Many patients are prescribed Percocet to manage pain after surgery or for an injury. This powerful painkiller can be very effective for those who need it most. Before taking any medicine, especially if you’ve never used it before, it’s important to learn about potential side effects and precautions to ensure that you take it safely and effectively.
For those on pain medications, this is especially important because some people are more at risk of addiction or dependency. Here are some important facts you should know about Percocet before you start taking it.
What is Percocet?
Percocet is in a class of drugs known as opioids because it contains two active ingredients. The opioid ingredient is oxycodone, and it helps alleviate pain by connecting to the opioid receptors in the brain. The second active ingredient is acetaminophen. Most people recognize this medication by its brand name Tylenol. This over-the-counter pain reliever can be given to almost everyone starting in infancy. These two ingredients combined help to reduce pain and inflammation to help people after an injury or surgery. Plus, acetaminophen can also improve the effectiveness of oxycodone.
How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?
Many people want to know, how long does Percocet stay in your system? While it depends on a lot of factors including your metabolism and the dose of the drug, there are some general rules that apply to most people. The measurement of how long it stays in the body is considered a half-life. This means that after a certain amount of time, half of the medicine is metabolized. After another length of time, the remainder is half metabolized, and so on and so forth.
The oxycodone part of the medicine usually has a half-life of 3-5 hours. This means that if your Percocet has 10mg of oxycodone, only 5mg will remain after 5 hours or so. For people who are concerned, this means that some levels of oxycodone can still be detectable in a urinalysis drug test after 3 days from the last dose. If someone uses high doses of this medicine regularly or has a slow metabolism, it could stay in the body for much longer. So, how long does Percocet stay in your system? It could be a week or more before it clears enough to pass a urine test, and it can stay up to three months in hair.
Potential Side Effects of Percocet
Drowsiness is one of the most common side effects. People who are on Percocet should not drive because of the way it impairs mental acuity and focus. Nausea and vomiting are another potential side effect. Most doctors recommend taking Percocet with food or milk to reduce the risk. Additionally, many pain relievers that contain opioids can cause constipation, making stomachaches very possible. Doctors may prescribe stool softeners to counteract this side effect.
Percocet is a very potent painkiller made from acetaminophen and oxycodone. This powerful duo is beneficial for people who need pain relief after surgery and for injuries. One of the most asked questions about this medicine is “How long does Percocet stay in your system?”. For most people, it’s undetectable in urine tests in about 3 days. However, hair testing may be able to detect it for up to 3 months. If you take this drug as prescribed, you are less likely to form a dependency on it.