What Is Opioid Potency Comparison Chart?
Narcotic medications vary in their potency. Each drug has a different prescription range of effectiveness and the number of milligrams in the dosage is not an indication of how strong the medication might be. For example, the dose of hydromorphone (dilaudid) needs to be only 1.5 mg to equal the effectiveness of 10mg of morphine.
In general medications given intravenously or by intramuscular injection will have a quicker onset of action than medications given orally.
|Medication||Route||Time to Effect||Duration||Routine Dosage Equivalent|
|IV = intravenous; IM = intramuscular; PO = orally;|
Routine dosage equivalent to Morphine 10 mg IM or IV
|10 mg IV|
10 mg IM
30-60 mg PO
|Oxycodone||PO||10-15 min||4-6 hours||10-20 mg PO|
|Hydrocodone||PO||30-60 min||4-6 hours||15-30 mg PO|
|Fentanyl||IV||Immediate||1-2 hours||50 micrograms IV|
|Codeine||PO||30-60 min||4-6 hours||200 mg|
|Nalbuphine||IM||15 min||3-6 hours||10 mg|
Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care
"Opioids and Methadone Equivalents for Clinicians"
W. Victor R. Vieweg, M.D., William F. Carlyle Lipps, Pharm.D., and Antony Fernandez, M.D.
The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, March 16, 2005