Can you overdose (OD) on Percocet?

Yes, you can overdose on Percocet because of the acetaminophen (not the oxycodone) it contains. More on what happens when you OD on Percocet, acetaminophen poisoning, and safe doses here.

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Yes. You can OD on Percocet.

Percocet overdose complications can include liver damage, liver failure of death.  And it can be easy to accidentally take too much of a drug, especially a drug like Percocet that’s used to control pain. However, most Percocet overdoses occur as a result of toxic levels of acetaminophen in the body, not the narcotic oxycodone. Here, we review what can you do to prevent accidental Percocet overdose. At the end, we invite your questions about Percocet and overdose.

Can you overdose on Percocet?

Yes, you can easily overdose on Percocet. Percocet contains oxycodone, an opioid painkiller which can cause overdose with large doses, and acetaminophen, another analgesic medication which is much more dangerous but less addictive. Even at fairly low doses, Percocet can cause permanent liver damage as a result of acetaminophen toxicity which may not be immediately obvious. At higher doses, this liver toxicity turns deadly.

Plus, certain people are more at risk of OD’ing on Percocet than others. If you take Percocet to get high, your risk of overdose increases. Percocet abuse increases your risk of death and overdose.  In addition, Percocet addictive potential is relatively high.  This medication should only be taken swallowed as a whole pill, and only in the doses recommended by your doctor. You’re much more likely to overdose when you chew, crush, snort or inject Percocet pills.

What happens when you overdose on Percocet?

Liver failure is the most dangerous complication of Percocet overdose, caused by acetaminophen toxicity. However, Percocet overdose can not only cause you health problems down the road, but it can potentially kill you if you take too many Percocet in one day.  How long Percocet stays in the the body (a short half life of about 3.2 hours) may contribute to taking too many Percocet in one day. So how many Percocet can you safely take?

How many Percocet is too much?

Safe dosing for Percocet varies between different strengths of the medication. Some versions of the drug may have more acetaminophen than others, so it’s very important to carefully check dosage instructions. But as a general rule, doctors recommend no more than 1 gram of acetaminophen at one time.

In the case of Percocet, it would be unsafe to take more than two 500 mg doses every six hours. More than this can potentially cause liver damage if these doses are taken long-term, although taking more than 1 gram on accident probably won’t harm you if it only happens occasionally.

On the other hand, taking more than 4 grams of acetaminophen in one day can poison you and cause permanent liver damage, even liver failure. Many medications contain 500-600 mg of acetaminophen per dose, making it unsafe to take more than directed per day. Because acetaminophen can be so dangerous,you should only take as Percocet much as your doctor recommends.

Percocet overdose help

If you’ve taken a high dose of Percocet and experience adverse side effects, you should seek medical attention immediately. Medications containing acetaminophen take about 12 hours before overdose is irreversible – but you may not experience symptoms of an overdose immediately. If you suspect you’ve taken too much Percocet or acetaminophen for any reason, seek emergency medical assistance as soon as possible.

Overdose on Percocet questions

If you have any questions about safe amounts of Percocet in your system, please leave them here. We are happy to try to help answer your questions about Percocet, and will try to respond with a personal and prompt reply for all legitimate queries.

Reference Sources: Toxnet: Oxycodone
PubMed Health: Oxycodone
DailyMed: Percocet
FDA Safety Communication: Prescription Acetaminophen Products to be Limited to 325 mg Per Dosage Unit; Boxed Warning Will Highlight Potential for Severe Liver Failure
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. At one point or another, you are bound to miss work due to some kind of health issue like back pain. Do not let this be a routine! Once you notice you’ve been missing work for the same reason frequently, seek professional help. What you may not realize is that the back pain you’re suffering from isn’t due to tiredness alone, you could already be dealing with an injury. Early detection and treatment will help you recover from such injuries as quickly as possible.

  2. I accidentally took 2 5-325mg tablets right now at which time I was suppose to take my other medication. Last time I took 2 5-325mg tablets was 2 hours ago. I’m worried. Will I be ok.

    1. Hi Sandy. You can call your local pharmacy to consult with your pharmacist, or call up your doctor for advise on what you should do.

  3. I took four TEC percocets (I think they’re 5/325) in the span of 5 hours. They were spaced 2 to 3 hours apart. I had extreme nausea and extreme fatigue. I’m worried I’ve overdosed. Is this possible with that amount? Is it safe to go to sleep?

    1. Hi Jennifer. Chest pain may be a symptom of OD. Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for an assessment of overdose risk or with help on what to do next.

  4. My husband really scares me with the amount of percs he takes I get 90a month for bad pain​ in which I have never abused them but recently discovered my husband has been taking alot of them to feed his addiction he can take 10 10milligram without blinking and he also a drinker iam worried it will kill him but he doesn’t think that so what can I say to scare him straight

  5. I NEED INFORMATION PLEASE. my Mom takes 6- 10/325 a day. ..24 hour period. I am concerned. She sometimes asks for more. ..this is a reason of concern as well. Thank you sincerely Deb

  6. I’ve been taking 6 percocet a day (10/325) for the last few years for chronic back pain from two fusions. I followed the instructions to the letter of the script and sometimes would have a few extra at the end of the month until recently, I seem to be running out 2-3 days before the script can be refilled and usually find 15-20 to buy. I’m embarrassed to talk to anyone about this as I don’t want people thinking I’m an addict and a drug seeker, most people don’t understand living with chronic pain and are quick to judge. I know my body has become tolerant to the pills but I don’t want to go on anything stronger as I work at a desk and need the ability to think clearly as its a fast paced and stressful….. just feeling lost

  7. If a 150 lb. person took over 10,000 mg. of Percocet all at once and it remained in their system for over 8 hours without having their stomach pumped, what would the long term effects be? Their liver is not producing protein and they are suffering badly. Is there anything they can do?

    1. Hi Joy. I suggest that you speak with a doctor about your concerns, and that person should consider running some check-ups.

  8. Hi there! I was involved in a horrendous car accident on I-95 10-15-14 and broke C-1. I was listed as a fatality by the Florida Highway Patrol. However, the people who stopped to aid me and the rescue workers helped me until they were able to get me out of the car. I then had to end up in surgery for 18 hours and was operated on by one of the best neurosurgeons in the U.S. he had to do a spinal fusion of C-1,2 & 3 as well had to install a diaphragm pacer system to keep me going. I received a tracheotomy and a G-tube as well as a halo. It has been very hard for me but I’ve made medical miracles and I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life! I’m learning how to actually walk again and rehabilitating myself everyday literally! I go to one of the top rehab hospitals in the U.S. everyday to better myself! I went inpatient as soon as the trauma hospital felt it was safe enough for me to go. Originally, I was inpatient for 3.5 months and made great progress! However, I still needed much work! I go everyday outpatient and attend their Neuro Recovery Center which has saved my life! I’m not 100% & may never become like I used to be but I know the harder I try the better I become and there’s nothing I feel I can’t overcome! I’m still currently taking breakthrough oral pain medication (Percocet) and rely on fentanyl patches for round the clock pain relief but it’s better than what I used to rely on in the hospital and my doctors have said those words to me verbatim. I do my best not to take extras and when/if I do I’m honest with my physicians and tell them! My spinal rehab specialist knows then is the time to make some type of change to my long list of meds. I have a lot of nerve pain from my spinal cord injury! I wished everyone would stop and think of the damage their doing to their bodies by abusing medication! Life is precious!

  9. To anyone who is taking large quantities of opiates without relief. I recommend a pain pump. That’s what I have, and it changed my life. I only take pain pills now for break through pain, but amazing amount less then before. My pain is now manageable.

  10. I took 16 Percocet 5-325mg last night. Its been almost 24 hours and I’m still throwing up whenever I try to eat some food. However, there is no pain in my stomach. Only a slight headache and sickness when I eat. Did I have to worry about anything or will this just pass with time? I don’t take these often. If at all. So I have no tolerance.

  11. It seems like opioid addiction and overdose is in the news almost every day now. I take two Percocets a day for back pain and sometimes not even that if I’m not having too much pain. I do not feel any high others than just a relief from my pain. I’m wondering if all this TV coverage on all opioids is going to cause doctors to stop prescribing the medication for pain. I’m wondering if it is always the case that you get addicted to Percocet after a long period of time. I’ve been taking it for over two years and I never feel high or the desire to take more than what I need for my back pain. Could you call me at on this? I’m really afraid my doctor is going to stop prescribing it.

  12. If Prince overdosed on percoset then would it of been he had liver issues already? If he did then why was a Doctor prescribing it to him with Tylenol?? How much would a person have to take to overdose? Cause don’t percoset have only 5 or so mg of oxycodone in it??

  13. I cannot believe it!! Wow. You can overdose on that even if you don’t know it. I believe that’s how prince died. He overdosed on perocent, felt drowsy and fainted. Within seconds he died. Well that’s what I believe in. My opinion if you agree. Well. Everyday there’s something to learn from these stuff. Thanks for the heads up. Appreciate it.

  14. I take 10/325 precocet for chronic backpain. Im suppose to only take 4 a day but i tend to take more. I try to not take it during the day or first thing but after a while i go between hot and cold and clamy feeling. So ill take 1-3 to get passed the yucky feeling. I also sleep late into the day and loss of energy a lot. Ive been taking them for a few months now. Does it sound like i could be addicted? Please reply as soon as u can. Thank you

    1. Hi Cheryl. Symptoms of overdose may include difficulty breathing, excessive sleepiness, dizziness, fainting, weak muscles, narrowing or widening of the pupils (dark circle in the eye), cold, clammy skin, slow or stopped heartbeat, blue color of skin, lips, or area around the mouth, and loss of consciousness or coma.
      In case of overdose, call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Or call 911 ASAP.

  15. Hi I was on demerol cause of my high tolerance of meds. My doctor put me back to my 5/325 take 2 every 4 hrs. Ive taken like 18 of them in a 16 hr turn over I WAS in pain but finally subsided. I read u shouldnt take over 4000 of tylenol now im freaked and wondered if im oD’d or something. Not sleepy just scared. Like I said I have a high tolerance but dont want the demerol cause I go nutty and twich and talk crazy lol. Please let me know if im okay?
    I was simi sleepy but the last time itook anything was 3 hrs ago. Im not taking anymore!!! Done!

    1. Hi, Kathryne. Please consider that it is illegal to consume medications other than prescribed, and you put yourself at risk. I suggest you speak with your doctor about your pain issues.

    1. Hi, Adam. If you don’t feel well, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for an assessment of overdose risk, or call 911 ASAP.

    1. Hi, Jit. We are here to help you. If you have any problems with addiction, feel free to contact us. Please, consider what you are planning to do. Think about your friends and family. And, remember you are not alone!

    1. Hi, Cindy. If your friend doesn’t feel well, call 911 ASAP. Or call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for an assessment of overdose risk.

  16. I am 48 year old man, I never married, I have no children, my family deserted me years ago.. they have all moved off or no longer communicate with me. I have had several major accidents in my life starting with a fall of 3 stories. I suffer with severe pain on a daily basis, sometimes it is so severe that thoughts of suicide are strong in my mind. I am just so tired, weak from the daily suffering from my injuries or the trauma that my body has sustained over them.. I really don’t know what to do, the emotional trauma is as bad if not worse then the physical pain I am in. this medication is barely easing my pain. I am now taking 60Mg a day. I am in so much pain, I don’t know what to do…

    1. Hi Darren. If Percocet is not providing the needed pain relief, you can always talk to your doctor about this in order to find a solution for the problem. There are many other pain medicines that your doctor can prescribe and that may work. Please call your doctor to set up an appointment and share how you feel, it is obvious that your medication needs to be switched.

  17. Hi I recently had some plastic surgery done (boob job) and shortly after had problems with capsulelation a build of scar tissue it’s very painful the Dr proscribed me 15mg percocets to take 1 or 2 every 4 to 6 hours I’m only 110lbs taking 2 every 4 hours do you feel I’m at risk of overdosing I don’t take medications often so being on this prescription has me a Lil paranoid to say the least the Dr said its fine but just felt another person’s opinion wouldn’t hurt.

  18. Hello Misty. I’d suggest that you think about calling your doctor or consulting a pharmacist in the meantime. You can always call 1-800-222-1222 to reach the Poison Control Center to be assessed for risk of OD. Because tolerance for opioids develops after regular dosing over a couple of weeks (and if you are NOT opioid-naive), there will most likely be minimal discomfort or risk of intoxication. You can be more punctual about taking your medication if you set an alarm clock to ring every six hours. That way you won’t take the pills too frequently and you won’t miss a dose either.

  19. Hello,
    I’m currently on medical leave from work and on light bed rest due to scar tissue adhesions/pelvic pain from C-sections.
    I started taking Percocet on Friday and it was ordered 1 pill every 6 hours. I lost track of time today and took my first at 9am, my 2nd at shortly after 2 (closer to 5 1/2 hours), my 3rd at 6:30 (then 4 1/2 hours) then my 4th at 11:15 (after almost 5 hours). I’m now feeling a little nauseous and a little worried that I should have paid closer attention to the times. Should I call a doctor or just drink lots of water?

  20. All this information was exactly what I needed to find and easy to read. I was happy to have a number on this site to call and have 24 hour resources available. Dealing with a loved one that is constantly putting his life in danger or the lives of his family is a difficult issue. I am sure he did not mean to be addicted but now that he is I am going to go to any measure to help save his life.

  21. Hi megs. One way to reduce or decrease tolerance for a drug is to stop taking it completely for a few weeks and then try to take the medication again. However, any dosing regime needs to be approved and supervised by a prescribing doctor. What does your doctor say about your doses?

  22. starting tommorw im only goin to be taking 1 . i dont want to take the risk. so what your saying is if i didnt have a high tollernce to the meds.. i would have taken an overdose with taking 6 pills in 9 hours. do you think ill be ok . i also read that the overdose doesnt start right away . it could take up to 12 hours 🙁 ive never did drugs in my life . and with my back problem i have to take things for pain. and i deff wont take anything stronger .. is there anyway i can get my tolerence down ? what information can you give me about this drug . thank you for your time

  23. thanks for your message. i was in sooo much pain today i have taken 7 pills in 9 hours 🙁 the doctor told me to stay on them. and i told her i didnt want to go on anything stronger. the perocent does help the pain. but i have to take much higher doses to get the effect. of teh 5/325 mg. i heard that your not suspose to take anymore then 12 a day and dont do over 4000mg of tynoel . i hope you can let me no what you think i should do. ive taken these pills for a while. and i was just wondering will i overdose if i keep taking these doses ?

  24. Hi Megs. It’s possible that you’ve developed enough tolerance to oxycodone that a gradual increase in dosage may not induce an overdose. However, if the pain medication is not helping ease your pain, you need to consult with your prescribing doctor BEFORE taking this action. There may be other side effects to the pain med that you haven’t anticipated. Plus, taking more than prescribed is technically illegal.

    There may be other medications which can help you more than Percocet, or options that are more effective. I’d suggest that you seek advice from your doctor ASAP…and let us know how it goes!

  25. hi i have a qestion i would like to ask you.
    i have veryy bad back pain. for a few days now i have been taking more perocent because the 1 every 4 hours doesnt help. so today i have taken 6 in total.
    took3 at 930am. took 1 more at 130.and took 1 more at 430 and 1 more at 630. would i be ok. its now 10:30 at night and i dont plan on taking anymore until the next day. but i have been only taking that much for 4 days now. will i be ok. they are 5/325 mg. im kinda scared. i dont take any other pain killers. and i am now alittle scared. hope to hear back from someone soon. thanks

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