Percocet Withdrawal - Symptoms, Timeline & Treatment
What is Percocet?
Percocet is the brand name for the combination of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and oxycodone. Percocet is prescribed for moderate to severe pain and it is also used for management of chronic pain and is a Schedule II Controlled Substance.
The oxycodone within Percocet binds to the pain receptors in the brain so that the sensation of severe pain is reduced. The acetaminophen in oxycodone halts the production of prostaglandins which otherwise cause pain. Percocet is available in tablet, capsule, and liquid form and is taken every 6 hours.
The dangers of a pain relief drug containing opiates like oxycodone
Percocet is one of the most popular and addictive prescription drugs due to its euphoric effects. Like many narcotic pain relievers, it is commonly associated with prescription drug abuse. Prolonged use comes with a high risk of dependency which can lead to substance abuse and long-term or even permanent damage. When taken in high doses, or combined with other substances like alcohol, a powerful painkiller like Percocet can cause respiratory distress or even death.
Patients that are taking the drug for a prolonged period of time will eventually exhibit signs of opioid addiction or physical dependence. Dependence is a physical medical condition in which your body begins to respond negatively if you do not continue to take Percocet. Percocet can result in a prescription drug addiction on par with meth addiction or heroin addiction.
In times of stress, our bodies naturally release hormones called endorphins. These chemicals bind to receptors in the brain and decrease pain response while giving feelings of pleasure. Drugs like Percocet allow you to produce this effect on demand. Eventually, opioid misuse will cause the body to stop the natural production of endorphins. At the same time, the brain will also increase the number of receptors. You are then left requiring greater doses of the opioid to satisfy the increase in receptors.
If an individual stops taking Percocet or does not supply the body with that increased demand for opiates, they will begin to experience unpleasant symptoms known as withdrawal.
How long does the Percocet withdrawal period last?The most intense symptoms and serious side effects occur in the first week, but some symptoms can last months. Ultimately, opioid or opiate withdrawal symptoms will continue until the brains’ endorphin-receptor balance is restored. The fastest and most effective way to attempt the withdrawal and rebalancing process is through ANR treatment
The risk of Percocet withdrawal symptoms & side effects on your health
Percocet can produce severe symptoms and adverse effects similar to any other opiate or opioid. A dependence on Percocet may lead to symptoms, such as:
- Sadness or depression
- Body aches, muscle pain & joint pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Anxiety disorder, mental illness, or co-occurring disorder.
Percocet withdrawal timeline
The Percocet withdrawal experience will depend on how long the patient has been using Percocet, as well as the dosages. It may also depend on the type of drug addiction treatment program used, if any. The overarching timeline of withdrawals and severe symptoms are explained below.
Withdrawal from Percocet usually begins around 8 hours after the last dose. Early physical withdrawal symptoms typically resemble cold and flu-like indicators. Common uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms during this window include:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Runny nose
- Dilated pupils
- Hot flashes
- Abdominal cramps/stomach cramps
- Sleep disturbances
The most severe symptoms of withdrawal usually occur during days 2-3 after the last dose. This is when the symptoms peak in severity and intensity.
- Flu-like symptoms are still common.
- Muscle aches become more prominent.
- Abdominal cramping causing abdominal pain.
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea begin if they haven’t already.
- Shaking, irritability, mood disturbances, and fatigue are also common in this stage.
Towards the end of week one, physical symptoms start to slow down and psychological symptoms increase. Percocet addicts will experience strong cravings for the drug. Although the most severe withdrawal symptoms will physically resolve by day 7, mental health issues such as depression and anxiety will persist if left untreated.
After the first week, psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety can leave patients feeling hopeless and even cause suicidal ideations. The risk of relapse is very high during this stage of withdrawal. It is important to note that chronic users of Percocet may experience prolonged withdrawal symptoms that can occur well beyond the first month.
Percocet withdrawal treatment at a detox center
ANR is the only for of medical treatment that has been shown to re-regulate the critical endorphin-receptor imbalance. Unlike traditional detox treatment, ANR method works on a deeper level and targets the physiologic mechanism behind dependency. This means patients can go back to their activities of daily living without ongoing pain or the constant fear of falling into a relapse with opioid medications such as Percocet.
ANR Clinic has health care facilities to provide the medication-assisted detox process in:
- DeSoto Memorial Hospital, Arcadia, Florida
- ANR Europe Thun, Switzerland
- New Vision University Hospital, Tbilisi, Georgia