Generic Names of Opioids That You Might Have a Prescription For

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The criminal extent to which vast numbers of opioid painkiller prescriptions were freely misbranded by the profiteering pharmaceutical industry, then just as freely written and given out to the unsuspecting U.S. public by kickback-driven healthcare providers, including family physicians, is undeniably massive, and the country continues to be trapped in a national epidemic of opioid abuse, overdose, and death.

Highly addictive and potentially lethal, millions of these tablets sit idly by in unlocked U.S. medicine cabinets around the country, until the day that grandma’s migraines become too bad, or the day that Henry reckons his poor back should get sorted by a few of these, or the day that your youngest child wonders if the little pink tablets will taste the same as strawberry-flavored bubblegum.

It’s a disaster waiting to happen in virtually every community in the U.S., and, unsurprisingly, nothing is really being done to negate this risk to public health, particularly in this era of the coronavirus. Even more concerning, perhaps, is the simple fact that many U.S. citizens just don’t know they’re there.

what are opioids
what are opioids
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Opioids are most commonly prescribed to reduce pain. As the effects of these opioids wear off, an individual’s sensitivity to pain can increase, causing patients to seek out more of the same. This is a vicious cycle that has resulted in more overdose deaths than any other drug on the market.

With almost as many generic opioid prescriptions as there are brand name opioid ones, generic opioid prescription addiction is becoming another highly significant factor in the current opioid epidemic.

Did you know it is estimated that as many as 4 out of 5 current heroin users started out becoming dependent on opioid prescriptions? And, of these heroin users, nearly 70% originally “borrowed” the opioid medication from their family or their friends? 

Sadly, many people are not aware that giving their prescribed medicine to someone is a felony. After all, the medications are extremely common, approved by the FDA, and prescribed by a physician – they are not street drugs. Many still buy into the belief their prescriptions are the best way of getting rid of pain, and, at the same time, not even realizing they are the “dreaded opioids” they’ve seen on the evening news.

The U.S. population needs and deserves to be fully informed and educated right now about the clear and present addiction and overdose dangers that currently lurk in their family’s medicine cabinets.

How opioids work
how opioids work

This article will provide readers with valuable information on:

  • The U.S. Opioid Epidemic: How Did We Get Here

    • Opioid Prescriptions: The Facts

    • What is the Difference Between Generic & Brand Name Medications?

  • Comprehensive List of Common Opioid Prescription Medications: Generic Names & Brand Names

    • How Do Opioids Work?
    • Our Comprehensive List:
      1. Hydrocodone (the generic name), eg. Vicodin (the brand name)
      2. Oxycodone, eg. Oxycontin
      3. Hydromorphone, eg. Dilaudid
      4. Fentanyl, eg. Duragesic
      5. Oxymorphone, eg. Opana
      6. Morphine, eg. MS-Contin
      7. Codeine
      8. Methadone, eg. Methadose
      9. Buprenorphine, eg. Subutex
      10. Tramadol, eg. Ultram
      11. Meperidine, eg. Demerol
  • Safe Ways You Can Dispose of Unnecessary Prescriptions
  • Clear Signs You (or a Loved One) May Be Addicted to an Opioid Prescription
  • The Dangers of Opioid Prescription Addiction
Generic opioid names
Generic names for popular opioids

The U.S. Opioid Epidemic: How Did We Get Here?

In the late 1990s, U.S. pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid painkillers, and the nation’s healthcare providers, many with the word “profit” shining in their minds as bright as neon, began to prescribe them at far greater rates.

Sadly, the potent, yet deliberately suppressed addictive nature of these prescriptions led to their widespread misuse and abuse, and opioid overdose rates began to increase dramatically. For the U.S.’s pharmaceutical industries and medical communities, there was no hiding from the abundance of deeply disturbing government statistics:

  • In 2017, more than 47,000 U.S. citizens died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid
  • The same year, an estimated 1.7 million people in the U.S. suffered from a substance use disorder (SUD) directly related to prescription opioid pain relievers, and 652,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder

However, even with a national outcry, the White House’s subsequent declaration of a national opioid epidemic, and huge billion-dollar funding into opioid addiction treatment (most of which has been redirected toward the coronavirus), the same opioid prescriptions were still being written – then and now.

In fact, a recent study by University of Pennsylvania medical researchers has uncovered the alarming rate at which excessive and high-dose opioid prescriptions are being routinely written post-surgery for patients after a simple, often non-invasive procedure – arthroscopic knee surgery, one of the three most common outpatient procedures in the U.S. Between 2015 and 2019, more than one-third of patients received opioid prescriptions that were above the risk threshold established by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Dr. M. Kit Delgado, an epidemiologist, and researcher at the Perelman School of Medicine,

University of Pennsylvania, stated, “We found massive levels of variation in… patients who are prescribed opioids… The average number of pills prescribed was extremely high for outpatient procedures of this type, particularly for patients who had not been taking opioids prior to surgery.”

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Opioid Prescriptions: The Facts

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others. When used correctly, under a health care provider’s directions, prescription pain medicines can be highly effective.

However, misusing prescription opioids risks both dependence and, subsequently, addiction:

  • Around 21-29% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain will misuse them
  • Between 8-12% develop an opioid use disorder (OUD), and
  • An estimated 4-6% who misuse prescription opioids will transition to heroin

The initial decision to take drugs is entirely voluntary for most people, but can quickly lead to brain changes that challenge a person’s self-control, and interferes with their ability to resist intense urges to take more of the same drug. In addition to the serious risks of addiction, abuse, and overdose, the use of prescription opioids can have many negative side effects, even when taken as directed.

What is the Difference Between Generic & Brand Name Medications?

Primarily, generic medications work exactly the same way as costlier brand name ones; they share the same active ingredients, and both the manufacturing and packaging must pass the same quality standards. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires generic drugs to have the same performance and quality as their brand name counterparts. 

Brand name drugs are inherently more expensive because the pharmaceutical company that produced the medication originally will have outlaid substantial sums of money for its research and development. During development, the medication will be put under patent protection

When it is finally approved by the FDA, it is given both a brand and generic name. This allows the pharmaceutical company the sole rights to market and sell the drug for a certain period of time.

Once that time period has elapsed, other companies can manufacture the medication, and then sell it under its generic name. Unlike brand name companies, generic manufacturers compete directly on price, resulting in far lower prices for consumers. In fact, the use of generics has saved U.S. citizens around $2.2 trillion over the last decade, according to the Association of Accessible Medicines.

Comprehensive List of Common Opioid Prescription Medications: Generic Names & Brand Names

Before we list all the generic names and brand names of opioid meds – the most commonly prescribed opioid medications, to be exact – let’s look at why opioids are so effective when (and if) they are used as directed by health care providers, including your family physician.

How Do Opioids Work?

Opioids actually work by attaching to particular receptors in the brain, known as opioid receptors. By attaching here, a signal is sent to block the sensation of pain, but also slows breathing, and actually has a non-calming effect. Since the chemical structure of opioids mimics natural neurotransmitters, the result is an excessive amount of these signals being sent through our neural pathways.

As a further result, the brain is flooded with dopamine, one of the more well-known “feel-good” transmitters. This is what produces the euphoric “high” of opioid use and misuse, and can lead to the addiction of opioid prescriptions.

Addiction occurs because the brain’s neural networking has its own way of ensuring our survival, including prompting an individual to pursue an activity that is pleasurable or rewarding. Whenever the “reward circuit” is activated, the activity is automatically memorized, and then demands that we keep repeating it.

Additionally, opioids neglect to activate nerve cells in the way that natural neurotransmitters do. In other words, opioids only target the brain’s neural networking – they don’t actually get to the source of the pain at all.

1. Generic Name: Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone, classed as an opioid analgesic, is a prescription narcotic used for the management of severe pain requiring daily, around-the-clock, long-term treatment, and for which alternative treatments are inadequate. Hydrocodone, when not combined with other active ingredients, is for adults only, as its safety has not been established for children. It is available under the following brand names:

Opioid Brand Name:

  • Hysingla ER (extended-release)
  • Vantrela ER
  • Zohydro ER

Hydrocodone is also available as an active ingredient in combined opioid prescription medications; for example, Vicodin, which is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Therefore, hydrocodone (when combined with at least one other main ingredient) is also available under the following brand names (provided here with all their active ingredients):

Opioid Brand Name & Active Ingredients:

  • Apadaz benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen
  • Flowtuss hydrocodone bitartrate and guaifenesin
  • Histinex HC phenylephrine, hydrocodone, and chlorpheniramine maleate
  • Hycodan hydrocodone bitartrate and homatropine methylbromide
  • Hycofenix hydrocodone bitartrate, pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, and guaifenesin
  • Hycotuss hydrocodone bitartrate and guaifenesin
  • Lorcet hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Lortab 10 hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Lortab 2.5 hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Lortab 5 hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Lortab 7.5 hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Lortab Elixir hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Norco hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Norco 5/325 hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Obredon hydrocodone bitartrate and guaifenesin
  • Reprexain hydrocodone bitartrate and ibuprofen
  • Rezira hydrocodone bitartrate and pseudoephedrine hydrochloride
  • Tussigon hydrocodone bitartrate and homatropine methylbromide
  • Tussionex hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine
  • Vicodin hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Vicodin ES hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Vicodin HP hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Vicoprofen hydrocodone and ibuprofen
  • Vituz hydrocodone bitartrate and chlorpheniramine maleate
  • Xodol hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Xtrelus hydrocodone bitartrate and guaifenesin
  • Zamicet hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Zolvit hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Zutripro hydrocodone bitartrate, chlorpheniramine maleate, and pseudoephedrine hydrochloride
  • Zydone hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen
  • Zyfrel hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen

2. Generic Name: Oxycodone

Oxycodone, classed as an opioid analgesic, is a prescription narcotic used for the management of moderate to severe pain, such as cancer-related pain. Oxycodone, when not combined with other active ingredients, is available under the following brand names:

Opioid Brand Name:

  • Oxaydo
  • Oxecta
  • OxyContin
  • Roxicodone
  • RoxyBond
  • Xtampza ER

Oxycodone is also available as an active ingredient in combined opioid prescription medications; for example, Percocet, which is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Therefore, oxycodone (when combined with at least one other main ingredient) is also available under the following brand names (provided here with all their active ingredients):

Opioid Brand Name: Active Ingredients:

  • Combunox oxycodone HCl (hydrochloride) and ibuprofen
  • Endocet oxycodone and acetaminophen
  • Endodan oxycodone and aspirin
  • Percocet oxycodone and acetaminophen
  • Percodan oxycodone HCl and aspirin
  • Roxicet oxycodone and acetaminophen
  • Targiniq ER oxycodone HCl and naltrexone hydrochloride
  • Troxyca ER oxycodone HCl and naltrexone hydrochloride
  • Tylox oxycodone and acetaminophen
  • Xartemis XR oxycodone HCl and acetaminophen

3. Generic Name: Hydromorphone

Hydromorphone, classed as an opioid analgesic, is a prescription narcotic used for the management of moderate to severe pain. Hydromorphone, in the form of hydromorphone HCl, when not combined with other active ingredients, is available under the following brand names:

Opioid Brand Name:

  • Dilaudid
  • Dilaudid-HP
  • Exalgo
  • Palladone
fentanyl vial

4. Generic Name: Fentanyl

Fentanyl, classed as an opioid analgesic, is a prescription narcotic used for the management of severe pain, such as cancer-related pain. Fentanyl, when not combined with other active ingredients, is available under the following brand names, and in a range of varying forms, such as nasal sprays, skin patches and buccal tablets, as well as the more normal tablet and injection forms:

Opioid Brand Name:

  • Abstral
  • Actiq
  • Duragesic
  • Fentanyl Buccal
  • Fentanyl Citrate Injection
  • Fentanyl Transdermal System
  • Fentora
  • Ionsys
  • Lazanda
  • Onsolis
  • Sublimaze
  • Subsys
  • Ultiva*

*The active ingredient in Ultiva is remifentanil, chemically-related to fentanyl

5. Generic Name: Oxymorphone

Oxymorphone, classed as an opioid analgesic, is a prescription narcotic used for the management of moderate to severe pain. Oxymorphone, when not combined with other active ingredients, is available under the following brand names:

Opioid Brand Name:

  • Numorphan
  • Opana
  • Opana ER

6. Generic Name: Morphine

Morphine, classed as an opioid analgesic, is a prescription narcotic used for the management of acute pain, such as cancer-related pain. Morphine, in the form of either morphine or morphine sulfate, when not combined with other active ingredients, is available under the following brand names:

Opioid Brand Name:

  • Arymo ER
  • Avinza
  • DepoDur
  • Duramorph
  • Infumorph
  • Kadia
  • Morphabond
  • Morphine 
  • Morphine Sulfate 
  • MS-Contin
  • Paregoric
  • Roxanol
  • Statex

Morphine, in its sulfate form, is also available as an active ingredient in a combined opioid prescription medication – namely:

Opioid Brand Name & Active Ingredients:

Embeda morphine sulfate and naltrexone HCl

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7. Generic Name: Codeine

Codeine, classed as an opioid analgesic, is a prescription narcotic used for the management of moderate to severe pain. Codeine, when not combined with other active ingredients, is available under the following brand names:

Opioid Brand Name:

  • Codeine Sulfate
  • Codeine Phosphate

Codeine, in various forms, is also available as an active ingredient in combined opioid prescription medications. Therefore, codeine (when combined with at least one other main ingredient) is also available under the following brand names (provided here with all their active ingredients):

  • Opioid Brand Name: Active Ingredients:
  • Ascomp with Codeine codeine phosphate, butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine
  • Dimetane codeine, brompheniramine, and phenylpropanolamine
  • Fioricet with Codeine codeine, butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine
  • Fiorinal with Codeine codeine and butalbital compound
  • Phenergan-Codeine codeine phosphate and promethazine HCl
  • Robitussin Ac codeine and guaifenesin
  • Soma Compound with Codeine codeine, carisoprodol, and aspirin
  • Synalgos DC dihydrocodeine bitartrate, aspirin, and caffeine
  • Trezix Capsules dihydrocodeine bitartrate, acetaminophen, and caffeine
  • Triacin C codeine phosphate, triprolidine HCl, and pseudoephedrine
  • Tylenol-Codeine codeine and acetaminophen
methadone addiction

8. Generic Name: Methadone

Methadone, classed as an opioid analgesic, is a prescription narcotic used for the management of moderate to severe pain, or the treatment of opioid dependence. Methadone, when not combined with other active ingredients, is available under the following brand names:

Opioid Brand Name:

  • Dolophine
  • Methadone
  • Methadone Hydrochloride Injection
  • Methadose
  • Methadose Oral Concentrate

9. Generic Name: Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine, classed as an opioid analgesic, is a prescription narcotic used for the treatment or maintenance of opioid dependence, such as heroin addiction. Methadone, when not combined with other active ingredients, is available under the following brand names:

Opioid Brand Name:

  • Belbuca
  • Buprenex
  • Butrans
  • Probuphine
  • Sublocade
  • Subutex

Buprenorphine is also available as an active ingredient in combined opioid prescription medications. Therefore, buprenorphine (when combined with at least one other main ingredient) is also available under the following brand names (provided here with all their active ingredients):

Opioid Brand Name & Active Ingredients:

  • Bunavail buprenorphine and naloxone
  • Buprenorphine and Naloxone buprenorphine and naloxone
  • Cassipa buprenorphine and naloxone
  • Suboxone buprenorphine HCl and naloxone HCl
  • Zubsolv buprenorphine and naloxone
tramadol addiction

10. Generic Name: Tramadol

Tramadol, classed as an opioid analgesic, is a prescription narcotic used for the management of moderate to severe pain. Tramadol, when not combined with other active ingredients, is available in the form of tramadol hydrochloride (HCl) under the following brand names:

Opioid Brand Name:

  • ConZip
  • Qdolo
  • Rybix ODT (Orally Disintegrating Tablets)
  • Ryzolt
  • Ultram
  • Ultram ER

Tramadol, again its HCl form, is also available as an active ingredient in a combined opioid prescription medication – namely:

Opioid Brand Name & Active Ingredients:

  • Ultracet tramadol hydrochloride and acetaminophen

11. Generic Name: Meperidine

Meperidine, classed as an opioid analgesic, is a prescription narcotic used for the management of moderate to severe pain. Meperidine, when not combined with other active ingredients, is available under the following brand name:

Opioid Brand Name:

  • Demerol

Meperidine is also available as an active ingredient in a combined opioid prescription medication – namely:

Opioid Brand Name & Active Ingredients:

  • Mepergan meperidine and promethazine
safe ways to dispose of opioids
safe ways to dispose of opioids

Safe Ways You Can Dispose of Remaining Prescriptions 

With the persistent presence of the opioid epidemic, it is more important than ever that you dispose of your remaining opioid prescriptions as safely as possible. There are various options for their safe disposal, such as the National Prescription Drug Take-Back program. Here are our tips on ensuring your remaining prescriptions, including opioids, are disposed safely, and without worry:

  • Always remove the label and all personal information from the prescription packaging to ensure that your identity is not stolen by drug dealers or users.
  • Check for permanent collection sites or periodic events happening in your area for registered Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) collectors
  • Alternatively, there is the DEA’s regular National Prescription Drug Take-Back program, where collectors go around various communities and set up temporary collection locations
  • Mix your remaining prescriptions with something inedible, such as cat litter or coffee grounds. It is not recommended you crush pills into powder
  • Do not flush your medicines down the toilet without a specific order to do so. In some areas, there is a concern that water treatment plants are unable to erase all traces of drugs in the water
  • In some areas, remaining prescriptions may be donated. Such programs currently exist in 38 U.S. states, plus Guam. You can check with the National Conference of State Legislatures to find if a donation program exists in your state. However, be aware that most do not take controlled substances.
  • Returning your remaining prescription medications to your local pharmacy is a further option for safe disposal
signs loved one is addicted

Clear Signs You (or a Loved One) May Be Addicted to an Opioid Prescription

People who are addicted to drugs, either purchased illegally or via the medications in their prescriptions, will usually change their behavior significantly, as the addiction begins to take hold of various aspects of their lives. These behavioral, social and financial signs – clear signs of addiction – can include:

  • Socializing with unusual groups of people or changing friends
  • Spending more and more time alone, thus, avoiding time with family and friends
  • Losing interest in normal activities and hobbies
  • Lacking personal hygiene, such as not bathing/showering regularly, not changing their clothes regularly, or not brushing their teeth every day
  • Being both fatigued and depressed
  • Eating more or less than normal
  • Being overly energetic, talking too fast, and saying things that simply don’t make sense
  • Being cranky or nervous
  • Undergoing quick changes of mood
  • Sleeping at odd hours, or not sleeping enough
  • Missing important appointments, and not looking after their responsibilities
  • Legal problems
  • Missing work or school regularly
  • Experiencing financial hardship, such as being unable to meet normal commitments

Additionally, becoming addicted specifically to an opioid prescription will present further signs, which can include:

  • Asking the family physician to extend an opioid prescription or increase the dosage
  • Asking another physician to extend an opioid prescription or increase the dosage
  • Going to poorer areas of the neighborhood looking for drug dealers and / or blackmarket opioid tablets
  • Contemplating the use of  heroin or actively looking for heroin dealers
the dangers of opioids
The dangers of opioids

The Dangers of Opioid Prescription Addiction

We cannot overstate the dangers of left-over opioid prescriptions – it is an accident or even an addiction just waiting to happen if you keep opioid medication around longer than you need to. You have probably heard of the opioid brand name prescription meds called Vicodin and OxyContin, but can you honestly say, hand on heart, that you know that Ryzolt or Trezix are also both opioid brand name prescription meds, too?

Too many of these types of prescriptions are simply sitting forgotten in unlocked medicine cabinets across the U.S. – it is essential to store them securely until you can dispose of them safely. Please remember that it is highly dangerous if you have a young child living at home. Young kids will often mistake pills for candy and take and swallow them without any hesitation

Furthermore, not only is there the risk of family members or close friends misusing these medications, if you do not dispose of them in one of the ways described above, and they are simply thrown out with the trash, there is the risk that drug users and dealers will dig through your household garbage for them.

Lastly, there is the ever-present danger of developing an opioid prescription addiction. If you or a loved one is possibly suffering from a generic opioid addiction or other substance abuse problem, please know that there are fully qualified, clinical and medical professionals ready and willing to help.


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WRITTEN BY ROBERT CASTAN
OCTOBER 23, 2020

Robert Castan is a member of the Executive Leadership Team at SpringBoard Recovery. Robert started his professional career as a house manager and has become an industry leader and trusted voice in the treatment world. He brings extensive knowledge of organizational growth, industry-leading outcomes, and comprehensive marketing to SpringBoard Recovery. Robert has been walking his own path of recovery for over 10 years. This path has truly driven his ambition to help make treatment available to others who are struggling with addiction. Robert finds great joy in traveling and keeping physically active, with an emphasis on biking. Robert resides in Arizona with his husband and two four-legged children.   The U.S. Alcohol Crisis, Still Deadlier Than the Opioid Epidemic   Zombies and Other Future Threats to the Health of American Youth Dire Mental Health: A Catalyst for Post-Pandemic Drug Addiction The Benefits of Rehab Center Staff Working Their Own Recovery Opinion: The Opioid Crisis + COVID-19 = The Perfect Storm Robert Castan on Successful Addiction Treatment and Entrepreneurship Castan: The road less traveled of addiction & recovery in Scottsdale Opioids & COVID Driving Phoenix’s Rising Fatal Drug Overdoses Opinion: The Opioid Crisis + COVID-19 = The Perfect Storm Successful Addiction Treatment Programs & Entrepreneurship

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