Percocet is a prescription drug used to treat severe pain. While it is a prescription medication, prolonged use or abuse of this drug can lead to addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Percocet, Memphis Recovery Centers’ inpatient drug rehab center may be the source of support that they need to overcome their Percocet dependence.
The side effects of Percocet can be anything from a mild case of dry mouth to life-threatening reactions. These side effects can worsen when combined with other drugs, medications, or medical conditions. When you are able to identify the side effects of Percocet addiction, you will know when it is time to guide your loved one into opioid addiction treatment at Memphis Recovery Centers.
Percocet contains a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Oxycodone is a type of opioid that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It can be used short-term or long-term, depending on the condition. Acetaminophen is a less potent pain reliever that increases the effects of oxycodone. The combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen achieves greater pain relief than either taken separately.
Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Abuse
It is estimated that 5% of American adults have struggled with opioid addiction; often, this can follow a major surgery or injury, after which a doctor prescribes painkillers for pain management. When used as prescribed, Percocet can be an excellent pain medication and recovery tool. Unfortunately, taking painkillers can be a very slippery slope, and it is so easy to become dependent on them, even after the initial pain subsides. Some signs and symptoms of Percocet abuse include:
- Social isolation or seeming withdrawn
- Borrowing or stealing money/Percocet
- Noticeably taking more pills than directed for longer than directed
- Insomnia resulting in fatigue
- Withdrawal symptoms when unable to obtain Percocet
- Weight loss
- Slurred speech and poor balance and coordination
- Memory loss and impaired judgment
- Mood swings with severe agitation, anger, or aggression
If you notice these signs or symptoms in yourself or a loved one you suspect is dealing with an addiction to Percocet, please seek help as soon as possible. There are many potentially dangerous or deadly risks associated with abusing Percocet.
Allergic Reactions to Percocet
The acetaminophen half of the drug causes one of the most dangerous Percocet withdrawal symptoms. This reaction can happen even if you have safely taken acetaminophen before in a form such as Tylenol. Keep an eye out for the signs of this allergic reaction when you or a loved one take acetaminophen, including Percocet. If you experience skin redness or a rash that spreads and leads to blisters or peeling, call your doctor immediately, as this is an early sign of a dangerous allergic reaction.
Slowed Breathing and Percocet
The oxycodone in Percocet is a powerful opioid that can slow breathing if combined with other depressants, such as other opioids or alcohol, or if the dosage is incorrect. If you or someone taking Percocet experiences blue lips, slow breathing, breathing with long pauses, or it is hard to wake up, contact a doctor immediately.
Other Dangerous Reactions
Other Percocet side effects may be signs of other dangerous conditions. Percocet, like all opioids, is a dangerous drug that can be fatal if misused. These more dangerous side effects can appear even with prescribed use but are more common when the medication is being abused. These side effects of Percocet include:
- A slowed heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Weakness or feeling tired
- Strange behavior
- Lightheadedness, fainting, seizures
- Problems urinating
Percocet can also damage the liver if abused. The signs of liver damage include yellowing of the eyes and skin, mucous, urine, or a clay-colored stool. Furthermore, loss of appetite, stomach pains, and other side effects that worsen over time are signs that the drug has damaged the liver.
There is also a condition known as Serotonin Syndrome. This condition has symptoms that include hallucinations, racing heart, fever, shivering, and twitching. If you or a loved one experiences these side effects, get medical help right away.
Common Percocet Side Effects
Percocet, like any drug, has some more common side effects. These Percocet side effects can be signs of more significant and more dangerous medical conditions. As always, contact your medical care provider if any side effects appear. The common side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Red eyes
- Blurred vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Extreme mood swings
As you can see, there are some overlaps between the common side effects and some of the more dangerous ones. In some cases, only qualified medical professionals can distinguish between common side effects and more hazardous conditions. For this reason and many others, Percocet should only ever be taken when and as prescribed by a doctor. Furthermore, when coming off of Percocet, it helps to stay sober by following a relapse prevention plan.
Begin Your Healing from Addiction at Memphis Recovery
Addiction can take control of your life and the lives of loved ones, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the road. If you or a loved one is struggling with Percocet abuse, contact our caring staff at Memphis Recovery Centers at 866.304.8254 for more information on how you can start your journey to recovery.