Can Percocet Kill You?

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How is Percocet Made?

Percocet is a brand name prescription medication that is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. This medication is only available with a doctor’s prescription. Percocet is made through the combination of two active ingredients, oxycodone and acetaminophen. Percocet is also made up of various inactive ingredients such as cornstarch.

Oxycodone is an opioid drug that is used to relieve severe pain that requires opioid treatment when all other medication does not work or a person can’t tolerate it. It belongs to a family of drugs known as narcotics that depress the central nervous system to relieve pain. Due to this substance’s addictive properties, it can only be used for short periods of time such as recovering from surgery. Prolonged use of oxycodone can result in mental and physical dependence.

Acetaminophen is commonly known as the over-the-counter drug, Tylenol. Acetaminophen is a less potent pain reliever that increases the effects of oxycodone. It is used to relieve pain and reduce fevers in people. This drug is not addictive when taken for prolonged periods of time, but does cause liver damage if taken in large doses.

How Do People Get High on Percocet?

People can get high on Percocet in a few different ways. One way people get high on Percocet is through crushing up and mixing the medication with a liquid and then injecting the substance into the body. Intravenous (IV) injection results in Percocet being directly distributed into the bloodstream. Other ways people get high on Percocet is by crushing the pill into a fine powder and snorting it or chewing the tablets.

The reason people use these methods to get high on Percocet is that the active ingredient oxycodone can be released immediately into the body avoiding metabolization processes and therefore arriving faster to the brain. This results in an almost immediate high. Effects of Percocet high include a euphoric feeling like everything is well in the world.

How much Percocet can you take? The amount of Percocet that you can take varies from person to person depending on the severity of pain and each person’s response to the drug. The lowest adult dose of Percocet is 2 tablets every 6 hours of 2.5 mg / 325 mg and should not exceed 12 tablets in 24 hours. The highest adult dose of Percocet is 2 tablets every 6 hours of 10 mg/ 3245 mg and should not exceed 6 tablets in 24 hours.

People who take Percocet should be advised that taking more than 4000 milligrams per day of acetaminophen can result in liver failure. Also, taking high or prolonged doses of oxycodone can result in abuse, dependence, tolerance, and addiction.

What Are The Short-Term Effects of Percocet?

Percocet is used to relieve acute pain. Therefore, common short-term effects of Percocet are constipation, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, upset stomach, sleepiness, lightheadedness, itching, headache, blurred vision, dry mouth, decreased ability to feel pain, and sweating.

What Are The Long-Term Effects of Percocet?

Percocet is only intended for short-term use. Therefore prolonged use of Percocet can result in life-threatening effects. These include respiratory depression, periodic stopping of breathing (apnea), liver failure, circulatory depression, low blood pressure, shock, dental decay, overdose, and death.

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What are the Overdose Effects of Percocet?

Can you overdose on Percocet? The answer to that is a resounding yes. Taking too much of the medication can result in a life-threatening overdose on Percocet. Overdose symptoms include respiratory depression, stupor, coma, muscle pains, cold and clammy skin, dilated pupils, and death. Also, both of the two active ingredients in Percocet have unique symptoms that indicate an overdose.

Symptoms of an oxycodone overdose include nausea, vomiting, strokes, stupor, limp or weak muscles, constipation, weak pulse, low blood pressure, drowsiness, seizures, slow breathing that requires additional effort, no breathing, shallow breathing, bluish-colored lips and fingernails, and the development of muscle damage while unresponsive.

Symptoms of an acetaminophen overdose include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, sweating, confusion, and weakness. More advanced symptoms of an overdose include pain in the upper stomach, dark urine, and yellowing of the skin and eyes.

Can Percocet Kill You

Can Percocet kill you? Percocet can kill a person because the medication is very addictive. When a person becomes addicted to prescription pain pills it becomes extremely difficult for them to quit. When they attempt to quit they experience painful withdrawal symptoms. Prolonged use of Percocet can reduce respiratory function meaning a person has difficulty breathing. This can cause a person to become unconscious if they do not get enough oxygen to their brain which can result in death. Also, taking too much Percocet and overdosing can result in cardiac arrest, which can lead to death. Currently, opioid overdoses represent a public health problem in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the death rate from overdoses tripled from 6.1 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 19.8 in 2016 and rose 20% from 2015 to 2016.

How Do I Know If I’m Addicted to Percocet?

A case study published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology discussed how one person became addicted to the prescription medication, Percocet. The article discussed how a nurse developed an addiction to Percocet because it caused him to experience euphoric feelings as well as increased energy, functioning, and motivation. Stressful situations seem more manageable while he was taking this drug. He developed a dependence on it when he would go long periods of time without the medication and felt tired, ill, unfocused, depressed, and as though he was unable to do his job. As time went on he began stealing Percocet from work and quickly developed a tolerance, requiring high doses to achieve the same effect.

Eventually, the nurse realized he was addicted to Percocet when he got fired from his job for being unreliable and stealing medication. He knew he had a problem but couldn’t stop. He realized he was suffering from a Percocet addiction when he could not go long periods of time without using the medication because it made him feel sick and he got fired from his job for stealing Percocet. People often do not even realize they have a problem with Percoset until it is too late, as it is a highly addictive substance.

The Mayo Clinic provides additional information about signs that point to addiction. Drug addiction symptoms or behaviors can include having intense urges to use the drug, needing more of the drug to have the same effect, feeling that drug use needs to happen regularly, taking more than prescribed, making sure to always have a supply of the medication, failing in attempts to quit, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when abruptly stopping, not meeting work responsibilities, and continuing to use the drug even though a person knows they have a problem.

Further signs of Percocet (narcotic) dependence that are provided by the Mayo Clinic are a reduced sense of pain, agitation, slurred speech, depression, confusion, constipation, problems with attention and memory, pinpoint pupils, lack of awareness, and coordination issues.

Getting Help

It’s time to get help if you can’t stop using Percocet, continue using despite the harm it is creating, engage in unsafe behaviors, or think you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms. If you or someone you love is experiencing signs of addiction to Percocet, finding a high-quality rehab clinic can help. Rehab clinics can provide you with the physical and mental support you need to overcome your addiction.


Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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