Percodan Facts

  • Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Oxycodone Hydrochloride And Aspirin

Uses

Doctors prescribe Percodan to relieve moderate to severe pain. Percodan contains two pain relievers, oxycodone and aspirin, that work in different ways to relieve your pain.

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Other, off label uses for this medicine

A physician may prescribe Percodan for patients who have pain along with cough and fever.

More Off-Label Uses for Percodan

Administration/Dosage

Each Percodan contains 4.8 mg of oxycodone and 325 mg of aspirin. Percodan is available in a yellow, round tablet.

The usual Percodan prescription calls for one table every six hours as needed for pain. In this case, take Percodan at the first sign of pain, provided enough time has passed since your last dose. Waiting until the pain has worsened may reduce the effectiveness of Percodan. Percodan may be given on a schedule to control chronic pain. The maximum daily dose of Percodan should not exceed 4 grams, or 12 tablets.

If you are on a regular dosing schedule and miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is nearly time to take another dose and you can tolerate the pain, skip the missed dose and resume your normal schedule.

Your doctor decides how much Percodan you should receive by assessing your body weight, other medical conditions and the medications you are currently taking. Do not take more Percodan than your doctor recommends and do not take Percodan more often than prescribed.

Take Percodan with a full glass of water to prevent choking. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day you take Percodan to ease constipation.

Percodan may be taken with or without food. To prevent stomach upset, take Percodan with food or milk. If Percodan makes you nauseated, lie down for one to two hours and keep your head still.

Do not administer Percodan to children younger than six years. Doctors calculate the proper dose of Percodan for older children with an equation of 0.1 mg to 0.2 mg of oxycodone per kilogram of body weight per dose.

Do not use products containing aspirin, like Percodan, to treat children with a high fever, especially children with chicken pox or the flu. Doing so increases the risk for Reye syndrome, a serious and potentially lethal disease.

It is important to take Percodan exactly as your doctor has prescribed. Do not stop taking Percodan suddenly or you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sweating, trouble sleeping, shakiness, nausea, tremors, diarrhea, or hallucinations.

Read More about Percodan Administration and Dosage

Action

Percodan works with the central nervous system, or CNS, to change the way your brain perceives pain. When damaged by injury or illness, body cells produce large quantities of the enzyme, COX-2. This enzyme, in turn, releases prostaglandin, which binds to pain receptors in nerve endings and then sends messages about the illness or injury through the nervous system to the brain. The brain responds by perceiving pain and taking appropriate action, like saying "ouch" or recoiling from the source of pain.

The oxycodone in Percodan relieves pain by binding to pain receptors to send messages of pleasure and euphoria instead of messages of pain. The oxycodone in Percodan, like other opioids, fools your brain into thinking all is well and happy in your body.

The oxycodone in Percodan suppresses cough by depressing the cough reflex directly in the part of your brain responsible for breathing. Opioids also work on smooth muscle organs, like those in your intestines, in a way that can slow processes such as digestion and cause constipation.

The aspirin in Percodan adheres to COX-2 and interrupts prostaglandin production. As a result, the brain receives an incomplete message about the pain.

Prostaglandin also signals wounded cells to release fluids, causing swelling and inflammation. Aspirin reduces swelling and inflammation by reducing prostaglandin production.

The aspirin component of Percodan also affects the hypothalamus, the area of your brain that regulates body temperature, in a way that reduces fever.

More about How Percodan Works

Precautions

Do not take Percodan if you are allergic to aspirin, oxycodone or any other opioid such as codeine or morphine. An allergic reaction is a serious medical condition, requiring the immediate attention of a doctor. Stop taking Percodan and go to the nearest medical facility at the first sign of an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives, rash, difficulty breathing and swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.

Do not take aspirin or products like Percodan that contain aspirin if you have a history of asthma, rhinitis and nasal polyps. Aspirin may cause hives, swelling just under the skin or an asthma attack. Tell your doctor about any respiratory problems.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had the intestinal obstructive disorder, paralytic ileum. Oxycodone may worsen this condition.

Percodan may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not operate a car or heavy machinery until you know how you react to Percodan. Avoid risky behavior or activities that require you to be alert and awake.

Do not consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes while taking Percodan. Drinking alcohol may worsen side effects. Alcohol and tobacco use increase the risk for stomach bleeding associated with Percodan.

This drug can be habit-forming, especially if you take high doses or use it for more than a few weeks.

Medical History

You may not be able to take Percodan if you are currently suffering from or have a history of certain medical conditions. Percodan may worsen your condition or interfere with treatment. Tell the prescribing physician if you have had:

  • Asthma or Other Breathing Disorders
  • Liver or Kidney Disease
  • History of Head Injury or Brain Tumor
  • Epilepsy or Other Seizure Disorder
  • Stomach or Intestinal Disorder
  • History of Stomach Ulcer or Bleeding
  • Pancreas Disorder
  • Curvature of the Spine
  • Mental Illness
  • History of Drug or Alcohol Addiction

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Warnings

You may not be able to take Percodan if you have a history of certain medical disorders, including intestinal or bowel disorders such as paralytic ileus, infectious diarrhea, colitis and blockage. Tell your physician if you have ever had kidney disease, liver disease, bleeding and blood-clotting disorders, such as hemophilia, vitamin K deficiency or low platelet count.

Percodan may worsen respiratory conditions including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, breathing problems such as slow or shallow breathing, sleep apnea and nasal polyps. Some digestive issues, such as ulcers, heartburn and stomach pain may prevent you from taking Percodan. Consult with your physician if you have diabetes, gout, spinal problems, and heart problems such as low blood pressure or irregular heartbeat, underactive thyroid, pancreas problems, gallbladder disease, difficulty urinating, adrenal gland problems or enzyme deficiencies.

Tell the prescribing physician if you have a personal or family history of drug or alcohol abuse, brain disorders such as seizures, head injury, tumor, increased intracranial pressure or mental or mood disorders.

Pregnancy

The oxycodone in Percodan may harm an unborn child. Taking Percodan in the last three months of pregnancy may cause your baby to experience breathing problems or withdrawal symptoms after birth, including irritability, persistent crying, vomiting or diarrhea. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking Percodan. Notify your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while using this opioid painkiller.

Percodan may pass into breast milk and onto a nursing baby. Do not take Percodan while breastfeeding.

Withdrawal

You may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Percodan suddenly, especially if you have taken this pain medicine for a long time or have taken very large doses. Try weaning yourself from Percodan by taking smaller doses. Wait as long as you can before taking another tablet. If withdrawal symptoms prevent you from quitting Percodan, consult with your doctor or qualified in-patient or outpatient rehabilitation center.

More Warnings about Using Percodan

Drug Interactions

Percodan may interact with other medications in unfavorable or unsafe ways. Give the prescribing physician and pharmacist filling the order a complete list of everything you take, including prescriptions, over-the-counter preparations, vitamins and supplements, and herbal remedies. Do not start, stop or change the way you take any prescription or non-prescription preparation while taking Percodan without consulting with the prescribing physician.

Some medications interact with Percodan. Tell healthcare provider if you take a diuretic, commonly known as a water pill, or if you take oral insulin or other oral diabetes medicines. Be sure your doctor knows if you are taking a blood thinner such as warfarin, sold under the brand name Coumadin. Do not use Percodan alongside a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, commonly known as an NSAID. Examples of NSAIDs include indomethacin and naproxen, sold under the brand names Indocin, Aleve, Naprosyn and others.

Tell the doctor if you use an ACE inhibitor such as benazepril, captopril, fosinopril, enalapril, lisinopril, quinapril and others. Brand name ACE inhibitors include Lotensin, Capoten, Monopril, Vasotec, Prinivil, Zestril, Accupril, among others.

Make sure your physician knows if you use a beta-blocker such as atenolol, labetalol, metoprolol, nadolol, propranolol, sotalol, timolol and others. Brand name beta-blockers include Tenormin, Normodyne, Trandate, Lopressor, Toprol, Corgard, Inderal, InnoPran, Betapace and Blocadren.

Talk with your healthcare provider if you use acetazolamide, brand name Diamox, or methotrexate, which is sold under the brand names Rheumatrex and Trexall. Make sure she knows if you use atropine brand name Donnatal, or dimenhydrinate, sold under the brand name Dramamine. Tell her if you use Transderm-Scop, which is the brand name preparation containing scopolamine.

You may not be able to use Percodan if you use a steroid medications or a bronchodilator such as Atrovent or Spiriva. Tell your doctor if you use a bowel or bladder medications such as Detrol, Bentyl, Anaspaz, Cystospaz or Levsin.

More Drug Interactions

Side effects

Percodan, like all medications, may cause side effects in some consumers. Most of the commonly reported side effects are not serious and go away with continued use. Contact the prescribing physician if these non-serious side effects become uncomfortable or if they do not disappear.

Non-serious side effects include:

  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Gas
  • Headache
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Ringing in the Ears
  • Sweating
  • Upset Stomach

Some side effects are serious or life threatening. Stop using Percodan and consult a physician right away if you experience any serious adverse reaction while using this opioid painkiller.

Serious side effects include:

  • Black, Bloody or Tarry Stools
  • Coughing Up Blood or Vomit that Looks Like Coffee Grounds
  • Shallow Breathing
  • Slow Heartbeat
  • Fast Heart Rate
  • Feeling Light-Headed or Fainting
  • Confusion or Hallucinations
  • Easy Bruising or Bleeding
  • Urinary Problems

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Overdose

Percodan overdose is a serious, life threatening emergency requiring immediate medical care. If you believe you or another person has taken an overdose, contact poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the nearest hospital, emergency department, urgent care clinic, doctor's office or fire department. Call an ambulance if it is the quickest way to get the patient to the hospital.

Emergency department personnel administer naloxone or other drugs to drop Percodan to non-toxic levels as quickly as possible. Doctors and nurses establish an airway to help the patient breathe and remove excess Percodan from the stomach. The medical team performs other emergency, life-saving treatments such as CPR whenever necessary to counteract toxic levels of Percodan.

Overdose symptoms include:

  • Blue Lips
  • Cold, Clammy Skin
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Diarrhea
  • Extreme Drowsiness
  • Fainting
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Pinpoint Pupils
  • Ringing in the Ears
  • Shallow Breathing or Absence of Breathing
  • Slow Heart Rate
  • Weak Pulse

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Abuse

People abuse Percodan because of the pleasant and euphoric feeling opioids provide. Recreational users buy opioids illegally on the streets, by presenting forged prescriptions with pharmacies or seeking multiple prescriptions from several doctors in a practice called "doctor shopping." Some recreational users steal drugs or get them free from friends or family members.

Continued Percodan abuse increases the risk for physical dependence and opioid addiction in some people, especially in those who consume increasingly larger doses to get high. Physical dependence results in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms; opioid addiction causes craving and drug-seeking behaviors.

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Withdrawal

Anyone who takes Percodan for more than a few weeks can become opioid-dependent and experience withdrawal symptoms when they quit using this drug. Medical professionals recognize withdrawal symptoms as a predictable and normal physiological process. Withdrawal is not necessarily a sign of illicit drug abuse.

The human body adapts to the presence of some foreign substances, such as Percodan, by adjusting its own chemical balance. With continuous use, the body begins to depend on a certain level of the drug in order to feel "normal." If opioid levels drop radically, the dependent body struggles to maintain chemical stability. The opioid-dependent individual experiences this battle, known as detoxification, through uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Physical withdrawal symptoms associated with Percodan detoxification can last five days or more while the dependent body gradually adjusts to lowered opioid levels. Withdrawal frequently causes powerful psychological symptoms, such as depression and anxiety. These psychological symptoms are often as devastating to recovery as are the physical withdrawal symptoms.

Specific Percodan withdrawal symptoms vary in intensity and length from person to person. Symptoms can be worse for individuals who took high doses or used Percodan for a long time.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea
  • Shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Trouble Sleeping

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Detox

It can be difficult to stop taking Percodan, especially if you have been taking large doses or using this narcotic for more than a few weeks. In-patient and out-patient treatment facilities are staffed with qualified professionals who can minimize withdrawal symptoms, provide detoxification and the tools necessary to live drug-free. Talk with your doctor or contact a rehabilitation specialist if you have developed a dependence on Percodan and are finding it difficult to stop taking this drug.

Detoxification is the medical process of decreasing the level of opioids in an opioid-dependent person. This detoxification process occurs either because the individual used less Percodan than usual or because she took a medication such as naloxone to decrease the level of opioids in her body.

Detoxification is a long and difficult journey, especially if you attempt self-detoxification without specially trained professionals to develop a treatment plan or medications that alleviate your withdrawal symptoms.

During standard detoxification treatment, physicians give drugs such as naloxone to reduce opioid levels alongside medications to address the resulting withdrawal symptoms. The patient then receives a variety of medications, including drugs to calm anxiety, ease diarrhea, quiet tremors and help the patient sleep.

Standard detoxification treatments effectively reduce withdrawal time and relieve uncomfortable physical symptoms but do little to help ease the psychological distress a patient endures during the detoxification process. Many patients report standard detoxification left them feeling demoralized and unworthy of a successful recovery.

Rapid detox is the most humane way to help an individual overcome Percodan dependence. During rapid detox, board certified anesthesiologists administer anesthesia and sedatives alongside the usual detoxification drugs. The patient dozes in a pleasant "twilight sleep " during the arduous detoxification procedure. When she awakens, she will have no memory of the grueling and demoralizing withdrawal process.

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Storage

Keep Percodan at room temperature, away from heat, light and moisture. Put Percodan where children and pets cannot reach it. Store Percodan in a place where adults or teenagers will not take this medication by accident or on purpose.

Keep track of your Percodan and account for all missing doses.

Discard Percodan when you no longer use it to control your pain or when a doctor tells you to stop using it. Flush unused Percodan down the toilet.

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