Percocet tablets (oxycodone with acetaminophen) are routinely prescribed for post-operative pain control. Oxycodone, a narcotic analgesic is used for its calming effect and for treatment of moderate to severe chronic pain. Acetaminophen is used to reduce both pain and fever. There is no evidence that oxycodone is more effective than any other opioid and in sedative care, morphine remains the standard. However, Percocet can be useful as an alternative opioid if a patient has troublesome adverse effects with morphine.
Oxycodone (one of the two active constituents in Percocet) was first synthesized in a German laboratory in 1916, a few years after the German pharmaceutical company Bayer had stopped the mass production of heroin due to addiction and abuse by both patients and physicians. It was hoped that a thebaine-derived drug would retain the analgesic effects of morphine and heroin with less of the euphoric effect which led to addiction and over-use.
Percocet contains a narcotic and, even if taken in prescribed amounts, can cause physical and psychological dependence when taken for a long time. Because Percocet may be habit-forming, it should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Percocet should never be given to another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Percocet comes as a tablet, capsule, and liquid. When this medication is abused it may be taken orally in pill form, chewed, or crushed (then snorted like cocaine).
Keep the medication in a secure place. Keep track of how many pills have been used from each new bottle of this medicine. Percocet is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.
This medication works by slowing the central nervous system. It should be used with caution with other drugs that have similar side effects. Percocet side effects can change or increase the effects of certain drugs. Take care when combining any of the following drugs/medications while using Percocet:
You should take Percocet cautiously and according to your doctor's instructions as you would take any medication containing a narcotic. If you have ever had a problem with alcohol addiction, make sure your doctor is aware of it.
Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Percocet. Percocet may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, or drowsiness; these effects may be made worse if you take Percocet with other medicines or with alcohol. To minimize dizziness or lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position. Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Percocet.
Common Percocet Side Effects:
As mentioned above, Percocet contains acetaminophen. Adults should not take more than a total of 4 grams (4,000 mg) of acetaminophen in a 24 hour period (3 grams [3,000 mg] per day if you have liver disease). Check with your doctor before taking other pain relievers, cough-and-cold medicines, or allergy medicines as they may also contain acetaminophen. Acetaminophen may cause liver damage.
You may have withdrawal symptoms when you stop using this medication after using it over a long period of time. Do not stop using Percocet suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.