Percocet Withdrawal

in Addiction
Published Dec 17, 2020

Percocet is a powerful painkiller containing an opioid. As such, it carries the potential for misuse and addiction. 

What is Percocet

Percocet is a strong painkiller containing oxycodone (an opioid pain reliever) and acetaminophen (a non-opioid pain reliever) used to treat acute and moderate to severe pain. The medication works by changing the way the body feels and responds to pain. 

Like many other opioids, Percocet can create a sense of euphoria which makes it susceptible to misuse and addiction, as such it has been classified as a schedule II controlled substance.  If taken over a prolonged period, users of the drug may also develop a tolerance which means they need an increased dose to achieve the same pain-relieving effects. It also may lead to withdrawal symptoms when the drug is suddenly stopped. Dependence varies among each person and a medical professional should be consulted if withdrawal symptoms (see below) occur.

Percocet dosage

Percocet is available as a tablet (2.5mg, 5mg, 7.5mg, and 10mg), oral solution (5mg/ml), and extended-release tablet (7.5mg). 

Side effects of Percocet Withdrawal

The side effects of taking Percocet include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

More serious side effects that require immediate medical attention include:

  • Fainting
  • Seizure
  • Allergic reaction such as swelling, itching, rash, or difficulty breathing
  • Liver damage
  • Slowed breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

If you experience any of the above side effects you should call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room. 

Percocet boxed warnings

Percocet contains numerous US Food and Drug Administration boxed warnings, as each component of the medication carries a health risk.

Oxycodone: risk of misuse, addiction, overdose and death, life-threatening respiratory depression, accidental consumption and risk to children, and risk to pregnant mothers and their fetus.

Acetaminophen: can cause liver damage if the maximum dose is exceeded. Patients taking this medication should consult their physician and follow the recommended dosage prescribed by them.

Additionally, Percocet may interact with other medications and drugs, like alcohol and benzodiazepines (central nervous system depressants), causing sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and even death. Percocet is also known to interact with certain antidepressants. 

Percocet withdrawal

Withdrawal occurs when a person has developed a tolerance to the medication and stops taking it suddenly, rather than tapering off or seeking detox. Symptoms of withdrawal may begin between 8 to 12 hours after the last dose lasting for around a week, depending on the severity of use, whether it was taken with other illicit substances and/or medications, how much was taken and the frequency, gender and weight.

Percocet withdrawal symptoms

Typically, withdrawal symptoms of Percocet may include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Goosebumps and chills
  • Sweating
  • Aches and pains
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramps
  • Mood changes, such as irritability, anxiety, and depression
  • Increased heart rate
Coping and relief from withdrawal

Detox is a crucial first step when stopping addictive medications such as opioids. In fact, it is recommended by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:

“For alcohol, sedative-hypnotic, and opioid withdrawal syndromes, hospitalization or some form of 24-hour medical care is generally the preferred setting for detoxification, based upon principles of safety and humanitarian concerns.”

– SAMHSA Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment Improvement Protocol, TIP 45

If you, or your loved one is struggling with opioids and don’t know how to, or can’t stop, call us to see how we can help. 

At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we bring compassion to the commotion. Peace to the pain. Empowerment to the powerless. If you or someone you know needs support with addiction problems, bring us your battle. Call us today and take the best, first step towards recovery: 720-704-1432