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Pain Killer Comparison Chart and Oxycodone

As I mentioned before, I recently had an ACL surgery and I keep learning fun facts about it. This time, I learned about how strong my pain medication (oxycodone) is and I was like holy s…

The moment i said this, I immediately understood why the pain I have been complaining about was nothing comparing to the actual pain I would have felt if I didn’t have the pain medication. 

I found a pain reliever comparison chart online and summarized with brand and generic names to have a simple list. It is by a Harvard Study and each pain medication was rated for effectiveness on a scale of from 1 (aspirin) to 11 (hydromorphone).

  • aspirin (1)
  • exedrin, tylenol (2)
  • advil, ibuprofen (2.5)
  • aleve (3)
  • demerol (4)
  • vicodin, lorcet (5)
  • vicodin ES (6)
  • vicodin HP, percocet (7)
  • oxycontin, oxycodone (8.5)
  • morphine (9)
  • fentanyl (10)
  • hydromorphone (11)
  • oxymorphone (?)

I am prescribed oxycodone 1-2 doses in every 6 hours. So do the math and imagine the degree of the pain after an ACL reconstruction. (I have to say that I didn’t feel major pain, just a constant, annoying pressure on my knee due to the inflammation. The first night was a little painful but it wasn’t that hard because of the oxycodone).This is what I found about oxycodone: 

Oxycodone is classified as an opioid, which means it’s closely related to heroin. The two drugs act in nearly exactly the same way in the body, but oxycodone is created in a laboratory through chemical means while heroin is extracted from a poppy plant using somewhat more natural methods. People may know that heroin is addictive. Oxycodone is similarly addictive.

Oxycodone is designed to lower pain, but it uses a bit of a roundabout method to deliver that pain relief. It stimulates a chemical pathway in the brain known as the dopamine pathway. Dopamine is a natural chemical used by the brain to prepare someone to experience something pleasurable or good. When a user takes in oxycodone, the body releases dopamine in response, and that reaction is often in proportion to the amount of drugs the person takes. In the beginning, a person can take oxycodone and feel a flood of dopamine, experiencing euphoria and extreme happiness as a result. Over time, however, the body tends to adjust its internal chemistry, and the person must take higher doses of oxycodone to feel the same result. People who abuse oxycodone may find that they experience withdrawal symptoms between hits of the medication. Their bodies are no longer producing dopamine and other chemicals without a prompt from oxycodone, and the body needs those chemicals to function normally. These withdrawal symptoms can vary a bit from person to person, but often they include:

nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, dry mouth, lightheadedness, drowsiness, flushing, sweating, itching, weakness, headache, mood changes, decrease in pupil (dark circle in eye) size, red eyes..

It might be easy to dismiss these changes and symptoms of withdrawal as mild and an appropriate consequence for people who abuse oxycodone. It’s important to note, however, that these symptoms and brain changes are often quite severe, and they provide a very real roadblock that can keep a person from healing if they don’t have help with the process..”

I have been following my prescription and only experiencing some weakness, dizziness  and abnormal sweating. But after the 4th day, the pain started to get weaker and I have decreased my daily dose almost by 60%.

It was a litte interesting to learn that I was using the strongest pain killer that can be taken orally.

Hope that no one would be in the need of using this oral morphine. 

Disclaimer: I don’t have any medical training and no advice is intended. Consult your doctor for pain reliever advice.

sources: 

Pain Killers Comparison Chart

Oxycodone Addiction - Michael’s House

image: Natalia Klenova