What Is Percocet? — Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects
How many Americans deal with chronic pain? According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an estimated 100 million people suffer from chronic pain in the United States. And what do many of them turn to for relief? Opioids, including Percocet.
Percocet is a prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. It contains a powerful combination of drugs and has become popularly prescribed by doctors. However, it is important to know what Percocet is, what it does, and what the potential side effects are before you take it. In this blog post, we will discuss the uses, benefits, and side effects of Percocet.
What Is Percocet?
Available only as a prescription, the medication Percocet contains a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Oxycodone is a powerful opioid pain reliever, and acetaminophen is a less potent pain reliever that also acts as an antipyretic (fever reducer) and anti-inflammatory drug.
Is Percocet an Opioid?
Yes, Percocet is an opioid medication. Opioids are a class of drugs that includes the illegal drug heroin as well as legal prescription pain relievers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and fentanyl. All opioids work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord to reduce the perception of pain.
Opioids can be a powerful tool for pain relief when used as directed, but they can be habit-forming and even dangerous when abused. In recent years, this potential for physical dependence has given rise to a widespread epidemic of addiction known as "The Opioid Crisis." As such, any opioid — including Percocet — should be used with extreme care and caution.
What Are the Uses of Percocet?
Percocet is most commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain that may not respond well to other forms of treatment. It can be used for both acute pain (such as after surgery) and chronic pain (such as from arthritis). Percocet may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Percocet is sometimes preferred over other drugs because it is a potent medication that can provide relief from moderate to severe pain. It is also fast-acting, meaning that it begins to work quickly after being taken, and has a relatively long duration of action, meaning that it can provide relief for several hours at a time. And because it contains both oxycodone and acetaminophen, Percocet may be more effective than taking just one of these drugs separately.
How Is Percocet Taken?
Percocet can be taken orally (by mouth) or rectally (by suppository). The oral form of Percocet is available in tablet, capsule, and liquid forms.
If you are considering taking Percocet for your chronic pain, it is important to speak with your doctor first. They will be able to determine if Percocet is the right medication for you, prescribe an appropriate dosage and treatment plan, and help you understand the potential risks and side effects.
What Are the Side Effects of Percocet?
As with any prescription drug, Percocet may cause side effects among some users. The most common side effects of Percocet include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Dry mouth
- Skin rash or itching
- Difficulty urinating
These side effects are typically mild and go away with time. However, if you experience any of the following serious side effects, you should stop taking Percocet and call your doctor right away, as they may be signs of a serious health issue:
- Difficulty breathing
- Slow or shallow breathing
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
- Confusion or hallucinations
- Severe drowsiness
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Extreme thirst or urination
- Pain in the upper stomach
- Dark urine
Is Percocet Addictive?
As an opioid medication, Percocet can be habit-forming, so it is important to take it only as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more Percocet than prescribed, and do not take it more often or for a longer period of time than directed.
Even when taken as prescribed, Percocet addiction can potentially develop if the medication is used for a long period. Over time, the body may become tolerant to the effects of Percocet, and people may start to take more of the medication to achieve the same pain relief. This can lead to physical dependence and, eventually, addiction.
How to Get Help for Percocet Addiction
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to Percocet, there are many resources available to help. Treatment for Percocet addiction typically includes a combination of medication, counseling, and support groups.
If you think you may be addicted to Percocet, speak with your doctor or seek professional help from an addiction specialist. Addiction is a serious condition that requires medical treatment.
You may also want to utilize these additional resources that can support recovery from Percocet addiction:
- Narcotics Anonymous: This 12-step fellowship offers meetings and support for people recovering from all types of addiction, including Percocet.
- SAMHSA National Helpline: This free, confidential helpline provides 24/seven treatment referral and information services for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to learn more.
Address Opioid Abuse with Countrywide Testing
Percocet can be a helpful tool in managing chronic pain. However, it is important to remember that it is a powerful medication with potential risks and side effects, including physical dependence and addiction.
If you're worried that a loved one may already be struggling with abuse of opioids such as Percocet, Countrywide Testing can help. Our tests provide confirmation so you can get them the support they need.
Countrywide Testing is an online retailer providing you with easy access to drug tests and pharmacogenetic testing. We offer various products for testing at home, individuals staying clean after rehab, workplace testing, healthcare emergencies, and law enforcement purposes.
Our test kits are convenient, affordable, and ship to you quickly. Plus, our lab is accredited by SAMHSA, so you can rest assured your test results are handled in accordance with the highest industry standards.
Want more information on how Countrywide can support a journey of recovery from Percocet abuse? Just contact our team today.