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Pain Management Message Board

Pain Management Board Index

Norco 10/325 and Oxy IR are similar but different. The Norco contains 325 mg of apap (tylenol) with ten mg's of the narcotic hydrocodone. The oxy ir's purely contain 5 mg's of the narcotic oxycodone only. Both medications are immediate release. However, the hydrocodone in the norco makes that med a schedule III med, while any med containing oxycodone is a schedule II med. This means the Norco can be refilled up to three times, while the oxy ir requires a new written prescription (no call in's) for each time it is filled, which can be slightly more inconvenient. As for strength, hydrocodone is approximately equal in strength to oral morphine, meaning 10 mg's of hydrocodone=10 mg's of oral morphine. Oxycodone is approximately 50% stronger than both morphine and hydrocodone. This means that the norco 10/325 is equal to 7.5 mg's of oxycodone, or 1.5 capsules of oxyir. Since you take a total of 40 mg's of hydrocodone per day, you would need to take 30 mg's of oxycodone to equal your current dose of hydro. In other words your new dose of oxyir would be three 5 mg capsules of oxyir twice daily. You are making a smart move by discontinuing your acetominophen intake. Just remember that the conversion of one narcotic to another is not an exact science and can vary from one person to another, so you may find that the new dose is either inadequate for proper pain relief, or conversely, it may get you high as a kite the first time you take it. But the dose i quoted is definitly a safe starting dose considering your current tolerance to norcos. Talk to your doctor, and take care, good luck.
Yes, it is quite common for the standard conversion ratio between different narcotics to not match a persons real experience. This is because while oxycodone and hydrocodone are chemically very similar, they are also just a little different, which means that they each affect slightly different areas of the pain receptors in a person's central nervous system. And because people's pain receptors are all somewhat unique (like fingerprints), no conversion chart is going to totally apply to every person. Kind of like the myth of one size fits all. The conversion ratios that doctors use are just an estimate based on the average of many people's pain response to different narcotics. It sounds as though the hydrocodone is working better for you then oxycodone. However, norco 10/325 is the med with the lowest amount of tylenol and the highest amount of hydrocodone. Unfortunately in the United States, there is no medication comparable to oxy ir, with pure hydrocodone and no tylenol. If you really want to stay on hydrocodone, and are worried about the ongoing tylenol intake, you can go to a special pharmacy called a compounding pharmacy. Many pharmacies are actually compounding pharmacies, so just call around. At a compounding pharmacy, the pharmcist receives pure hydrocodone. Then they compound it themselves with the apap. By law they must add a certain minimum amount of apap (in order to curb abuse, and for the prescription to remain a schedule III narcotic, rather than schedule II with added restrictions.) However, the pharmacist can add use as little as 50 mg of apap, and as much as 15 mg of hydrocodone. So theoretically, you could have the doc write a script for norco 15/50 (although it wouldn't be called norco, it would just have a generic label with the med names.) This does not cost too much more than the norco you are already using, and insurance should pay for it. Don't quote me on the minimum apap and max hydrocodone per tablet (the limits may vary by state), but it is similar to what I wrote. In any case, you would be getting such a low dose of tylenol in each tablet that it would really be a non-issue. There are other narcotic meds you could also try besides oxycodone, but I think the compounding pharmacy may be the route you want to go. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist about this possibility, good luck.

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