Percocet Side Effects

  • Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Oxycodone Hydrochloride And Acetaminophen

Percocet is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen; acetaminophen is a non-opioid pain reliever that increases the effect of oxycodone. Both oxycodone and acetaminophen are associated with side effects.

Percocet, like all medicine, has the potential to cause side effects. Many people experience no, or minor, adverse reactions after taking Percocet. Most side effects are not severe and disappear after a few days. A few side effects are serious or life-threatening and require the immediate attention of a medical professional.

Abuse, physical dependence or addiction are possible side effects from taking Percocet, especially if the individual takes it to get high or to treat an illness without a prescription; this is known as using a drug non-medically.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, classifies substances according to the potential for abuse. The DEA has classified Percocet as a Schedule II narcotic, which means it carries a high potential for abuse and mental or physical dependence. As a Schedule II narcotic, it is not possible to refill a prescription for Percocet. The individual must make an appointment with a physician to receive more Percocet; this mandate attempts to protect individuals from developing physical dependence on or addiction to Percocet.

Physical dependence means the individual will suffer withdrawal symptoms after the level of Percocet drops in his system, because either he has stopped taking opioids or he has taken a medication to reduce the amount of this drug in his system rapidly, such as naloxone. Withdrawal symptoms are extremely uncomfortable and often drive even the most determine and self-disciplined individual back to opioid abuse.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred Vision
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Tremor
  • Vomiting

The adverse reactions to Percocet are typical of other opioids. These side effects usually decline in strength or stop altogether with continued use at proper doses. The most dangerous side effect is respiratory problems potentially leading to stopped breathing, circulatory depression, dangerously low blood pressure and shock. Physicians should expect side effects and treat patients accordingly.

Respiratory depression is a dangerous, life-threatening condition where the lungs do not adequately exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, characterized by slow or shallow breathing. All opioids carry a risk for respiratory depression, especially at high doses or among individuals who are not accustomed to taking opioids.

The most common side effects associated with this medication are not serious and disappear after taking this drug for a few days. The most commonly reported side effects of Percocet include lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness or sedation, nausea and vomiting. These common adverse reactions are more common in ambulatory patients than in bedridden individuals. Some of these side effects can be lessened when the ambulatory patient lies down.

Continue taking this medication but contact the prescribing physician if the following side effects become intolerable or if they do not go away on their own:

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Flushing
  • Light-Headedness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Other adverse reactions include feelings of overwhelming happiness, known as euphoria, or incredible sadness, known as dysphoria. Percocet consumers may also complain of constipation or itching.

Some side effects are serious, requiring immediate medical attention. Stop taking this medication immediately and contact a doctor if you experience serious side effects, including:

  • Burning, Numbness or Tingling
  • Change in Amount of Urine Produced
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Fast, Slow or Irregular Heartbeat
  • Fever, Chills or Persistent Sore Throat
  • Hallucinations
  • Hearing Loss
  • Mental or Mood Changes, Especially Agitation, Anxiety, Depression
  • Seizures
  • Severe or Persistent Constipation
  • Severe or Persistent Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Light-Headedness
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Slow or Difficult Breathing
  • Stomach or Back Pain
  • Symptoms of Liver Problems, Such as Yellowing of the Skin or Eyes, Pale Stools, Dark Urine, Persistent Loss of Appetite
  • Tremors
  • Trouble Urinating
  • Unusual Bruising or Bleeding
  • Unusual Tiredness or Weakness
  • Vision Changes


Some patients may be hypersensitive to the effects of Percocet. These individuals may experience side effects such as skin irritation, hives and redness of the skin. Severe hypersensitivity reactions include a decrease in platelets that help the blood clot, low white or red blood cell count, and anemia. Patients who are hypersensitive to the acetaminophen in Percocet may suffer from agranulocytosis, an inability to produce white blood cells.

By body system


Percocet may cause adverse reactions in the body as a whole. These side effects include allergic reaction, melancholy, a lack of strength, fatigue, chest pain, fever, hypothermia and thirst. Other adverse reactions include headache, increased sweating, accidental overdose and non-accidental overdose.


Percocet may affect the heart and circulatory system. Adverse reactions include low blood pressure, high blood pressure, fast heat beat, low blood pressure when laying down and slow or irregular heartbeat.

Nervous System

The opioid Percocet can cause adverse reactions in the nervous system. These side effects include stupor, tremor, tingling and reduced sensitivity. Other adverse reactions include lethargy, seizures, anxiety, mental impairment, agitation, cerebral edema, confusion and dizziness.

Fluid and Electrolyte

Percocet may affect the consumer's fluid and electrolyte balance. Side effects include dehydration, high potassium levels, high levels of acid in the body and high levels of carbon in the blood.


Percocet can affect the digestive system and cause side effects such as stomach upset, taste disturbances, abdominal pain and distention. Consumers may notice increased sweating, diarrhea, dry mouth, gas, bowel problems, nausea and vomiting. Severe side effects include pancreatitis or intestinal obstruction.


Using Percocet may affect the liver and cause temporary increases in laboratory tests associated with the liver. It may also cause liver failure, yellowing of the skin or eyes, inflammation of the liver or liver disease.


Percocet may cause hearing loss or tinnitus, which is ringing in the ears.


Taking Percocet may cause a decrease in platelets, increasing the risk for bleeding disorders.


Individuals who are hypersensitive to Percocet may experience an acute allergic reaction, swelling just beneath the skin, asthma, breathing spasms, swelling of the voicebox and hives.

Metabolic and Nutritional

Percocet consumption may cause low blood sugar, high blood pressure and acid-base imbalances.


Using Percocet may cause musculoskeletal problems such as aching and deterioration of muscle mass.


Some Percocet consumers report eye problems, such as pinpoint pupils, changes in vision and red eyes.


Percocet may cause psychiatric disturbances in users. These adverse effects include dependence, drug abuse, insomnia, confusion, anxiety and agitation. Consumers also report a depressed level of consciousness and nervousness. Percocet may cause hallucination, somnolence, depression and suicide.


Opioids are associated with serious breathing problems. Respiratory side effects include breathing spasms, difficulty breathing and fast or slow breathing. This medication may cause abnormal fluid in the lungs or rapid swelling in the lungs or brain.


Percocet may cause redness of the skin, hives or rash.


Taking Percocet may result in adverse urogenital reactions, including protein in the urine and kidney insufficiency, disease and failure.