The Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Effects, and Treatment for Percodan Addiction


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The Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Effects, and Treatment for Percodan Addiction

Percodan addiction is an increasingly common form of drug abuse and dependence. This condition is characterized by physical withdrawal symptoms which are similar to those experienced during opioid detoxification from a legal prescription painkiller.


What Is Percodan?

Percodan is a combination of two drugs, acetaminophen, and oxycodone. This medication is used to treat moderate to severe pain, as well as for its antitussive properties. Acetaminophen branded as Tylenol is a non-opioid pain reliever and has no abuse potential. Oxycodone, on the other hand, is an opioid analgesic that can be highly addictive when abused. 

Percodan is a close relative of Percocet that is made by combining oxycodone and aspirin. Both these drugs are used for other non-medical purposes particularly for getting high.

As a highly effective and strong painkiller, Percodan is often prescribed to people in severe pain, such as cancer patients and those who have sustained serious injuries, or are recovering from extensive surgery. Percodan is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means that it has the potential for abuse and dependency. It also means that this medication must be prescribed by a doctor who will monitor patients closely for signs of misuse or abuse. The common street names for this drug include Oxy, Killer, Percs, O’s, Oxycotton, Oceans, Oxies, Oxycet, Hillbilly Heroin, and Oxycoffin.

The Effects of Percodan Abuse and Overdose Signs

There are short-term and long-term effects of Percodan. Some of the short-term effects of Percodan include:

  • Bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Heartburn
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Severe constipation
  • Stomach pain

The aspirin in Percodan can also cause some of these common side effects: 

  • Anxiety
  • Belching
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Dullness
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling sluggish
  • Hyperventilating
  • Irritability
  • Shaking
  • Sleeplessness
  • Sour stomach
  • Stomach pain or upset
  • Weakness

The serious long-term effect of Percodan is a condition called serotonin syndrome. This can manifest in: 

  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Twitching

Serotonin is a naturally produced chemical in the body that is essential for the nerve cells and brain to function normally. However, too much serotonin causes signs and symptoms that can fall in the range of mild to severe. Some of the milder effects are shivering and diarrhea while the more severe ones are muscle rigidity, fever, and seizures. Death can occur if severe serotonin syndrome is not treated. There is also a greater risk of experiencing serotonin syndrome if other drugs that affect the body’s serotonin levels are taken with Percodan.

It is easy to overdose on Percodan and so these signs are essential to look out for:

  • Buzzing, ringing, or unexplained noise in the ears
  • Decreased awareness and responsiveness
  • Decreased breathing rate
  • Diarrhea
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Fast, weak heartbeat
  • Hearing loss
  • Restlessness
  • Sleepiness
  • Extremely high fever or elevated body temperature

Percodan Withdrawal Symptoms

Percodan, with prolonged use, can cause physical and mental dependence in patients. If this drug is abruptly stopped, withdrawal symptoms caused by the sudden reduction will occur. However, the severe withdrawal symptoms can usually be controlled by slowly tapering down the dose over time. A Percodan taper is most safely accomplished by undergoing a medical detox. The withdrawal symptoms of Percodan may include:

  • Abdominal cramping and muscle aches
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Watery eyes
  • Yawning

The oxycodone which is the key ingredient in Percodan is similar to morphine in the way it works.  The central nervous system’s opioid receptors are stimulated which reduces pain and pain sensitivity. It also causes the user to feel a euphoric high in the user. 

Fainting or dizziness due to a drop in blood pressure, poor coordination and motor control, slurred speech, sweating, and confusion are some of the negative side effects that can happen. Percodan’s other component, Acetaminophen, can cause gastric problems, increased bruising, and risk of excessive bleeding. When the effects of Percodan begin to wear off, the users typically feel depressed and tired.

If you or a loved one is suffering from Percodan addiction, treatment at an addiction facility such as West Valley Detox will ensure that the detox is supervised medically and the ongoing treatment for long-term recovery is handled by some of the best clinicians in the country. Call us today to find out more about how we can help live a life free of Percodan.

How Do People Abuse Percodan?

Percodan is a prescription drug that was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1955. It is a combination of two drugs, oxycodone, and aspirin. Percodan contains 5 mg of oxycodone hydrochloride and 325 mg of aspirin. 

The drug was originally used as a pain reliever for moderate to severe pain. It has also been prescribed for people with acute postoperative pain, such as after abdominal surgery; and for the relief of rheumatoid arthritis. Its effects are similar to those of morphine, but it is less potent and more likely to cause nausea.

Percodan is a prescription drug and generally, the people who abuse it are usually those who have been given prescriptions for the medication by their doctors. They may take more of the drug than they should or take it for longer than the doctor recommended. They may also share or sell their prescriptions to others so that they can get money to buy Percodan on the street.

Medically, the tablet form of Percodan is swallowed. When Percodan is abused, recreational users will chew, snort or inject the drug so that it produces a stronger feeling of euphoria quicker. Percodan abusers who chew, snort, or inject the drug are at a much higher risk of accidental overdose resulting in death.


Percodan Addiction Treatment

Evidence-based methods, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement, coping skills training, counseling, psychotherapy and peer support  group therapy provided by many residential addiction treatment facilities have proven to be the most effective forms of Percodan addiction treatment.

An inpatient or residential rehab provides a safe, highly monitored, and secure environment in addition to medical care, around-the-clock monitoring, and medication management. Most reputable residential programs who treat Percodan addiction provide comprehensive treatment modules which  include:

  • Individual counseling sessions. These may consist of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT),  eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). There may be other add-on therapy sessions that are customized to the client’s specific needs such as stress management, coping skills, family therapy, or depth work designed to treat underlying mental health conditions.
  • Group counseling sessions usually make up a major part of the addiction treatment program and are essential to help reduce feelings of isolation and hopelessness. Group sessions allow the clients to feel like a part of something bigger than just themselves. Interacting with peers undergoing the same situation provides the motivation and support necessary to stay in recovery.
  • Holistic and other alternative therapies provide education on healthy and natural ways to handle life without drugs. Some alternative therapies provided by residential rehabs such as music and art therapy, meditation and yoga classes, equine therapy, and dance therapy, have proven to be invaluable on the road to recovery.
  • Aftercare programs that provide follow-up treatments and therapies once the inpatient treatment is complete make recovering individuals more likely to stay sober and reduce the risks of relapse.

Percodan addiction treatment starts with detox and unless this is administered as an inpatient medically supervised detox, not only is the success rate low, but it can also be fatal. At West Valley Detox, our treatment team is experienced in the handling and management of these severe and uncomfortable symptoms. Once the Percodan detox is complete, West Valley Detox also provides highly effective therapy in a top-class residential facility to prevent future relapses. Live life free of Percodan and start your journey to a fuller happier future by calling us today.

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