Percocet is typically prescribed for conditions that can cause a moderate amount of pain.
Broken teeth, torn muscles and bone bruises might all heal with the help of the painkillers and opioids inside each dose of Percocet. But oxycodone, the opioid inside Percocet, can also spark an addiction, and that process can happen quickly.
In a study in Behavioral Pharmacology, researchers found that people became immune to the pleasant effects of oxycodone in just five days. That seems to suggest that addictive behaviors could begin just a week after you take Percocet.
While you might be focused exclusively on the pleasure Percocet can bring, there are a number of side effects that can come with each dose, and some could be very hard on your long-term health.
Two-Pronged Side Effects
Since each Percocet pill contains two different ingredients, the side effects users might face can be split into two groups.
The first ingredient, acetaminophen, must be processed by the liver, and high doses can strain liver cells so severely that they die off. Since people with Percocet addictions often take massive doses of the drug on a daily basis, they can harm their organs in a very short period of time. If they don’t stop the abuse, that damage can be irreparable, and a transplant might be needed.
The second set of side effects comes from the oxycodone inside each Percocet pill. That ingredient can cause a host of short-term side effects, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, including:
- Stomach pain
- Mood changes
- Vomiting and/or nausea
The drug may also cause intense constipation, which may or may not do long-term damage. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, long-term oxycodone abuse has been linked to brain damage, particularly in people who overdose at least once.
It’s easy to overdose on Percocet, too. The drug works on the portions of the brain that regulate breathing and heart rate. At high doses, those portions of the brain can be so suppressed and sedated that vital functions just can’t be supported.
Users might be chasing a high, but they could end up losing their lives unintentionally.
Help in Treatment
Some of the health problems caused by Percocet can be effectively handled in treatment. For example, transient feelings of illness caused by oxycodone can pass away with the proper use of replacement medications. Some forms of mild liver damage can be soothed with medications and supplements.
Since Percocet can cause symptoms that don’t go away immediately, treatment teams may also provide counseling and emotional support during rehab, so people can understand their conditions better and learn to handle the damage appropriately.
If you’d like to know more about how treatment works and how a Percocet addiction can be effectively and permanently curtailed, please call us. We can explain the process and we can help you to find a facility that can assist with your recovery. Please call to find out more.
David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.
Reviewed by: Kim Chin and Marian Newton