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Oxycodone vs. Suboxone

The main difference between Oxycodone and Suboxone is that Oxycodone is opioid analgesic and Suboxone is the combination of buprenorphine and naloxone used to stop illicit narcotics use.

Key Differences

Oxycodone is codeine analog, a single therapeutic moiety while Suboxone is the combination of buprenorphine and naloxone.
Oxycodone is used to treatment of moderate to severe pain. On the other hand, Suboxone is used to stop illicit drug narcotics drug abuse.
Oxycodone is µ receptor agonist while Suboxone contains µ receptor agonist and antagonist.
Oxycodone can be prescribed in combination with other analgesics while suboxone is itself a combination of drugs
Harlon Moss
Jun 21, 2019

Comparison Chart


Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic and used to treat from moderate to severe pains in different ailments.
Suboxone is the combination of buprenorphine and naloxone and used to stop illicit opioid drug abuse.

Receptos at Which Drug Acts

Oxycodone acts at µ receptors.
Suboxone acts at µ receptors.

Route of Administration

Oxycodone’s preferred and most frequent route of administration is oral.
Suboxone is given sublingually or through buccal route

Available Salts

Oxycodone is available as Oxycodone HCL.
Suboxone contains buprenorphine HCl and naloxone HCl.
Janet White
Jun 21, 2019

Available Dosage Forms

Tablets, Capsules, Concentrated liquids
Sublingual tablets, Buccal tablets
Janet White
Jun 21, 2019

Adverse Effects

Constipation, Lightheadedness, Dizziness, Drowsiness
Anxiety, Insomnia, Sweating, Back Pain, Fatigue
Janet White
Jun 21, 2019

Therapeutic Uses

Oxycodone is used to treat moderate to severe pain in different diseases.
Suboxone is used to treat dependence of opioids
Janet White
Jun 21, 2019

Oxycodone and Suboxone Definitions


A semisynthetic opioid drug, C18H21NO4, used in its hydrochloride form as a pain reliever, often in combination with nonopioid analgesics such as acetaminophen.


(medicine) A combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, used to treat opiate addictions.


(pharmaceutical drug) A synthetic analgesic drug (trademark OxyContin) that is similar to morphine in its effects.

Oxycodone vs. Suboxone

Oxycodone is codeine analog while Suboxone is the combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Oxycodone is available as Oxycodone HCL whereas Suboxone is available as buprenorphine HCl and naloxone HCl. Oxycodone is opioid analgesic whereas Suboxone is used to treat dependence of opioids. Oxycodone is a full agonist at µ receptors while Suboxone although acts at µ receptors because of buprenorphine, but it also contains an opioid antagonist. Oxycodone is pharmaceutically prepared in combination with other analgesics to treat pain while Suboxone is itself a combination of two drugs. Oxycodone is not available as sublingual while Suboxone is prescribed both as sublingual and buccal tablets.

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is opiate analgesic and is a codeine analog. Oxycodone is available as generic. Oxycodone can treat moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone can treat spontaneous bursts of pain, which are called paroxysmal pain. Oxycodone can also treat allodynia and cancer-related pains. Oxycodone acts on µ opioid receptors. Oxycodone is prescribed orally. Oxycodone is 1.5 times more potent than an equal amount of morphine when taken orally. Oxycodone is available both as immediate release and controlled release formulations. Oxycodone is available in different dosage forms like tablets, capsules, liquid, and concentrated solution. Oxycodone is also available in combination with other analgesics as aspirin, ibuprofen, and paracetamol. Oxycodone should be taken according to the dose prescribed by the doctor or pharmacists as they calculate the dose of Oxycodone on an individual basis depending upon the age, gender, body weight, and severity of the patient condition. Oxycodone controlled release shows fewer side effects than morphine. Oxycodone controlled release is safe to use in young children of 11 years for the treatment of cancer pain trauma pain and pains due to surgery. Oxycodone overdose causes shallow breathing and a slow heart rate. Oxycodone shows severe withdrawal symptoms, especially if the patient is physically dependent on it. To avoid severe withdrawal symptoms, the Oxycodone is withdrawn gradually not abruptly. Oxycodone increases dopamine level, which controls the feeling of pleasure, so some people use Oxycodone for recreational purpose. Oxycodone shows more severe withdrawal symptoms to those who take Oxycodone for recreational purposes. Oxycodone shows withdrawal symptoms to those infants whose mothers use Oxycodone in pregnancy. Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, nausea, panic attack, and flu-like symptoms. Oxycodone should not be used in epilepsy and in patients of pancreatic disorders as it worsens epilepsy, increases the risk of pancreatitis.


Common examples of brand containing Oxycodone are Percodan, Endodan, Roxiprin

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is the combination of two drugs buprenorphine and naloxone, and it helps opioid drug abusers in stopping illicit drug abuse. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist at µ receptors, and naloxone is an opioid antagonist. Suboxone is the best solution for opioid addiction. Buprenorphine shows the same pharmacological effects as opioids do but in a milder form. Naloxone being the opioid antagonist blocks the opioid receptors, and thus opioid agonists cannot show their effects in the presence of naloxone. Suboxone cannot be abused as the combination does not allow to get a high from abusing the drug. Suboxone addiction may develop in some patients because of its ability to show the pharmacological actions of opioid drugs. Suboxone shows withdrawal effects if the patient stops taking this medication after a long duration time because of the presence of buprenorphine in the suboxone. Suboxone withdrawal effects are nausea, abdominal pain, confusion, vomiting, excessive sweating, and insomnia. Suboxone side effects fall into minor and major side effects, and side effects are mostly shown by the buprenorphine. Suboxone minor side effects are nausea, back pain, fever, urination with pain, and Suboxone major side effects are confusion, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, and blurred vision.

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