How Long Does Percocet Stay In Your Urine

Percocet is a prescription painkiller that is quite potent. The effects of the drug are so strong that it is one of the drugs that are abused most often by addicts. Due to that, it is also looked for actively on drug tests done by police, jobs, doctors, and similar institutions who conduct drug tests. If you’ve taken Percocet recently or have been abusing it and are expecting to be tested for drugs soon, you might be asking “how long does Percocet stay in your urine?” This article aims to tell you just that along with other important information about this strong and popular drug.


What Is Percocet?

A highly popular opioid painkiller, Percocet is a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone. It’s made specifically for chronic pain issues including intestinal pressure, severe back pain, and gallstone pain. When prescribed legally, it comes in anywhere from 2.5mg to 10mg depending on the patient and the severity of their pain. Due to its high potency, it is categorized as a Schedule II drug and is abused often by people with an addiction problem.

It is meant for short-term use and comes in tablet form. As an opioid, people can build up a tolerance for Percocet quickly. If you have to frequently take Percocet or if you are abusing it, you’ll need to take higher doses each time in order to feel the effect you’re looking for. As this pattern occurs, addiction is more likely.

Percocet triggers the production of dopamine in the brain and brings about a euphoric feeling sometimes described as a “high” that can make you feel happy, relaxed, and sometimes giddy. This feeling is what opioid addicts crave when they decide to continue to take the drug. Doing this can cause a variety of problems other than dependencies. This includes psychological damage and physical problems.

​Before taking Percocet for any reason, you should keep some warning in mind. First, you shouldn’t take this medication if you’re allergic to oxycodone or acetaminophen. You should also avoid the medication if you have any of the following problems:

  • Paralytic ileus or a similar bowel obstruction
  • Alcoholism or frequent narcotic use including sedatives and tranquilizers

You should also avoid Percocet if you’re on other medications that may cause adverse effects. Some other medicines can interact with the oxycodone in the medication and cause serotonin syndrome, a serious condition that should be avoided. Let you doctor know if you’re taking medication for Parkinson’s disease, chronic migraines, depression, serious infections, mental illness, or nausea prevention medications or sedatives.

You should also report any breathing problems, liver disease, alcoholism, drug abuse, IBD, chronic diarrhea, kidney disease/urinary problems, gallbladder issues, pancreas problems, thyroid issues, a history of seizures, or a head injury.

If you are pregnant, you should avoid Percocet as it can cause a dependency in your baby. That dependency can lead to life-threatening problems associated with withdrawal symptoms in your baby once it is born. Disclose any pregnancy or plans to conceive in the near future with your doctor. Similarly, the medication can pass into your breast milk and can harm your child if you’re nursing.

As mentioned earlier, Percocet can cause dependency issues and it is addictive. It is important to only take the prescribed amount that your doctor gives you. Overdoses can be fatal and withdrawal from a Percocet addiction can be life-threatening. For similar reasons, make sure you do not share this medication with anyone else. Keep it stored away from children and in a hidden location if you know you have a known addict in your house. If you have leftover medication, speak to your pharmacist about their disposal programs for medications.

If you miss a dose while taking Percocet, simply skip that dose so you don’t take two doses too close together. If you overdose on Percocet, seek medical attention immediately. Overdose symptoms can be:

  • Shallow/slow breathing
  • Severe fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Clammy or cold skin/sweating
  • Loss of appetite/nausea/vomiting
  • Stomach pain

Like any medication, Percocet has side effects that can be expected and others that are rarer, including signs of an allergic reaction (hives, breathing problems, swelling of the lips/tongue/face/throat). Some of the common side effects are headaches, moderate fatigue, nausea and similar stomach problems, blurry vision, and dry mouth.

How Long Does Percocet Stay In Your Urine

Due to the highly addictive nature of Percocet, it is one of the drugs that is screened for in drug tests. If this is a concern, you’re probably wondering “how long does Percocet stay in your urine?” On average, Percocet has a half-life of about 3.5 hours. That is how long it takes for half of the amount of the medication to leave your system. Using that, it is estimated that it takes about 19 hours for Percocet to fully leave your system. If you’ve been abusing Percocet or have been legally taking it over a prolonged period of time, this time may be longer. This is because opioids can get absorbed into your fatty tissue where it can hang around longer than it can in bodily fluids.

Specifically, in urine tests, Percocet can be detected for about 48 hours after the first dose. Blood tests can detect it up until 24 hours while hair follicle tests can detect the drug for up to 30 days, although it’s not believed to be as reliable as urine and blood tests.

If you’ve been abusing Percocet, it’s important to understand the long-term damage it can do to your body. The drug can harm the liver and cause chronic inflammation as well as scarring and hepatitis. Addiction services can help if you believe you are addicted to the medication. However, if you are addicted to Percocet, you shouldn’t quit it cold turkey as withdrawal can be life-threatening if not handled properly.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Yawning/fatigue
  • Restlessness/irritability
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Tremors/convulsions
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Muscle aches/weakness
  • Increased heart rate

If you are experiencing any of these withdrawal symptoms or other effects from Percocet, seek a doctor’s help immediately.


Hopefully, the information regarding the medication has helped you better understand the opioid and has answered your question of “how long does Percocet stay in your urine.” Remember to follow all of your doctor’s orders and to disclose all of your other medication and medical conditions before starting Percocet for pain management.

Anna Smith

Hi there ! I’m Anna Smith, chief editor at Healthankering. I'm a proud mother of three passionate about health tips, beauty and ways to live healthier with more energy ! We start Healthankering to provide advanced material about not only the best ways to get healthy, but also to entertain and create a great community. Welcome aboard !

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