Wednesday August 20th 2014

Mixing Percocet with alcohol

Thinking about mixing Percocet, an addictive drug, with alcohol?

Know what can happen. In this article, we’ll examine the risks and dangers of mixing Percocet with alcohol. What happens inside your body when these two drugs are combined? What are the side effects, and what can go wrong when these two powerful substances interact? Then, we invite you to ask questions about mixing Percocet and alcohol in the comments section at the end.

Percocet and alcohol effects

Percocet is a prescription pain medication containing oxycodone, a narcotic. Oxycodone can cause feelings of euphoria, especially when taken in large amounts. Alcohol can intensify this effect. Alcohol has a chemical reaction with Percocet in the body and has an additive effect in the body when they are combined. That means that the effects of the alcohol and Percocet are both stronger when mixed. People have reported some of the following side effects when mixing Percocet with alcohol:

  • drowsiness
  • euphoria
  • dream-like state
  • relaxation
  • numbness
  • wandering mind

Dangers of mixing Percocet and alcohol

Taking alcohol and Percocet together can result in serious adverse reactions including accidental overdose. The additive effects of alcohol and Percocet are the primary cause of this. Percocet isn’t the only half of this equation. The effects of the alcohol are intensified as well. The sedative effects of alcohol will be heightened when mixed with any opiate medication. Other potentially dangerous effects of mixing Percocet with alcohol include:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • loss of consciousness
  • shallow breathing
  • impaired coordination
  • overdose
  • slowed heart rate

If you mix Percocet with alcohol, your alcohol tolerance will be lower than normal because the oxycodone in Percocet is another kind of central nervous system depressant. This can easily lead to alcohol poisoning if you aren’t careful. Drinking and using Percocet can also cause trouble concentrating and difficulty with coordination. In fact, you’re more likely to be involved in an accident or injure yourself when you mix alcohol with Percocet.

Percocet and alcohol overdose

Can you OD on Percocet?  Yes.  In fact, it’s easier to overdose on Percocet when you mix it with alcohol. Both drugs make one another stronger, and also more dangerous. Doctors do not recommend mixing the two drugs. Sometimes it can be dangerous to take Percocet and drink on the same day, even hours apart, depending on how much you’ve had.

Percocet and alcohol deaths

You can find out how many people die each year when mixing alcohol and Percocet by searching the CDC – National Center for Health Statistics website. And despite the number of annual deaths, Percocet commonly ends up being mixed with alcohol. Even normal doses of Percocet combined with alcohol can cause your breathing to slow or stop completely. The only way to avoid the risk of death while on Percocet is to decide not to drink at all while taking drugs with oxycodone in them.

Is it safe to drink on Percocet?

No. It’s not safe to mix Percocet and alcohol. The combination brings out the worst in both drugs. It’s best to wait until Percocet is out of your system fully before drinking.  And while Percocet system time is more than its half life of 3.2 hours, waiting for at least 6-8 hours before drinking can ensure that you are not mixing Percocet with booze.  You should ask your doctor for more information on how to cut back or stop drinking completely if you find the idea of giving up drinking too difficult. But you should know that the FDA warns against mixing Percocet with booze at all.

Mixing Percocet alcohol questions

Do you still have questions about mixing Percocet with alcohol or other substances? Please leave your Percocet questions here. We try our best to answer all questions personally, and promptly. And if we don’t know the answer, we will refer you to someone who can help. Your experiences with mixing Percocet and alcohol are also welcome.

Reference Sources: NIAAA pamphlet: Harmful Interactions, Mixing Alcohol with Medicines
Medline Plus: Oxycodone
PubMed: Oxycodone involvement in drug abuse deaths

FDA: Oxycodone hydrochloride oral solution medication guide

DailyMed: Oxycodone drug label

Photo credit: dno1967b

Leave a Reply

20 Responses to “Mixing Percocet with alcohol
kevin
2:45 pm February 17th, 2013

i had drinks last nite – how long should i wait to take percocet

1:36 pm February 18th, 2013

Hi Kevin. It’s best to wait until the alcohol is totally out of your system. You can Google the term “alcohol calculator” to find an easy tool which estimates the amount of time it takes for your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to return to zero. A BAC calculator considers the type of drinks, how many, and how many hours it took to consume.

robert
1:50 pm March 2nd, 2013

my freind gave me a pill and i drank how do get over this feel sick

robert
1:51 pm March 2nd, 2013

should i wait or go to hospital

6:29 am March 3rd, 2013

Hi Robert. Call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 and ask for medical advice on how to proceed. But it’s my feeling that if you don’t feel normal, you should follow your instinct and seek medical help immediately. ER staff may administer an opioid blocker like naloxone or naltrexone to reverse the effects of oxycodone in your system.

Bishley
11:59 pm May 29th, 2013

If one has been drinking and using percocet and then they try to come off percocet, does that make them viscious, hateful, mean, etc.?

10:25 am May 30th, 2013

Hello Bishley. Mood disorders and anger can be present during drug withdrawal, but medical help is possible. Have you considered a medical detox?

sally
1:38 am July 25th, 2013

I am worried about my 45 year old daughter. She takes one 2.5 dose of Percocet each night and then drinks 3 or 4 shots of vodka. She says she cannot sleep without this combination. Is it possible she has an addiction?

9:03 am July 25th, 2013

Hi Sally. Mixing alcohol and Percocet to sleep can be effective, but is an example of misuse. I’d suggest that you do some more research into sleep aids (lifestyle changes, OTC remedies) and present them to your daughter. If she shows unwillingness to change her pill routine, there may be cause for concern. Physical and psychological dependence to either alcohol or Percocet can then be determined with a doctor-administered assessment. You’re in my thoughts!

sue
2:24 am July 30th, 2013

My boyfriend took 2 percocet yesterday about 3 hours apart, during that time he had 3 long island ice teas and then 2 hours after the second pill he drank 2 beers. He was fine except for seeming drunk and smiley but he was still quite animated. We eat dinner then get in the car and I drive him home and he suddenly felt very nautious/sweaty and then when we got home he was very out of it and the feeling poorly didn’t go away until an hour later and then he went to bed. I want to know what was the reason for his sudden feeling bad and if its a sign of overdose. Going to caution him strongly next time to at the very least just take 1 if he is insistant on doing it.

Kathy
9:58 pm August 1st, 2013

My husband had bilateral knee replacement 10 days ago. He is home from the hospital now and is on Percocet for pain. He has begun his usual habit of drinking approximately a bottle of red wine a day as he did before surgery. He just got his stitches out yesterday and can’t walk without a walker. I am scared that something bad might happen. Am I just being overly concerned?

8:04 am August 13th, 2013

Hi Kathy. I understand your concern and yes, there is reason for it. In addition to the deadly combination of drink with opioid pain killers (which can slow or stop breathing, or the heartbeat)…there’s the daily drinking in excess. I’d suggest that you start seeking help from a family addictions counselor who can help you start to make sense of these signs and to figure out what you’d like to do next.

Jordan
1:49 am August 19th, 2013

The people freaking out about this obviously hasn’t been to any parties. I’ve seen people drink massive amount of alcohol, combine with several prescription drugs and marijuana, and still be able to go to the gym the next day. I don’t believe any of this.

4:59 am August 19th, 2013

Hello Jordan. Please don’t offer anecdotal evidence based on the practices of people that mix Percocet an alcohol as proof that there is nothing to worry about. Drug overdose death rates in the United States have more than tripled since 1990 and have never been higher. Do you know how many people die from drug overdose? About 100 people a day. More info on the FACTS about mixing Percocet and alcohol from the CDC here: http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/rxbrief/

kevin
12:10 pm January 1st, 2014

my last drink was 12 hours ago – is it safe to take percocet

Dale
8:01 pm January 26th, 2014

I took half of a 7.5 this morning and am drinking a few beers now..I feel fine..I was lifting weights earlier too.and drank a lot of fluids..I think it was about 5-6 hours since I took the half pill..Feel a little more intoxicated than I would if I didn’t take anything this morning but I feel fine otherwise

peter swan
6:42 pm February 26th, 2014

can you tell me that if one is legally drunk at 4 beers in 1.5 hours and takes a tablet of percocet in the process how much does this amplify the drunkenness? Are there any charts that show this type of relationship. For example is each 1 extra tablet taken equal to an extra beer or 5 beers in its effect?

10:14 am February 28th, 2014

Hello Peter. I can only find a BAC calculator for ALCOHOL ONLY or one for OPIOIDS ONLY. I do not see any charts or calculators which estimate intoxication when opioids like Percocet are mixed with alcohol. Here’s what I found:

http://www.erie.gov/stopdwi/bac_calculator.asp
http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/mental/MME.html

Best of luck to you.

brooke
11:20 pm March 17th, 2014

I was injured in an accident & had foot surgery two days ago and was prescribed percocet for the pain. It doesn’t seem to be strong enough and i’ve been experiencing pain and trouble sleeping. I’ve been waiting the required 4 hours between each pill. I am wondering if i could have just one glass of wine before bed to help me sleep and keep the pain at bay long enough. I am healthy in every other way. Do I really have something to worry about over one drink?

Joe
6:59 pm May 29th, 2014

I took two oxycodone-acetaminophen 5-325 tablets at 2:30 today and was planning on drinking pretty heavily starting around 8:30. Will I be safe?

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