Percocet is a medication that combines two pain-relieving substances: acetaminophen and oxycodone. Oxycodone is an opioid (narcotic) known for its potent pain-relieving properties. Acetaminophen, while less powerful, enhances the pain-relief effects of oxycodone.
This drug is typically prescribed for the management of moderate to severe pain. However, due to the potential risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse associated with it, even at recommended doses, Percocet is generally only recommended for those who have not found sufficient pain relief from non-opioid medications or have not tolerated them well. Read on to learn more about Percocet pain killer side effects.
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Side Effects of Percocet
What are the side effects of Percocet, then? The medication can trigger a range of effects, both short-term and long-term. Some effects can be therapeutic, and there are also some bad side effects of Percocet.
Short-Term Side Effects of Percocet
Percocet, while effective for pain relief, can also lead to a variety of short-term side effects. Some of the most common short-term Percocet side effects include:
- Drowsiness: It is normal to feel unusually sleepy or lethargic after taking Percocet.
- Dizziness: Some people might experience lightheadedness or a sense of unsteadiness.
- Nausea and vomiting: Gastrointestinal issues such as nausea and vomiting are common.
- Constipation: Percocet can slow down bowel movements, leading to constipation.
- Itching: Some people might notice itching or skin reactions.
- Mood changes: Individuals may experience changes in mood, ranging from feelings of euphoria to anxiety.
- Respiratory depression: Slowed breathing is a significant risk, especially in higher doses or when combined with other depressants.
- Headache: Headaches may occur as a side effect of Percocet.
- Dry mouth: Some people might experience a dry mouth after taking the medication.
The intensity and occurrence of these side effects can vary from person to person. Communicate any concerns with your healthcare provider.
Long-Term Side Effects of Percocet
The prolonged use of Percocet can lead to several long-term side effects, which are important to consider, especially for individuals on extended treatment plans. Percocet long term side effects may include:
- Tolerance development: Over time, the body may become accustomed to the effects of Percocet as tolerance develops, meaning that higher doses are required to achieve the same level of pain relief.
- Physical dependence: Long-term use of opioids can lead to physical dependence, where the body experiences withdrawal symptoms if the medication is abruptly stopped.
- Addiction: There is a risk of developing an addiction to Percocet. Percocet addiction is clinically described as opioid use disorder and is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and use despite harmful consequences.
- Liver damage: Since Percocet contains acetaminophen, prolonged usage or higher doses can lead to liver damage or failure, especially if combined with alcohol or other medications that affect the liver.
- Cognitive impairment: Chronic use of opioids like Percocet can impact cognitive functions, leading to issues with memory, attention, and decision-making.
- Mood disorders: Long-term opioid use is associated with an increased risk of depression and anxiety disorders.
- Respiratory issues: Chronic use can lead to compromised respiratory function, especially in higher doses.
- Hormonal imbalance: Opioid use over a long period can affect the endocrine system, leading to hormonal imbalances that can affect sexual function, mood, and metabolism.
- Increased sensitivity to pain: Some people may experience heightened sensitivity to pain, a condition known as opioid-induced hyperalgesia.
Anyone taking Percocet for extended periods should do so under strict medical supervision and discuss the risks and benefits of continued use with their healthcare provider. Regular monitoring and adjustments to the treatment plan may be necessary to mitigate these long-term risks.
Treatment for Percocet Side Effects
Managing and treating the side effects of Percocet involves a multi-pronged approach, often requiring coordination with healthcare professionals. Here are some strategies to address various side effects:
Drowsiness and dizziness
People are advised to avoid activities that require alertness, such as driving or operating heavy machinery, until they know how Percocet affects them. Gradual movement from sitting to standing can help reduce dizziness.
Nausea and vomiting
Eating small, frequent meals and avoiding heavy or fatty foods can help. Healthcare providers may also prescribe anti-nausea medications.
Increasing dietary fiber, hydration, and regular exercise can help alleviate constipation. Laxatives or stool softeners might be prescribed if necessary.
Itching and skin reactions
Over-the-counter antihistamines may be recommended to alleviate itching. If skin reactions are severe, alternative pain medications might be considered.
Regular consultation with a healthcare provider is essential to monitor and address mood changes. Therapy or counseling may be beneficial.
This is a serious side effect and requires immediate medical attention. Patients are advised to take Percocet exactly as prescribed and avoid combining it with alcohol or other central nervous system depressants.
Headache and dry mouth
Staying hydrated and using over-the-counter pain relievers (as recommended by a healthcare provider) can help. Chewing sugar-free gum may alleviate dry mouth.
Managing tolerance, dependence, and addiction
Regular medical supervision is essential. Tapering the medication under a doctor’s guidance can help prevent withdrawal symptoms. Addiction treatment programs may be necessary for some people, helping them unpack the psychological aspect of opioid use disorder.
Regular liver function tests may be recommended for those taking Percocet long-term. Avoid alcohol and other liver-damaging substances.
Cognitive, mood, respiratory, and hormonal issues
Ongoing monitoring and medical evaluations help in identifying and addressing these complex issues. Adjustments in medication, lifestyle changes, and specialist consultations may be part of the management plan.
Remember that not all people will experience these side effects, and the severity can vary. Open communication with healthcare providers about any side effects is key to finding the most effective and safe treatment plan.
Get Treatment for Percocet Addiction at California Detox
Effective opioid addiction treatment begins with supervised detoxification due to the potentially life-threatening nature of unsupervised withdrawal from the class of medications. At California Detox, our supervised Percocet detox program allows you to detox from opioids as safely and comfortably as possible at our beachside rehab in Laguna Beach, CA.
Opioid detox takes about one week and addresses physical dependence on medications like Percocet. You will then be ready to transition to ongoing inpatient treatment. Here, you will have chance to unpack the psychological component of opioid addiction with peers dealing with similar substance abuse issues.
During treatment at California Detox, you can access a personalized blend of the following treatments:
- Talk therapies
- Motivational therapies
- Counseling (group and individual)
- Family therapy
- Holistic treatments
- Aftercare planning
- Medication-assisted treatment
Move beyond Percocet addiction with professional assistance by calling 949.694.8305 right away.