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Oxycodone vs Morphine: How They Treat Pain

Oxycodone vs Morphine: How They Treat Pain

Millions of people are suffering from various pain, which may vary from person to person. Oxycodone and morphine are the two drugs that are used to treat chronic pain in individuals. Both medications are approved by the FDA. But in some cases, the differences between them should be noted. This blog will provide you with a comparison of Oxycodone vs Morphine.

We have mentioned the uses, forms, dosages, side effects, and precautions of these two drugs in this blog. So, let’s start it!

Comparison: Oxycodone vs Morphine

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is an effective medication to treat moderate to severe pain. It is an opioid treatment, which is used when other painkillers do not work well or help to relieve in pain easily/immediately. This drug belongs to the group of medications called Narcotic Analgesics. It acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved oxycodone to treat the medical condition of moderate to severe pain in people, and it is also a prescription-only medication drug.

What is Morphine?

Morphine is used to relieve severe pain when other pain relief drugs are not tolerated or effective. This drug is an opioid pain-reducing medication, that usually provides drastic pain relief for short-term or chronic pain.

Morphine drug belongs to the Narcotic Analgesics medication class and acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain. Morphine is prescribed to treat other types of severe pain, like cancer and heart attack.

This medicine is a prescription-only drug and FDA-approved. Morphine is a Schedule II controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Forms: Oxycodone vs Morphine

Forms of Oxycodone:

Oxycodone is available in the forms of oral solution, tablet, and capsule.

Oxycodone Oral Solution

It is available in 5 mg/5 ml strength

Oxycodone Tablet forms

Immediate-release(IR) tablets:- 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg and 30 mg strengths.
Extended-release(ER) tablets:- 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg and 30 mg strengths.

Oxycodone Capsule form

Immediate-release(IR) Capsule:- 5 mg.

Forms of Morphine:

Morphine is available in the form of oral solutions, tablets, injections, ER (Extended-Release) tablets, ER (Extended-Release), and oral capsules.

Extended-release (abuse-deterrent, Schedule II) Tablet:

It is available in strengths of 15 mg, 30 mg, 60 mg, and 100 mg.

Morphine sulfate extended-release capsule:

The available strengths are 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 45 mg, 50 mg, 60mg, 75 mg, 80 mg, 90 mg, 100 mg and 120mg.

Morphine sulfate, Injectable solution Schedule II:

The dosage strengths 0.5 mg/ml, 1 mg/ml, 2 mg/ml, 4 mg/ml, 5 mg/ml, 8 mg/ml, 10 mg/ml, 15 mg/ml, 25 mg/ml and 50 mg/ml are available.

Morphine sulfate, oral solution Schedule II:

It is available in the strengths of 10 mg/ 5mL; 20 mg/5 mL; 20 mg/mL.

Dosages of Oxycodone and Morphine:

Oxycodone dosages:-

For Acute Pain
  • For adults, the initial dosage of 5 mg to 15 mg is administered, in every 4 to 6 hours.
  • For children, a dosage strength of 0.05 mg to 0.15 mg can take
  • In both cases, the dosage strength can be changed, depending upon the needs of the patient.
For Chronic Pain

The dosage can start from 2.5 mg, and dosage strength can be increased. However, any change of dosage strength should be done after checking its side effects.

Morphine dosages:-

Morphine Tablet

The starting dose is between 15 mg to 30 mg, and it can be taken in intervals of 4 hours on a regular basis or as per the need.

Morphine Intravenous Injection

0.1 mg to 0.2 mg per kg is the advised dose which should be taken in every four hours or as per requirement.

Morphine Oral Solution

The oral solution of 10 mg to 20 mg can be consumed with a gap of 4 hours on a regular basis.

Uses of Oxycodone & Morphine:

Both medications are used by those people who are suffering from moderate to severe pain and chronic pain (Cancer).

Side Effects: Oxycodone vs Morphine:

These drugs can cause mild or serious side effects which depends on your age, health and medical conditions.

Common side effects of Oxycodone:-

  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Itching
  • Red eyes
  • Flushing
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain

Serious side effects of Oxycodone:-

  • Heart problems
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dependence Drug
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Problems in adrenal glands
  • Palpitations
  • Problem in breathing
  • Allergic reaction

Common side effects of Morphine:-

  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nervousness
  • Pounding in the ears
  • Puffiness or swelling around the face, eyes, lips, or tongue
  • Hives, itching, or skin rash
  • Excessive sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Pain in chest
  • Light-headedness

Serious side effects:-

  • Shakiness in the arms, legs, hands, or feet
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Poor coordination
  • Pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • Overactive reflexes
  • The feeling of warmth or heat
  • Muscle cramps, spasms, pain, or stiffness
  • Weight gain
  • False or unusual sense of well-being
  • Cramps

Common Precautions of Both Medicines:

  • You should swallow the whole tablet without crushing, chewing or dissolving it.
  • Do not use these two medications, if you have used an MAO inhibitor within the last 14 days.
  • Overdose of these drugs can cause serious side effects on nursing mothers and babies.
  • The patient should inform their healthcare expert about their medical history before starting the treatment.
  • Always avoid the consumption of alcohol while taking these medications because these may make a person feel more dizzy and drowsy.
  • Overdose of both drugs can be fatal, do not use these medications without a prescription.


Concluding the blog oxycodone vs Morphine, we have understood that both medicines are used to treat moderate to severe pain. But both are also different in some cases. An individual may face both advantages and disadvantages by using these two medicines. This blog may not include all comparisons, so if you have any doubt regarding oxycodone and morphine, consult with a healthcare professional. Hope, this blog will be helpful and informative for you!

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