Oxycodone is a semisynthetic opioid designed as a pain reliever structurally similar to codeine but having effects and potency comparable to morphine. It was originally developed in Germany in 1916 by the drug company Bayer as an alternative to heroin. Oxycodone is an extremely effective pain reliever and is often prescribed to treat pain after surgery and chronic extreme back pain. Due to its potential for abuse, oxycodone is a schedule II controlled substance in the U.S., requiring a written or electronic prescription, no refills, and ordinarily cannot be phoned into a pharmacy. As a strong opioid, it is often used by the same groups of people that abuse morphine and heroin, and poses a similar potential for addiction.