Side Effects Of Percocet

To prevent constipation, eat dietary fiber, drink enough water, and exercise. You may also need to take a laxative. Ask your pharmacist which type of laxative is right for you.

Dealing with Side Effects of Percocet

Percocet is a mix of acetaminophen (a pain and fever medicine) and oxycodone (a pain medicine). Oxycodone is part of a family of drugs called opioids. Doctors prescribe them to treat moderate to severe pain.

Other brand names include:

Possible Side Effects

If you take Percocet, you may:

  • Feel chills
  • See changes in the color of your stool and/or urine
  • Experienc constipation
  • Feel dizzy
  • Get sleepy
  • Have a fever
  • Get a headache
  • Feel nauseated or vomit
  • Have belly pain
  • Feel tired or weak
  • Feel itchy
  • Have bad breath
  • Lose your appetite

How to Manage

Constipation, or trouble passing stool is common. Follow these tips to ease discomfort:

  • Drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day.
  • Exercise if possible.
  • Try to go to the bathroom at the same time each day.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink 4 ounces of prune juice or eat three to four dried prunes/plums to help trigger bowel movements.

Stay away from high-fiber foods and fiber supplements. They can make constipation caused by pain medication worse. Laxatives may be OK. Ask your doctor to be sure.

Avoid driving and other potentially dangerous tasks if Percocet makes you sleepy. You should also avoid alcohol and other sedatives, unless your doctor says they’re OK to take.

Taking it with or without food may help with nausea or vomiting. Try both to see what works for you. Your doctor might also prescribe drugs to ease nausea.

How to Stop

Tell your doctor if you want to quit taking Percocet. Stopping suddenly could cause withdrawal symptoms. These include:

  • Runny nose, watery eyes, and yawning
  • Restlessness or anxiety
  • Crankiness or changes in mood
  • More pain
  • Goosebumps, chills, or sweating
  • Belly pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Muscle cramps or aches, joint pain
  • Tremors or muscle twitching
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Thoughts of suicide

The doctor will slowly wean you off. They may be able to prescribe another drug with fewer side effects.

When to Call 911

Call 911 or go to the emergency room right away if you have signs of a possible overdose. They include:

  • Bluish lips or skin
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Feeling really sleepy
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • Low blood pressure or pulse
  • Slow breathing

In addition to an overdose, Get emergency medical help if you have:

  • trouble breathing,
  • shortness of breath
  • fast heartbeat
  • chest pain
  • swelling of your face, tongue, or throat
  • extreme drowsiness
  • light-headedness when changing positions
  • feeling faint,
  • agitation
  • high body temperature
  • trouble walking
  • stiff muscles
  • mental changes such as confusion.

If you are taking opioids, it’s a good idea to have a naloxone kit available which can reverse a potentially life threatening overdose. You can ask your doctor to prescribe one and in some states you can buy them without a prescription at the pharmacy.

Show Sources

Mayo Clinic: “Oxycodone And Acetaminophen (Oral Route),” “Tapering off opioids: When and how.”

OncoLink: “Oxycodone/Acetaminophen (Percocet).”

Percocet – Uses, Side Effects, and More

Oxycodone/acetaminophen has a risk for abuse and addiction, which can lead to overdose and death. Oxycodone/acetaminophen may also cause severe, possibly fatal, breathing problems. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you take the smallest dose of oxycodone/acetaminophen that works, and take it for the shortest possible time. See also How to Use section for more information about addiction.

The risk for severe breathing problems is higher when you start this medication and after a dose increase, or if you take the wrong dose/strength. Taking this medication with alcohol or other drugs that can cause drowsiness or breathing problems may cause very serious side effects, including death. Also, other medications can affect the removal of oxycodone/acetaminophen from your body, which may affect how oxycodone/acetaminophen works. Be sure you know how to take oxycodone/acetaminophen and what other drugs you should avoid taking with it. See also Drug Interactions section. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, unusual lightheadedness, severe drowsiness/dizziness, difficulty waking up.

Keep this medicine in a safe place to prevent theft, misuse, or abuse. If someone accidentally swallows this drug, get medical help right away.

One ingredient in this product is acetaminophen. Taking too much acetaminophen may cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Adults should not take more than 4000 milligrams (4 grams) of acetaminophen a day. People with liver problems and children should take less acetaminophen. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how much acetaminophen is safe to take.

Do not use with any other drug containing acetaminophen without asking your doctor or pharmacist first. Acetaminophen is in many nonprescription and prescription medications (such as pain/fever drugs or cough-and-cold products). Check the labels on all your medicines to see if they contain acetaminophen, and ask your pharmacist if you are unsure.

Get medical help right away if you take too much acetaminophen (overdose), even if you feel well. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, sweating, stomach/abdominal pain, extreme tiredness, yellowing eyes/skin, and dark urine.

Daily alcohol use, especially when combined with acetaminophen, may damage your liver. Avoid alcohol.

Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, take the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Babies born to mothers who use this drug for a long time may develop severe (possibly fatal) withdrawal symptoms. Tell the doctor right away if you notice any symptoms in your newborn baby such as crying that doesn’t stop, slow/shallow breathing, irritability, shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, poor feeding, or difficulty gaining weight.

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Warnings:

Oxycodone/acetaminophen has a risk for abuse and addiction, which can lead to overdose and death. Oxycodone/acetaminophen may also cause severe, possibly fatal, breathing problems. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you take the smallest dose of oxycodone/acetaminophen that works, and take it for the shortest possible time. See also How to Use section for more information about addiction.

The risk for severe breathing problems is higher when you start this medication and after a dose increase, or if you take the wrong dose/strength. Taking this medication with alcohol or other drugs that can cause drowsiness or breathing problems may cause very serious side effects, including death. Also, other medications can affect the removal of oxycodone/acetaminophen from your body, which may affect how oxycodone/acetaminophen works. Be sure you know how to take oxycodone/acetaminophen and what other drugs you should avoid taking with it. See also Drug Interactions section. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, unusual lightheadedness, severe drowsiness/dizziness, difficulty waking up.

Keep this medicine in a safe place to prevent theft, misuse, or abuse. If someone accidentally swallows this drug, get medical help right away.

One ingredient in this product is acetaminophen. Taking too much acetaminophen may cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Adults should not take more than 4000 milligrams (4 grams) of acetaminophen a day. People with liver problems and children should take less acetaminophen. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how much acetaminophen is safe to take.

Do not use with any other drug containing acetaminophen without asking your doctor or pharmacist first. Acetaminophen is in many nonprescription and prescription medications (such as pain/fever drugs or cough-and-cold products). Check the labels on all your medicines to see if they contain acetaminophen, and ask your pharmacist if you are unsure.

Get medical help right away if you take too much acetaminophen (overdose), even if you feel well. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, sweating, stomach/abdominal pain, extreme tiredness, yellowing eyes/skin, and dark urine.

Daily alcohol use, especially when combined with acetaminophen, may damage your liver. Avoid alcohol.

Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, take the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Babies born to mothers who use this drug for a long time may develop severe (possibly fatal) withdrawal symptoms. Tell the doctor right away if you notice any symptoms in your newborn baby such as crying that doesn’t stop, slow/shallow breathing, irritability, shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, poor feeding, or difficulty gaining weight.

Uses

This combination medication is used to help relieve moderate to severe pain. It contains an opioid pain reliever (oxycodone) and a non-opioid pain reliever (acetaminophen). Oxycodone works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain. Acetaminophen can also reduce a fever.

How to use Percocet

See also Warning section.

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking oxycodone/acetaminophen and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to decrease nausea (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

If you are using a liquid form of this medication, use a medication measuring device to carefully measure the prescribed dose. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose, take the medication more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.

Pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.

If you have ongoing pain (such as due to cancer), your doctor may direct you to also take long-acting opioid medications. In that case, this medication might be used for sudden (breakthrough) pain only as needed. Other pain relievers (such as ibuprofen, naproxen) may also be prescribed with this medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using oxycodone safely with other drugs.

Suddenly stopping this medication may cause withdrawal, especially if you have used it for a long time or in high doses. To prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have any withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, mental/mood changes (including anxiety, trouble sleeping, thoughts of suicide), watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, muscle aches, or sudden changes in behavior.

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When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.

Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Tell your doctor if your pain does not get better or if it gets worse.

Side Effects

See also Warning section.

Nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur. Some of these side effects may decrease after you have been using this medication for a while. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To prevent constipation, eat dietary fiber, drink enough water, and exercise. You may also need to take a laxative. Ask your pharmacist which type of laxative is right for you.

To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: interrupted breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), mental/mood changes, severe stomach/abdominal pain, difficulty urinating, signs of your adrenal glands not working well (such as loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, weight loss).

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fainting, seizure, slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/difficulty waking up.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

See also Warning section.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other opioids (such as morphine, codeine, oxymorphone); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: brain disorders (such as head injury, tumor, seizures), breathing problems (such as asthma, sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD), kidney disease, liver disease, mental/mood disorders (such as confusion, depression), personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol), stomach/intestinal problems (such as blockage, constipation, diarrhea due to infection, paralytic ileus), difficulty urinating (such as due to enlarged prostate), gallbladder disease, disease of the pancreas (pancreatitis).

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

Liquid products may contain sugar, aspartame, and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, liver disease, phenylketonuria (PKU), or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, and slow/shallow breathing.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Tell the doctor right away if your baby develops unusual sleepiness, difficulty feeding, or trouble breathing. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

See also Warning and How to Use sections.

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug are: certain pain medications (mixed opioid agonist/antagonists such as butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine), naltrexone, samidorphan.

The risk of serious side effects (such as slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/dizziness) may be increased if this medication is taken with other products that may also cause drowsiness or breathing problems. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products such as other opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).

Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

Other medications can affect the removal of oxycodone/acetaminophen from your body, which may affect how oxycodone/acetaminophen works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as ketoconazole), macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), levoketoconazole, mifepristone, HIV medications (such as ritonavir), rifamycins (such as rifabutin, rifampin), certain drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin), among others.

This medication may interfere with certain lab tests (such as amylase/lipase levels), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population [BiomedCentral.com]; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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