Percocet overdose: How much amount of Percocet to OD?

Percocet can be lethal if taken in larger doses than directed, even if the dose is only slightly higher than prescribed. More on how much amount of Percocet is safe for you and Percocet overdose here.

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When you take too much of any drug, you can experience drug overdose as the drug becomes toxic in your body. Overdose can be fatal, but it can also cause permanent damage to your body even if you survive. So even if Percocet addictive, can you prevent Percocet overdose? How much is too much Percocet and can a Percocet OD be treated?

In this article, we’ll explore these questions in more depth, along with the risk factors for Percocet overdose. Your questions about safe Percocet use and thresholds for overdose are welcomed at the end.

How does Percocet overdose happen?

The vast majority of drug poisoning deaths are unintentional. There are a lot of different reasons why someone might accidentally overdose on Percocet. First, the oxycodone in Percocet creates a physical tolerance over time. After taking Percocet for an extended period, you may no longer be getting adequate pain relief from your prescribed dose and need more to achieve analgesic effect. But it only takes one or two extra pills to overdose on the acetaminophen in Percocet, even thought the amount of oxycodone is likely to still be safe. So, increasing the frequency or amount of medication each day is an easy way to unintentionally overdose on Percocet.

Secondly, using Percocet to get high can also easily result in an acetaminophen overdose. Large doses of Percocet are never safe and you risk serious and permanent liver damage if Percocet doses are above daily recommendations. Finally, some people intentionally overdose on Percocet as a form of self-harm or as part of a suicide attempt. If these Percocet users get medical help within 8 hours of intentional overdose, they can recover from a self-harm attempt and treat underlying mental health issues.

Percocet overdose – How much is too much?

The reason people abuse Percocet is for the narcotic oxycodone that helps manage pain. But Percocet only contains 2.5-10 mg of oxycodone and between 325 – 650 mg of acetaminophen, the active ingredient of Tylenol. Both can cause serious toxicity in the body. Percocet abuse will always pose the risk of death and overdose. This is why Percocet should only be taken in the doses recommended by your doctor. Snorting, injecting, chewing, or crushing Percocet increases your risk of overdose.

Acetaminophen overdose – More than 1000 mg of acetaminophen at one time won’t kill you, but will cause chronic liver damage if taken habitually. But at doses higher than 4000 mg per day, the acetaminophen in Percocet poisons you, causing severe effects such as vomiting and abdominal pain. More than 7000 mg of acetaminophen can kill you.

Oxycodone overdose – It’s also possible to overdose on the oxycodone found in Percocet, but this requires taking enough Percocet that you’d be having issues with the acetaminophen already. It takes about 40 mg of oxycodone to overdose if you haven’t taken the medication before. At the lowest strength of Percocet, you’d need over 16 pills for the oxycodone to be dangerous, but you’d be well over the daily limit for acetaminophen poisoning and would need immediate medical attention.

Percocet overdose complications

The most dangerous complication of Percocet overdose is liver damage. It may take up to 12 hours for symptoms of Percocet overdose to occur, which is one reason Percocet abuse is so dangerous. You can experience Percocet OD symptoms as minor as stomach pain or as serious as a coma. But Percocet overdose needs to be treated immediately, to avoid potential liver failure and subsequent death. And by the time you notice symptoms, permanent damage may have already been done to your liver.

Percocet overdose prognosis

If you can receive medical help for Percocet overdose within 8 hours, that’s is usually enough to ensure recovery from a Percocet overdose. Since symptoms of overdose may not appear for 12 hours after taking the medication, it’s important to get medical attention if you’ve taken large amounts of the drug, even if you don’t feel sick. The overdose prognosis and likelihood of permanent liver damage – sometimes even death – goes up after 8 hours without treatment.

Percocet overdose death rate

You can search the National Vital Statistics System for mortality rates due to Percocet drug overdose. In general, however, unintentional Percocet deaths due to overdose have been on the rise, as has the use of opiate and opioid painkillers across the U.S. The misuse and abuse of Percocet by recreational drug users accounts for a large portion of the increase in drug poisoning deaths. Although people of both genders are more likely to experience opioid overdose in the working years of their lives, men are more likely than women to die from a Percocet OD.

Percocet overdose amount 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. But if we can’t answer your question, we will refer you to someone who can.

Reference Sources: FDA Safety Communication: Prescription Acetaminophen Products to be Limited to 325 mg Per Dosage Unit; Boxed Warning Will Highlight Potential for Severe Liver Failure
Medline Plus: Acetaminophen overdose
Medline Plus: Hydrocodone/Oxycodone overdose
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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