Oxycodone vs OxyContin
Due to the push for the availability of generic drugs in the recent years, it is best for oneself to know the difference between Oxycodone and OxyContin. While this push for generic drugs is a noteworthy cause, companies who have been developing these drugs under branded names have been quite protective of their products, as their earnings too depend upon these products. OxyContin, for example, is the brand name for Purdue Pharma’s time-release single-ingredient oxycodone oral medication. Let’s see here, whether there is a huge difference between Oxycodone and OxyContin in their composition and usage.
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic medication that was first synthesized from thebaine by scientists from the University of Frankfurt in Germany in 1916. This was done because Bayer had stopped the mass production of heroin because of its harmful use and dependence. The scientists hoped that a thebaine-derived drug would work like heroin and morphine for both analgesics and pain relievers, but with less dependence. They were successful to some extent, as oxycodone did not have the same immediate effect of heroin and morphine nor did it last longer. Clinical trials were done the year after, and oxycodone was introduced in the US by 1939.
What is OxyContin?
OxyContin was developed and produced by Purdue Pharma in the USA and it was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1995 and entered the US market by 1996. By 2001, it was the best-selling non-generic narcotic pain reliever in the US. It was sold in 10-, 20-, 40-, and 80-milligram doses. However, the drug was target for misuse by the general public as it was being used recreationally. It was known by the slang term hillbilly heroin in the rural areas of the US and was even a cheap alternative to actual heroin. Purdue Pharma was even accused of misbranding the drug as they claimed that it had a “less euphoric effect and less abuse potential” when in fact, there was no scientific evidence backing the claim. As such, beginning 2010, the OxyContin brand had undergone reformulation to prevent abuse and misuse of the tablets. Also, Purdue, in recent years, has allowed the distribution of generic versions of OxyContin through licensed companies, Watson Pharmaceuticals becoming the exclusive US distributor. The generic version was sold in the same dosage as the branded version.
What is the difference between Oxycodone and OxyContin?
• Oxycodone and OxyContin are actually one and the same. Oxycodone is the generic name of OxyContin. OxyContin and its generic version are being sold in 10-, 20-, 40- and 80-milligram tablets and prescriptions are needed to buy them.
• OxyContin and generic Oxycodone are being manufactured by Purdue Pharma. The generic versions, however, are being distributed by other companies, most notable Watson Pharmaceuticals.
• OxyContin has undergone changes to prevent its misuse and abuse. It most recently added safety binders on its tablets, to prevent grinding of the tablet for snorting or injection. However, it cannot be confirmed as of this time whether the generic versions carry the same safety feature. Nevertheless, since Purdue Pharma manufactures both, it can be assumed that the generic versions also has it.
• OxyContin is a single ingredient drug. Its sole ingredient, oxycodone, however can be found mixed with other ingredients in other drugs, like Percodan, a mix of oxycodone and aspirin.
• OxyContin is a US brand, though it is being distributed in Canada and Mexico as well. Oxycodone, being a generic name, can be found in other countries but, of course, under a different brand.
Photo By: Eric (CC BY-ND 2.0)