Percocet, an oral tablet, is a medication that should be taken as prescribed, and its use should be monitored by a physician. Percocet is not intended for use by children.
What Factors Affect Dosage?
As a pain medication, the optimal Percocet dosage is one where the symptoms being treated are relieved with as few side effects as possible.
Factors that can affect the prescribed dosage of treatment include height and weight of the patient as the size determines how quickly the drugs are absorbed into the body and how quickly they dissipate. The severity of the pain is also a factor considered by doctors when prescribing dosage – the more severe the pain, the higher the dosage is likely to be. It is also possible that patients who have a history of tolerance to pain medications may be prescribed a higher dosage to ensure treatment is effective.
How to Read Dosages
As Percocet is a mixture of two drugs, oxycodone and acetaminophen, it is possible to have varying amounts of each type of drug in the prescription. Percocet dosages are identified with two numbers that are expressed in the following format: oxycodone/acetaminophen. If a person were being treated with a dosage listed as 5/360 mg, the numbers signify that the dosage is 5 mg oxycodone in conjunction with 360 mg of acetaminophen.
The exact amount of each drug within the prescription is determined by the physician when the dosage need is determined.
Standard Percocet Dosages
Initial dosages often start out small and are increased as necessary, if pain is not being managed or if tolerance develops. Many physicians start the dosage at 2.5/325 mg, to be taken every 4-6 hours for those with an average body weight; larger patients may begin their treatment at 5/325mg every 4-6 hours. If tolerance develops or pain is still present the prescription can be increased.
The maximum dosage is 10/650mg, every 4-6 hours. As age is not a factor in determining dosage, if a teen were the same size as an adult, their prescriptions are likely to be the same strength.
Here's a list of available dosage strengths and maximum recommended dosages per day:
- Percocet 2.5/325 mg tablets - (contains 2.5 mg of oxycodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen) - Maximum of 12 tablets per day
- Percocet 5/325 mg tablets - (contains 5 mg of oxycodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen) - Maximum of 12 tablets per day
- Percocet 7.5/325 mg tablets - (contains 7.5 mg of oxycodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen) - Maximum of 8 tablets per day
- Percocet 7.5/500 mg tablets - (contains 7.5 mg of oxycodone and 500 mg of acetaminophen) - Maximum of 8 tablets per day
- Percocet 10/325 mg tablets - (contains 10 mg of oxycodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen) - Maximum of 6 tablets per day
- Percocet 10/650 mg tablets - (contains 10 mg of oxycodone hydrochloride and 650 mg of acetaminophen) - Maximum of 6 tablets per day
As Percocet is meant to treat acute pain immediately, it does not come in time-release or extended-release options. If a dosage is missed, it should be taken when the missed dosage is discovered. Once the new dosage is ingested, patients should begin counting the 4-6 hours from that point. In the case where it is time to take the medication but no pain is present, patients can choose to wait until the pain returns as Percocet is considered to be an “as needed” drug. Percocet is a controlled substance and patients should be careful to ensure they are only using the drug if it is still required to manage pain.
Most physicians will discuss with patients how well the medication and dosage is working. If the dosage amount seems to be either too low where pain is still present or too high where patients are experiencing adverse reactions, it is important that the physician is notified so adjustments to dosage can be made.