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What is Percocet used for?

Percocet is an opioid narcotic containing oxycodone that is used to manage pain. Here, we review Percocet uses and side effects, as well as how you can tell if you have problems with Percocet, or not. We invite your questions about Percocet use and how Percocet works at the end.

Percocet uses

Percocet is a prescription drug with the used for management of mild to moderate pain. By altering the way the brain perceives pain, Percocet can help ease the pain following surgery or injuries. However, Percocet can also cause feelings of euphoria, and people can get high on Percocet. The euphoric effect caused by oxycodone, the main ingredient in Percocet, can cause Percocet abuse.  So can combining Percocet with other substances.  For example, mixing alcohol with Percocet has an additive effect for both central nervous system depressants.  But when used recreationally, Percocet use can become dangerous and cause an overdose.

Percocet uses and side effects

Percocet does have risks, like any other prescription drug. Some of the possible adverse side effects of Percocet use include:

  • anxiety
  • abnormal moods
  • chest tightness
  • confusion, “fuzzy” thinking
  • constipation
  • difficulty urinating
  • itching and rash
  • slowed/irregular breathing
  • vomiting

Some of these side effects are bothersome, but not dangerous. However, more serious side effects, like slowed breathing, can put you at risk of brain damage, coma, or death. These more serious side effects of Percocet are less common. Always consult a doctor if you have any questions about Percocet, and seek emergency medical treatment if a Percocet prescription is interfering with your breathing.

Illegal Percocet use

It is illegal to use Percocet without a valid prescription.  How long Percocet stays in urine is called the “detection window” for the drug; the detection window for Percocet in urine is about 1-2 days after last use.  It is illegal to write or obtain a fraudulent prescription to get Percocet. It is also illegal to distribute Percocet. In fact, selling or giving away Percocet may cause severe harm or death to others. The penalties associated with the abuse or illegal distribution of Percocet depend vary by state or federal law.

Problems with Percocet

How do you know if you have problems with Percocet, or not? Well, if you think that you have a problem, you probably do. Percocet can create a euphoric high when misused. This often requires taking Percocet in dangerously high doses. Not only can you die from an opiate overdose, but the acetaminophen in Percocet can cause permanent liver damage. In addition, Percocet is potentially lethal if it’s taken in conjunction with alcohol or other drugs.

Plus, it’s easy to become addicted to Percocet. Percocet abuse can cause strong cravings and drug-seeking behavior. An addiction causes withdrawal effects when you try to stop using the drug as well – although a dependence is not necessarily an addiction. You will have a higher risk of Percocet addiction if you’ve ever had a problem with drug or alcohol abuse in the past.

If you think that you have a problem with Percocet, there is help available. If you began taking Percocet to help manage pain, and would like to stop taking the medication, speak to your doctor and ask the best way to quit. A tapered dosing schedule can help you gradually reduce your use of Percocet. However, after long-term use, Percocet should never be stopped abruptly or without a doctor’s guidance.

Percocet use questions

Do you still have questions about how Percocet is used? Please leave your questions here. We will be happy to try to answer you with a personal and prompt response.

Reference Sources: ToxNet: Oxycodone
AHFS Consumer Medication: OxyCodone
PubMed Health: Oxycodone
DailyMed: Percocet
Partners for Recovery SAMHSA: Employment Discrimination Against
People with Alcohol/Drug Histories

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9 Responses to “What is Percocet used for?
1:57 am November 4th, 2012

This blog was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Thanks!

6:43 pm September 2nd, 2014

I was prescribed Percocet when I had shingles. I am well enough now, however, I now have “restless leg syndrome” and I take Percocet at night to sleep. I want to get off this drug. What is another way to combat restless leg syndrome without Percocet.

3:55 am March 22nd, 2017

I am 83 years old, living in a nursing home. I have had a stroke but have found that taking one Percocet at bedtime has kept me from urinating while asleep. Actually, an aide comes in at 3 a.m. and I use the bedpan. Then I get up about 6 a.m. and use the wheelchair to get to the bathroom. In this manner I have kept myself dry for several months at a time. I keep from becoming constipated by taking Miralax three times a week. My question is, am I doing myself any harm since I have no desire for any Percocet at any other time? One of the nurses here has a “bug up her ZZZ” and wants to have me stop taking the Percocet altogether. Others are supportive of what I am doing. Any suggestions?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
5:41 pm March 30th, 2017

Hi Jean. I suggest that you consult with a doctor about your concerns.

9:00 am April 25th, 2017

Percocet has been prescribed to me after a major surgery. I am so grateful for it because the pain is crippling. I don’t have an addictive personality so addiction not an issue. Addiction is for the weak of mind and darwin can sort them out.Be strong and don’t abuse drugs.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:30 pm April 27th, 2017

Hi Ken. Thank you for sharing!

5:45 am May 7th, 2017

Ken is an idiot.

6:09 pm June 16th, 2017

Am on heroin till last year about 1.3 gram per day… i just can aford the cold turky..72 hours …can i use the percocet????how much and how many days????after the last dose…i smoke on foill.i wanto quit .am gettn spoilng my life plz help me

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
7:08 pm July 5th, 2017

Hi Madi. Call a toll-free Heroin Helpline on 1-888-988-7934 to get in touch with trusted and confidential helpline professionals available 24/7.

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