Tuesday September 2nd 2014

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.

Reference Sources: SAMHSA: RECOMMENDATIONS TO PHYSICIANS CARING FOR KATRINA/RITA DISASTER VICTIMS ON CHRONIC OPIOIDS
ToxNet: Oxycodone
NIDA: Challenges in Using Opioids to Treat Pain in Persons With Substance Use Disorders
NIDA: Painkiller (Oxy, Vike) Facts

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23 Responses to “How to stop taking Percocet
Lori
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!

Frank
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.

Ruby
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?

christina
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 .

ashley
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.

Baron
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!

Kylee
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…

Allison
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.

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
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!

Kit
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?

wavn
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:

http://www.healthquality.va.gov/guidelines/Pain/cot/OpioidTaperingFactSheet23May2013v1.pdf

dazjah
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 ..

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
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!

janice
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.

TL
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

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