October 1, 2020 Hydrocodone vs Tramadol

Hydrocodone vs Tramadol: Differences | Dosages | Effects

Hydrocodone and Tramadol are two medicines useful to treat pain conditions that are not quickly relieved with some non-opioid analgesics. Both can treat moderate to moderately severe pain in chronic diseases like cancer or after surgery. However, for most cases of discomfort, doctors prefer to prescribe non-opioid therapy.

Tramadol and hydrocodone work by binding to the brain’s mu-opioid receptor to change how an individual responds to pain. Being prescription opioids, they are stronger than over-the-counter pain killers.

Differences Between Hydrocodone vs Tramadol

Hydrocodone vs Tramadol

Hydrocodone is the generic name medicine for Zohydro ER and Hysingla ER. It is also taken as a combination medication with acetaminophen (paracetamol), under the popular brand names Lortab and Vicodin. The medicine is a controlled substance under schedule II of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). It signifies that the medication has a high potential for abuse and addiction.

Whereas, Tramadol is the generic name medicine for Ultram, Ultram ER, and Conzip. The medication is a controlled substance under schedule IV of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). It signifies that the medicine has a lower risk of abuse and addiction as compared to hydrocodone.

Hydrocodone

  • Drug class: Opioid
  • Brand or generic status: generic version available
  • Generic and brand name: Hydrocodone is the generic name, while brand names include Norco, Lortab, Vicodin, Zohydro ER, and Hysingla ER
  • Available forms: oral tablet, extended-release oral tablet, oral capsule, and oral solution
  • Standard dosage: Norco, Lortab, and Vicodin: 5 mg to 10 mg every 4-6 hours
  • Zohydro ER: 10 mg every 12 hours
  • Hysingla ER: 20 mg every 24 hours
  • Duration of treatment: duration of treatment depends upon your doctor’s recommendation
  • Used by: adults 18 years and older

Tramadol

  • Drug class: Opioid
  • Brand or generic status: generic version available
  • Generic and brand name: Tramadol is the generic name, while brand names include Ultram, Ultram ER, and Conzip
  • Available forms: oral tablet, extended-release oral tablet, oral capsule, and oral suspension
  • Standard dosage: Ultram: 50 mg to 100 mg every 4-6 hours as required
  • Ultram ER: 100 mg every 12-24 hours
  • Duration of treatment: duration of treatment depends upon your doctor’s recommendation
  • Used by: adults 18 years and older

Treatment by Tramadol and Hydrocodone

Tramadol and hydrocodone both are for pain management. Doctors usually prescribe them if you have normal to severe pain, such as cancer pain. Both are also prescribed for managing pain after surgery and significant injuries.

Tramadol or Hydrocodone Which one is More Effective 

Both are effective opioid prescription medications used for pain treatment. Several studies compare their effectiveness. As hydrocodone is a schedule II opiate, it is more potent but comes with higher abuse potential. Tramadol has lower potential abuse and milder side effects.

In a multicenter study, Tramadol with acetaminophen got compared with hydrocodone with acetaminophen for patients with an ankle sprain. Conclusions show that both medicines provide comparable relief within four hours.

Whether a doctor prescribes you with Tramadol or hydrocodone depends upon the level of your pain. While assessing your pain, a doctor will look at your medical history, medicines that can cause medication interactions, and history of drug abuse. Hence, the prescription of pain medications gets individualize and needs proper consultation to determine which medication will be more useful for you.

Common Side Effects of Hydrocodone and Tramadol

Hydrocodone and Tramadol can cause common side effects as they affect the central nervous system, causing dizziness, fatigue, and sleepiness. They can also cause gastrointestinal effects such as stomach ache or constipation. Dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, and headache are other shared side effects.

Other severe and rare side effects of hydrocodone and Tramadol include depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric disturbances. Allergic reactions may also happen, and include flushing, rash, and chest pain.

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