Medically Reviewed on 2/27/2023

Brand Names: Percocet, Primlev, Roxicet, Endocet, Xartemis XR

Discontinued Brand Names: Xolox, Tylox, Oxycet, Roxilox

Generic Name: oxycodone/acetaminophen

Drug Class: Analgesics, Opioid Combos

What is Percocet, and what is it used for?

Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen) is a strong narcotic pain-reliever and cough suppressant similar to morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone. Percocet is prescribed for the relief of moderate to moderately severe pain.

  • The precise mechanism of action of oxycodone is not known but may involve stimulation of opioid (narcotic) receptors in the brain. Oxycodone does not eliminate the sensation of pain but decreases discomfort by increasing tolerance to pain. In addition to tolerance to pain, oxycodone also causes sedation and respiratory depression.
  • Acetaminophen is a non-narcotic pain reliever and antipyretic (fever reducer). Acetaminophen relieves pain by elevating the threshold to sensing pain. It reduces fever through its action on the heat-regulating center of the brain.
  • The combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen achieves greater pain relief than either taken separately.
  • The FDA approved oxycodone/acetaminophen combinations in February 1980.

What are the side effects of Percocet?

The most frequent adverse reactions of Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen) include:

Other important side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Spasm of the ureter, which can lead to difficulty in urinating

Possible serious side effects include:

Oxycodone can depress breathing and, therefore, is used with caution in elderly, debilitated patients and in patients with serious lung disease. Oxycodone can impair thinking and the physical abilities required for driving or operating machinery.

Is Percocet addictive?

  • Percocet can be habit-forming. Mental and physical dependence can occur, but are unlikely when used for short-term pain relief.


Medically speaking, the term "myalgia" refers to what type of pain? See Answer

What is the dosage for Percocet?

  • The dose of Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen) is variable and depends on the needs of the patient and specific circumstances.
  • The usual dose is one tablet every six hours as needed.
  • The maximum Percocet dose is 60 mg/4 g per day.

Which drugs interact with Percocet?

Is Percocet safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

  • Safety of oxycodone/acetaminophen during pregnancy has not been established. Newborns of mothers who were taking oxycodone for a prolonged period may exhibit respiratory depression or withdrawal symptoms.
  • Small amounts of oxycodone are secreted in breast milk and may cause side effects in the newborn.

What else should I know about Percocet?

What are preparations of Percocet available?
  • Tablets: 2.5/325, 5/300, 5/325, 7.5/300, 7.5/325, 10/300, 10/325 mg (oxycodone/acetaminophen)
  • Tablets (Extended Release): 4.8/325 mg.
  • Solution: 5/325 mg per teaspoonful
How should I keep Percocet stored?

Percocet should be stored at room temperature in a sealed, light-resistant container.

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Percocet is a drug prescribed for the relief of moderate to moderately-severe pain. Common side effects may include vomiting, nausea, lightheadedness, sleepiness, and dizziness. Oxycodone can be habit-forming. Withdrawal symptoms and side effects may occur in newborn babies of mothers who take Percocet during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

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Medically Reviewed on 2/27/2023
Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine


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