Percocet is a combination of oxycodone, a narcotic opiate pain medication, and acetaminophen, a non-prescription pain medication. Acetaminophen enhances the pain relief qualities of the oxycodone. Percocet is one of several brand names for this combination of medications.
This medication is prescribed for the relief of moderate to severe pain. It is prescribed in doses of 2.5 to 10mg of oxycodone with a standard 325mg dose of acetaminophen. It is classified as a Schedule II drug since it contains oxycodone. It presents a significant risk of abuse and addiction, though the majority of patients are fine if they stick to their doctor’s prescribed doses and schedule. There is an added danger of acetaminophen overdose, however, which can cause liver damage and failure.
This medication is taken orally. Pain relief can be expected to last from four to five hours per dose. Potential side effects include nausea, drowsiness, itchy skin and dizziness. Overdose can cause death or coma from respiratory depression.
Percocet is a trade name for a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. It is prescribed in tablet form in doses ranging from 2.5mg to 10mg of oxycodone along with a much larger amount of acetaminophen. These tablets are also sold illicitly on the street. They are coded by color and size to reflect their dosages of each ingredient.
Percocet is an opiate-based pain reliever that is classified as a narcotic due to its oxycodone content. Oxycodone is one of the most potent opiate pain formulations, and Percocet is generally prescribed for moderate to severe pain.
Like most of the strong opiate pain relievers, Percocet is a Schedule II drug. It has considerable potential for abuse, but is considered safe for medical use if doctor’s orders are followed.
Percocet is most often taken orally for both medical and illicit use. It may have a time-release formulation used to provide sustained pain relief and also to dissuade abuse. Recreational users may crush and snort or inject the pill in an attempt to defeat the time-release mechanism.
Strong pain relief is the primary effect of Percocet, but it can also bring on a sense of euphoria that leads to abuse.
Users of Percocet frequently become drowsy and sluggish. They may also experience headaches, itchy skin, dry mouth, nausea and vomiting.
Liver, kidney and cardiovascular damage are all possible from chronic Percocet abuse. Chronic users can also develop ongoing mental health issues such as paranoia and anxiety.
Addiction is always a danger with the potent opiate content of Percocet, and death by overdose due to respiratory depression is also always a possibility.
The acetaminophen content of Percocet also presents an overdose threat. Liver damage is possible if a high enough dose of acetaminophen is taken.
Since Percocet is one of the more potent opiate painkillers, it is usually abused on its own. It may be combined with another opiate by addicts in an attempt to increase the high.
Opiates present a serious danger when paired with any other type of drug. Use of stimulants with opiates can mask the effects of both drug types and contribute to an overdose, while use of other depressants greatly increases the risk of death by respiratory depression.
About 12 million Americans, or roughly 0.5% of the population, will abuse prescription pain pills each year according to data collected by the Substance Abuse and Health Services Administration. While specific use of Percocet is not tracked among this data set, it is known that it is prescribed to women two to three times more often than it is to men. Use among youth and adolescents has also been on the rise in recent years.
Any opiate can be a gateway to an addiction that sees users switching opiate types frequently in an attempt to beat their growing tolerance, or simply due to changing availability. Sadly, the end destination of a pill addiction is often a shift to a heroin addiction.
Percocet is a potent opiate, and addictions that develop from abuse of it are usually very strong. Such addictions require treatment with an initial detox period followed by some amount of inpatient treatment at a certified medical facility, usually for at least 30 days. Patients use this time to attend one-on-one counseling, group meetings and to learn skills for living independently while managing their addiction. For more information about treatment for addiction, visit Percocet Rehab.
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