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Thread: Why is Oxycodone a schedule II and Hydrocodone a Schedule III?

  1. Default Why is Oxycodone a schedule II and Hydrocodone a Schedule III

    I understand the schedule definitions but I don't understand why Oxycodone is a schedule II and Hydrocodone is a schedule III? I don't see much difference between a percoset 10 Oxycodone/500 Tylenol and a Loratab 10 Hydrocodone/500 Tylenol. Anybody have a reasonable answer? Maybe a DR or pharmacist?


  2. Vicodin and LorTab are both pretty much the same drug. Both have the active ingrediant of Hydrocodone, which is a narcotic pain control med indicated for moderate to moderately severe pain, depending on the patient and their experience and circumstance. Vicodin and LorTab also have Tylenol (acetaminophen) as part of the active ingredients, which is why they can damage the liver with long-term use.

    Oxycodone is available with and without tylenol as part of the medication. Oxycodone is indicated for longer-term use in cases where pain is not controlled by other medications. Oxycodone is usually prescribed as an extended-release and should not be crushed or chewed. It is indicated for moderately severe to severe pain.

  3. #3
    Because the DEA has deemed it so!

  4. #4
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    Maybe this will help..
    (Ref from
    PPM1Prescription Writing)

    Go to site. It'll explain scehdules 1-5 in detail.
    You'll find it under this headed paragraph.

    3. Understand and describe the DEA controlled substances categories.
    ****
    Here are the basics...
    Category Interpretation
    C I High potential for abuse. No accepted medical use
    C II High potential for abuse. Use may lead to severe physical and
    psychological dependence. Prescriptions must be written in ink or
    typewritten and must be signed by the practitioner. Verbal prescriptions
    must be confirmed in writing within 72 hours and may be given only in a
    genuine emergency. No renewals permitted.
    C III Some potential for abuse. Use may lead to low to moderate physical
    dependence or high psychological dependence. Prescriptions may be oral
    or written. Up to 5 renewals permitted within 6 months.
    C IV Low potential for abuse. Use may lead to limited physical or
    psychological dependence. Prescriptions may be oral or written. Up to 5
    renewals permitted within 6 months.
    C V Subject to state and local regulation. Abuse potential is low.
    A prescription may not be required.
    [~SWAY~[
    _

  5. Also, consider that while hydro and oxy are both structurally similar synthetic opiates, oxy is simply stronger on a MG vs MG basis. For example: to elicit the same effect of 10 mg of orally administered morphine, one would have to ingest 16 2/3 mg of hydro but only around 5 mg of oxy.

    Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opioid_comparison

    Thus, oxy is roughly 3 times as strong and apparently this is why the DEA/Congress/FDA (all three may have a say in scheduling depending on circumstances) have decided it has a higher potential abuse.

    Of course, these are the same folks who think shrooms and cannabis should be 2 schedules above vikes and 3 schedules above benzos. Yeah, shrooms and cannabis have absolutely no therapeutic value and a high potential for abuse, whilst benzos and even freaking barbituates have a limited potential for physical/psychological dependence. IMHO this kind of undermines the validity of the whole schedule - but when it comes to dealing with the folks on the "enforcer" end of the bureaucracy spectrum the scheduling seems to be the only thing they care about so one needs to be aware of it.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by mandulbrot View Post
    Also, consider that while hydro and oxy are both structurally similar synthetic opiates, oxy is simply stronger on a MG vs MG basis. For example: to elicit the same effect of 10 mg of orally administered morphine, one would have to ingest 16 2/3 mg of hydro but only around 5 mg of oxy.

    Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opioid_comparison

    Thus, oxy is roughly 3 times as strong and apparently this is why the DEA/Congress/FDA (all three may have a say in scheduling depending on circumstances) have decided it has a higher potential abuse.
    I don't know where wikipedia sourced that comparison chart but it doesn't look accurate based on my experience and on similar equipotency comparisons.
    Most often, oxycodone is estimated to be 1.5X the potency of hydrocodone on a mg to mg basis taken by mouth.
    So, 5mg of oxycodone would approximate 7.5mg of hydrocodone.
    As for why one is C-II with APAP and the other C-III with APAP, you would have to ask the DEA. Along with why codeine is C-II and why Fiorinal is C-III but Fioricet is unscheduled.

  7. #7
    Cody's dad - oxycodone and hydrocodone as single ingredients are both Schedule 2 drugs. It's only in combination with acetaminophen that hydrocodone becomes Schedule 3.

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    kroozer88 will become famous soon enoughkroozer88 will become famous soon enough

    Because oxy gives a better buzz. Really is the bottom line. Its the level of the high that seems to dictate the amount of legal trouble you are exposed to for unauthorized possession. Make sense now?

    B

    *This post was auto-merged. The following text was added 4 minutes after the last post:*

    i know you asked for a reasonable answer but only a lawyer can answer this. Lawyers run everything now. even the length of jail time based on the level of buzz.

    b
    Last edited by kroozer88; 05-21-2011 at 12:43 AM.

  9. #9
    There is information available on the Internet that describes in some detail what the review process is regarding where and why a drug is placed on a Controlled Substance Schedule by the FDA and DEA.
    One such description can be found on the thci.org web site under a study written by John J. Coleman.
    Although I don't believe this article specifically includes it, I have also seen material discussing the use of volunteers' feedback about levels of euphoria from a prescription med, length of psychotropic effects and estimates from test participants about their personal opinions regarding the potential for the drug's abuse.
    This is included in the assessment matrix that the agencies use in their analysis but is only part of the process.
    So the "legal buzz" is definitely a factor but not the only one.
    Helpful nj528 Rated helpful

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    kroozer88 will become famous soon enoughkroozer88 will become famous soon enough

    I understand its way more complicated but it sorta does boil down to the level of high. Otherwise why regulAte? If they did not have a side effect like that they would-be over the counter. Wow, Imagine that. OTC oxy. Lots of problems.

  11. #11
    percs have the same stigma associated with OC
    Last edited by CPain7; 05-22-2011 at 06:30 PM.

  12. #12
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    I have tried them both and I really don't see much of a difference in them. I tend to lean more towards hydrocodone because it is easier to obtain and the doctors like it because it can be called in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alumni View Post
    There is information available on the Internet that describes in some detail what the review process is regarding where and why a drug is placed on a Controlled Substance Schedule by the FDA and DEA.
    One such description can be found on the thci.org web site under a study written by John J. Coleman.
    Although I don't believe this article specifically includes it, I have also seen material discussing the use of volunteers' feedback about levels of euphoria from a prescription med, length of psychotropic effects and estimates from test participants about their personal opinions regarding the potential for the drug's abuse.
    This is included in the assessment matrix that the agencies use in their analysis but is only part of the process.
    So the "legal buzz" is definitely a factor but not the only one.
    I suspect that the reason Vikes and Percs are in different schedules is not entirely due to the difference in addictiveness. They are not really that different in that respect. I bet that either the manufacturer of Vicodin lobbied hard to keep it out of schedule II so that they could sell more of it, or doctors protested it being in schedule II, because it is such a common post-surgical prescription and schedule II creates a lot of inconveniences for doctors and patients.
    Helpful lucid_nicole Rated helpful
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    Just out of curiosity, I have a friend with serious chronic pain who has had the same doc forever and can never get anything decent for her pain. Is it even possible to find/purchase the two drugs discussed in this thread online via an OP (NOT asking for an open referral!). I told her no, you can't.... such high sched drugs are impossible to buy online. Am I wrong?
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    They are available through the BI (Blatantly Illegal) Vendors .....But the costs are Very expensive....and there is always the chance of getting Ripped off.
    Helpful Binky, jezza Rated helpful
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