Both Roxicet and Percocet are popular brand names for combinations of acetaminophen and oxycodone. Acetaminophen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is safe for consumption, as long as one takes less than 4,000 mg per day – more than that can cause an overdose or lead to liver damage. Because it is safe and effective, however, it is in many over-the-counter drugs that treat pain, the flu, or colds. Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic, which is a Schedule II substance, per the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It is very effective at treating moderate to severe pain, although the drug can also lead to depressed or stopped breathing (overdose), extreme drowsiness or sleepiness, tolerance, dependence, and addiction.
Differences between Roxicet and Percocet
Both of these substances are intended to treat moderate to severe pain, but not chronic pain. They are typically prescribed to people after an acute injury, like a back injury or broken bone, or surgery, particularly dental surgery. Although these drugs are essentially the same, there are a few minor differences. The main difference involves the amount of both oxycodone and acetaminophen found in Roxicet compared to Percocet.
Roxicet: 5 mg of oxycodone or more and 325 mg of acetaminophen
Percocet: either 2.5 or 5 mg of oxycodone HCl and 325 mg of acetaminophen
Percocet also contains a few more inactive ingredients compared to Roxicet, which may change how the drug is metabolized in the body but not how effective it is for pain relief. Because of the difference in dose sizes, the drugs will remain in the body for different lengths of time.
- Roxicet: 6-8 hours of analgesia
- Percocet: 4-6 hours of analgesia
They are also manufactured by different companies.
- Roxicet is produced by Roxane Labs
- Percocet is manufactured by Endo Pharmaceuticals.
Some people have experienced a difference in pain relief between the two medications. Roxicet, for many, is not as effective in treating pain as Percocet. This may be due to how often one must take Percocet compared to Roxicet. It may have to do with some inactive ingredients in the digestive system, or it could be due to the amount of the pain reliever and how quickly it reaches the brain. There are not many differences between the drugs, but getting effective pain relief means having options available for a variety of body chemistries.
Tips on Taking Prescription Painkillers
Typically, opioid drugs can be taken with or without food. More often, they have warnings regarding substances that should not be consumed with them. Anti-anxiety medications, some antibiotics and antifungals, other opioid drugs, other sedatives and muscle relaxants, and alcohol can all interact with oxycodone and acetaminophen in negative ways, leading to liver and kidney damage, stomach problems, and potential overdose.
While pain relief is important, physicians must monitor their patients for signs of substance abuse when opioid drugs have been prescribed. The United States, and much of the world, is suffering from an epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose. Treatment must be made widely available, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and evidence-based rehabilitation programs. If people struggling with prescription narcotics abuse do not receive help, they are at risk of switching to stronger, more dangerous narcotics like heroin when they are no longer able to access their prescriptions.
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