Percocet vs. Tramadol HCL

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Tramadol Hcl and Percocet are both prescription painkillers designed to alleviate moderate to severe pain, whether as the result of an injury, chronic condition or surgery. However, there are some differences between the two drugs.

Percocet Basics

Percocet is comprised of the opiate oxycodone and the over-the-counter pain reliever acetaminophen. Because of its abuse potential, prescriptions are strictly controlled by the government.

Tramadol Hcl Basics

Tramadol Hcl is the drug that comprises the brand-name painkiller Ultram or Ultram ER. It works to change the way the body responds to pain, and is not considered a controlled substance like Percocet.

Side Effects

Both drugs carry the risk of side effects, some potentially fatal, according to MedlinePlus. Percocet users tend to experience nausea, loss of appetite and mood changes while Tramadol Hcl patients are more likely to suffer dizziness, weakness and sleepiness.

Food Interactions

Drinking grapefruit juice is not recommended when taking Tramadol Hcl, according to MedlinePlus. Such use can worsen potential side effects. However, Percocet users can continue their normal diet.

Costs for the Uninsured

Those paying cash for 90 50mg Tramadol Hcl tablets could expect to spend about $48 as of October 2009, while 90 brand-name Percocet pills with 5mg ox oxycodone and 325mg acetaminophen cost about $335. Generic Percocet is available and reduced potential self-pay costs to $48.

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