My question is just that — why do synthetic and semisynthetic opioids exist if they are comparable in terms of analgesia to morphine? I understand why a medicine like fentanyl may exist, because it is so potent and is capable of being worn on a transdermal patch for people with cancer. What I don't understand is why hydrocodone and oxycodone exist.
On an analgesic conversion chart, with oral morphine as 10mg, oxycodone and hydrocodone are both 20-30mg. So why not just prescribe 20-30 mg of morphine? I imagine it's cheaper to produce considering it comes straight from the poppy with no chemical reactions needed to synthesize it. Furthermore, if hydrocodone and oxycodone are about equal in terms of pain relief, why are BOTH necessary? What is the benefit in prescribing oxycodone over hydrocodone or vice versa?
tl;dr why do oxy and hydro exist if morphine can just be doubled? What are the benefits in prescribing one over the other?
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