Drug and Alcohol - Opioid Addiction

Percocet: How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?

How long does Percocet stay in your system? We attempt to answer this question and more in our blog. Percocet can be a gateway to opioid addiction.

Percocet: How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

June 21, 2023

The Forge Recovery Center

Percocet is a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone, an opioid pain medication. It’s mainly given as a pain reliever. A commonly prescribed opioid drug, it’s, unfortunately, one of the most abused drugs in the US.

The timeline of Percocet lingering in your body can differ significantly based on body mass, metabolic rate, age, and drug reactions. In addition, several other elements, such as the frequency of usage and the quantity of consumption, also play a significant part.

Stats About Percocet: According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS), prescription medication abuse is deceptive and often misunderstood. Although young individuals are the most common users, older and senior citizens are the most vulnerable to overuse and addiction. Prescription medicines are abused by 6% of Americans over 12 annually.

What is Percocet?

Percocet combines two medications: acetaminophen and oxycodone. Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer. Oxycodone is a moderately-powerful synthetic opioid. Together, these two medicines are effective pain relievers.

Unfortunately, oxycodone is also addictive. It’s possible to develop an addiction to Percocet even if you’re following the prescription’s instructions. There are other dangers to Percocet, too – mixing this drug with other opioids or alcohol can be extremely dangerous.

Also, avoid discontinuing the use of Percocet abruptly without consulting your doctor since you may develop severe withdrawal symptoms. Instead, consult your physician, who may advise you to discontinue treatment gradually over time.

If your healthcare provider recommended Percocet and you possess a prescription, inform the drug screening facility staff before conducting a drug test.

What is Percocet Prescribed For?

Percocet is utilized to relieve pain that is sufficiently severe to necessitate an opioid analgesic and for which alternative treatments (such as acetaminophen use, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or non-drug treatments like physiotherapy, heat, or ice)  are ineffective.

Oxycodone and acetaminophen are both ingredients in Percocet. While acetaminophen remains a common over-the-counter painkiller, oxycodone is an improved, potent prescription opiate painkiller. In addition, the pain-relieving effects of oxycodone may be enhanced by acetaminophen. 

Because of the risk of addiction and abuse, the DEA has placed oxycodone on its Schedule II list of illegal substances.

What is the Half-life of Percocet?

The "half-life" of a drug refers to how long it takes for half of it to be metabolized by a person’s system.

Oxycodone has traditionally displayed a half-life of about 3.2 hours. Most people should be capable of eliminating a dosage from their system within 24 hours, but results may vary. Since acetaminophen possesses a half-life of 1.25 to 3 hours, a single dose tends to exit your system within 24 hours or less.

The half-life of a substance is the time it takes for its blood concentration to be reduced by fifty percent of its original amount. It takes around five half-lives for a chemical to be practically entirely removed from the body, but it may still be detectable on a health check-up.

The half-life and elimination of medicine might differ from person to person depending on factors such as age, body mass index, inheritance, kidney or liver efficiency, drug responses, and even medical conditions. If you take it consistently or in large doses, Percocet might stay in your system much longer.

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How Long Does it Take Percocet to Take Effect?

One Percocet tablet, which contains 5 mg of quick-release oxycodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen, typically has pain-reducing properties that begin to manifest between 20 and 30 minutes, reach their highest in 1 to 2 hours, and persist for 4 to 6 hours.

Percocet dosage requirements for pain treatment can differ greatly from person to person. Typically, your doctor will prescribe a small amount and gradually elevate it until the discomfort has fallen under control.

How Long Do the Effects of Percocet Last?

After taking Percocet, the pain-killing effects may wear off in four to six hours, but the medication may linger in the body for longer. Avoid stopping Percocet suddenly because doing so could result in dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Instead, it is advised to consult with your general practitioner for further guidance.

Although there are general recommendations for detection timeframes, these may differ from person to person depending on elements like body mass, age, drug interactions, duration of use, dosage, and other medical issues.

How Long Does Percocet Show Up on Drug Tests?

Doping tests might disclose previous use of Percocet. The drug generally exits the human system following 17.5 hours of usage; however, the period varies between different drug testing methods and might last for an extended period due to drug residues left in the body.

When an individual uses Percocet, oxycodone in the circulatory system is metabolized in the liver and eliminated through urine. Drug testing might detect the last dose even after oxycodone has been exited from the system since its components linger longer.

Blood Test for Percocet

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Percocet usage can be detected in blood tests for up to 18 hours following use. This timescale is computed based on the time it takes for most of the medicine to be removed from the human system, which consists of 5 half-lives.

Urine Test for Percocet

Percocet can be found in urine for up to 3 days after ingestion. Even if the human body has removed a significant amount of oxycodone, the residue remains in the urine. Therefore, urine analyses are mainly designed to detect Percocet traces.

Hair Test for Percocet

Hair evaluation can detect Percocet and additional opioids for up to 90 days. The frequency at which hair originates determines the duration of the frame.

Saliva Test for Percocet

Percocet can be detected in body fluids for a maximum of two days. In comparison with urine tests, saliva evaluation is unusual as it can be complex and much less dependable. 

Duration of Percocet in Breast Milk:

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports that the oxycodone content in Percocet can stay in a nursing woman's milk for between 2 and 3 days. As per medical specialists, approximately 8% of oxycodone transfers from the woman's body to breast milk.

This percentage might be enough to generate opioid symptoms in infants. If you are a nursing mother and plan on consuming Percocet or other pan-alleviating opioids, it is advised to talk to your doctor. 

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What are The Risks & Hazards of Percocet Use?

Aside from comprehending the detection time of Percocet in the human system, you must also understand a slew of adverse effects and risks related to its consumption. People who properly consume the medication will experience less or more moderate versions of these side effects. On the other hand, those taking more medication than required may encounter more severe consequences.

Professionals look for alternatives before prescribing this medication because of its risks and side effects. However, if you are taking this medication and feel that the side effects outweigh the benefits in your circumstance, discuss it with your doctor; they may be able to recommend a far better substitute medication. 

Mentioned below are the side effects of Percocet that might be visible after initial misuse:

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Dizziness

  • Lethargy

  • Frequent headaches

  • Shifts in mood

  • Dry mouth

Severe signs of Percocet use that might require medical attention:

  • Disorientation

  • Lack of coordination

  • Chest pain

  • Drowsiness

  • Nausea

  • Itching

  • Skin rashes

  • Seizures

  • Difficulty breathing

Aside from such health repercussions, which could signal an allergic reaction, intoxication, or other uncomfortable reactions, there also exists the risk that this medicine will develop a habit or that prolonged drug intake can cause liver malfunction. 

Percocet Withdrawal Symptoms

Anyone who has to rely on Percocet, or another opioid should seek the guidance of an authorized person or specialist before discontinuing, as adverse reactions and urges can be severe. To mitigate these adverse effects, addiction treatment centers may gradually wean an individual off the medication or substitute an opioid treatment dosage. Percocet withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Agitation

  • Anxiety

  • Nausea and drowsiness

  • Indigestion

  • Muscle rigidity

  • Increased sleep

  • Tiredness

  • High pulse rate

  • Nervousness

  • Depressive episodes

  • Chills

  • Nasal infection

Is Percocet Addictive?

Yes, Percocet is an addictive substance. Percocet can be highly addictive, especially if utilized for long periods or recreational purposes other than medically advised pain relief. Percocet, like many other opioid medicines, works on your brain's reward center while also reducing pain.

This explains why many opiate users feel intellectually stronger after taking their medicine, even if they do not require pain relief. 

The more Percocet you take and the period you use the medicine, the greater the risk of addiction. And this is the main reason why understanding how long Percocet stays in your circulation becomes far more critical.

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Signs of Percocet Addiction

While some people use Percocet for an extended period and then stop without facing adverse symptoms, others might develop an addiction sooner. But, identifying Percocet reliance can be tricky, as the signs can be easy to miss.

  • General signs of Percocet addiction are mentioned below:

  • Thinking about purchasing Percocet illegally

  • Taking more Percocet than advised by the doctor

  • Feeling withdrawal symptoms when not taking Percocet

  • Feeling the constant need to hide substance abuse problems

  • Visiting many clinics to receive medications

  • Being compelled to lie about the amount of Percocet you have taken 

  • Doctor shopping: Seeing multiple doctors to obtain numerous prescription drugs

  • Taking Percocet with greater frequency than recommended

Numerous other indicators and warning signs exist for Percocet addiction; however, the ones listed above may help you recognize addictive habits in yourself or a loved one.

Treatment for Percocet Addiction

While knowing the answers to big questions like "How long Percocet remains in the body?" or "What is the chemical structure of Percocet?" is essential for making health and anxiety reduction decisions, dealing with corresponding Percocet dependency can be challenging, especially if you desire to discontinue the drug but don't know where to begin. 

The first thing to do is understand that you aren't suffering alone. Since many specialized experts have experience treating others in your circumstance, you might gain from their knowledge and experience coping with substance abuse. It is also vital that you realize that recovery is achievable.

Finally, if you are addicted to this opioid, go to your primary care physician, especially if they made the initial prescription. But the chances are that some patients might require further assistance to wean off Percocet and its addictive effects. 

An addiction center can be the perfect place to find treatment for Percocet addiction.

Addicted to Percocet? The Forge Recovery Center Can Help

Percocet addiction is dangerous. High doses of Percocet can cause opioid overdose, and it can drive a person to use even more powerful and dangerous opioids like heroin or fentanyl. Fortunately, Percocet addiction responds well to treatment.

The Forge Recovery Center provides effective, evidence-based care for Percocet addiction. Our compassionate staff works with our clients as their partners during the entire recovery process. If you’d like to learn more about our proven treatment for Percocet addiction, reach out to The Forge Recovery Center today.

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