Opioids are effective tools for controlling severe pain on a short-term basis. Percocet is one such drug that is commonly prescribed for pain from injuries, surgery, chronic conditions, etc.
Opioid users have a high rate of becoming addicted to these drugs. The amount of time it takes Percocet to leave the body is vital to know so that proper treatment of withdrawal and ongoing support can be provided.
What is Percocet?
Percocet is one of the standard combination medications used for pain — the opiate oxycodone (also known as “oxy”) and the non-opioid pain reliever and fever reducer, acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol).
This combination is also sold under the brand name OxyContin. Oxycodone is particularly effective for post-surgical pain. It’s often prescribed following procedures where pain may reach unmanageable thresholds without strong prescription medications.
Opioids are primarily derived from the poppy plant. Heroin is another opiate that is less standardized and available only as a street drug. Interestingly, synthetic opioids can also be synthesized to produce similar pain relief effects.
Is Percocet Addictive?
Oxycodone is considered one of the most addictive prescription drugs available. It’s a Schedule II/IIN with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the governing body that oversees controlled substances. Schedule II means that although it’s recognized for its therapeutic value, it’s in the highest class of addictive prescription drugs available in the United States.
Percocet addiction is a relatively common substance use problem. It’s not unusual for it to begin in those that initially obtain it legally, such as following a surgery or injury. Using it beyond the recommended period of time, such as for chronic pain, increases the chances of developing a serious substance abuse problem.
Percocet® is a highly sought-after street drug and, unfortunately, might be “cut” with other substances, making it not only addictive but dangerous to obtain outside of a pharmacy. Opiates account for a large percentage of drug abuse or misuse in the United States.
An estimated 9.7 million people misused opioid pain medications in 2019, according to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. As Percocet addictions continue, higher and higher doses may be required to maintain the effects, putting users at greater risk for problems such as liver damage or overdose.
Are you concerned for yourself or someone you care about? Zinnia Health has a wide variety of treatment options to help you overcome your Percocet dependence. Give us a call at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our unique programs custom-tailored to your individual needs.
What is the Percocet Half-Life?
A drug’s half-life refers to how long it takes half of the drug amount within the body taken to exit. In this case, Percocet’s half-life is about 3.5 to 4 hours for the opioid component. Acetaminophen has a similar average half-life of about 3 hours.
These numbers can vary depending on other health factors, such as liver and kidney function and metabolism, as described further in this article.
How Long Does Percocet Stay in Urine, Blood, Saliva or Hair?
Percocet can be accurately detected in multiple tests, including urine, blood, saliva and hair.
Its presence in the first three is detectable within a few days of the last dose. For hair, it can be present up to 90 days following the last use.
How is Percocet Detected on Drug Tests?
There are four primary means of testing for Percocet in the body. Each has its advantages depending on the situation and the length of detection time the different testing modes allow.
1. Blood Tests
Blood tests are an effective way to test for Percocet, as long as the last use was within about 15 to 30 hours. A licensed medical professional draws a blood sample, and tests are performed for the presence of Percocet.
While not routine, blood tests are helpful to healthcare providers if an individual is unconscious or unable to produce a urine sample easily.
2. Urine Tests
As with most drug tests, urine testing is the easiest and most convenient way to test for Percocet®. A urine sample is provided and analyzed for opiates. One of the most significant advantages of using a urinalysis is the longer testing window compared to a blood test.
On average, Percocet® can be detected in the urine for up to three days after the last use.
3. Saliva Tests
Saliva tests can detect opioid-containing drugs such as Percocet for up to 72 hours after the last dose. Saliva testing is convenient for police departments or other facilities that may not have ready access to other testing means, such as urine or blood collection capabilities.
4. Hair Tests
While hair tests aren’t a commonly utilized way to test for opioids, they can still be used for up to 90 days following the date of last use. A few hairs, including the root, are removed from the hair follicle. This tissue can hold traces of oxycodone and its metabolites which can be detected through a complex testing process.
What Can Affect How Long Percocet Stays in Your Body?
Although Percocet is a relatively short-lived drug, it can remain in a person’s system for a prolonged time.
This extended period may be due to issues such as:
- Decreased kidney function and liver function
- Underlying health issues
- Presence of other drugs at the same time
- Body composition
- Method of administration
- Amount taken
- Build-up of the drug in the body
How Long Does It Take for the Effects of Percocet to Wear Off?
Percocet is considered a long-acting opioid, meaning that, while it interacts with mu opioid receptors like other narcotics, its effects last somewhat longer than those of drugs like morphine.
The time in which the main effects of Percocet wear off will vary somewhat from individual to individual. The factors listed above will play into this. On average, Percocet’s therapeutic effects should last for around 6 hours.
When someone is dealing with Percocet withdrawal symptoms, they may start as soon as 12 hours after the last dose. These uncomfortable symptoms of this physical dependence can continue for up to 20 days.
As such, managed care for detox may be the best choice. Treatment may be inpatient or outpatient care at a treatment center specializing in opioid rehab.
If you’re ready to make a change, contact one of our compassionate and experienced addiction specialists at Zinnia Health today. (855) 430-9439