How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?

Percocet is a mixture of the semi-synthetic opioid oxycodone and the active ingredient in Tylenol, acetaminophen. This medication comes in tablet form and is used to treat moderate to severe pain but only for a short-term basis. It is only used for a short period of time because it is highly addictive.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2012 , there are between 26.4 million and 36 million people who abuse opioids. Every year, between 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent or 13 million and 21 million people abuse opioids. Given the high prevalence of opioid abuse, there is a real concern regarding Percocet’s addictive properties. The best way to expel an opioid such as oxycodone from a person’s system is to go through the detox process. The length of time Percocet stays in a person’s system will vary from person to person based on various genetic and environmental factors. Therefore, no two people will have the same experience detoxing.

Withdrawal from Percocet

Once a person becomes dependent and addicted to Percocet if they try to abruptly stop using the medication they could experience painful withdrawal symptoms. People who depend on Percocet will start experiencing withdrawal symptoms around 6 hours. Percocet withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, dilated pupils, mucus in the nose, muscle aches, yawning, sweating, chills, irritability, backaches, joint pain, weakness, crying, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, increased blood pressure, heart rate, or respiratory rate.

Therefore, anyone considering detoxing from Percocet should consult with their family physician before abruptly stopping the medication. Withdrawing from an opioid, such as the one in Percocet, can cause painful withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings. Doctors can prescribe medications to ease the withdrawal symptoms, as well as help people, come up with a detox plan such as getting into a rehabilitation clinic.

Percocet in Your Blood, Urine, Hair, & Saliva

Blood tests are best for evaluating prescription drug use and can tell a health care professional things that urine, hair, and saliva tests cannot. However, they are not the best type of drug test. This is because oxycodone shows up on a blood test within 25 to 30 minutes, but is only able to be detected in blood for about 1 day. The oxycodone in Percocet can be detected for longer periods of time using urine, hair, and saliva tests.

How long does Percocet stay in urine? In a urine test , oxycodone first shows up within 0 to 2 hours and can be detected for 3 to 4 days. Factors that influence the length of time that oxycodone in Percocet can be detected in urine are hydration, dosing, and metabolism. Hydration is a factor because the more diluted urine is from drinking a lot of fluids could cause the oxycodone to become diluted resulting in a negative urine drug test prior to the cutoff. Dosing is a factor because if a person is on a low dose or took a break between doses, the amount of oxycodone in the urine could be too low to be detected. Metabolism is another factor because every person has a different rate of metabolism which is determined by their genetics such as age, sex, ethnicity, and liver impairment, and environment. A few other factors that the detection window of a drug is affected by are the duration of use, body mass, urine pH, and the chemistry of the drug.

Percocet can also be detected in a hair test . It takes around 5 to 7 days after a person takes Percocet for the drug to be detectable in hair. This is because it takes between 5 to 7 days for the hair containing oxycodone to grow above the scalp. Oxycodone can stay in the hair for months or even years after a person stops using the medication. This test is 6 to 10 times more effective than a urine test because 85 percent of Percocet users can be identified by this test.

The active ingredient, oxycodone in Percocet can also be detected in an oral fluid test . Oral fluid is a composite tissue consisting mostly of saliva. Salivary glands allow the rapid transfer of drugs in the blood to saliva glands. Within minutes this medication can appear in saliva. The oxycodone in Percocet can be detected for 1 to 4 days after the last dose was taken. Several factors impact the transfer of a drug through salivae such as chemical properties of the drug and saliva pH.

How Long Does Percocet Last?

How long does Percocet stay in your system? Percocet is a combination of two different drugs. This means that each drug’s half-life will need to be taken into consideration. A drug’s half-life determines how long it takes for half of the drug to exit a person’s body. The half-life of Percocet (oxycodone ingredient) is about 3.2 hours for the immediate-release formula. This means it takes 3.2 hours for a person’s body to eliminate half of the dose of oxycodone in Percocet. Also, Percocet half-life for the other active ingredient acetaminophen is 1.25 to 3 hours. This means that it takes between 1.25 to 3 hours for half a dose of acetaminophen in Percocet to leave a person’s system.

Factors that influence how long Percocet stays in a person’s system are age, gender, liver function, kidney function, length of time a person has been taking Percocet, alcohol use, and using in combination with other medications. Also, a person’s metabolism is another major factor because the quicker a person’s body can break down ingested items, the faster it leaves a person’s system. Hydration and body mass are two other factors because fatty tissues tend to store chemicals longer than lean tissue, and hydration dilutes and expels the drug.

How to Get Percocet Out of Your System

The best way to get Percocet out of your system is to go through the detoxification process. A few ways to assist and ease the detox process naturally are to stay hydrated, eat healthy foods, and get plenty of exercise. Staying hydrated can help dilute the active ingredients in Percocet allowing a person’s body to expel the drug. Eating small and frequent healthy meals ensures that the detoxing person is getting enough nutrients to enable their body to heal from the effects of Percocet. Regular exercise enables a person’s body better handle the physical and mental stress that is being caused by withdrawal.

The best way for a person to get Percocet out of their system is to go through a medical detox at a rehabilitation clinic. Rehab clinics provide a combination of medications and behavioral therapies to help a person recover from their drug addiction. Inpatient rehab clinics provide 24/7 care to ensure that people who are detoxing from drugs are given a safe and comfortable environment.

The medications that are typically used to help someone overcome an addiction to oxycodone are methadone and buprenorphine. These medications are used to ease the withdrawal process by reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Naltrexone another medication that is used to prevent any opioid drugs such as Percocet, from producing rewarding effects such as euphoria. This is typically used after the detox process to prevent relapse.

Behavioral therapy is also used to treat opioid misuse. Behavioral therapy works to alter a person’s attitudes and behaviors related to drug use, set goals, discuss setbacks, progress, and teach coping skills to prevent future drug use. Various forms of behavioral therapy include cognitive-behavior therapy, motivational therapy, and contingency management. Group counseling such as Narcotic Anonymous is also used to help a person not feel alone during this journey. Family therapy is also to help repair and improve family relationships that have been impacted by drug use.

Getting Help

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to Percocet finding a high-quality rehabilitation center can help. An active rehabilitation approach can best treat someone wishing to overcome their Percocet addiction. An active rehabilitation approach combines entry into a substance abuse treatment center with support, education, and lifestyle changes.


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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