I was always confused with medication differences especially with codeine /hydrocodone/oxycodone.
What I learned is this: Codeine being the lesser of the three as far as pain control is concerned. Codeine/Tylenol is the weakest of the three medications. Codeine is a natural opiate not man made (in a lab), they add the tylenol to increase the effectiveness of the drug, and reduce fever, and also can be added for anittussive reasons.
More often than not, people experience itching, and more frequent side effects from this drug. It can also be mixed with Aspirin, so it would be for example: APAP/Codeine #3, or it may be written as: Tylenol/Codeine #3, The number is the miligrams of codeine added, it starts with one and goes as high as four.
Hydrocodone can also be mixed with Tylenol or aspirin. Anywhere from 325mg of aspirin/to/500mg of aspirin. Hydrocodone is man made, and is much stronger than the codeine is. Oxycodone is also man made and will also have Aspirin/or/Tylenol added as a means to bump up the effectiveness of the narcotic Hydrocodone.
Oxycodone is even stronger, and can have Tylenol /or/Aspirin added.
The best way to say this is maybe, the "man made" drugs have a "ketone" added that binds to the receptors in your brain, thus making these two drugs much stronger than the natural occuring drug like codeine.
There are more "chemistry type" reasons these drugs are really not Technically in the "same" family. How they break down in our systems and what more is added to insure the strength. Albeit all three are controlled substances, and are called opiates.
I hope this helps a little bit to clarify the differences> I'm no expert, so I am sure the more seasoned people here will have an answer to help you also.
Keep reading all you can about your medications, knowledge is powerful, and may come in handy when you need pain control. You have a better understanding about what may help YOU best.
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