Although oxycodone is notoriously stronger than a drug like tramadol, the two do share similarities. For example, there are only two opioids available with a prescription from your doctor. However, there are some notable differences as well, which we’ll delve into below. 

Tramadol is a prescription used to treat mild-to-moderate pain and is considered inexpensive when compared to other opioids. Tramadol is also known by the names Rybix, Ryzolt, Fuse PAQ, and Ultram ER.

Oxycodone, which is the more powerful of the two, is a Schedule II controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), whereas tramadol is a Schedule IV. This means the odds of oxycodone getting abused and causing addiction are much higher than tramadol. However, it’s important to note everyone is different, and addiction is still a reality for both substances, especially when abused. 

What Is Oxycodone and How Does It Compare to Tramadol?

You’re likely familiar with this powerful opioid, which has been fueling the opioid crisis now for some time. Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid that is under strict regulation by the DEA because of its abuse and addiction potential. Like all opioids, including tramadol, it works on our central nervous system and alters how the individual using it feels pain. 

Unlike tramadol, the impact of serotonin reuptake inhibition and norepinephrine is not the same. Tramadol can cause seizures, whereas oxycodone will not, and it does not have the same mood-enhancing element as tramadol unless taken in extremely high doses to experience euphoria from the high. Oxycodone is a pure opioid agonist and has a much faster onset than tramadol. If you’re comparing the two, you’ll notice oxycodone produces effects in as little as 20 minutes, with peak effects in one hour. Oxycodone’s half-life is 3.5 hours, whereas tramadol’s is 6.3 hours

These figures are important because they highlight the abuse potential of tramadol and oxycodone. Most of the time, fast-acting opioids are more likely to be abused as opposed to slower-acting drugs. Although tramadol can be misused and cause someone to be addicted, it’s far less common. 

To further compare tramadol and oxycodone, we’ll examine the following below:

  • Oxycodone has a higher abuse and addiction potential than tramadol.
  • Oxycodone is far more potent, meaning its effectiveness as a pain reliever is better, and it has a more rapid onset of pain relief.
  • Tramadol possesses a much higher risk of producing seizures than other opioids, especially in a person with a history of seizures. 

Another factor to consider when you compare tramadol to oxycodone is that tramadol doesn’t produce as severe of respiratory depression as other opioids. There are various dangers when it comes to opioid use, but one of the most significant is respiratory depression because it can be deadly. However, it’s one risk tramadol does not possess. 

How tramadol and oxycodone interact with other drugs is another important comparison between the two medications. For example, you should never take oxycodone with other central nervous system depressants like alcohol or benzodiazepines because it’ll further depress respiration. When it comes to tramadol, you can’t mix it with other serotonin-based medications because of the risk of serotonin syndrome, a potentially deadly condition. 

What Is Tramadol and How Does It Compare to Oxycodone?

Despite being known as a considerably weaker opioid than oxycodone and other prescription pain relievers, tramadol is still a practical alternative when the need to manage pain arises. Despite its potency, it’s still an opioid pain reliever. When someone is prescribed this drug, it’ll bind to naturally occurring opioid receptors in their body and influence the central nervous system. The interaction of tramadol and your central nervous system reduces how you perceive pain. However, tramadol could also improve your mood, a significant distinction between it and other opioids like oxycodone. 

Although it’s perceived as a “weaker” opioid, it still is highly effective in treating pain. In some cases, even for severe pain, extended-release versions of the medication are available for those needing around-the-clock relief. 

The most common tramadol characteristics include the following:

  • It’s a Schedule IV substance.
  • It’s a centrally acting synthetic analgesic.
  • It manages chronic pain with an extended-release version.
  • There is a significant difference between tramadol and oxycodone – oxycodone is 1.5 times more potent than morphine, and tramadol is rated as “negligible” for how much stronger it is than morphine.
  • Tramadol starts working in the first hour and can last up to six hours.

Where tramadol differs from oxycodone and other opioids is that one of its riskiest side effects is seizures. Seizures have been reported in individuals who take small doses and follow their doctor’s instructions. However, tramadol is considered a safe medication that produces minimal side effects, such as dry mouth, constipation, dizziness, sweating, and headache, which is common across the board for opioids. 

Oxycodone and Tramadol Withdrawal

There are distinct differences between tramadol and oxycodone. However, one area these two drugs are similar is the withdrawal symptoms they produce. If you cut back or cease use altogether after using heavily for a couple of weeks or more, you’ll undoubtedly encounter withdrawal symptoms. 

Both opioids can cause you to become physically dependent, which means you’ll rely on them to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Most people who become addicted describe only using opioids to stave off the sickness they get from withdrawal. However, how long it takes you to reach this point will vary from person to person. Opioid withdrawal occurs anytime long-term use is stopped. 

Symptoms of Oxycodone and Tramadol Withdrawal

The symptoms you’ll endure are dependent upon various factors. For example, the dose you’ve been taking and how long you’ve been using it will influence the severity and how long these last. The earliest symptoms will appear around 24 hours after your last dose, and they will take shape as the following

  • Runny nose
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle aches
  • Constant yawning
  • Teary eyes
  • Inability to sleep 
  • Excessive sweating

As you move further into withdrawal, symptoms will become progressively worse. You could experience the following:

  • Dilated pupils
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Goosebumps
  • Lethargy

The most unpleasant symptoms will begin improving around 72 hours after they start. However, some symptoms may linger for months or even years after cessation for heavy users due to a phenomenon called post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). 

Common Interactions of Oxycodone and Tramadol

It’s common to see warning labels on prescription drugs that bring attention to the dangers of mixing with other medications. These are included because the interaction changes how substances work in your body. Not only will the other drug not work, but it could be harmful to you. You must always tell your doctor which medications, vitamins, and herbs you take. Having an open line of communication with your doctor can prevent you from any dangerous interactions. 

Below are some examples of drugs that interact with oxycodone and tramadol.


  • Morphine, fentanyl, or hydrocodone
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Temazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Alprazolam
  • Butorphanol
  • Nalbuphine
  • Butorphanol
  • Alcohol
  • Barbiturates
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Pentazocine
  • Benzodiazepines

Mixing oxycodone with any of these drugs can cause respiratory depression, which leads to fatal outcomes 


  • Sleeping pills, such as zolpidem or temazepam 
  • Other pain medications, including hydrocodone, fentanyl, or morphine
  • Tranquilizers, such as diazepam or alprazolam
  • Quinidine 
  • Phenothiazines, which treat severe mental disorders, include chlorpromazine and prochlorperazine 
  • SNRIs
  • SSRIs
  • Alcohol
  • Tripants, which are used to manage migraines and headaches
  • Amitriptyline
  • Linezolid
  • Lithium
  • St. John’s wort
  • Carbamazepine

Tramadol doesn’t have a risk of respiratory depression. However, when used in conjunction with alcohol, sedative-hypnotics, narcotics, or anesthetics, these risks rise. 

It can also reduce the level of consciousness, which can lead to falls or other potential dangers. 

Treating Oxycodone or Tramadol Addiction

Unfortunately, addiction to these two drugs can be a reality for some. With tens of thousands of people losing their lives because of the opioid crisis, it’s important to know your options if you get hooked. Fortunately, help is available, and it’s considered highly effective. Since withdrawal can be so uncomfortable, it’s not uncommon for individuals to check into medical detox to safely overcome these symptoms. 

Once doctors deem them medically safe, it’s vital to understand what’s prompting you to abuse these medications. Many people benefit from living on-site in an addiction treatment center and undergoing rigorous therapy sessions to overcome their affliction. If you’re interested in learning more, find out how our staff can help guide you on your journey to sobriety.

Tap to GET HELP NOW: (888) 995-6311