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Percocet Use

Percocet is a fast acting analgesic used for pain management. It is also one of the leading prescription drugs abused

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Percocet = High Addiction Potential

Percocet is the brand name of the synthetic combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. In medicine, it is used for treating moderate to severe pain due to pain disorders or injury. As an opioid agonist, Percocet has a rapid onset and produces its effects in about 15 minutes after administration. In addition to pain relief, it can make you feel high. Because of this, many people use it recreationally.

However, Percocet is a highly addictive drug that can lead to physical dependence on Percocet, and later, when doses are decreased, severe withdrawal occurs.

In the article below, we review issues connected to Percocet use. Also, we’ll list common withdrawal symptoms and side effects of long term Percocet use. Read carefully, and then, you are welcome to ask further questions in the comments section at the end.

Medical Use

Available in tablets, Percocet is used orally as a narcotic analgesic to treat moderate to severe pain. It’s a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen, the two active ingredients in this painkiller. Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic pure opioid agonist, while acetaminophen is a non-salicylate, non-opiate analgesic and antipyretic. While oxycodone is responsible for pain relief, acetaminophen is added only to reduce the abuse of Percocet.

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Like other opioids, Percocet has the ability to affect different nerve receptors (n and k), and to change the way the brain perceives pain. However, the reason behind Percocet’s popularity for abuse is the meds property for producing euphoria, and its rather quick onset.

Side Effects

Before any medication reaches the market it must be approved by the FDA. And drug labels must list the side effects of a drug. But what are side effects, medically?

By definition, side effects are described as secondary, typically undesirable effects of a drug or medical treatment. Side effects are simply an indication that the body has difficulties accepting a drug in its system. However, because our bodies are different, every person metabolizes Percocet differently. If you are prescribed Percocet, make sure to call your doctor if any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shallow breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness or sedation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Flushing
  • Mood changes

Recreational Use

Using Percocet other than prescribed, or using it without a prescription is ILLEGAL. In fact, the Controlled Substance Act has classified Percocet as a Schedule II drug. People risk legal consequences, however, because the oxycodone in Percocet gets you high.

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In fact, Percocet causes extreme euphoria and put you in a state of well-being. Because of this, it can easily become a recreational drug. In fact, it is one of the leading prescription drugs that is abused in America. How do people take it?

Ways People Use It

Usually, people get high on Percocet within 15 minutes after oral administration. This rapid action makes Percocet appealing, and increases its addiction liability. By altering the way you administer Percocet, you might get an instant ‘hit’, but you definitely risk adverse health effects.

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Percocet is available in tablets and but is commonly taken:

Orally. Crushing and chewing Percocet tablets releases oxycodone more quickly than when swallowed. Abusing Percocet in this way may cause gym problems and tooth decay.

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Nasally. Snorting crushed Percocet tablets results in quick oxycodone release. It leads to increased absorption in the body, and high concentration of the drug in the blood. By snorting Percocet, users are exposing themselves not only to nasal problems, but also to the risk of overdose.

Inhalation. Smoking Percocet is another way of abusing the drug. Note that oxycodone is not the only ingredient that you are inhaling. You are also consuming medication inert filters and binders, which cause irritation, nasal damages, and even lung disease.

Intravenously. Injecting Percocet is the most dangerous way to take the drug. When shooting it, Percocet instantly enters the bloodstream, and is delivered straight to the brain.

NOTE HERE: Percocet overdose is very possible because of the acetaminophen, not of the oxycodone. In such cases immediately CALL 911 or Call the Poison Control Center on 1-88-222-1222.

Long-Term Use

Long-term (chronic) use is defined as drug use for 6 months or more. Even though “long-term” use of Percocet is considered safe and effective when used as prescribed, using Percocet for years may affect the body as well as the brain.

Firstly, long-term Percocet use may lead to tolerance and physical dependence. When you built up tolerance to Percocet, your body will increased dosage (amount or frequency) in order to feel the same effects as before. But, if you are Percocet-dependent you need the drug in order to function normally. Moreover, you will experience withdrawal symptoms whenever you lower doses or abruptly stop taking Percocet.

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Below is a list of the most common withdrawal symptoms associated quitting Percocet after a period of long term Percocet use:

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Shallow breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Prolonged Use

Percocet affects the central nervous system (CNS),  changes the chemistry of the brain, and affects brain function. This means that the body adopts the presence of the drug as normal. When you stop using Percocet, the body is trying to find a new balance. As Percocet leaves the system the users get withdrawal symptoms, which are similar to those of a bad flu.

Often, Percocet withdrawal starts within a few hours since your last dosing and peaks in about 72 hours. It takes more than a week for Percocet withdrawal symptoms to wear off. Some of the most basic Percocet withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Restlessness

Because of the severity and harshness of withdrawal symptoms, doctors usually advise that you undergo Percocet detox in a clinical setting and under medical monitoring of doctors and nurses who can assist you during this time.

Your Questions

As a powerful painkiller, Percocet must be taken as the doctor recommends. Please be very careful when you are using Percocet since it is a strong narcotic. It can cause overdose and death.

If you still have any concerns on Percocet use or are looking for Percocet addiction treatment options, please do not hesitate to ask. Your comments and questions are welcomed in the section at the bottom of the page.

Reference Sources: NIH: Percocet
NIH: Daily Med: Percocet
Drug Abuse: Scientific Research on Prescription Drug Abuse
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