What Are The Differences Between Tramadol And Percocet?

A group of German scientist created Tramadol way back in 1962 before pharmaceutical companies introduced it to the United States under the brand name Tramadol. It was believed to have little abuse potential. Thus, it was classified as a non-schedule drug by the Food and Drug Administration warranting fewer restrictions from the FDA.

Percocet is a trade name for a combination of two powerful drugs. Companies manufacture it by synthesizing the opioid Oxycodone with the non-opioid Acetaminophen, or as you may recognize it Paracetamol. Both drugs are pain relievers, but Acetaminophen is also a common analgesic or fever relieving medication. (1)

The US Food and Drug Administration approved Percocet in 1976. Additionally, the pharmaceutical company Endo International is the primary manufacturer of it. (2)

Uses Of Tramadol And Percocet

Both Tramadol and Percocet are used to reduce various levels of pain felt by the patient. They do this by altering the pain receptors in the brain. They, however, various research has shown that it can benefit users in different ways.

A recent study has shown that Tramadol can treat patients who have undergone surgery to lessen postanesthesia shivering. Those who were given general anesthesia often experience postanesthesia shivering.

Percocet, on the other hand, can reduce fever, unlike Tramadol. This is thanks to the Acetaminophen present in its components. Percocet’s formulation gives it all the benefits of Oxycodone.

Also Read: Tramadol Vs Oxycodone

Side Effects Of Tramadol And Percocet

Tramadol is believed to have lesser side effects than one of Percocet’s main components, Oxycodone. However, due to the presence of Acetaminophen, the drug’s pain relieving property has increased without any increase in the likelihood of its side effects.

Listed below are the comparisons of the side effects of Tramadol and Percocet’s main ingredient Oxycodone: (3) (4)

  • Constipation: Tramadol’s 24% probability versus Oxycodone’s 16% probability
  • Nausea: Tramadol’s 24% probability versus Oxycodone’s 12% probability
  • Dizziness: Tramadol’s 26% probability versus Oxycodone’s 4% probability
  • Vomiting: Tramadol’s 9% probability versus Oxycodone’s 5% probability

Effect On Pregnant Women

FDA has given Tramadol a grade C when it comes to its effects on unborn babies. A grade C means that there is enough evidence that the drug could significantly harm fetuses. On the other hand, Oxycodone was given a safer grade B. This means that animal tests on the drug yielded no significant harm on unborn babies, but further research on humans is needed.

Research conducted by the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles recently found out that women who take Acetaminophen during pregnancy increase the risk of their children having ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  (5)

Price Of Tramadol And Percocet

One can buy Tramadol’s generic versions at an average price of $50 per 30 120 mg packs. However, pharmacies sell its branded version, Ultram, at $83 for the same amount. Patients can use their Medicare, or other insurances to pay for the Tramadol.

Percocet’s price varies depending on the formulation or ratio between the amounts of Oxycodone and Acetaminophen.

Here’s a list of the various average prices of Percocet based on formulation:

  • 2o tablets of 5/325 mg formulations can range between $170 to $230
  • 10/325 mg tablet is around $328 for a supply of 20 tablets

Tramadol and Percocet both require a prescription from a doctor for you to buy them. Lastly, remember to always consult your doctor before deciding which drug to take.


“PERCOCET (Oxycodone and Acetaminophen Tablets, USP)” (PDF). Endo Pharmaceuticals. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2011.

“Drugs@FDA. FDA approved drug products (searchable database)”. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Retrieved 2009-03-30.

FDA package inserts for Oxycontin (oxycodone). (n.d.). Retrieved August 2, 2017, from Iodine: http://www.iodine.com/drug/oxycodone/fda-package-insert

FDA package inserts for Ultram (tramadol). (n.d.). Retrieved August 2, 2017, from Iodine: http://www.iodine.com/drug/tramadol/fda-package-insert

Thompson, D. (n.d.). Acetaminophen in Pregnancy and Child’s ADHD Risk. Retrieved August 2, 2017, from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/news/20140224/use-of-acetaminophen-in-pregnancy-tied-to-higher-adhd-risk-in-child#1