Percodan Side Effects

  • Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Oxycodone Hydrochloride And Aspirin

General information about Percodan

Percodan is an opioid pain reliever that works similar to morphine. Percodan contains 4.8 mg of oxycodone hydrochloride and 325 mg aspirin. Side effects may be associated with the oxycodone, aspirin or other components of Percodan.

The oxycodone in Percodan is one of the most widely prescribed medications in the United States. The Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, notes that U.S. pharmacies filled more than 50 million prescriptions for oxycodone in 2008. That year, almost 14 million Americans used oxycodone for non-medical purposes at least once in their lifetime. This means they used it to get high or to treat another illness.

Percodan, like all medicine, can cause side effects. Many people experience no, or minor, adverse reactions while taking Percodan. Most of the commonly reported side effects are not serious and disappear after a few days. Some side effects are serious and require the attention of a medical professional.

Adverse reactions associated with Percodan are typical of any opioids. These side effects usually decrease in intensity or stop altogether after you use Percodan for a few days at recommended doses. The most serious side effect is respiratory problems that could lead to stopped breathing, circulatory depression, dangerously low blood pressure and shock. Physicians should expect side effects and treat patients accordingly.

You are more likely to experience adverse reactions after using high doses of Percodan.

Whenever you take any opioid, including Percodan, you are at risk for the serious breathing condition known as respiratory depression. Respiratory depression is a serious medical emergency that may cause death. During respiratory depression, your lungs do not adequately exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide and other blood gases. Symptoms of respiratory depression include slow or shallow breathing, unusual breathing patterns, gasping or wheezing, and a bluish tint around your eyes, mouth and fingertips.

Most Frequently Observed

The most frequently observed Percodan side effects are lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness or sedation, nausea and vomiting. These side effects are worse for ambulatory patients than for bedridden or wheelchair-bound individuals. If you experience these side effects, lie down for a while.

Abuse, Dependence and Withdrawal

Potential for abuse, physical dependence or addiction are possible. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, classifies substances according to the potential for abuse and has classified the oxycodone in Percodan as a Schedule II narcotic, which means it carries a high potential for abuse and mental or physical dependence.

Physical dependence means you will experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms after Percodan levels drop. This decline in opioid levels could be due to a missed dose, an insufficient dose or because you have taken a medication that reduces opioid levels.

Percodan withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Agitation
  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety
  • Chills Alternating with Hot Flashes
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Goose Bumps
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Muscle Aches
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Poor concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Runny Nose
  • Salivation
  • Severe Sneezing
  • Social isolation
  • Sweating
  • Tremor
  • Vomiting
  • Watery Eyes
  • Weakness
  • Yawning

Allergic Reaction

Anyone can suffer an allergic reaction to Percodan or any other medication. If you suffer any symptoms of an allergic reaction after taking Percodan, seek help immediately - an allergic reaction is a serious medical emergency that may even result in death. Bring the bottle of Percodan along with all your medications to help the doctor understand which medication may have caused the reactions.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Swelling of the Mouth, Face, Lips or Tongue
  • Tightness in the Chest

Anaphylaxis is a severe form of an allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis usually occurs within moments of exposure to Percodan but may happen as long as a half an hour or longer after you take use this drug. Seek help immediately if you think you or someone you know is suffering anaphylaxis.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis include hives, itching, flushed or pale skin. You might have a sensation of warmth. You might also feel like your tongue is swelling up, you have a lump in your throat, or feel that your throat is closing. These problems can lead to wheezing and trouble breathing. You might have a weak and rapid pulse, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or fainting. You may have a terrible feeling of impending doom.


Some patients are hypersensitive to the effects of Percodan. Symptoms of hypersensitivity include allergic dermatitis, skin rash, hives, itching and swelling of the face.

Non-Serious Side Effects

Continue taking Percodan if you experience non-serious side effects, but notify the prescribing physician if any of the following side effects become intolerable or if they do not go away on their own:

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Heartburn
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Stomach Upset
  • Vomiting

Serious Side Effects

Some side effects associated with Percodan require immediate medical attention. Contact a doctor if you experience any serious side effects, such as:

  • Bloody or Black Stools
  • Confusion
  • Dark Urine
  • Decreased or Difficult Urination
  • Fainting
  • Fast, Slow or Irregular Heartbeat
  • Fever, Chills or Persistent Sore Throat
  • Hallucination
  • Hearing Loss
  • Mood or Mental Changes
  • Muscle Pain, Weakness or Cramps
  • One-Sided Weakness
  • Ringing in the Ears
  • Seizures
  • Severe Dizziness, Drowsiness, Headache or Lightheadedness
  • Severe or Persistent Constipation, Heartburn or Stomach Pain
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Slow or Shallow Breathing
  • Trouble Swallowing
  • Unusual Bruising or Bleeding
  • Vision or Speech Problems
  • Vomit That Looks like Coffee Grounds
  • Wheezing
  • Yellowing of the Skin or Eyes

By body system


In general, Percodan may cause allergic reaction or anaphylaxis. This medication may also cause general side effects such as malaise, weakness, headache, fever, thirst or increased sweating. Percodan use may result in accidental overdose or non-accidental overdose. The oxycodone in Percodan may make you drowsy, resulting in accidents.

The oxycodone in Percodan may be habit forming. Withdrawal symptoms include agitation, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, tremor, abdominal cramps, goose bumps, blurred vision, vomiting and sweating. Some patients rarely experienced psychosis during oxycodone withdrawal.


Aspirin frequently causes gastrointestinal side effects. As many as 83 percent of regular aspirin users complain of epigastric distress. Other non-serious side effects associated with aspirin include abdominal discomfort or pain, nausea, and vomiting. Serious side effects include hemorrhage, peptic ulcers, perforation and esophageal ulcerations.

About 3 percent of elderly patients taking aspirin experienced gastrointestinal bleeding. One study suggests a possible link between aspirin and appendicitis.

The oxycodone in Percodan commonly causes gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting and constipation.

Nervous system

The oxycodone in Percodan acts directly on the brain and central nervous system to relieve pain and cause euphoria. As a result, many of the side effects associated with Percodan affect the nervous system.

Nervous system side effects associated with Percodan include drowsiness, sedation, dizziness, and lightheadedness.


Patients with certain diseases, such as heart failure or cirrhosis of the liver, are at greater risk for aspirin side effects associated with kidney function. High doses of aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, have cause kidney failure in rare instances.

Aspirin may reduce the amount of blood your kidneys are able to filter, especially if you must restrict your salt intake or if you have circulation problems. Aspirin may also cause swelling inside the tubes of your kidneys, the death of certain parts of your kidneys, unhealthy blood chemistry due to kidney trouble, blood or protein in the urine and even kidney failure.


The aspirin component of Percodan may affect your blood, especially causing low platelet counts or other disorders that result in bleeding problems. Aspirin use may rarely cause certain types of anemia.


Hypersensitivity to the aspirin in Percodan may cause bronchospasm, similar to the breathing problems suffered by asthmatics. Aspirin may also cause a stuffy or runny nose, red eyes, itching, tissue swelling and aphylaxis. Approximately 10 percent to 30 percent of asthmatics are hypersensitive to aspirin, especially those who are sensitive to aspirin, have bronchial asthma along with nasal polyps.


Aspirin rarely causes cardiovascular side effects but may result in spasm of the coronary artery, irregular heartbeat and other cardiovascular abnormalities. You are most likely to experience these problems if you have taken too much aspirin.


Scientists are investigating whether long-term aspirin use decreases certain types of intestinal cancers- scientific studies give conflicting results. Since Percodan is intended for short-term use, this positive side effect is not likely to help many people avoid cancer.


The aspirin component of Percodan may cause metabolic imbalances, including Metabolic side effects of aspirin include low levels of carbon in the blood and too much acid in the body fluids. You are most likely to experience these side effects after taking too much aspirin.


Children suffering from an acute viral illness should not take Percodan or any product containing aspirin. Aspirin is associated with Reye's syndrome, a life-threatening illness. Reye's syndrome typically involves vomiting, neurologic problems and liver dysfunction during or shortly after an acute viral infection.


Rarely, aspirin causes liver damage or inflammation of the liver.


Psychiatric adverse effects of the oxycodone in Percodan include paranoia, psychosis, and hallucinations.


Oxycodone may make you itch. Aspirin rarely causes skin disorders.


Respiratory depression is a common, serious side effect associated with Percodan and all other opioids. Doctors treat respiratory depression with the opioid antagonist, naloxone. The usual adult dose of naloxone is 1 to 2 mg every 5 minutes as necessary. Nurses usually administer naloxone intravenously but in an emergency, when there is no time to start an IV, the nurse may give you naloxone in a shot into your muscle, just under the surface of your skin or by giving you a pill to put under your tongue.


Aspirin use may cause some hearing loss or ringing in the ears, an annoying condition known as tinnitus. Some scientists think modest amounts of aspirin may result in decreased frequency selectivity and may therefore impair hearing performance, particularly in the setting of background noise.