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What is Percocet?
Percocet is a combination medicine containing oxycodone and acetaminophen that helps relieve moderate to severe pain. It belongs to the analgesics (opioids combo) category of drugs.
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Due to the risks of abuse, misuse, and Percocet addiction, doctors recommend Percocet when you cannot tolerate the treatment with non-opioid pain relievers or did not get adequate pain relief from them.
What to know before taking Percocet?
Before you start taking Percocet, you must know if you are allergic to Percocet or any of the components it contains; or if you have other allergies. Do not take it if you are allergic to other opioids such as codeine, morphine, or oxymorphone.
Make a list of your medical history containing the health issues you had and the medications you took in the past. Share your medical history with your medical healthcare provider, especially if you have ever had:
- Breathing problems such as severe asthma and interrupted breathing during sleep;
- A stomach or intestinal blockage;
- Kidney or liver disease;
- Any substance use disorder (a drug or alcohol addiction);
- Head injury or seizure;
- Problems with pancreas, thyroid, or gallbladder; or
- Urination problems
Older adults are more sensitive and prone to the risk of side effects of Percocet, including dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, and shallow breathing. It is suitable for your and the newborn baby’s health if you do not take this drug during pregnancy and lactation.
How to take Percocet?
You should follow the instructions of your medical healthcare provider while taking Percocet. It is dangerous to take Percocet in large amounts or for longer than recommended.
A Percocet overdose can damage your liver or result in death. So, inform your medical healthcare provider if you feel an increased urge to take more of this medicine. For the same reason, you should never misuse, overuse, or abuse Percocet.
How long does Percocet stay in your system? Percocet is an opiate medication that stays in your system for 1 to 30 days depending upon its usage and drug testing method.
If you suddenly stop taking Percocet after long-duration use in higher doses, you might face Percocet withdrawal. The earlier symptoms of withdrawal within the first 24 hours may include:
- Restlessness, anxiety;
- Muscle aches, excessive sweating;
- Lacrimation (teary eyes), runny nose;
- Inability to sleep and frequent yawning
Later Percocet withdrawal, which can be more intense, includes the following symptoms:
- Abdominal cramping;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Rapid heartbeat;
- Goosebumps on the skin;
- High blood pressure; or
- Dilated pupils with blurry vision
You might notice a particular reduction in the withdrawal symptoms within 72 hours; if not, consult your medical healthcare provider.
Percocet generic is available as Oxycodone hydrochloride 2.5 mg, Acetaminophen 325 mg. The usual Percocet dosage for adults:
- You need to initiate the treatment with Percocet pills 2.5 mg/ 325 mg, one or two tablets within every 6 hours as needed for pain relief. The maximum amount of Percocet per day should not exceed 4 grams (12 pills).
- Percocet 5/325 mg – you should take one tablet every 6 hours as needed. The maximum amount should not exceed 12 pills a day.
- Percocet 7.5/325 mg – you should take one tablet every 6 hours as needed. The maximum amount should not exceed eight tablets a day.
- Percocet 10/325 mg – you should take one tablet every 6 hours as needed. The maximum amount should not exceed six tablets a day.
Percocet overdose can be fatal, especially if you take it without a prescription or any child takes it accidentally. If you have an overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms of Percocet may include excessive sweating, vomiting, nausea, pinpoint pupils, severe drowsiness, slow or shallow breathing, pinpoint pupils.
Percocet addiction reduces intestinal motility and often causes difficulty with bowel movements and constipation. Other painkillers like Percocet also produces some other symptoms, including:
- Mood swings, depression;
- Confusion, sweating;
- Reduced breathing rate, low blood pressure;
- Difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping;
- Difficulty with balance and coordination
Percocet side effects
Percocet effects may be adverse in some cases. The risk of side effects is higher in certain age groups, such as older adults with wasting syndrome or chronic breathing disorders.
Common side effects of Percocet that do not need prompt medical help may include drowsiness, dizziness, tired feeling, vomiting, nausea, stomach ache, feeling of extreme happiness or sadness, constipation, and headache.
Some severe side effects of Percocet may include lightheadedness, noisy or shallow breathing, unusual changes in thoughts or behavior, loss of appetite, dark urine, weakness, clay-colored stools, or jaundice.
You may consult your medical healthcare provider for more information regarding the risk of side effects or report it to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.