DESCRIPTION / DEFINITIONS: Percocet® (oxycodone hydrochloride and acetaminophen)
ABUSE: Percocet contains oxycodone hydrochloride which is an opioid agonist and a Schedule II controlled substance with an abuse liability similar to morphine.
ADDICTION / DEPENDENCE: Percocet is a highly addictive drug. Users of Percocet over time are likely to become either dependent on or addicted to the drug.
SIDE EFFECTS: According to the drug label, serious adverse reactions that may be associated with PERCOCET tablet use include severe insomnia. See complete list below.
WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS: If someone is dependent on a drug they will experience withdrawal symptoms. A list of common withdrawal symptoms are below.
TREATMENT: Medical detox facilities are available that use buprenorphine to assist in the withdrawal and make it much less uncomfortable and safe. Call us to talk to a Detox Advisor.
Percocet® (oxycodone hydrochloride and acetaminophen) is a specific formulation of the Schedule II narcotic oxycodone and acetaminophen. Percocet tablets are narcotic pain killers for the relief of moderate to moderately severe pain. The precise mechanism of action of oxycodone and other opiates is not known, although it is believed to relate to the existence of opiate receptors in the central nervous system.
Acetaminophen is an analgesic used to relieve mild to moderate pain from headaches, muscle aches, menstrual periods, colds and sore throats, toothaches, backaches, and reactions to vaccinations (shots), and acts to reduce fever. Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol. Like opiates, while the analgesic action of acetaminophen is known, the specific mechanism is not known.
According to the DEA, a Schedule II narcotic means that
A. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
B. The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.
C. Abuse of the drug or other substances may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
The Encarta Dictionary defines:
- Narcotic as, “A typically addictive drug, especially one derived from opium, that may produce effects ranging from pain relief and sleep to stupor, coma, and convulsions”
- Analgesic as, “A type of medication that alleviates pain without loss of consciousness.” It is interesting to point out that the word analgesia is derived from the Greek “an” meaning without and “algesis” meaning sense of pain. Analgesic drugs are intended to take away the sense of pain but not to address the cause of the pain.
- An “agonist” is something that stimulates or produces an effect. Agonist is derived from the Late Latin agnista which means contender, which is derived from the Greek agonists which also means contestant which came from agon meaning contest.
Other members of the class of opioid agonists are morphine, hydromorphone, fentanyl, codeine, and hydrocodone. Pharmacological effects of opioid agonists include anxiolysis (anxiety relief), euphoria, feelings of relaxation, respiratory depression, constipation, miosis (constriction of the pupil of the eye), and cough suppression, as well as analgesia.
Percocet is an opioid agonist and a Schedule II controlled substance with an abuse liability similar to morphine.
HALF LIFE AND METABOLISM
The biological half-life of a substance is the time it takes for a drug to lose half of its pharmacologic activity. This is significant because it affects how soon withdrawal symptoms may appear.
The half life of Percocet is between 3 to 4.5 hours.
The oxycodone in Percocet is mainly metabolized through the P450 pathway in the liver and the enzyme primarily handling the metabolism is the CYP2D6 enzyme.
The acetaminophen in Percocet is believed to be primarily metabolized through the P450 pathway in the liver and the enzymes 2E1 and 1A2.
The CYP enzymes are the major enzymes involved in drug metabolism, and since many drugs may increase or decrease the activity of various CYP isozymes, this is a major source of adverse drug interactions, since changes in CYP enzyme activity may affect the metabolism and clearance of various drugs. For example, if one drug inhibits the CYP-mediated metabolism of another drug, the second drug may accumulate within the body to toxic levels, possibly causing an overdose.
OPIOID INDUCED HYPERALGESIA
There is increasing medical research showing that taking opioids like Percocet for longer than six months will create a condition called Opioid Induced Hyperalgesia. This is a condition where the opioids actually make the pain receptors more sensitive and, therefore, the pain greater. A person with this condition is required to take more and more of the opioid to try to address the pain but finds that the pain actually increases.
According to the drug label, serious adverse reactions that may be associated with PERCOCET tablet use include:
Percocet® Tablets 5-325 Tablet manufactured by Physicians TC (5 milligrams of oxycodone and 325 milligrams of acetaminophen.)
Percocet is available in a variety of doses containing varying amounts of oxycodone and acetaminophen.
Percocet is a highly addictive drug. Users of Percocet for a time are likely to become either dependent on or addicted to the drug. If someone is dependent on a drug they will experience withdrawal symptoms. They normally continue taking the drug because they don’t want experience withdrawal symptoms.
Here are some of the Percocet withdrawal symptoms:
It is estimated that over 95% of the people who attempt to withdraw from Percocet or other similar opioids or opiates on their own will not succeed because of the pain of the withdrawal. Medical detox facilities are available that use buprenorphine to assist in the withdrawal and make it much less uncomfortable and safe. Call us to talk to a Detox Advisor.