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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Percocet

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 10/18/1999]
Question: I believe I am addicted to percoset. I began taking it 3 years ago to manage the pain of severe migraine headaches. i would have these headaches everyday. Over the years they have relented, but in the last few months they have become so persistent that for two months I have had to go to ER and have an injection of demerol almost every 10 days. What the hell is happening to me?! I'm scared and in fear of my next headache, but I also can't seem to go through life without percoset daily. I feel like a criminal, and I feel like this is going to kill me. I am finally going to a neurologist, but I'm afraid there's no answer. Has the percoset done this to me? How do you get off it? Is there any treatment program or hope? Please have some answer besides "you're a drug addict, deal with being a creep.".

Answer: First, you will need to get the migraines under control, then take on the drug addiction. It is unlikely that you will be able to stop the medications while still having episodic migraines. But, you can do it. The first step is recognition.

[posted 10/10/1999]
Question: This relates to my wife 58, having SLE for over 25 years, now with heart and lung involvment, sever joint, pericarditis, fatigue, and plueritis. Very little ability to do almost anything w/o suffering dire reactions, pain etc. She takes several drugs which attempt to control the Lupus but her major control for pain is now Percocet. Is there any reason why she should not be supported by as much of it as needed? Currently she takes as many as 10 on bad days. Steady use is 1 and sometimes 2 every 4 hours.

Answer: Not really. The limitation would be the acetaminophen component of Percocet. This is potentially hepatotoxic and should probably be limited to 8/day. Also, over time it will lead to renal failure(ten years or so)with the lupus potentially working here, probably better to use less acetaminophen. The limitations will be constipation and her mds williness to do this. Long acting morphines MS contin and the like might be useful as a backup which would let her use Percocet on a less frequent basis.

Percocet and Alcohol [posted 1/13/99]
Question: Is it safe to drink wine coolers while taking percocet regularly?

Answer: Any alcohol plus narcotics is asking for trouble.

Percocet Information [posted 12/08/98]
Question: I am doing a research on a prescription drug called, percocet,  for pain, I will appreciate very much if you can provide some info on this drug, especially info about side effects. I thank you kindly.

Answer: Percocet is a narcotic (oxycodone) and acetaminophen combination. They are combined to get a syngergistic effect on pain. Oxycodone is similar to other narcotics in terms of effect and addiction. Acetaminophen is better known as Tylenol.

Percocet Side Effects [posted 11/19/98]
Question:  What are the side effects of Percocet?

Answer: Constipation, decreased mental focus, long term dependence, itching, nausea.

Potential for Percocet Addiction
Question: I take Percocet once a month for severe back pain related to Menstral problems. I love taking them not only for the pain but also for the euphoric feeling. I take 3 tablets at a time about every 6 hours. Is there a possibility of becoming addicted even if I don't take them for long durations? I thought you had to take a drug for a long period of time to become addicted. I don't take continually use them, so I don't think my body will become dependent on them. The thing that concerns me is that when I do get them, I get a script for 30 and they are gone in 3 days. I don't get more until 30 days later. My body does not go through withdraw and I don't feel any cravings for them. Do you think it's ok the way I take them. Also, is the Acidaminaphen more dangers than the Oxycodone? What is the maximum dosage I can safetly take? And once you develop a tolerance, Is it safe to increase the dosage??

Answer: If you are taking the drug for the euphoric effect, you' playing with addictive fire. Use them only for pain. This is commonly the first step to addiction even though you are not currently addicted. Acetaminophen should be limited to 8X 325 mg a day or less to avoid liver toxicity. There is no limiting dosage of the hydrocodone-limited by sedation and low blood pressure on an individual basis. It is safe to increase the dosage of hydrocodone-not acetaminophen.

Percocet Side Effects
Question: Can percocet alter a person's personality, or cause mood swings? Does a person act as if they were drunk when they have taken a dose? Does a person talk crazy, or become extremely paranoid?
I have a brother who has always been an addictive type. He has rheumatoid arthritis and is trying to say that 8 mgs. of prednisone is causing all of the above, not to mention the non-stop talking. He turns very eveil and we are worried that he may harm his imm. family if they say anything to him about his problem.

Answer: Percocet or prednisone? Actually both can. Some patients experience dramatic personality shifts on steroids-some psychosis. Usually, this is dose dependent and seen more with IV than oral medications. However, some patients will experience it in any dosage. Percocet can also have personality alternation-in usual doses less often than steroids. psychosis. Usually, this is dose dependent and seen more with IV than oral medications. However, some patients will experience it in any dosage. Percocet can also have personality alternation-in usual doses less often than steroids.

Vicodin and Percocet
Question: Can you tell me the difference between Vicodin and Percocet? Are they of the same family with Percocet being more powerful? For arthritis pain, how serious is the risk of addiction with a dose of 1 or 1/2 Vicodin per day?

Answer: Vicodin is a class 3 narcotic, with hydrocodone. Percocet is a class 2 narcotic with oxycodone, which is a much stronger narcotic derivative. The risk of addiction varies with the dosage (small), with the length of time the drug is used and the personality of the patient.

Question: Is Percocet addictive?

Answer: Yes, the narcotic part, not the acetaminophen part.

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