Do you have a prescription for Percocet? Or perhaps you’ve heard of this pain-relieving drug and you’re wondering about whether it is safe to take the drug. What is Percocet? Is it an addictive drug? What are the possible side effects that may occur if you take Percocet?
Percocet is a brand name of a prescription medication that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is a drug that combines two main medications which are oxycodone and acetaminophen. Oxycodone is a potent opioid used to treat pain while acetaminophen is an analgesic (pain reliever) and antipyretic (fever reducer). Outside of the United States, acetaminophen is also known as paracetamol. Because of the combination, Percocet falls into the class of drugs called Analgesics, Opioid Combos.
Because it contains an opioid, it affects the brain’s reward system so you can feel pleasure or calmness. In short, it can make you feel better if you are experiencing pain. It is not surprising then that Percocet has contributed to the rise in the abuse of prescription medications in the United States.
If you are considering taking Percocet or if you are already taking the drug, it is important for you to be aware that there are some risks involved. It is dangerous to abuse Percocet outside of what your doctor has prescribed as it could lead to drastic consequences. For the same reason, you should also avoid taking Percocet recreationally or if you do not have a legitimate prescription to use this drug. Below are just some of the dangerous side effects that could take place if you abuse Percocet.
Abusing Percocet means taking too much of it and this also increases your intake of acetaminophen. If you take a dose of acetaminophen that exceeds 4000 milligrams per day, this could put you at risk for liver injury. According to studies, excessive amounts of acetaminophen is associated with cases of liver injury. For some patients, acute liver failure could result in liver transplant and death.
If you already have a history of alcohol abuse or liver disease, taking Percocet may increase the risk of liver damage because of the acetaminophen contained in the drug. Some signs of liver injury include dark urine, yellowing of the eyes or skin, stools that are clay-colored, and nausea, loss of appetite. Therefore, you should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while on a Percocet prescription.
Since Percocet is used to relieve pain, many people get used to this pleasurable feeling and start to abuse the drug. While Percocet may bring temporary relief, what many people are not aware of is that excessive use of the drug may lead to psychiatric problems including hallucinations, depression, self-harm, or suicide.
Central Nervous System Depression
If you are taking other medications, you should inform your doctor before taking Percocet. There are many substances that interact with Percocet which means it could lead to severe consequences including the depression of the central nervous system of the body. This means decreased heart rate, slower breathing, and loss of consciousness. It could even lead to coma or death.
Some drugs Percocet interacts with include muscle relaxers, tranquilizers, medicines that slow your breathing, sedatives, sleeping pills, bladder medications, IBS medications, etc. Since Percocet also contains an opioid, it can interact with substances such as alcohol and other illicit drugs (heroin, cocaine). Combining this drug with these substances could lead to an accidental overdose.
You should immediately stop taking Percocet if you suddenly notice developing redness and rashes spreading on your skin that result in peeling and blisters. While this is a rare occurrence, this skin reaction to Percocet is serious and could be fatal. It is then very important to immediately report this skin reaction to your doctor and to refrain from taking the drug again.
While there are people whose addiction to prescription medications started as a conscious effort to get high, there are also those who became addicted after being legitimately prescribed the drug.
A story published on the NCBI website told the story of a registered nurse who became addicted to Percocet after being prescribed the medicine for his pain problems. In the beginning, he just kept on taking the leftover pills. When he ran out of pills, he started experiencing withdrawal symptoms so he began to actively seek the drug. His increased tolerance led him to start using other more potent opioids and alcohol. He was in denial that he had an addiction problem even if he was caught taking drugs from the hospital he worked in. It led to him losing multiple jobs and his nursing license being suspended before finally admitting himself to rehab.
This is one of the real dangers of opioid addiction. When people start taking more prescription meds than what was prescribed by the doctor, they may first think that it’s harmless. However, it can quickly spiral out of control and result in a full-blown substance abuse problem.
If you or a loved one is struggling with Percocet addiction, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today.