How does Percodan work?

Oxycodone works by disrupting opiate pain receptors in the brain. More on how oxyocodone works to relieve pain in the body (and its effects on the brain) here.

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Percodan (oxycodone) is an opioid analgesic drug that is used to help manage pain .  Is oxycodone an addictive drug?  Yes. Sometimes people chase oxycodone euphoria for recreational purposes by crushing Percodan or snorting the pain medication in order to get high. So, how exactly does Percodan affect the body and brain? Will Percodan have the same effects for everyone? We explore here and invite your questions about how Percodan works at the end.

How does Percodan affect the brain and nervous system?

Experts still don’t know EXACTLY how the main ingredient in Percodan – oxycodone – works in the brain to cause pain relief. However, oxycodone does act on specific central nervous system opioid receptors, including both µ (mu) and  kappa opioid receptors.

Percodan taken orally in tablet form is first digested in the stomach. The oxycodone is slowly released and absorbed into the blood stream. Oxycodone then disrupts opiate pain receptors in the brain. The chemical reaction that occurs in the synapse (spaces) between nerve cells is what blocks and disrupts the pain in the body. This way, Percodan can decrease bodily discomfort. But the chemical reaction can also produce feelings of intense well being, or euphoria.

How does Percodan work in the body?

In general, Percodan works to repress pain in the body to allow someone to feel a level normalcy instead of  high levels of pain. However, the primary pain reliever in Percodan (oxycodone) can also produce respiratory depression through direct activity at respiratory centers in the brain stem and depresses the cough reflex by direct effect on the center of the medulla. Furthermore, oxycodone makes the body feel drowsy, light-headed, and impaired coordination. The negative effects that are also caused by Percodan include nausea, vomiting, slowed heart rate, and rare but possible loss of consciousness.

How fast or quickly does Percodan work?

Overall, you can expect to feel the effects of Percodan about 15 minutes to a half hour after you have ingested it.

How long does Percodan work?

Percodan tablets work for about 4-6 hours.  The usual dosage is one Percodan tablet every 6 hours as needed for pain.

What make Percodan work better?

Taking Percodan just after eating a high fat meal can enhance the extent but not the rate of oxycodone absorption in its oral solution form. In addition, food can cause a delay in the Tmax (1.25 to 2.54 hours).

Nonetheless, Percodan works best if you are using as it is prescribed. Follow the directions given by your doctor so as not to impede the analgesic effect of the medication. Listen to what your physician has to say about Percodan and its use. This lowers the chance that you will develop a dependence to Percodan. Physicians can help monitor your use and slowly reduce your medication to compensate for withdrawal symptoms should they arise.

Those who abuse Percodan have been known to use other substances to increase the effects of the drug. While other substances will increase the effect of oxycodone, this practices rises the risk for dangerous adverse effects. In other words, avoid mixing Percodan and alcohol or other drugs AT ALL.

Does Percodan work for everyone?

No, Percodan doesn’t work for everyone. In general, oxycodone is a strong analgesic medication that can help keep pain in check. However, some people have a high tolerance to pain medications. It is also important to note that some people are allergic to oxycodone and that an allergic reaction to oxycodone can be dangerous.

Plus, the longer you use Percodan, the more you increase the possibility of developing physical tolerance to oxycodone as well as physical and/or psychological dependence on oxycodone. When this happens, you will need more Percodan in order for it to work or you will no longer be able to use the medication for its pain-reliving effects.

How does Percodan work questions

Do you still have questions about how Percodan works? Please leave your questions here. We will try our best to answer you personally and promptly. And if we don’t know the answer to your questions, we’ll refer you to someone who does.

Reference Sources:FDA Docket on oxycodone
DailyMed: Percodan

Daily Med: Oxycodone
PubMed Health: Oxycodone
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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