Percocet and Alcohol

by on May 21, 2012

It is important to take medication as prescribed by a physician to ensure there are minimal side effects and that the treatment works as designed. As alcohol has the ability to negatively impact certain medications, it is important to ensure it does not affect the way your Percocet prescription is working to ensure treatment is not compromised.

It is recommended that patients do not mix alcohol and Percocet. The oxycodone in Percocet is a narcotic, and it may induce drowsiness; as alcohol is a depressant, it may exacerbate this reaction and could be dangerous, leading to coma or even death. Both oxycodone and alcohol suppress the central nervous system, and as such it is possible that the combination of the two can induce breathing complications. Independently, each drug is known to have an effect on the ability to use appropriate judgement; together, the combination may lead to situations where impaired decision making leads to risky behavior.

It is not just the oxycodone portion of Percocet that can have a negative interaction with alcohol. Acetaminophen is a drug that is known to be very hard on the liver. As the liver also has a hard time metabolizing alcohol, the combination of both substances can be very hard on the organ, resulting in early liver disease. There is also some evidence that the combination of these substances can have an adverse effect on the kidneys. Patients should inform their doctor if they have ever struggled with alcohol addiction in the past as alternative medications may be more appropriate for treatment.


There is some evidence that moderate drinking on rare occasions may not have long term effects on the body. Though it is recommended to avoid alcohol, some research suggests drinking two to three drinks on occasion may not have the long term effects that have been associated with frequent drinking in conjunction with Percocet treatment. FDA regulations still suggest avoiding alcohol if possible. However, in moderation it may be possible to avoid the negative side-effects.

If a large amount of alcohol is consumed while undergoing treatment and overdose is expected, it is imperative to immediately seek medical treatment.

Though moderate drinking may be okay, it is important to remember that most doctors advise against it while undergoing treatment. As Percocet use is meant to be for short durations only, avoiding alcohol during treatment or requesting a different medication from your physician if alcohol is an issue, are the best patient options.