Percocet is a combination of a semi-synthetic opioid called oxycodone and acetaminophen, a mild analgesic and the active ingredient in Tylenol. Percocet is used to treat severe pain for a short period and is usually prescribed in the form of a tablet. Other brand names for Percocet include Primlev, Roxicet, Endocet, and Xartemis XR. Because it contains an opioid (oxycodone), it can produce tolerance and physical dependence if used for an extended period or abused. If you’ve been prescribed this drug, then you may have concerns or questions about its side effects like, “how long does Percocet stay in your system?” Our Northeast addictions treatment center shares what we know.
What Are The Side Effects of Percocet?
Opioids, like Percocet, work by attaching to opioid receptors, which can be found in different areas of the body like the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract. These areas are either related to pain or reward, which is why Percocet is not only effective in treating pain but also in producing a euphoric high when abused. When taken in high doses, Percocet, or percs, can trigger the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and endorphins, which produce feelings of well-being and reward. A Percocet high can cause sedation and muffle your senses, which is why so many people enjoy it. The rewarding part of the high encourages users to continue using the drug, giving way to addictive behaviors.
Even when used as prescribed and under a doctor’s supervision, Percocet can still cause some unwanted side effects. If you experience any of the side effects listed below, call your doctor right away. If you’ve become dependent on percs and experience these symptoms regularly, then this is your sign to seek out a medical drug detox.
Common short-term effects of Percocet include:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry mouth
- Nausea or vomiting
The opioid in Percocet makes it a highly addictive medication, which is why it’s usually only prescribed for short-term use. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop people from abusing it. Like many other prescription drugs, percs are illegally sold and purchased on the streets and in drug markets. This is dangerous because it perpetuates addiction and overdose and because most street drugs contain cutting agents or additives that can worsen their side effects. For instance, another opioid called Fentanyl has been showing up in drugs like cocaine, heroin, and even Percocet, increasing the risk of addiction and overdose.
As with other drugs of abuse, using Percocet for a long time can result in permanent physical and psychological damage. Opioids are addictive enough to change the way the brain works, inhibiting basic functions like breathing and concentration. Drug abuse of this kind can also contribute to mental illness, specifically because of its impact on chemical levels in the brain. Without the help of opioid rehab, the chances of experiencing an overdose and even death also skyrocket.
Common long-term effects of Percocet include:
- Respiratory depression
- Cardiovascular disease
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
- Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite
- Extreme weight loss
- Liver and kidney disease
- Anxiety or agitation
- Confusion or unusual thoughts and behaviors
Even though it’s a prescription drug, Percocet is a controlled substance that’s illegal to use without a prescription – and with good reason. Even patients who take this drug as directed develop a tolerance to it. If you haven’t been prescribed this drug, then don’t take it. If you’re addicted to percs or struggling with a similar substance use disorder, our prescription drug addiction treatment at Clearbrook Treatment Centers Pennsylvania can help you recover and get sober.
How Long Does Percocet Take to Kick In?
Although Percocet is supposed to be prescribed and used for pain relief, its ability to produce a euphoric high makes it a common drug of abuse. Usually, the side effects of Percocet kick in around 20 to 30 minutes after it’s taken. The Percocet kick in time also depends on the dose taken. The Percocet doses usually include 2.5/325, 7.5/325, 7.5/500, 10/325, and 10/650, with the first one being the lowest dose and the last one being the highest. The first number is the amount of oxycodone in the dose, and the second is the amount of acetaminophen. Because this drug is so potent, a dose as low as 40 milligrams (mg) of Percocet can cause an overdose in a person who hasn’t built up a tolerance.
How Long Do Percs Last in Your System?
Percocet detection is dependent on the drug’s half-life. The half-life of a drug refers to the amount of time it takes for half of it to be flushed from a person’s system. Sometimes it can take several half-lives for a drug to be metabolized and leave your system, especially after taking several doses. The half-life of Percocet is 3.5 hours in your blood, which means it can take an average of 19 hours for the body to eliminate it. A Percocet drug test can detect it in urine for 24 to 48 hours and as soon as two hours after the initial dose. Usually, percs leave the bloodstream within 24 hours; however, they can be detected in your saliva and urine for up to 4 days and in your hair for several months.
Percocet detection times include:
- Blood: Percocet can be detected in blood for up to 24 to 48 hours after the last dose
- Saliva: Percocet can be detected in saliva for up to two days after the last dose
- Urine: Percocet can be detected in urine for up to four days after the last dose
- Hair: Percocet can be detected in hair for up to 90 days (three months) after the last dose
How long Percocet stays in your system depends on how much you take, how often you take it, your metabolism, age, whether you have kidney or liver problems, and more. Percocet does show up on drug tests as an opioid, so it’s important to let the clinic or testing agency know if you’re taking it before a drug test. You should also disclose any other supplements or medications you’re taking that could potentially trigger a false positive.
Percs are addictive and dangerous. Long-term drug use can destroy your health, relationships, and career, impacting every aspect of your life. If you have a drug problem or know someone who does, let Clearbrook help. Call us now at 570-536-9621 to learn more about our inpatient rehab in Pennsylvania.