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Percocet is a narcotic (oxycodone) and acetaminophen combination. They are combined to get a synergistic effect on pain. Oxycodone is similar to other narcotics in terms of effect and addiction. Acetaminophen is better known as Tylenol.

Other brand names are Roxicet and Tylox.

Tablets contain:

  • 25 mg oxycodone hydrochloride and 325 mg acetaminophen;
  • 5 mg oxycodone hydrochloride and 325 mg acetaminophen;
  • 7.5 mg oxycodone hydrochloride and 500 mg acetaminophen;
  • 10 mg oxycodone hydrochloride and 650 mg acetaminophen

Percocet, when abused, can be taken orally in pill form, chewed, or crushed (then snorted like cocaine).

Percocet addiction

Addiction is a major risk with prolonged use (over 2-3 weeks) of narcotics. Even moderate doses of some narcotics can result in a fatal overdose. When increasing doses of narcotics, the person may first feel restless and nauseous and then progress to loss of consciousness and abnormal breathing. Other risks include withdrawal symptoms that may last for months.

Addictive drugs activate the brain’s reward systems. The promise of reward is very intense, causing the individual to crave the drug and to focus his or her activities around taking the drug. The ability of addictive drugs to strongly activate brain reward mechanisms and their ability to chemically alter the normal functioning of these systems can produce an addiction. Drugs also reduce a person’s level of consciousness, harming the ability to think or be fully aware of present surroundings.

Drug interactions with Percocet

Percocet in abuse is often combined with other drugs for additive effects. These drugs include:

  • alcohol
  • antispasmodic drugs such as Cogentin, Bentyl, and Donnatal
  • major tranquilizers such as Thorazine and Mellaril
  • other narcotic painkillers such as Darvon and Demerol
  • sedatives such as phenobarbital and Seconal
  • tranquilizers such as Xanax and Valium

Common signs and side effects of Percocet use

Percocet has a number of easily recognizable side effects, including:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • accidental injury
  • light-headedness
  • sedation
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • euphoria
  • constipation
  • drug dependence
  • tolerance
  • impairment of mental and/or physical abilities

The symptoms of overdosing on Percocet include:

  • respiratory depression (a decrease in respiratory rate)
  • stupor
  • coma
  • skeletal muscle flaccidity
  • cold and clammy skin
  • hypertension
  • circulatory collapse
  • cardiac arrest