Percocet Side Effects

by on January 8, 2012


Percocet is a pain medication that is very effective, but possibly addictive. When use of the medication is well-managed, Percocet can treat both long-term and short-term problems with pain. The most common side effects of Percocet are mild and treatable and include constipation and itching. More serious side effects may indicate liver damage or a serious intolerance for the drug, so all unusual symptoms should be discussed with a doctor.

Common Percocet Side Effects

Common Percocet side effects are typically mild. These side effects occur more frequently among ambulatory patients and can often be relieved simply by laying down. The most common side effects include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Constipation
  • Weakness
  • Itching
  • Euphoria

Nausea and vomiting can often be relieved by taking the medication with food. These side effects may also lessen with time as the body adjusts to the medication.

Constipation is a very common side effect that occurs with most painkillers of this type. The majority of patients who take Percocet regularly will experience some form of constipation. Some health care providers will prescribe a laxative along with this pain killer in anticipation of this. If you experience constipation and are not taking a laxative, consult your healthcare provider for a stimulant laxative you can take on a regular basis to treat this side effect.

Serious Percocet Side Effects

Percocet Side EffectsSome individuals may be allergic to Percocet. If you experience any of the following side effects, you may be experiencing an allergic reaction and should contact your doctor immediately.

  • Rash or hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face or throat
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Difficulty breathing

Other side effects that are serious include the following:

  • Confusion
  • Severe constipation
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Decreased urination
  • Anxiety
  • Unexplained fear
  • Severe drowsiness

If you experience any of the above, you should contact your doctor immediately. Do not stop taking Percocet on your own, as you may experience withdrawal.

Other side effects that occur less frequently, but may still be of concern include:

  • High or low blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Hearing loss
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Increased sweating
  • Changes in taste
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • High or low blood sugar
  • Redness of the face
  • Red eyes

Percocet and Liver Damage

Some side effects may indicate liver damage. It is important to be aware of these symptoms and consult your doctor immediately if they occur. Side effects of Percocet associated with liver damage include a yellowing of the skin and eyes known as jaundice, dark-colored urine and pain in the upper-right area of the abdomen.

Percocet Addiction

One alarming Percocet side effect is the desire to take more of the drug than you need. If you experience this urge, you should contact your doctor immediately. People who attempt to increase dosage of Percocet on their own often find themselves battling with addiction to the drug. Percocet can be very addictive and it’s important to avoid dependency on this medication.

Percocet Withdrawal

As a narcotic, Percocet side effects may be severe for individuals who stop taking the drug abruptly. If you have been taking Percocet regularly for a long period of time, your body has likely become accustomed to the medication. You will need to quit the drug gradually under the supervision of your doctor to avoid Percocet side effects associated with withdrawal. These symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Agitation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Percocet can be an effective pain treatment for many individuals. Side effects of Percocet are typically mild and manageable. If at any time you experience side effects that are disruptive to your life or particularly uncomfortable, you should consult your doctor. You may be able to adjust your dosage or take additional medications to manage your side effects appropriately.