Percocet's active ingredients are oxycodone, a narcotic (opiate) pain medication (analgesic), and acetaminophen (a non-narcotic pain medication), which relieves pain better than either medication taken alone. Oxycodone acts on the central nervous system and smooth muscle tissue, slowing the central nervous system. It is not clear exactly how acetaminophen works to ease pain. Percocet is only available by prescription. Percocet is similar to other narcotics in terms of its effects on individual and chance of addiction. Percocet comes as a tablet, capsule, and liquid. Percocet when abused can be taken orally in pill form, chewed, or crushed (then snorted like cocaine).
Percocet is manufactured in the following dosages (oxycodone / acetaminophen):
- Percocet CII 2.5 mg/ 325 mg tablets
- Percocet CII 5 mg/ 325 mg tablets
- Percocet CII 7.5 mg/ 325 mg tablets
- Percocet CII 10 mg/ 325 mg tablets
- Percocet CII 7.5 mg/ 500 mg tablets
- Percocet CII 10 mg/ 650 mg tablets
'Percocet works by slowing the central nervous system. It should be used with caution with other drugs that have similar effects. Percocet can change or increase the effects of certain drugs, and your physician should be advised if you are taking any of the following:
- Alcohol - Oxycodone and alcohol can accelerate central nervous system depression. Avoid mixing the two, as this could result in a fatal overdose. Alcohol use combined with acetaminophen can accelerate or increase the risk of liver damage or stomach bleeding.
- Antihistamines like Tavist or Benadryl
- Aspirin (or any salicylate, such as salicylamide, or salicylic acid) can cause kidney or liver damage when taken in high doses, and over long periods of time, in combination with acetaminophen. When taken in the recommended doses, for a short time, it has not been seen to produce this effect.
- Benzodiazepines (a class of antidepressants, anti-panic agents, and muscle relaxants) such as Ativan (lorazepam), Valium (diazepam), Halcion (triazolam), Restoril (temazepam), Librium(chlordiazepoxide), Xanax (alprazolam), Tranxene-SD (clorazepate), Paxipam (halazepam), ProSom (estazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), and others, should be used cautiously with Percocet.
- Desyrel (trazodone) - Risk of additive CNS depression.
- MAO inhibitors - Oxycodone must not be mixed with MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitors such as the antidepressants Nardil, Marplan, or Parnate. It should not be used within 2 weeks of stopping these medications.
- Narcotic pain medication of any other kind, like Codeine, Demerol (meperidine), Buprenex (buprenorphine), Darvon (propoxyphene), Dilaudid (hydromorphone), MS Contin or Kadian (morphine), nalbuphine, OxyContin (oxycodone), Stadol (butorphanol), Talwin compound (pentazocine), Vicodin (hydrocodone, acetaminophen), or Vicoprofen (hydrocodone, ibuprofen) should not be mixed with Percocet.
- Norflex (orphenadrine) - Risk of oversedation.
- Oral contraceptives - These may interact with acetaminophen
- Sedatives like Fioricet (butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine), Fiorinal, Phenobarbitol, Seconal, or other barbiturates.
- Sleep medication like Ambien (zolpidem), Sonata (zaleplon), or over the counter sleeping pills should be used with oxycodone only as, and if, advised by your doctor.
- Skeletal muscle relaxants - such as Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine), Skelaxin (metaxalone), Soma (carisoprodol), or Robaxin (methocarbamol) may increase respiratory depression when mixed with oxycodone.
- Street drugs of any type must never be mixed with Percocet as this could result in a fatal overdose.
- Tranquilizers such as Haldol (haloperidol), Mellaril (thioridazine), or Thorazine (chlorpromazine) may cause oversedation.
- Trexan (naltrexone) - Causes narcotic pain medication to be ineffective.
- Tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil (amitriptyline), Asendin (amoxapine), Anafranil (clomipramine), Pertofrane or Norpramin (desipramine), Sinequan (doxepin), Tofranil (imipramine), Aventyl or Pamelor (nortriptyline), Vivactil (protriptyline), and Surmontil (trimipramine), may increase the central nervous system suppressant effects from either the antidepressant, or the oxycodone.
- Ultram (tramadol)
- Zidovudine (AZT, Retrovir) - Narcotic pain medication increases blood levels of this drug, potentially making side effects more severe.
In addition to the above medications, tell your doctor if you are using any other major antidepressants or central nervous system depressants in combination with Percocet. Be cautious about taking Percocet with any medicine warning that it 'may cause drowsiness.
Do not mix Percocet with over the counter pain medication; acetaminophen can cause liver damage when mixed with certain pain medications. Check any cold or flu medication you may need to take to be sure it does not contain additional pain medication.