Opana vs Oxycodone: Is Opana Stronger Than Oxycodone?

Last Updated: June 10, 2020

Authored by Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Learn about the differences between Opana and Oxycodone, their strong and weak sides.

Opana And Oxycodone: Know The Basics

What Is Opana?

Opana is an opiate painkiller that contains Hydromorphone. It treats moderate to severe pain by altering the pain sensations in the brain. The extended-release preparation Opana ER provides a continuous pain relief. So, it is a good choice for chronic pain management. Standard pills are effective to treat an event of severe pain. They call this rescue medication.

What Is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a powerful pain medication. It belongs to a class of pain medications known as opiates or narcotics. Opioids act on the CNS where they modify the pain signals from various parts of the body. Available forms are extended-release tablets/capsules. Also, one can get the conventional pills. It treats moderate to severe pain.
Oxycodone CR: Controlled-release formulation.

Opana vs Oxycodone: Which Is Stronger?

Well, it is not an easy question to answer. Both these medications are very powerful. Also, they belong to the same class of pain medications. For these reasons, the patients and their caretakers often have this question in mind. Opana may be stronger than Oxycodone because it requires the lower amount to produce a comparable pain relief.
a person taking a pill
Opana ER has a more flexible dosing schedule which might attract some patients who are currently taking Oxycodone CR. It is a good practice to learn more about the medications that they are taking.
We should first know the parameters for the comparison. Then only, we can say one medication may be better than another. So let’s find the settings for Opana vs. Oxycodone comparison. Then a clear picture will emerge.

  • Time to produce pain relief. Opana is more fat soluble than Oxycodone. That said, it reaches the brain faster. As a result, one gets a more rapid pain relief. If this is the parameter for comparing the strength, then It seems like a winner now.
  • The ratio of the doses required to produce an equivalent pain relief. They call this equianalgesic dose. Studies suggest the equianalgesic dose of Oxycodone CR on Opana ER is 2:1. What does this mean? It means Opana in half the Oxycodone dose produces the similar effects. Opana is stronger than Oxycodone. In fact, it is even more potent than the parent medication Morphine.
Only an experienced doctor should calculate the equianalgesic dose. In the same way, one should not take this information as a substitution for the doctor’s advice. Take care not to think Opana is two times stronger than Oxycodone because of the ratio. Medical calculations are more than pure mathematics.
  • The degree of pain. For acute pain, they recommend Oxycodone if it is of moderate intensity. But, they use Opana when the pain is severe. In fact, this article ascertains that it has a higher potency than Oxycodone.

Key Takeaways About Opana Vs. Oxycodone

A patient should know that individual response to a medication may vary. Particularly, this is more familiar with an opiate therapy. Thus, they should not generalize any health information. In a nutshell, everyone is unique and so is the pain. Only a doctor can decide which medication is better for the health needs.
We may say Opana is stronger than Oxycodone by these simple parameters. Many studies suggest it may be a better opiate for other reasons too. They are:

What To Know

Being opiates, both of them are very addictive. They may cause a physiological dependence. Besides, the risk increases with long-term use.
Follow the doctor’s instructions. Inform them if having:

  • Liver disorders
  • Kidney problems
  • History of drug abuse

Be Careful With Both Opana And Oxycodone

Talk to the experts to find out more about Opana vs. Oxycodone. In fact, they are one of the very few trusted sources of any health or medical information.
Is someone struggling with an addiction problem? Seek a professional help right now. Addiction centers are equipped with every resource to help someone with an addiction. They have qualified medical professionals and individualized addiction treatment plans. Also, they have the provisions for auxiliary care. With the right treatment, one can expect a complete recovery.
Find out more about rehabs on this page.

Page Sources

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2621383/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21657806
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21823549
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21102969

Published on: June 12th, 2017

Updated on: June 10th, 2020

About Author

Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Nena Messina is a specialist in drug-related domestic violence. She devoted her life to the study of the connection between crime, mental health, and substance abuse. Apart from her work as management at addiction center, Nena regularly takes part in the educational program as a lecturer.


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