Difference between Percocet and Norco

Updated on February 13, 2018

As two of the most popular drugs for pain relief, Percocet and Norco are often used interchangeably. However, despite their similarities, there are many factors that set the two apart. This article provides more information on these drugs.

Summary Table

A combination of oxycodone and acetaminophenA combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen
More potentLess potent
More addictiveLess addictive



Percocet is a combination pain medication made up of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Prescribed to alleviate moderate to severe pain, Percocet is widely used by patients suffering from differing medical conditions.

Norco, on the other hand, is a combination pain reliever that contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen. The effect of hydrocodone is intensified by acetaminophen, making Norco an ideal medicine for moderate to severe pain.

Percocet vs Norco

Despite their strong associations, there is a big difference between Percocet and Norco, making it important for physicians and patients to take a proactive approach in choosing the right medication.


Percocet and Norco vary in terms of formulation. While the former is made up of oxycodone and acetaminophen, the latter is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. In both medications, acetaminophen, which is a non-opioid pain medication, primarily acts as a booster of the oxycodone and hydrocodone.


Percocet and Norco are ideal for alleviating acute moderate to severe pain. However, while both medications can provide pain relief for 4 to 6 hours, Percocet is more potent and is therefore most prescribed for patients that need a strong opioid.


Since Percocet and Norco are opioids, they can release a feeling of euphoria and a deep sense of peace and relaxation, making them prone to drug abuse. Both drugs are regulated by the government and should be taken only when prescribed by a physician. Between the two, Percocet is more addictive because it is more potent than Norco.

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