How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?

Percocet statistics revealed that addiction to this prescription opioid pain killer is a significant issue, even in those who begin taking the drug for legitimate purposes.

How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?

How long the opioid medication Percocet stays in your system depends on factors like individual health, how much Percocet someone uses, and how long they’ve been using it. Understanding this timeline is important in avoiding Percocet addiction and preventing a potentially deadly overdose. Percocet contains oxycodone, which can lead to physical dependence. This dependence can lead to Percocet withdrawal symptoms when a person abruptly stops the drug after taking high enough doses for a long enough time. This can happen even if the drug is taken exactly as prescribed. 

What Is Percocet? 

Percocet contains a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone. Oxycodone is an opioid pain medication [1]. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic. Acetaminophen is a less potent pain reliever that increases the effects of oxycodone. Opioids such as Percocet activate the brain’s reward center. It is considered a psychoactive drug. So a person can develop Percocet addiction due to the euphoric side effects of this prescription medication. A person who does not receive effective care for an addiction to these pain pills can suffer many adverse side effects and consequences. One of the main reasons to be aware of “how long does Percocet stay in your system” is the risk of overdose. Read this article to learn more.

Percocet, also known as “White Collar Heroin,” is a controlled substance. It is classified by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a Schedule II substance which means it has a high potential for abuse and addiction, but it still has some accepted medical uses [2]. In large dosages, someone who abuses Percocet feels a similar euphoria or “high” as those who abuse heroin, which is why Percocet is so addicting.

If it’s taken largely for long periods of time, the body and brain can grow dependent on this drug. As a result, when a n individual stops taking the drug, the body needs time to recover. This causes withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from Percocet can happen any time long-term use is stopped or cut back. It can be hard living with Percocet addiction. Coping with such an addiction can be life-consuming. Also, those who are addicted can lose themselves to constantly seeking their drug, “doctor shopping,” and living in fear.

How Does Percocet Works?

Percocet affects the brain by directly impacting opioid receptors. Because it contains oxycodone, Percocet works by latching onto opioid receptors in the brain in order to block any pain or discomfort. The longer a person takes Percocet, the more difficult it may be for them to stop. Opioids and other prescription painkillers are usually prescribed for a short period of time. Unfortunately, many individuals start to rely on the pain-relieving benefits, causing them to take more than the recommended dosage. This can easily lead to a Percocet overdose and brain damage.

How Long Does It Take for Percocet to Kick In?

The primary painkilling effect of Percocet comes from the oxycodone component, which is an opioid. Oxycodone works by attaching to opioid receptors in nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain, or central nervous system (CNS). How long does it take for Percocet to work? Percocet starts working within about 10–30 minutes and the effects last 3–6 hours. Percocet is usually prescribed multiple times per day to be taken every 4–6 hours as needed for pain.

How Long Does Percocet Last?

Percocet may last for 3–6 hours. A doctor usually sets a maximum number of tablets per day to help limit the risk of abuse and addiction. Percocet works best for short-term pain because of the fast action of both ingredients — oxycodone and acetaminophen. 

If a person takes Percocet for a long period, usually more than four weeks, their tolerance can increase. When someone becomes tolerant to this pain pills, they need higher doses of the drug to achieve the same painkilling effect. In this case, the effects of Percocet will not last as long as they will for someone taking the drug for the first time.

How Long Does a Percocet High Last?

While Percocet is an effective painkiller, there is a lot of concern surrounding its use because of the potential for abuse. As with other opioids, Percocet can produce a high. When Percocet is taken, opioid receptors are stimulated, and the more you take, the potential for Percocet addiction increases. This is why it’s important to take Percocet only as prescribed and directed by a doctor.

But how much Percocet do you need to get high? Like other prescription drugs, people usually start getting high on Percocet by exceeding the recommended dose. This can be either taking more pills at once or take pills more frequently. Previously, people would tamper with pills to snort or inject them. 

Because of this, people might try to get high on Percocet by mixing it with other substances. Common substances mixed with Percocet that could be dangerous include:

  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Benadryl
  • Stimulants
  • Molly
  • Acetaminophen

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Percocet statistics revealed that addiction to this prescription opioid pain killer is a significant issue, even in those who begin taking the drug for legitimate purposes. Detoxing from Percocet is something that a treatment clinic or medical professional can manage in a way that allows someone to avoid many negative feelings. 

In 2015–2018, 5.7% of U.S. adults used one or more prescription opioids.

Source: CDC

In 2015–2018, 10.7% of U.S. adults aged 20 and over, used one or more prescription pain medications (opioid or nonopioid) in the past 30 days.

Source: CDC

Nearly 92,000 persons in the U.S. died from drug-involved overdose in 2020, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids

Source: NIDA

Oxycodone Drug Facts


Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic narcotic analgesic
and historically has been a popular drug of abuse
among the narcotic abusing population.

What is its origin?

Oxycodone is synthesized from thebaine, a
constituent of the poppy plant.

What are common street names?

Common street names include:
• Hillbilly Heroin, Kicker, OC, Ox, Roxy, Perc, and Oxy

What does it look like?
Oxycodone is marketed alone as OxyContin® in
10, 20, 40 and 80 mg extended-release tablets
and other immediate-release capsules like 5
mg OxyIR. It is also marketed in combination
products with aspirin such as Percodan® or
acetaminophen such as Roxicet.

How is it abused?
Oxycodone is abused orally or intravenously.
The tablets are crushed and sniffed or dissolved
in water and injected. Others heat a tablet that
has been placed on a piece of foil then inhale the

What is its effect on the mind?

Euphoria and feelings of relaxation are the most
common effects of oxycodone on the brain, which
explains its high potential for abuse.

What is its effect on the body?

Physiological effects of oxycodone include:

  • Pain relief, sedation, respiratory depression,
    constipation, papillary constriction, and cough
  • Extended or chronic use of oxycodone
    containing acetaminophen may cause severe liver

What are its overdose effects?

Overdose effects include:

Extreme drowsiness, muscle weakness, confusion, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, shallow breathing, slow heart rate, fainting, coma, and possible death

What is its legal status in the United States?

Oxycodone products are in Schedule II of the
Controlled Substances Act.

Percocet Half Life

What is the half life of Percocet? Percocet has an average elimination half-life of 3.5 hours, meaning this is the amount of time it takes for half a dose of Percocet to leave one’s system. This means it will take an average of 19 hours to eliminate all of the Percocet from the system. However, this can take longer for chronic, heavy drug users, as opioids will be absorbed by the body’s fatty tissues if there’s more Percocet in the body than the liver can handle at once. It takes longer for the traces of Percocet in these tissues to leave the body than that which primarily stays in the bodily fluids

Percocet Drug Test

Drug tests do not routinely test for acetaminophen. However, the oxycodone component of Percocet may show up in drug tests for varying amounts of time, depending on what is being tested.

Drug and alcohol tests are done for several reasons:

  • As a condition of employment. Many employers don’t want to hire someone with a substance abuse problem because it could impair their work or lead to workplace accidents. Drug tests may be repeated annually as part of a physical, after a workplace accident, or if there is a decline in the employee’s workplace performance or appearance.
  • An automobile accident or other punishable offense. There are no roadside drug tests for opioids similar to the alcohol breathalyzer test that are acceptable as evidence in court. If drivers cannot pass the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, other types of drug tests may be ordered.
  • After drug rehab. Drug testing–one-time, regular, or random–may be required to confirm sobriety and fulfill return-to-work requirements or probation.

How Long Does a Percocet Stay in Your System?

Drug tests may identify recent Percocet use. Percocet usually leaves the system within 17.5 hours, but it can be detected in certain drug screenings longer than that, due to metabolites the drug leaves behind.

When a person takes Percocet, the oxycodone in their blood is metabolized in the liver and then excreted in the urine and feces. Because its metabolites are present for longer than oxycodone, Percocet in urine test can detect recent use even after oxycodone has been eliminated from the body.

People who use Percocet may worry about its effects on employer drug tests. Many individuals taking the drug are asking “how long does it take Percocet to leave your system?” They may also wonder how long do Percocets stay in urine and how long do Percs last?

How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System? Read to learn more.
How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System? Percocet is used to treat moderate to severe pain on a short-term basis, and it is dispensed in tablet form.

How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your Urine?

Percocet Drug Test – Percocet Urine Test

  • How long do Percs stay in your system and in urine? By far the most common form of drug screening, Percocet urine tests can confirm the drug in the urine for 48 hours following use. However, basic urine screenings (like immunoassay tests) may miss semi-synthetic opioids like Percocet. More advanced urine screenings (such as gas chromatography or mass spectrometry) are more sensitive and can report semi-synthetic opioid use more accurately. How long Percocets stay in urine also depends on several factors such as your metabolism, age, dosage, and more.

How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your Hair?

Percocet Drug Test – Percocet Hair Follicle Test

  • As with most drugs, Percocet (Oxycodone) is detectable in the hair for an extended period. That said, hair testing is typically used to detect heavy, long-term use patterns and may not be accurate for short-term testing.

How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your Blood System?

Percocet Drug Test – Percocet Blood Test

  • Percocet can be detected in the blood for about a day. However, more advanced drug screenings can confirm the metabolites of Percocet (oxycodone), not just the drug itself. This could result in a longer detection time from the test.

How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your Saliva?

Percocet Drug Test – Percocet Saliva Test

  • Opioid-containing drugs like Percocet can be found in saliva for up to 2 days. Some authority departments may use saliva tests due to the convenience of roadside testing.
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Factors that Influence “How Long Does Percocet Stay in System for Percocet Drug Test”

You may wonder “how long Percocet stay in your system?”, but it depends on several factors, including:

  • The dosage
  • How a person takes it (orally, intravenously, or nasally)
  • The person’s metabolism
  • How many doses do they take before stopping
  • Their body size
  • Their age
  • any other medications the person is taking, as some inhibit the metabolism of Percocet and lead to increased levels in the blood

Researching “how long do Percocet stay in your system?” The Percocet drug testing method is essential since Percocet may remain in the urine, hair, and breast milk long after its effects wear off.

Percocet Abuse

Percocet abuse usually involves taking a prescription in any way other than prescribed (higher doses, more often, or crushing, smoking, or injecting Percocet) or taking it without a prescription. Percocet and other forms of oxycodone have a high risk for abuse and addiction.

Signs of Percocet addiction may include:

  • Taking Percocet in any way other than prescribed
  • Taking Percocet without a prescription
  • “Doctor-shopping” to try to get multiple prescriptions
  • Obsessing over finding oxycodone without care for the consequences
  • Neglecting responsibilities or activities they once enjoyed
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Percocet

Mixing Percocet and Alcohol

One of the Percocet addiction symptoms is mixing prescription drugs with alcohol. Mixing Percocet and alcohol has an additive effect on both central nervous system depressants. When used recreationally, Percocet can become dangerous and cause an overdose.

Can you drink alcohol with Percocet? It is extremely risky to take Percocets and alcohol together. Both substances act as depressants of the central nervous system. Alcohol slows down breathing just like narcotics do. The respiratory system can become overworked as the body struggles to resist the effects of both medications. Percocet and alcohol likely result in respiratory depression, characterized by little to no breathing.

What happens if you mix Percocet with alcohol? Mixing alcohol and Percocet can result in fatal side effects and raise the likelihood of major adverse reactions. When Percocet mixed with alcohol are used, some of the following symptoms may worsen. Percocet with alcohol side effects include sleeplessness, numbness, dry mouth, impaired judgment and thinking, constipation, reduced blood pressure, lowered breathing, heart problems, or liver issues.

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Smoking Percocet

Can you smoke Percocet? Those who are addicted to the drug do. The euphoric effects of Percocet abuse will wear off faster when opioids are smoked than when they are taken as prescribed. This means that individuals are more likely to smoke, increasingly exposing themselves to the many dangers of tampering with the prescription drug. As the cycle repeats, the chances of opioid overdose deaths exponentially rise.

Smoking is the fastest method of ingesting a substance. Smoking Percocet facilitates a quicker, more direct, and more powerful onset of the desired effects. This also exposes users to the dangers of the constant activation of the opioid receptors in their central nervous system from full opioid agonists like oxycodone.

How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System? Read to learn more.
How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System? Percocet has an average elimination half-life of 3.5 hours, meaning this is the amount of time it takes for half a dose of Percocet to leave one’s system. 

Percocet Withdrawal

Percocet contains oxycodone, which can lead to physical dependence. This dependence can lead to Percocet withdrawal symptoms when a person abruptly stops the drug after taking high enough doses for a long enough time. This can happen even if the drug is taken exactly as prescribed. 

Percocet withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as 4 hours after you take your last dose. If you have been taking Percocet for an extended period, these symptoms may take longer to manifest. For most people, Percocet withdrawal will last at least one week. Chronic users may experience withdrawal for up to 3 or 4 weeks.

Home detox can be dangerous because of complications that destabilize physical and psychiatric conditions quickly and severely. Abrupt discontinuation has caused seizures, convulsions, and coma. Additionally, usual Percocet addiction symptoms are exceedingly uncomfortable, and withdrawal is often ‘self-medicated’ by resuming use. Without adequate medical supervision, acute withdrawal symptoms may continue for some days and result in malnourishment, severe dehydration, and extended hypertensive crisis.

Medical assistance is recommended for Percocet withdrawal due to physical and psychiatric health risks. The most common medical method is gradually lowering (tapering) the usual dose as medications ease withdrawal symptoms. This process can last up to 2 weeks, depending upon one’s health, the amount of Percocet used, and how long it was used.

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Percocet Overdose

A person can overdose on Percocet if the drug is taken more often than prescribed, if tablets are crushed or chewed, or if it is combined with other drugs, such as alcohol or sleeping pills. Overdose is considered a medical emergency. Without prompt treatment, serious health effects and even death can occur. An overdose of oxycodone or acetaminophen (both present in Percocet) can cause death. Oxycodone may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother has taken Percocet during pregnancy. In addition, fatal Percocet side effects can occur if a person uses Percocet with alcohol or other drugs that cause drowsiness.

Signs of a Percocet overdose include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Bluish nails and lips
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Slow heart rate
  • Extremely weak or stopped respiration
  • Dangerously low blood pressure
  • Coma/non-responsiveness
  • Seizures

If a Percocet overdose is suspected, the first step is to call 911 for emergency medical help. The dangerous repercussions of a high dose of Percocet can leave the user suffering from permanent physical or mental damage, comatose, or dead. Hesitating to call for help only increases the life-threatening risks.

How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System? Read to learn more.
How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System? In urine tests, traces of Percocet can generally be detected for 48 hours, starting 2 hours after the first dose.

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Percocet Addiction Treatment

First and foremost, if you think that a loved one is abusing Percocet or the counterfeit version known as yellow Percocet, you should first research the drug and addiction associated with it so that you can better understand what your loved one needs. Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle their addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, offer compassion and support instead of judgment. Lastly, show your support throughout the entire treatment process.

In addition, prolonged Percocet use can have severe physical and psychological effects, so seeking treatment as soon as possible is essential. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you promptly get through the early stages of withdrawal. 

Medically-Assisted Detox

Medical Detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated withdrawal process but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.


Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves making changes in both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)– is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorder and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.

Medication-Assisted Treatments

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

Now that we’ve answered the question “How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?”, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery medically. So, reclaim your life, and call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

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