Substance Use

What Are the Side Effects of Percocet Abuse?

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man holding bottle with yellow percocet pills

Side Effects of Percocet Abuse

Percocet is an over-the-counter prescription painkiller that contains a combination of acetaminophen and the highly addictive opioid oxycodone. Oxycodone isn’t a go-to for moderate pain, but it provides controlled relief for acute and chronic severe pain requiring around-the-clock management. This semisynthetic opioid takes approximately 10 to 30 minutes to work, on average. 

Percocet side effects are immediately noticeable and include an unnatural burst of euphoria and relaxation. For this reason, people with unmanaged mental health conditions are more likely to self-medicate with Percocet. Percocet abuse can occur in people of all ages, but the side effects may not be distinguishable in those with polysubstance abuse disorder. 

Percocet abuse yields short-term and long-term side effects and can cause changes in your personality. 

Are you or a loved one struggling with the negative effects of Percocet addiction or polysubstance abuse disorder? Zinnia Healing can help. We offer addiction treatments for substance abuse and therapy for co-occurring disorders such as depression and anxiety. Our inpatient addiction treatment programs include detox, individual therapy, and 12-step programs. Call us at (855) 430-9439 to take the first step toward an opioid-free future.

What Are Common Side Effects of Percocet Abuse?

People who use oxycodone are likely to experience common side effects such as stomach pain, dry mouth, drowsiness, headache, and mood changes. However, in addition to these symptoms, people who abuse this prescription opioid will exhibit side effects caused by dependency. 

These include: 

  • Itchy skin
  • Constipation 
  • Dilated pupils
  • Poor hygiene 

If a person no longer wants to use Percocet and tries to stop abruptly, they may also experience side effects associated with Percocet withdrawal. 

Symptoms of Percocet withdrawal include: 

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety 
  • Insomnia
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Perspiration 
  • Muscle cramps
  • Watery discharge 
  • Diarrhea

What Are Short Term Side Effects of Percocet Abuse?

Percocet, like other opioids, binds to and activates opioid receptors in the brain. The receptors they bind to are responsible for feelings of pleasure and pain, which increases the likelihood of a person using the drug again. 

After taking Percocet, a person will experience a feeling of short term euphoria, drowsiness, and intoxication. In addition, if a person takes more than prescribed, Percocet relaxes the lungs (respiratory depression), which results in difficulty breathing. This is a dangerous side effect that requires immediate medical attention. 

Other short-term physical symptoms and side effects include: 

  • Apnea
  • Respiratory arrest 
  • Circulatory depression 
  • Hypotension
  • Shock
  • Constipation 
  • Light-headedness
  • Sedation
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Dysphoria
  • Coma 

In addition to the above-mentioned side effects, Percocet abuse can result in Percocet overdose, even with short-term use. If you notice the following opioid overdose side effects, get help right away. 

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Limp muscles 

What Are Long-Term Side Effects of Percocet Abuse?

The longer a person uses Percocet, the more likely they will become dependent on the medication. However, it is possible to develop Percocet dependency within a few days. 

Percocet withdrawal results in the following symptoms: 

  • Yawning 
  • Anxiety
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Sneezing attacks
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea 
  • Insomnia
  • Weakness
  • Hot flashes and chills 
  • Tremors
  • Muscle pain
  • Anorexia 

Abusing Percocet long-term can cause lasting changes in the respiratory system, musculoskeletal system, metabolism, and skin. In addition, since Percocet contains acetaminophen, using too much of this medication over time can cause irreversible liver damage.  

Zinnia Healing offers recovery programs to people with the long-term side effects of abusing Percocet. We understand the addictive nature of this opioid and how hard it is to quit on your own. Therefore, we provide support and evidence-based programs to help you quit safely and successfully. Call us at (855) 430-9439 to find out more. 

Does Percocet Abuse Affect Your Personality?

According to the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, abusing opioids such as Percocet can permanently change mood and fuel anxiety disorders in those who use this prescription drug off-label. This study also uncovered a link between people with preexisting mood and anxiety disorders and a higher likelihood of abusing opioids. 

Drug abuse can create short-term and long-term changes in personality. For example, a previously responsible and sensible person may engage in risky behavior under the influence of opioids. 

If a person has an opioid abuse problem, they may experience the following: 

  • Risk-taking: Having unprotected sex with strangers or driving under the influence. 
  • Carelessness: Neglecting household chores, hygiene, work responsibilities, or skipping classes. 
  • Increased criminal activity: Receiving an increase in tickets for traffic violations, disorderly conduct, or moving violations. 
  • Paranoia: Growing suspicion of those around them without any logical reason. 
  • Antisocial: Less likely to hang out with friends or participate in family activities. 
  • Sneaking around: Sneaking out to use Percocet or going away long enough for the side effects to wane. 

A person using Percocet over a long period of time will require professional treatment to help them stop. 

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Percocet?

Percocet shouldn’t be taken by anyone who is currently using the following prescription medications: 

  • Inhibitors of CYP3A4 and CYP2D6: Medications that belong to this group, such as erythromycin and ketoconazole, can increase levels of Percocet in the blood. This action can trigger overdose in those who abuse Percocet. 
  • Inducers of CYP3A4: Drugs in this class, like rifampin, carbamazepine, and phenytoin, can decrease oxycodone in the blood, triggering withdrawal symptoms in those with a Percocet addiction. 
  • Benzodiazepines and CNS depressant drugs: Drugs in this class, including alcohol, can cause respiratory depression, coma, hypotension, profound sedation, and death.
  • Serotonergic drugs: Mixing serotonergic drugs with Percocet can result in a potential Percocet overdose. 
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): Using drugs in this class with Percocet can result in opioid toxicity and overdose symptoms. 
  • Mixed agonist/antagonist and partial AGBOSIT opioid analgesics: When taken along with Percocet, these medications can induce withdrawal symptoms. 
  • Muscle relaxers: These medications can induce respiratory depression. 
  • Diuretics: Opioids reduce the effectiveness of diuretics. 
  • Anticholinergic drugs: Using anticholinergic drugs with Percocet can cause urinary retention.
  • Alcohol, ethyl: Percocet contains acetaminophen, which can cause hepatoxicity if used with alcohol. 
  • Oral contraceptives: Birth control pills decreases the half-life of acetaminophen, resulting in an increased risk of overdose. 

Other less commonly prescribed medications that cause a reaction when taken with Percocet are: 

  • Beta blockers (Propranolol)
  • Activated charcoal
  • Loop diuretics
  • Lamotrigine
  • Probenecid
  • Zidovudine

Zinnia Healing Can Help

Combining Percocet with other medication is potentially dangerous. If you or someone you know has a problem with polysubstance abuse, call Zinnia Healing at (855) 430-9439. We offer inpatient detox programs to help you stop using opioids safely and effectively. In addition, our addiction treatment programs help those with co-occurring disorders and mental health conditions live full and fulfilling lives. Contact us for more information.