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Medications

Is my painkiller an opioid?

August 1, 2017

Ask the doctors

Q. I'm currently taking a pill that combines 5 milligrams (mg) of oxycodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen. It keeps my pain under control and doesn't seem to interfere with other medicines I'm taking. However, I was reading about opioids and wonder if it falls in that category. If it does, should I be taking it?

A. Oxycodone is an opioid, but acetaminophen, the generic form of Tylenol, isn't. A combination of the two, sold as Endocet, Percocet, and Roxicet, as well as in a generic version, is a popular medication for pain control. Both oxycodone and acetaminophen should be used with caution. Oxycodone should be taken for the shortest time possible because long-term use of oxycodone has been associated with addiction and dependence. High doses of acetaminophen can cause liver damage.

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