What Is Percocet?
Percocet is a brand-name medication for a combination of Oxycodone and Acetaminophen. Oxycodone, a potent semi-synthetic Opioid, is a highly addictive substance that has been tied to much of the current Opioid crisis. Acetaminophen is a non-opioid pain reliever that has been shown to reduce fever, it is also the generic name for popular over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol.
Percocet’s combination of Oxycodone and Acetaminophen make it a popular prescription for people who suffer from moderate pain and inflammation, such as broken bones or post surgery. Oxycodone is relatively fast-acting, making the illegal use of it exceptionally dangerous and addictive.
Effects of Percocet
As any Opioid, Percocet changes the way the body experiences pain. It functions by binding itself to the body’s natural opioid receptors. This blocks pain, and also provides the feeling of euphoria, or “high,” that makes them high risk for abuse. As a central nervous system, (CNS), depressant, Percocet will also affect someone’s breathing. While this typically just slows their breathing and heart rate, taking too much can lead to respiratory depression.
Like any medication, using Percocet can have unintended side effects. Common effects include drowsiness, constipation, depression, memory problems, and irregular cardiac activity. It is entirely possible for other, more dangerous effects to surface, such as:
- Respiratory depression
- Respiratory arrest
- Circulatory depression
If any issue arises that makes the user, or someone close to them, uncomfortable then they should reach out to a physician immediately.
Despite it being a popular prescription, Percocet is still a Schedule II substance by the DEA. This is due to its “high potential for abuse.” It is suspected that as many as 80% of people who are addicted to Heroin started from a prescription they received legally. This is due to a person’s body naturally adapting to the use of Opioids and building a dependency to the substance. If a prescribing physician doesn’t take the precaution of tapering off a patient’s dose, it is possible that they begin to experience the symptoms of withdrawal. While these are temporary, they can push someone to find another way to manage their pain.
As is the case with many prescribed Opioids, many people won’t realize they’ve developed a dependence until their prescription has run out. At that time, it is common for the prescribed person to experience rebound symptoms, such as their pain returning, or other symptoms of withdrawal. Some of the symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Cold flashes or “goose bumps”
- Dilated pupils
- Diarrhea and upset stomach
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe muscle and bone pain
- Teary eyes
- Uncontrollable leg movements
Despite being a legal, prescribed medication, Percocet can be highly addictive and lethal. If you believe that you or someone you love have developed an addiction to Percocet, please reach out to someone immediately. There are treatment providers available.