Difference Between Oxycodone and Suboxone

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The word addiction generally paints a picture of a person repeatedly using illegal drugs like cocaine and marijuana. However, most of us are unaware of the fact that abuse of medicines that have been prescribed to provide relief from certain health conditions is also a form of addiction. Studies have shown that over 16million people in the USA abuse prescription medicines. It is also a common misconception that such a practice is safer when compared to the use of illegal drugs though unwarranted use of prescription opioids such as Oxycodone is highly addictive, dangerous and can sometimes be fatal too.

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a FDA approved pharmaceutical drug that is prescribed to patients to relive themselves from moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone is a powerful opioid pain reliving medicine very similar in action to morphine and codeine. The highly addictive medicine is synthesized from thebaine and stimulates the opioid receptors of the brain. The drug does not remove the pain completely but helps in masking the sensation of a pain. The tablet is prescribed in cases that require 24 hour pain relief on a daily basis for a long duration.

Side Effects:

The tablet does cause a lot of side effects such as lightheadedness, dizziness nausea and vomiting, sedation and headaches. One of the more severe side effects of the tablet is the tablet’s ability in slowing down the rate of breathing. Caution is also advised while handling machinery and driving while on this medication as it interferes with the normal thinking and physical ability of a person.

Withdrawal Symptoms and Addiction:

The tablet is very useful to reduce pain. The side effects are less pronounced if the pill is taken for the exact duration and amount as prescribed by the doctor. When the tablet has the tendency to become highly addictive even at normal doses the consequences if the tablet is taken in excess can well be imagined. Excess intake of the medicine causes addiction, overdose and in some cases death too.

Treatment Options for Addiction: Addiction to opiates such as oxycodone can be treated at a rehab or with medications that counter the effects of the tablet. One such medicine that is used in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) of drug addiction is Suboxone.


Subooxone is formulated as a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. To be precise buprenorphine is also an opium medication but causes lesser effects when compared to oxycodone. The Naloxone component acts against the effects of opioids for at least 24 hours. The tablet attaches itself to the opioid receptor in the brain and when ingested in lower doses acts similarly to any other opiate and suppresses pain. However, on increasing the dosage it performs a blocking function on the opioid receptor preventing its stimulation. In other words people who are ingesting both suboxone and opiate drugs will not feel the euphoria of the drugs consequently will not exhibit uncontrollable behavior. This helps in weaning the patient of the opiate drugs and reduces the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone has a success rate of 40 to 60% and does not require any stay in a federal facility for rehabilitation. Though the tablet is used for treating addiction it might be habit forming and should not exceed the prescribed dosage. Also suboxone should not be stopped immediately to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Utmost care should be taken while using these tablets which fall under the category of narcotics. It is also advisable to discuss other health problems the person faces with the medical practitioner before starting on these tablets.

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