- What is Percocet?
Percocet is the brand name of a pain reliever combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. It is manufactured by Endo Pharmaceuticals. Opioids are substances that resemble natural products derived from the opium poppy. The oxycodone component of Percocet is a semi-synthetic opioid, meaning it is derived from a naturally occurring opiate; in this case, thebaine.
- What Does Percocet Do?
Percocet is used for managing moderate to severe pain. The oxycodone in Percocet binds to a mu-opioid receptor, which is a type of protein found on the cell surface. The binding does not let pain signals reach the brain. The drug also increases levels of dopamine, serotonin and other associated hormones, resulting in feelings of calmness, pleasure, and satisfaction. Acetaminophen is said to enhance the effect produced by oxycodone.
- How is Percocet Prescribed?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that the number of Americans suffering from pain-related issues is higher than the combined number of people living with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer patients. Many pain medications are available to people through prescriptions and as over-the-counter drugs. Percocet, a combination drug is a prescription medicine for acute pain resulting from surgery, illness or trauma.
Percocet is available in four different formulations in the form of a tablet for oral administration. The different Percocet dosages are:
– 2.5 mg oxycodone/325 mg acetaminophen
– 5 mg oxycodone/ 325 mg acetaminophen
– 7.5 mg oxycodone/ 325 mg acetaminophen
– 10 mg oxycodone/325 mg acetaminophen
Usually, the adult dosage is limited to one tablet every six hours, depending on the severity of the pain. The physician decides the maximum adult dosage of Percocet depending on the requirements and tolerance ability of the patient. The maximum daily dosage for acetaminophen should be less than four grams.
Percocet is available in tablet form for oral administration. The common methods used for taking Percocet are:
Ingesting. The recommended method of taking Percocet pills is through oral ingestion. This method is the proper method and results in the desired effects for pain management with minimal, immediate side effects.
Smoking. Smoking Percocet is considered Percocet abuse. People smoke the drug because it is the fastest way for oxycodone to reach the brain and produce feelings of pleasure and calmness.
Snorting. Crushing and snorting Percocet is another method used to feel the effect of oxycodone quickly. Snorting through the nose results in immediate absorption of the drug into the bloodstream. Crushing and snorting Percocet is also considered misuse.
Chewing. Chewing Percocet is another administration method that results in fast absorption of the drug in the bloodstream. Chewing the drug is considered misusing it.
- What Does Percocet Look Like?
The shape and color of Percocet pills vary depending on their strength:
– Strength 2.5/325 mg is an oval, pink Percocet tablet, with 2.5 stamped on the surface
– Strength 5/325 mg is a round, blue Percocet tablet, with 5 stamped on the surface
– Strength 7.5/325 mg is an oblong, orange Percocet tablet, with 7.5 stamped on the surface
– Strength 10/325 mg is an oblong, yellow Percocet tablet, with 10 stamped on the surface
The other brand names of Percocet are Endocet, Magnacet, Narvox, Perloxx, Primalev, Roxicet, Roxilox, and Xartemix XR.
Other names and Street names for Percocet
Apart from being recognized by its commercial brand names, Percocet has other names that are mostly utilized by drug dealers and people buying the drug illicitly.
Some street names for Percocet are O.C., Oxycet, Oxycotton, Oxy, Kickers, Hillbilly Heroin, Percs, Blue dynamite, and Percodoms.
- What are Percocet's Side Effects?
Since Percocet is an opioid-based analgesic, its long-term use or improper use can trigger many side effects. Addiction is one of the leading side effects of Percocet ingestion. The reason many people get addicted is that they start using successively higher doses to achieve the same feeling of pleasure and calmness.
Other side-effects related to the use of Percocet are constipation, skin rash, dehydration, tremors or seizures, miosis or pupil constriction, nausea, sleepiness, headache, abdominal pain, trouble breathing, fast heartbeat or palpitations, necrosis, metabolic disturbances, including low blood sugar, and liver damage.
In the case of breast-feeding mothers, small amounts of oxycodone can pass to the baby through breast milk resulting in sleepiness, breathing issues and death in some cases.
- How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?
Percocet can be detected in several different tests. The type of sample taken will determine how long Percocet is detectable. In general, Percocet can be detected:
– In a blood sample for up to 24 hours after intake
– In a urine sample for up to four days after intake
– In a hair sample for up to 90 days after intake
– In breast milk for up to 24 hours after intake
How long a drug stays in the body depends on various factors including the dosage consumed, how healthy organ systems are, the person’s age and most importantly, the drug’s half-life.
A half-life is the time it takes for half of the drug to metabolize out of the body. In the case of Percocet, the half-life of oxycodone is approximately three to five hours and thus on average, it would take 24 hours to be completely flushed out of the body.