Percocet Drug Interactions

by on May 23, 2012

An interaction between drugs occurs when one drug affects the performance of another, or when the combination of drugs has an adverse affect on the patient. Like many drugs, Percocet can create negative complications when combined with other drugs and patients should educate themselves on possible interactions.

Significant Percocet Drug Interactions

Percocet is a narcotic that is an opiate-based synthetic pain killer. There are a series of different types of drugs that should be avoided to ensure there are no complications, among them are the following:

Antidepressants – Combining antidepressants with Percocet could result in serious side effects like difficulty with breathing, drowsiness and confusion. Avoid the following:

  • MAOI inhibitors including Marplan, Nardil and Parnate
  • SSRIs such as Prozac, Zoloft, Citalopram and Paxil
  • SNRIs such as Cymbalta, Effexor, and Pristiq

Antipsychotics – Combining antipsychotic medications with Percocet may increase side-effects such as drowsiness, confusion, and memory loss. It may also result in severely low blood pressure, which can prohibit proper blood flow to the organs in the body. Avoid medications such as:

  • Typical, or first generation antipsychotics including Haloperidol, Chlorpromazine, Thiothixene
  • Atypical antipsychotics like Risperdol, Zyprexa, Clozapine, Seroquel, Abilify and Geodon

Barbituates – The use of barbiturates in conjunction with Percocet can exacerbate side-effects, most notably causing breathing difficulties, confusion and memory loss. Barbituates such as the following should be avoided:

  • Butalbital, brand names Fioricet and Fiorinal
  • Phenobarbita, brand names Nembutal and Luminal
  • Secobarbital, brand name Seconal

Narcotics or Opiates – Patients who are taking Percocet should strictly avoid the use of any other narcotics or opiates. This class of drugs can cause extreme drowsiness, difficulties with breathing, and if taken in severe amounts, could cause coma and death. Examples of this class of drugs include:

  • Morphine, including MS Contin and MSIR
  • Hydrocodone, including Vicodin, Lortab and Maxidone

Benzodiazepines – Benzodiazepines, commonly prescribed for seizures, anxiety and insomnia, should not be mixed with Percocet. Doing so may have very serious side effects, including central nervous system suppression, which can inhibit the ability to breathe, causing death. Examples include:

  • Alprazolam, including brand name Xanax
  • Diazepam, including brand name Valium
  • Lorazepam, including brand name Ativan

Additional Considerations

A general rule would be to avoid any medications that may cause drowsiness; this includes any over-the-counter options for common ailments. Also, there is a maximum daily recommendation of 4000 mg of acetaminophen. Patients should ensure any medications, such as antihistamines or cough and cold remedies that have acetaminophen in their ingredients are closely monitored. Adding the total amount of acetaminophen in the Percocet to the additional medication needs to be a daily calculation to ensure the maximum dose is not being exceeded. When purchasing any such medications, discuss the safety with a pharmacist or physician.

It is important that patients disclose any medications they may be taking, even those that are over-the-counter, when discussing treatment options with their physicians. Percocet is a drug that can be safely administered as long as possible drug interactions are being avoided.