How long does Percocet stay in your system?

Percocet only stays in your system for a couple of days. Learn more about Percocet detection windows for blood, hair, and urine tests here.

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Reviewed by: Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D.

Percocet is absorbed and metabolized quickly by the body. Therefore, Percocet will only be detectable for a couple of days after taking the medication, at least for most standard drug tests. Hair-based tests will be able to detect it for much longer, but these tests are rarely used for employment and other routine drug testing. More on Percocet detection times and drug testing here, plus a section at the end for your questions about Percocet in the system.

Main Percocet uses

Percocet is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Some people get high on Percocet, and euphoria occurs because Percocet contains oxycodone, an opiate class medication, and the non-narcotic pain reliever acetaminophen. Percocet works by altering the brain and nervous system’s response to pain.

How do you take Percocet?

Percocet is available in tablet form and is taken orally. However, Percocet abusers will sometimes chew or crush the tablets to release all the medication at once. They may also crush the tablets and snort the powder, or dissolve the pills in water and inject the mixture into the blood.  However, snorting Percs or injecting Percocet increase risk of Percocet addiction.

Peak levels and half life of Percocet

Percocet takes effect within just 15-20 minutes after oral administration. It reaches peak levels in 30-60 minutes. A normal formulation of Percocet has a half-life of around 3.2 hours.

Percocet drug testing: How long does Percocet stay in the body?

Narcotic pain medications like Percocet don’t stay in the body very long. Although blood tests are the least reliable means for detecting Percocet in the system, urine and hair tests are both reliable and accurate means for detecting Percocet. More on detection windows by drug test type here.

How long does Percocet stay in blood?

Due to its short half-life, Percocet doesn’t stay in the blood long-term. The levels of Percocet in the blood are typically undetectable after about a day.

How long does Percocet stay in hair?

Most drugs can be detected in hair for about 90 days. This does depend on how long someone’s hair is, how recently it’s been cut, the color of the hair, chemical hair treatments, and the amount of the drug taken. And trace amounts of Percocet are more difficult to detect than large amounts or chronic use. Still this kind of testing may be used to monitor compliance in a drug treatment program or to give authorities a long term picture of past drug use.

How long does Percocet stay in urine?

Percocet can usually only be detected in urine for 1-2 days. In cases of heavy or chronic use, it might be detectable for slightly longer periods. The exact amount of time urine screens will detect Percocet depends on the amount of Percocet a person is taking, how long they’ve been using it, and their own personal metabolism.

Percocet and addiction

Percocet is an addictive drug. In fact, Percocet can be habit-forming even in those who use it for legitimate medical purposes. The drug gives a euphoric high when taken in large doses. A Percocet addict runs the risk of withdrawal symptoms if they try to quit, and overdose if they abuse it carelessly. An Percocet addiction may, ultimately, be fatal.

Problems with Percocet?

If you think that you have a problem with Percocet, you probably do. If you struggle with Percocet addiction, a doctor can refer you to therapies which will help. There are medical interventions which may be able to help you first stop taking Percocet and then manage addiction. Being open with friends and family about your Percocet addiction can help you build a support network, which can help prevent relapse.

Percocet in your system questions

Do you still have questions about Percocet in your system? Please leave any question about Percocet use here. We will try our best to answer you with a personal and prompt response, or refer you to someone who can.

Reference Sources: PubMed Health: Percocet
National Drug Intelligence Center: OxyContin Fast Facts
DMME: Drug Free Workplace Protocols
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.
Medical Reviewers
Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. is a general surgeon practicing women's focused medici...

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a licensed medical professional.

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