalicylic acid.

Oxycodone is an immediate-release tablet, so people can take this medication as necessary every 4–6 hours. The product information contains a warning about the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse.

Some people require long-term narcotic therapy for pain. For these people, doctors should schedule regular follow-up visits. These visits should focus on reassessing the person’s level of pain and monitoring for signs of narcotic abuse.

OxyContin also contains the medicinal ingredient oxycodone, but it is in an extended-release formulation. These extended-release tablets offer longer lasting pain control than immediate-release oxycodone, which has a shorter effect on pain.

With the extended-release delivery system, the oxycodone in OxyContin provides continuous delivery over 12 hours. So, people take OxyContin twice daily.

The FDA approved OxyContin for the management of pain that is severe enough to require 24-hour pain relief. Doctors may prescribe OxyContin to someone experiencing severe, continuous pain for which no other treatments provide relief.

When doctors switch people from one narcotic to OxyContin, they must calculate the equivalent morphine dose. The OxyContin-to-morphine dose equivalent ratio is 1-to-2, which is slightly higher than that of the immediate-release oxycodone.

As with oxycodone, the product information for OxyContin contains an addiction, abuse, and misuse warning.

Doctors will reserve extended-release OxyContin for people with severe pain that requires 24-hour treatment. People with acute or chronic pain that is moderate to severe may take immediate-release oxycodone. As an add-on, some doctors may recommend oxycodone combination formulations, such as:

  • oxycodone-acetaminophen
  • oxycodone-ibuprofen
  • oxycodone-acetylsalicylic acid

These combination formulations offer additional pain relief or anti-inflammatory effects without increasing the dose of the

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Austin Public Health Outlines Differences

AUSTIN, TX — Flu season is upon us once more, but emerging this year against the backdrop of the coronavirus. Given the double threat, Austin Public Health officials have outlined the dinstinctions between both illnesses to alert concerned residents.

Referencing material provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local health officials noted both are contagious respiratory illness but caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with the new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 while flu is caused by an infection with influenza viruses, health officials said.

Similarities and Differences

Symptoms: Common symptoms of both COVID-19 and flu include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle pain and/or headache. A COVID-19 symptom, different from flu symptoms, may include a loss of taste or smell.

Onset: For both COVID-19 and flu, one or more days can pass between a person becoming infected and experiencing symptoms. Both viruses can also spread for at least one day before individuals experience any symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms can take longer to appear than flu. For flu, symptoms typically appear one to four days after infection. For COVID-19, symptoms can appear two to fourteen days after infection.

Spread: Both COVID-19 and flu can spread from person to person between people who are in close contact with one another, within about six feet. Both illnesses are spread mainly by respiratory droplets when a person infected with either virus coughs, sneezes or talks.

For coronavirus testing, visit the COVID-19 Information city portal

For flu testing, visit your provider, urgent care, or pharmacy

Risk: Both COVID-19 and flu can cause severe illness and complications. Those at highest risk include older adults, people with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women. However, the risk of complications for healthy children is higher for flu compared to COVID-19.

Vaccine & Treatment: Flu has an annual vaccine available to prevent the illness. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

Visit VaccineFinder.org to find a location near you offering flu shots.

Flu also has an antiviral drug that can reduce the severity and length of illness if prescribed within 48 hours of symptom onset. For additional COVID-19 information, visit the COVID-19 Information portal.

Graphic via Austin Public Health.

This article originally appeared on the Austin Patch

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Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine – Know the Differences

It isn’t unusual to use the terms sports medicine and physical therapy interchangeably. However the two aren’t exactly the same things even though you may find yourself the patient of both fields at the same time.

While compatible, the difference between the two branches of medical discipline is clear. Both are effective for treating injuries, diseases and disorders of the muscle and skeletal systems of the body and both are useful for the prevention of future injury or disease symptom reoccurence. By taking an individual look at both types of medical assistance, you will soon see the differences between physical therapy and sports medicine.

Let’s take a look at the field of physical therapy first. Unlike sports medicine, physical therapy as a whole is devoted to correcting any injury, disease, or disorder of the bones and muscles that can be treated with non invasive techniques. The focus is to provide patients with relief from pain, improve their muscle, joint, and bone function, while providing techniques the patient can use on their own for additional healing. The primary tools of a therapist are good diagnosing and evaluating skills, knowledge of the musculoskeletal system, and knowledge of which therapy is effective for each situation.

One large difference between the two is that physical therapy doesn’t only deal with sports related injuries or problems. Physical therapists can choose to specialize in their careers with emphasis on things like pediatrics, geriatrics, and neurology. Other areas of expertise included in physical therapy are sports, cardiovascular sciences, and occupational therapy.

When you are looking at the differences between these two healing arts you certainly can’t overlook sports medicine. The type of medical discipline is solely used for sports related injuries and disorders. While sports physical therapy techniques are commonly used in addition to sports medicine, sports medicine may involve surgeries, procedures, and medications not used in physical therapy. Sports medicine practitioners also can have specialty fields as well. Orthopedics and skeletal emphasis are common. Advanced study of how long term sporting activities and treating sports related injuries are always a part of this particular discipline.

Understanding the difference between physical therapy and sports medicine may be key to determining how to best treat your physical problem. While they can and are commonly used together, each one has its own distinct benefit. Your medical care team can further help distinguish the two and point you in the right direction in terms of your health care needs. The important thing is take care of any injury, sports related or not, to ensure your body’s function in the years to come.

The difference between these two medical approaches is obvious. Although the two are often used together, each one has its own purpose and uses. Your doctor can give you advice on which specialist is right for your needs.

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