Tuesday March 31st 2015

How to stop taking Percocet

How to stop taking Percocet

Interested in quitting Percocet?

While the time Percocet stays in the body is relatively short (detectable for a couple of days after last use in urine), Percocet withdrawal can last for days to weeks.  For long time users of Percocet, be prepared to stop taking Percocet over time. In fact, you shouldn’t just quit Percocet cold turkey (unless you must) because of how Percocet affects the brain. Learn more about Percocet dependence, addiction, and how to stop taking Percocet below. Then, ask us your questions about taking Percocet at the end.

Can I just stop taking Percocet?

Yes, you can just stop taking Percocet…but ONLY IF you’ve taken Percocet for short-term management of an illness or injury, In fact, you can usually just stop taking Percocet at any time for acute ailments when the drug is no longer needed as long as you haven’t developed physical dependence on Percocet. But if you’ve taken Percocet for chronic pain management, it may be harder to quit. Percocet use usually results in a dependence, and can even become an addiction in some people.

What happens when you stop taking Percocet?

After having Percocet in your body for extended periods of time, your body adjusts to the presence of oxycodone in the system. You become used to having Percocet, and it becomes “normal” to be in a state of central nervous system depression. However, once you become dependent on Percocet, your body will experience withdrawal effects when you try to stop taking Percocet – and this is the same for both addicts and a physically dependent users.  How do you get addicted to Percocet?  Taking it once it’s out of your system to avoid the psychological and emotional issues in your life.

Side effects stop taking Percocet

You can develop a dependence on Percocet by taking the medication for 3 weeks or longer. Withdrawal effects can include a number of side effects, such as:

  • insomnia
  • abdominal cramping
  • diarrhea
  • seizures

Withdrawal effects may be worse if you’ve taken Percocet over long periods – for instance, over several years to help treat chronic pain.

Stop taking Percocet suddenly

You can stop taking Percocet suddenly if you’ve been taking it short-term, but any longer than a couple of weeks of regular treatment using Percocet and stopping Percocet suddenly might be a bad idea. Instead, Perocet should usually be gradually reduced in dosage or frequency for regular users, rather than quit all at once. In people who take Percocet regularly for more than three weeks, or so, sudden disuse can be dangerous and very uncomfortable.

Stop taking Percocet cold turkey

Some people would rather try to quit Percocet cold turkey than to gradually taper Percocet doses. If you’ve had a bad reaction to the medication, it makes sense to quit taking Percocet as soon as possible despite the consequences. However, this isn’t the only step you can take. If you want to stop taking Percocet cold turkey, talk to a counselor or therapist for suggestions and medical advise.

How do I stop taking Percocet?

Gradually reducing your dose over several weeks or even months is the best way to stop taking Percocet. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate dosing schedule so that you can safely taper yourself off of Percocet. But in general, a 2 to 3 week tapering regimen should follow these guidelines:

  1. Avoid reducing the daily dose of Percocet by > 50% at any given interval
  2. Reduce each daily dose of Percocet by 10%
  3. Reduce the dose of Percocet by 20% every 3-5 days
  4. Reduce the dose of Percocet by 25% per week

How to stop taking Percocet safely

The safest way to stop taking Percocet is by consulting a doctor and following his or her instructions.

How to stop taking Percocet questions

Still have questions about tapering Percocet or stopping Percocet cold turkey? Please leave us your questions here. We’ll do our best to respond to you personally and promptly.

ToxNet: Oxycodone
NIDA: Challenges in Using Opioids to Treat Pain in Persons With Substance Use Disorders
NIDA: Painkiller (Oxy, Vike) Facts

Leave a Reply

48 Responses to “How to stop taking Percocet
9:57 pm February 12th, 2013

I have been taking oxycodone for almost 2 years, at this time i take 30mg 4 times a day. I truly know I’m not addicted but obviously dependant. I’m afraid of becoming addicted, but I’m also afraid to stop because of the chronic pain. I have reduced my dose to 3 times a day and have been taking it that way for a week now. I think I’m doing ok, a bit of anxiety at night cause that last dose is gone. My chronic pain has increased but my question is: do I just stay on three times a day or is it better to try 20-25mg 4 times a day just deal with the pain

2:25 pm February 13th, 2013

Hi Lori. These are great questions. I’d suggest that you get a tapering schedule from your prescribing doctor or consult a pharmacist. You need direct medical supervision during tapering, with specific instructions. A medical professional will serve you best. Good luck!

8:48 pm April 4th, 2013

Frank has taken 5 mg percocet for several years for pain 4 a day
How hard for hem to stop?

6:16 am April 10th, 2013

Hi Frank. The underlying pain may be one of the biggest challenges as you’re getting off Percocet. I’d suggest that you taper off Percocet slowly under the supervision of your prescribing doctor. Be sure to note and record all symptoms of pain and at which doses you begin to experience them. Take your data to your doctor for qualified medical advice.

4:34 pm July 20th, 2013

I have been on Percocet for about 15 YEARS. I tapered it down to 1/4 of a pill 3-4 times a day then dropped one dose for a few days, then dropped another dose until I was down to 1/4 a pill ever 24 hours. Then I quit 20 days ago. I fell antsy most of the time.
I am still experiencing issues, mostly gut pain. How much longer can I expect this?
I am hopping to get of my lorazepam as well, but this I will do under the Doctor once I have gotten over the percocet.

That Girl
11:33 pm August 2nd, 2013

Yeah this is absolute hell! I hate detoxing and ive alrdy done it like 3 times i know im an idiot but everytime i get clean i end up messing up! The worst part of it all is the SLEEPLESS NIGHTS oh my god are those the absolute worse!!!!!!!!!!!

8:33 am August 13th, 2013

Hello Ruby. PAWS, or protracted withdrawal symptoms, can last for weeks to months after long term use. What does your doctor say about this?

9:59 am March 27th, 2014

I’m on my 3 week of percocet 5/325. the first week was 2 during the day and 2 at night. the second week was one during the day and 2 at night. this week i quit but haven’t been able to sleep so i took 2 last night after 3 nights of no sleep. tried tylonal pm that didn’t work seemed to make it worse. i was prescribed them because of a tumor removal. i shouldn’t be addicted correct? the sleeplessness should go away correct. the pain is manageable with alive so dont need them for that but i work in a factory and cant go with out the sleep. just want to know what i can expect from taking them. thank you .

2:52 am March 31st, 2014

Lori please take my advice ask your.doctor for something smaller maybe even a non narcotic pain reliever. I’ve been on 30`s for two years this fall. I am taking 6 a day sometimes more and I have to quit I’m scared I am going to loose everything like I have seen many people do. I just don’t want to see anyone stand in my shoes right now. Why I even let myself get this far who knows. I just know now I want to stop this . I need help but I have no one to turn to no one for advice I don’t have a doctor or therapist my family has no idea they all think I’m doing so good I don’t want them to know it may all go down the drain for a couple of weeks while I withdraw I’ve thought about goin to a rehab but I have a two year old I can’t leave my baby but I can’t just lay around all day withdrawing either. I feel trapped I want to help myself but don t know which way to go. As of tomorrow I will try to only do what I truly truly need an after a week take it down 10% and so on and so forth as the above info gave me. I wish you luck. I just know if you where me and I where you I would try to get out of this while your still new to it because it will take over and fast.

5:50 pm April 21st, 2014

I’ve been smoking Percocets for 2 years now and have constantly noticed reasons to stop. I have no idea what I can do to make the symptoms of withdrawals feel a little better but I’m so ready to be done. Are there any tips to make the withdrawal more bearable?

9:39 am April 23rd, 2014

Hello Baron. Yes. You can address symptoms of withdrawal by seeking medical help. Pharmaceutical interventions include prescription clonidine, buprenorphine and/or methadone (depending on the level of dependency and use). Withdrawal does not need to be painful, either. Tapering down doses can help minimize discomfort and can be completed over the course of a few weeks for people. Cold turkey withdrawal will definitely manifest more severe symptoms than a tapered withdrawal. Seek medical consult at a detox clinic for help. Best to you!

1:56 am May 24th, 2014

My husband’s doctor has given him one weeks worth of oxycodone/acetaminophen to stop taking it after being on it for back pain for 3 years. Can they legally do that just because he tested positive for marijuana? He smokes a little at night so he can sleep thru the back pain. I would think they would have to help him get off the meds first due to withdrawals. The docs have abandoned him.

8:53 am May 27th, 2014

Hello Kylee. I’m not sure about the legality of the dosing cut – check with your state’s Attorney General Office for more. If marijuana is illegal in the state, it’s possible that the Rx drug cut off is also legal.

John Damos
9:11 am May 30th, 2014

Hello Everybody! I have been taking on an average 50-80 mg of oxycodone a day for about 10 months. My prior Opiate use dates back about 7 years; taking them off and on. Medications that were prescribed to me were Hydrocodone and Tramadol. Last week i decided to stop the oxycodone cold turkey. A natural and safe alternative during WD’s for me has always been Kratom. Helps with the Anxiety, Pain…

4:36 pm July 10th, 2014

11 years have creeped by next month exactly and I am down to taking about two 10/325 broken in half twice a day. I never run out of my meds. I call and reschedule my appointments to stretch it out because I’m not out of meds yet, but almost 11 years have passed. I am embarrassed. I have tapered down to 1 broken in half for a few days and tried to go yesterday without and broke down about 4 p.m. and had half. RELIEF!! Why did I take it? I can go back. I can still have my appointment tomorrow. I have valid medical reasons, too. Trying to be strong. 11 years? Seriously, I can do this. Just hoping when my body gets past the WD stage, I will feel good again. Because the relief from giving in yesterday was immense. Babies eventually give up the pacifier or a bottle, and it’s not comfortable, they adjust, taking half is my bottle or pacifier, that edgy yucko feeling, pain is building, I’m irritated, and I’ll just take half, settled relief, the pain and pressure recede. I did take Motrin some yesterday and it did help, too. I decided after that I needed them all gone to really make a go at this. The few just in case were just going to keep stringing this out. I could keep finding a reason why right now just wouldn’t be the best time. Hoping to truly do this.

7:34 am July 11th, 2014

Be strong Allison. We’re all here to support you. And many have walked the way already… I know you can make it!

11:38 am July 13th, 2014

My Mom was on 10-325 every 6 hours for about 3 months. She reduced her dose to one every 12 hours. It has been 7 days. And she is quite miserable. The worst part is from 3-5pm before her next dose. After reading that it should have been done more gradually, should she continue with what she has done at this point, and then gradually reduce from there? And what recommended steps would you take next?

1:41 am July 21st, 2014

I had a brain stem hemorrhage 15 years ago ,lots of body problems, and pain. I was put on oxycodone,10/650, now 10/325. one pill every 6 hrs. for 15 yrs. how do I stop taking them ? Our Governor in Tn. is making it hard to get the medication. So hard I need to quit them. Please help me, on how to stop. Thank you

2:02 pm July 24th, 2014

Hello Kit. I’d suggest that you speak with your mom’s prescribing doctor and set up an individualized tapering plan. Basic guidelines for tapering are here:


1:17 am August 15th, 2014

Hello , I have been taking Percocet’s for 6yrs for a medical condition I was born with , I have a pain management doctor a family doctor , But now there is a twist in my life im 23 weeks pregnant , I see a high risk doctor just because of the meds im taking, the baby is growing well and very active and strong , its very hard to come off I want to do this for my baby I have four months in tell he gets here , I know once he gets here I have to go back on the meds, I now take 6 pills a day 2 every 5 hrs ,I want to cut down to at least 2 to 3 a day they are 5mg , my heart cant take watching my baby go threw withdrawal and leaving him in the hospital , so my question is in these next four months how can I cut down to the point he would have no serious withdrawals , I just need to hear a different opinion , I rather be sick instead of him I just don’t want my withdrawals to harm him in anyway Thank u ..

10:34 am August 19th, 2014

Hello Dezjah. Make an appointment with your prescribing doctor, or talk to your gynaecologist. This is a truly wonderful time for you, and you should enjoy it, not worry. Medical professionals can help you with a tapering plan, alternative treatment options and advise. Congratulations and good luck!

6:54 pm August 20th, 2014

I have been on percocet for 4 years for chronic pain, i was told by my doctor they could no longer perscribe these. He says i must find a new doctor, i have tried right down to the pyhsicians of doctors, i have found one but they too will no longer perscribe, i feel all alone here, i have 15 tablets left 5/35 im a one a day now and have always been at one per day sometimes two, never abused this. Please help, i cannot return to work without this help, my life is falling apart.

11:48 pm August 24th, 2014

wow I just got off methadone for taking to many perks I was spemding 1500.00 a month today is day 1 off perks again cause the methadone withdraws are worse then the perks I feel like im going to die its been 24 hours wish I never seen a perk in my life

2:23 am September 15th, 2014

I was wondering how long it takes to be winged off Percocet. I am 22wks pregnant and my drs have me taking 5mg 1 to 2 tabs every 4/6 hrs as needed for migraines. Granite I do not take it nearly that much maybe 4x a week and some times I can go a week without even taking it. I suffer from multiple sclerosis and epilepsy so I have to have my migraines under control, but I do not want my son to go threw withdrawal and I would like to get off of them before I go into my 3rd trimester. Thank you in advance for any advice it’s very appreciated!!

12:16 pm September 15th, 2014

Hello Ariel. I’d advise you to talk to your prescribing doctor or gynaecologist. They can help you (and the baby) stay safe and monitor your condition when tapering off the medication. So, make an appointment to be sure of everything. Congratulations!!!

12:31 pm October 1st, 2014

Hi … I was wondering first many years ago I was on Tylenol 3′s for a very bad concussion I had hit my head and neck on the asphalt and my back on the patio stones, after another injury we switched to Percocets (no subs) 5/325 I first took a whole one and did not like its effect so I took a half once a day needless to say over a 3 to 4 year period my dose 5/325 is still the same but am taking 5 per day. My Doctor says to quit cold turkey but I don’t think so as I have heard all the bad scenarios that can go along with that and your heart racing and I already suffer from that do to pre-menopause so my question is…is it safer to just quit the percs and go back to tylenol 3′s and then taper off those as their is no morphine in it as I did not realize at the time that was what was in percs I assumed it was just a stronger form of codeine hen the tylenols or is it safer to wean off the percs as they aren’t doing much for my pain anymore and I refuse to take more or a stronger dose and if so then what is the best method for someone like me who has gradually built up over the years. As I said my Doctor thinks cold turkey is the best and I agree to a point depending on the ingredients.

I also wanted to add that over time I have had 4 concussions and 3 back injuries since I was about 10 / 11 years old…now I just had a car accident ( 4 days ago) and am having problems with my leg ( go to the Doctors tomorrow ) now althoguh I’m sick of meds and pain killers if I do need pain meds cause you cant sleep at night from pains in the legs and whatever else the case may be is there any that do not damage the liver and I ask because I had a blood transfusion at 17 and got Hep C from it which is a blessing in disguise as it could have been worse ( sorry but Im one of these people that believe everything happens for reasons and there is a positive side to things no matter how bad it may seem), but is there one that won’t effect or damage it?
Thanks you and have a great day :)

6:14 am October 2nd, 2014

I have been on percocet for almost 3 years. I was diagnosed with psuedo tumor cerbri that causes migraine headaches. I am taking any where from 7-14 5/325 a day. I desperately need to get of them. They are controlling my life. Please help me get off them. I am feel like I am not in controlled anymore. Like about 2.5 hours ago, I took 2 and soon after my heart started racing head pounding and body shaking. My BP was even low. What should and can I do??????

Thank you in advance

1:20 pm October 6th, 2014

Hi Lisa. You can talk to your doctor so he can help you taper off of Percocet, or reffer you to a detox clinic in your area. Clinics offer a 24/7 professional medical supervision and have ways of helping patients through this process. You can also use the following search tools to find treatment on your own: http://addictionblog.org/find-treatment/

2:38 am October 15th, 2014

I have been in Percocet 10/325 for 4 years taking 6 a day for chronic pain. About 8 months ago my doctor added a fentanyl patch 50 McG change every 48 hours. I decided that I have had enough and wanted to stop all meds. I have come off the patch and now tapering off the pills. My doctors keep telling me it is dangerous and I shouldn’t do this by myself. I am at 4 1/2 pills now then will drop to 4 then 3 1/2. Then 3 etc. I am lowering the dose every 3 days. What else can I do to help with the body to get through this process?

3:03 pm October 17th, 2014

Hi Jamie. You can support your body through this process with medications and remedies lying around the house such as NSAIDs, hot water bottles, baths, and massage. A word of caution here: make sure you know what you are getting into and that you have everything you need to get you through the tapering and detox. Starting with a doctor’s advise and clearence is a wise approach.

6:26 pm November 11th, 2014

That’s bullshit u do not get seizures from percocet withdrawal that information is wrong

4:16 pm November 17th, 2014

Hi Ann. In fact, it can. Like most opiate addictions, suddenly discontinuing use of Percocet can result in seizure or convulsion in chronic abusers.

2:57 am December 12th, 2014

I have been on percoset for 2 months for throat cancer radiation treatment pain
I think I can stop taking them now as the pain is about gone, should I quit cold turkey or ween off?


10:30 am December 12th, 2014

Hello Mike. 2 months is enough time for your body to become dependent on the med. I’d suggest you consider tapering as a better option, but see a doctor first and get their professional advise.

7:45 am December 14th, 2014

I’ve been taking Oxycodone for about 6 months 30 mg in the morning and 30 mg in the evening. Just up my dose tho from 20 mg two 30 mg in just 4 to 5 days. I want to go off of it safely. I have 30 pills left. My question is how many should I take a day. They are 10mg. Should I just take 1 10 mg in the am and one in the evening? My doctor is out of town for the next few weeks. I want off now, please help me. Thank you very much.

8:48 pm December 15th, 2014

hi, my doctor gave me 3 1-month prescriptions last month. i filled one but somehow lost the other 2 and doctor is forcing me to go cold turkey. He says that there is a new law and that he cannot give me another prescription. so, basically, i’m be forced to go cold turkey. Any recommendations how to feel better. I’ve been on Percocet for about 6 years for Scleroderma. Been cold turkey for 3 days and can’t take it any longer. Please advise. Thanks,

4:25 pm December 16th, 2014

Hi Linda. You can talk to a pharmacist in the absence of your doctor. Pharmacists can also help you set a tapering schedule and give you some over-the-counter meds to treat possible withdrawal symptoms.

9:27 pm January 28th, 2015

I have been tapering off Percocet and recently stopped. I tried tynelol for pain but it doesn’t seem to do anything. Is there a recommended non narcotic over the counter pain medication that is better than others. I am experiencing withdrawals. The worst is sleeplessness, my body can’t seem to get comfortable. Does anyone know long until this gets better? Before stopping Percocet I was taking one to two a day of 5mg oxy-325 acet… If that helps determine how long I will have issues with sleeping. Thanks so much for helping me!

12:21 pm January 29th, 2015

Hi Vicky. Congratulations on quitting Percocet. I know it’s an uncomfortable period now, but it will get much better soon. You can take care of most withdrawal symptoms at home using over-the-counter NSAID’s like ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen, hot pads, and massage creams like Ben Gay-especially helpful for body aches and pains during night. I hope this helps and I wish you all the best.

11:39 am February 8th, 2015

Hello I hope you can help my I have bin addicted to Percocet for about 15 years I am 40 years old now for about the first 5-6 years I only took about 4 per day the last 4-5 years I take between 8-10 a day and I really want to quit them what’s the best and fastest way for me to get off these I would really appreciate some help my doctor told me go on methadone I don’t want that I refuse to me is a cop out and cheaper way to get your dosage if u can help me please do thank you..

11:56 pm February 10th, 2015

Hi, I had surgery and have been taking percosets for pain. The first few days I took 10-12 a day. Now it’s been 3 1/2 weeks since surgery and I am now taking 2 a day to manage the pain ( one at 7am and the second around dinnertime). I take Advil in between. I’m afraid of becoming dependent.

11:50 am February 11th, 2015

Hi Sally. Some dependence to the medication has probably been formed already. Dependence is actually a normal thing when you take a medication for some time. It means that your organism has become accustomed to the presence of the substance and now perceives it as normal. This is why when you lower or stop taking medications, withdrawal symptoms are experienced. The organism suddenly lacks all the chemicals it has adapted to. But, with the right tapering schedule and meds to manage the withdrawal symptoms it is a reversible process.

5:53 am February 12th, 2015

Hello Everyone,
I am really happy to be able to find a blog that I can relate to and hopefully help others in the same situation as I am in.
I have a kidney problem and have been given Percocet on and off for 11 years. I only have been abusing them for about 2 years or so, Not everyday but most days.
I am happy to say that I am now past the 72 hour mark of quitting cold turkey. I reached out to my fiancé and my family members and admitted my problem and said that I needed help.
We all got together, did research and tonight I saw a doctor who helped me develop a plan and also a realization as to why I took the Percocet not just to help me with pain, but we also realized that I used it to help mask deeper emotional issues that I have with myself. So I am also going to be seeing a therapist as well.
Quitting was hard as hell, I have to be honest, admitting that I had a problem, was even harder.
Withdraw sucks! I can’t and wont lie to any of you who are going to do this. But let me also be honest when I tell you that it is worth it. I am only on day 3 and my body feels ( even while I am still withdrawing a little) amazing. I even look different. I look healthy, I see life more clearly, I literally look and feel as if I have a soul.
So for those who are going the route of quitting, please, I promise you, its worth it. Everything will ALWAYS BE OK. There is always someone in life who has it worse than we do.
Withdraw sucks, but every day that passes, one of the symptoms will go away, and every day that passes, you will feel better and better.
I wish all of you who want to quit the best of luck, I am also more than happy to answer any questions too! I can relate, we all are in the same boat here, I hope that maybe some of you will want me to answer questions on how to keep going after life without Percocet, I would love to help, I am no doctor by any means, but I can be a friend. Good luck, you can do it trust me, you can do it.

11:09 am February 19th, 2015

I’ve bin taking Percocet for like 15 years but sick of them want off them I take between 8-10 a day what’s the best way to tapper I just started today by taking 2 away any help on this I would appreciate

9:09 am February 26th, 2015

Need to taper off Percocet..please help

1:58 pm March 18th, 2015

I have been taking Percocet , hydro condone 10-325, and recently took hydro morphine for a long period of time. I had a knee replacement in the 10-28-14. I’ve tried to stop taking but still have pjain and experience depression, loss of energy, and constantly think about it. I always run out early. I down to just 3 Percocet , no kore hydro morphine. Could I switch to methadone, or another med that will help me.stop the withdraws, and feel horrible. Is buephorone type of med help block the cravingsPlease advise me, and think you. It has controlled my life for the last 6 to 7 years . Thank you for your prompt answer .

4:56 pm March 29th, 2015

I had knee surgery, I took percocet for 6 weeks, I no longer needed it for the pain, so I cut back to 2 a day for a few days then 1 and 1/2 then 1 and then 1/2 a day and then 1/4. This was over a course of about a week. Then I quit. Its been 2 days since the last, and I am very nauseous. Should I start taking again and taper off over a longer period of time or just ride it out now. I still have to function. Physical therapy, work etc…

1:28 pm March 30th, 2015

Hi Becky. Yes, you can function better with a more slow and gradual taper. The withdrawal symptoms will be much less severe and you can go on doing your daily routines. However, you can treat the nausea or other flue-like symptoms with simple cold medicines or other over-the-counter medications. I’d suggest you go to the pharmacy and ask your pharmacist for help and advise. Best of luck!

Leave a Reply