Percocet

  • Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Oxycodone Hydrochloride And Acetaminophen
Drug Class: Percocet > Oxycodone Hydrochloride And Acetaminophen > Oxycodone > Fully Synthetic Opioid > Opioids > Opioid Agonist > Analgesic.

Uses

Percocet is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Doctors prescribe Percocet to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. This drug is normally recommended to relieve short-term pain caused by an injury, surgery or dental procedure. Physicians sometimes prescribe Percocet to treat migraines or other long-term conditions that cause occasional, acute bouts of pain. Learn More About Percocet Uses

Other, off label uses for this medicine

Acetaminophen is often used to reduce fever. Oxycodone effectively relieves cough. One effect of Percocet includes drowsiness, so it could be used to treat insomnia. In 2009, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews published a study which showed 29 percent of participants responded to opioids for treatment of osteoarthritis.

More Off-Label Uses for Percocet

Administration/Dosage

Percocet is available as a tablet to be taken orally. Take Percocet with or without food. If Percocet upsets your stomach, take with meals.

Each Percocet contains oxycodone and acetaminophen. Each dose of Percocet contains between 2.5 mg and 10 mg of oxycodone. Each dose also contains between 325 mg and 650 mg of acetaminophen. A typical Percocet prescription is one tablet orally every six hours as needed for pain.

Percocet is not approved for use in children. Researchers continue to study whether Percocet is safe for younger patients. Children should never take aspirin for fever or when sick with chicken pox to avoid the risk for Reye's syndrome. Talk with your doctor about whether Percocet use is appropriate for your child.

Percocet is normally prescribed to treat individual bouts of pain rather than to relieve chronic pain. Physicians typically suggest you take Percocet only when you need it, so missing doses is not normally a concern. If you are taking Percocet on a strict schedule for some reason and miss a dose, take a tablet as soon as you remember; however, if it is nearly time to take another Percocet, skip the miss dose and resume your regular schedule. Never take more than the prescribed dose in an effort to make up for missed doses.

Read More About Percocet Administration and Dosage

Action

When cells are injured through trauma or illness, they release a chemical known as prostaglandin. This chemical binds to nerve endings, which then transmit the message that something has gone wrong to the brain. The brain intercepts and interprets the message; your brain responds to the prostaglandins' messages by perceiving pain, creating inflammation at the site of injury and increasing your body temperature. Acetaminophen is a less potent pain reliever than oxycodone but acetaminophen enhances the way oxycodone works. Acetaminophen works by slowing the production of prostaglandins. Oxycodone stops by pain by binding to the nerve endings, sending messages of pleasure and euphoria to the brain in such a way that overrides any signals of pain. Along with pain relief, oxycodone reduces anxiety and causes feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Oxycodone causes respiratory depression, which is slow and shallow breathing, by acting directly on respiratory centers in the brain. Scientists believe this drug depresses your cough reflex by directly affecting the medulla, located in the lower portion of the brain stem. More About How Percocet Works

Precautions

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to Percocet or any other medication. Allergic reaction is a serious and potentially life-threatening medical condition. If you feel you are having an allergic reaction, seek medical assistance immediately. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest and swelling of the face, mouth, lips or tongue.

Percocet can cause constipation. Drink six to eight glasses of water each day to improve regularity. Speak with a nutritionist about a high fiber diet, known to reduce constipation.

Acetaminophen can cause false medical laboratory results, especially tests measuring the amount of sugar in the urine. Tell your doctor or laboratory technician about your Percocet use.

Notify your surgeon about Percocet use before having an operation or medical procedure. She may recommend you change medications or stop taking Percocet for a short time before the test.

Percocet is not recommended for all patients. Tell your doctor about any illnesses or serious medical conditions that may be worsened by Percocet. Speak with your physician before taking Percocet if you have ever had any of the following:

  • Asthma, COPD, Sleep Apnea or Other Breathing Disorders.
  • Liver or Kidney Disease.
  • Underactive Thyroid.
  • Curvature of the Spine.
  • History of Head Injury or Brain Tumor.
  • Epilepsy or Other Seizure Disorder.
  • Low Blood Pressure.
  • Gallbladder Disease.
  • Addison's Disease or Other Adrenal Gland Disorders.
  • Enlarged Prostate.
  • Urination Problems.
  • Mental Illness.
  • History of Drug or Alcohol Addiction.

Do not consume alcohol while taking Percocet. Drinking alcohol may worsen liver damage associated with acetaminophen. Check the labels of all foods, beverages and medicines for alcohol.

This drug can be habit-forming, especially if you take it for long periods of time or use large doses to control pain. This medication should not be used by individuals with a history of substance abuse or dependence. Talk with your doctor if Percocet stops working to relieve your pain – you may be developing dependence that will make it difficult to quit taking Percocet.

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Warnings

You may not be able to take Percocet if you have a history of certain medical conditions. Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • Asthma, COPD, Sleep Apnea or Other Breathing Disorders.
  • Liver or Kidney Disease.
  • Underactive Thyroid.
  • Curvature of the Spine.
  • History of Head Injury or Brain Tumor.
  • Epilepsy or Other Seizure Disorder.
  • Low Blood Pressure.
  • Gallbladder Disease.
  • Addison's Disease or Other Adrenal Gland Disorders.
  • Enlarged Prostate.
  • Urination Problems.
  • Mental Illness.
  • History of Drug or Alcohol Addiction.

Percocet contains acetaminophen. Taking too much acetaminophen can cause serious, or even fatal, liver disease. Many products include acetaminophen, including cough and cold remedies, prescriptions for allergies, sleep aides and pain medicines. Talk with your pharmacist to learn if any of your prescription medications contain acetaminophen. Check the labels on all over-the-counter medications for acetaminophen, sometimes called APAP, brand name Tylenol. Do not consume more than 4 grams, or 4000 milligrams, of acetaminophen in a 24 hour period.

Percocet is a FDA pregnancy category C, which means researchers have not yet established whether taking Percocet during pregnancy will harm your unborn child but it could cause withdrawal symptoms in your newborn.

Stopping Percocet use suddenly may cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Whenever possible, wean yourself from Percocet by taking smaller doses further apart. If you cannot comfortably stop using Percocet, consult with your doctor or qualified in-patient or out-patient rehabilitation center. More Warnings About Using Percocet

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions are always possible but do not always occur. Give your doctor and pharmacist an updated list of all your medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter products and herbal remedies. Do not stop, start or change the dose of any medications without first discussing it with your physician.

Percocet may interact unfavorably with other pain medications, especially if the other drugs affect breathing or cause drowsiness. Take over-the-counter preparations with care, especially cold and cough remedies, anti-seizure medication, drugs for insomnia or anxiety, muscle relaxants or certain psychiatric medications.

Other medications may affect the rate at which oxycodone is removed from the body. This affects the way Percocet works. Medications that can affect clearance include certain antifungal, antibiotic and HIV drugs.

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Side effects

You may experience side effects while taking Percocet. Some of these side effects can be serious. Call your doctor immediately if you suffer side effects like shallow breathing, a slow heart beat, feeling lightheaded or like you are going to faint, or if you are confused or having unusual thoughts or behaviors. Tell your physician if you are nauseated, have stomach pain or loss of appetite, experience itching, dark urine or clay-colored stools. Percocet may also cause jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. Seek immediate help if you had a seizure after taking Percocet.

Learn More About Percocet Side Effects

Overdose

If you think that you or someone you know has taken a Percocet overdose, get medical help right away. Contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the nearest hospital. An overdose of either of the two main components of Percocet, acetaminophen and oxycodone, can cause serious side effects or even death. The first symptoms of acetaminophen overdose include:

  • Loss of Appetite.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Stomach Pain.
  • Sweating.
  • Confusion.
  • Weakness.

Later symptoms may include:

  • Upper Abdominal Pain.
  • Dark Urine.
  • Yellowing of the Skin or Eyes.

A person who has taken a narcotic overdose may exhibit symptoms like extreme drowsiness, muscle weakness, fainting, weak pulse, slow heart rate or even coma. Other symptoms include pinpoint pupils, cold and clammy skin, blue lips, shallow breathing or no breathing at all.

Learn More About Percocet Overdose

Abuse

Percocet is a Schedule II drug, which means it carries a significant risk for abuse and physical as well as psychological dependence. Pharmaceutical companies legally manufacture Percocet for licit use as a pain reliever but abusers obtain Percocet through forged prescriptions, bogus prescription call-ins to pharmacies, "doctor shopping" as well as theft from pharmacies and friends. Read More About Percocet Abuse

Withdrawal

You may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Percocet, especially if you have been using high doses or taking the opioid for a long period of time. Symptoms vary in intensity. Withdrawal is a normal, predictable, physical sign of dependency, not necessarily a sign of willful abuse. Withdrawal symptoms may prevent you from quitting Percocet without medical assistance. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweating.
  • Runny Nose.
  • Goosebumps.
  • Nausea, Vomiting and Diarrhea.
  • Agitation.

Detox

Dependency and addiction to Percocet is often difficult to overcome on your own, especially if you have been taking large doses or using these opioids for a long time. Fortunately, there are in-patient and out-patient treatment facilities where trained professionals can minimize withdrawal symptoms, detoxify your body and give you the tools you need to live drug-free. Detoxification, rehabilitation and counseling are effective therapies to treat addiction to Percocet and other opiates.

Learn More About Percocet Detoxification Programs

Storage

Keep Percocet away from excessive heat and moisture. Do not keep this drug in your bathroom or car. Store Percocet away from children, pets and adults who might accidently or purposefully consume the drug. Do not share Percocet with others, especially with individuals with a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Keep track of your medication, taking note of any missing doses.

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Miscellaneous information

One component of Percocet, oxycodone, is a semi-synthetic opioid made from the opium alkaloid, thebaine. Miscellaneous Information About Percocet