Percocet Withdrawal

Percocet Withdrawal: Symptoms, Detox & Timeline

What is Percocet?

Percocet is a prescription opioid medication that contains oxycodone and acetaminophen. Both these drugs are particularly potent on their own, with oxycodone also serving as a prescription medication in itself, and one that causes the majority of Percocet withdrawal symptoms.

Percocet is in the same drug family as morphine and other dangerous drugs like heroin. It is most commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain, such as that resulting from joint pain, or lasting discomfort after major surgery.

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What are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs that are naturally derived from the opium poppy plant. These include both illicit and prescription opioids, both of which can produce a variety of effects, predominantly pain relief.

Opioids quickly travel to the brain and locate the opioid receptors that connect this organ with the spinal cord via nerve cells. This makes it easy for painkillers that contain opioids to block pain and provide a ‘feel-good’ high that can get people stuck on it.

This is because the brain immediately releases a chemical messenger called dopamine which transmits pleasure to the body. However, the downside to Percocet is how fast your body may become tolerant to the drug, potentially leading you to take more than the recommended dose.

Side Effects of Percocet Abuse

Side Effects of Percocet Abuse

The more of this medication a person takes, the more likely they are to form a Percocet dependence. At this point, their substance abuse will end up leading to a full-blown drug addiction.

As expected with any potent painkiller, taking Percocet is not without its side effects, especially when taken in high doses. Sometimes, someone who is dependent on this drug may not realize it until the symptoms start to show up.

The first thing you may notice when taking more Percocet is challenges with bowel movements, such as constipation and stomach pain. Furthermore, if you are engaging in addictive forms of drug use with Percocet, you may experience side effects such as:

  • Mood swings
  • Low blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating profusely
  • Sleeping too much
  • Lack of coordination
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Depression


For those who are abusing this medication, taking too high a dosage or using Percocet more frequently than prescribed or necessary can lead to an accidental overdose; this, of which, may be life-threatening without proper treatment.

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Additional Side Effects of Abusing Percocet

Apart from these obvious symptoms that may occur by abusing Percocet, there are other reasons why addiction to this drug is dangerous. First of all, opioid drugs like Percocet can cause significant health challenges.

As much as it delivers that pleasurable feeling that gets many addicted to the drug, it can also be deadly in various ways, including:

  • Increased choking hazard due to vomiting.
  • Respiratory complications or depression.
  • Coma or death caused by opioid overdose.
  • Increased likelihood of addiction to other illegal substances and prescription drugs.
  • Overdose and death from mixing Percocet with other drugs.
  • High risk for dangerous or irrational behavior, as well as increased likelihood of sustaining physical harm and injuries.

Why do People Abuse Percocet?

There are many reasons why someone may begin abusing Percocet. In some cases, those who have been prescribed this drug may form a physical dependence on it after increasing their dosage amount or frequency in order to enhance its ability to treat pain.

Furthermore, this form of substance abuse may be common amongst those struggling with mental health issues. In these cases, they may abuse Percocet or other addictive substances as a way of self-medicating the negative thoughts and feelings caused by their mental illness.

Unfortunately, over time, their prolonged use of Percocet or other substances will likely only cause these side effects to worsen, and potentially lead to the development of new mental health conditions as a result of their addictive behaviors.

What is Percocet Withdrawal?

Percocet withdrawal infographic by Nicole R.

If someone has become physically dependent upon Percocet, attempting to reduce or stop their opioid use can result in moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms. These include psychological and physical symptoms, which can make getting sober extremely hard without help.

In some cases, these symptoms of withdrawal can even be life-threatening or cause individuals to continue their substance use by taking Percocet or other opioids in even higher amounts just to stop them from occurring.

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

How intense withdrawal symptoms will be when stopping Percocet use will depend on the severity of a person’s addiction to this drug. Generally, however, individuals may experience a number of physical and mental side effects from their discontinued use.

Physical Symptoms

When it comes to opioid withdrawal, many of the symptoms of withdrawal from these drugs will be physical. Percocet withdrawal specifically will often mimic symptoms caused by Oxycodone withdrawal due to the high levels of this drug in its chemical make-up, including:

  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shaking
  • Achy muscles
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Watery eyes

Psychological Symptoms

In many cases, people will experience withdrawal symptoms that are psychological in nature when stopping their Percocet use. These may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Brain fog
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety


In addition to these, other psychological effects of Percocet withdrawal may also include serious cravings for the drug, as well as an intense desire to start using this substance again – primarily as a way of alleviating these symptoms.

The Importance of Medical Detox in Treating Percocet Addiction

Importance of Medical Detox in Treating Percocet Addiction

Knowing how to effectively manage Percocet withdrawal can be challenging, as the pain and discomfort involved may discourage many individuals. However, with the right support and treatment options, anyone who wants to stop using the drug can do so with time and effort.

When withdrawing from Percocet, doing so under the constant clinical support and supervision offered by a medical detox program can help manage and even prevent many of these uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Understanding the Percocet Detox Process

When recovering from any substance use disorder through a professional addiction treatment program, every person will require their own individualized treatment plan that is able to properly address all of their personal care needs.

Many medical detox treatment facilities will acknowledge each of their client’s physical well-being and mental health indicators during their initial assessment, in order to determine what services will be necessary for giving them their best path to successful sobriety.

Once this has been determined, the treatment process can begin. When receiving detox treatment for a Percocet addiction, individuals will be gradually tapered off their substance use while receiving constant clinical support.

This level of treatment may include the administration of fluids and nutritional supplements throughout their withdrawal process. In many cases, individuals may also be administered specific medications to help further reduce cravings, as well as their risk of relapse.

Medications Commonly Used to Treat Opioid Withdrawal

One of the most common ways of alleviating any pain or discomfort during the withdrawal period is by using other prescription medications. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is especially useful for patients who have gone through treatment before but have since relapsed.

While medication management can take more time to produce results, it is effective for chronic addiction cases and relapse prevention in the long run. To minimize the symptoms that come with withdrawal from Percocet, some useful medications include:

  • Clonidine: During detox, using Clonidine can alleviate Percocet withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, anger, restlessness, anger, and brain fog.
  • Suboxone: This medication incorporates buprenorphine and naloxone, preventing most withdrawal symptoms, as well as for reducing cravings.
  • Naltrexone: This medication is highly used after detox processes and maintenance because of its ability to counteract the effects of opioids. However, it is not used during detox, as it may drive the body straight into withdrawal, resulting in severe symptoms.
  • Vivitrol: This is an injectable form of Naltrexone, and maybe a better alternative for those who struggle with oral administration of medications.

Percocet Withdrawal Timeline

The Percocet withdrawal timeline and detox journey may vary from person to person. With that being said, there is a standard period in which the withdrawal symptoms will start to kick in, generally starting around 8-12 hours after a person’s last dose of this drug.

Early symptoms may include nausea, cravings, joint and muscle pains, anxiety, pupil dilation, runny nose, and headaches should kick in. The first five days are usually the worst, often causing muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting, as well as possible shakiness and cramps.

By days six and seven, the psychological symptoms will begin to set in. This can be a very risky period, as the real battle is fought hardest in the mind. Furthermore, while the physical side effects may be less severe, they will still be present for many people at this point.

Some of the psychological symptoms that may occur include anxiety and depression. Individuals may also still experience nausea and diarrhea symptoms. By day eight, as the substance is nearly completely flushed, depression may worsen.

This may present the risk of experiencing suicidal thoughts, a major reason as to why it is so important to recover at a treatment facility where trained staff members can properly respond in the event that these ideations, or any other medical emergency, should occur.

As previously stated, this timeline is simply a standard guide. The withdrawal timeline is different for each person. Various individual factors will determine how long this withdrawal period will last, including:

  • The amount of Percocet the user took at one time.
  • The amount of time the user has been abusing Percocet.
  • The number of times they took Percocet.
  • The combination of other drugs they took with Percocet, such as alcohol or other substances.
  • Their medical history and biological factors like weight, gender, and underlying medical conditions.
  • Their personal mental health history.
  • The method in which they ingested Percocet; for example, via injection, snorting, or oral consumption.


The most intense physical and mental withdrawal symptoms usually last from three to seven days. Symptoms that last longer than a week are usually referred to as post-acute withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can last up to a year, depending on the factors listed above.

However, through regular checkups and monitoring, these symptoms slowly subside as long as the user stays away from Percocet and other opioid medications. As long as the patient learns to manage these symptoms, they will learn to cope and thrive through the trying months

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Finding Medical Detox Programs and Other Substance Abuse Treatment Services Near You

Find Addiction Rehabs is here to help you. Dealing with addiction is never easy, especially when you are on your own. Typically, drugs like Percocet are beneficial when treating pain, which means they are equally addictive because of the opioid content.

However, if you continue to abuse Percocet long-term, your brain will start to depend on the drug in no time. The consequences of such drug dependence are never positive. That is why adequate treatment has to be administered on time.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or reading this for a loved one, it’s time to get the right kind of help. At Find Addiction Rehabs, your recovery is our utmost priority, which is why our hotline is available 24/7 to connect you with a representative, anytime you need help.

So don’t wait; call now, and we can help you start finding addiction treatment options that can serve all of your personal care needs and help you achieve long-lasting sobriety, today!

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