Percocet is an opioid medication that contains oxycodone and acetaminophen. It depresses the central nervous system (CNS). Alcohol is also a depressant, so when a person takes Percocet and alcohol together, they interact.
Percocet and other depressants intensify the effects of each other, which
The combination of alcohol and Percocet may cause respiratory depression, which is a decrease in breathing rate. It can also slow heart rate and lower blood pressure. The result is a decreased oxygen supply to the brain, which can cause the following:
This article looks at Percocet and alcohol and the risks of taking them together.
Oxycodone works by blocking pain signals from the brain and depressing the CNS, causing it to slow down. This has a wide range of effects on the body, including slowing breathing and heart rate.
Doctors prescribe Percocet for short periods to treat moderate-to-severe pain.
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies Percocet as a Schedule II drug due to its high potential for misuse and dependence.
No, a person should never take Percocet and alcohol together. The combination of these substances can cause dangerous side effects. These include:
- decreased breathing rate
- decreased and irregular heart rate
- issues with coordination
- loss of consciousness
However, if a person has consumed alcohol and needs to take Percocet for medical reasons, they should check with a doctor when it is safe to do so.
Tests can detect alcohol in the blood for about 12 hours after consumption. Every person metabolizes alcohol differently, though. The amount they drink and how effectively they process alcohol can affect the timeline, so it is difficult for a person to predict when the alcohol will have completely left the body.
Several factors also affect how a person metabolizes Percocet. This includes the dose and how long they have been taking the medication.
Oxycodone has a half-life of about
Because the risk of drug interactions is so serious, always talk with a doctor about when it is safe to drink alcohol while taking Percocet rather than trying to estimate it.
Only take Percocet as prescribed by a doctor. Doctors usually limit opioid prescriptions to the
Taking an opioid such as Percocet for just
- taking it more often than prescribed
- taking it in higher doses than prescribed
- using Percocet without a prescription
- needing higher amounts of Percocet to get the same effect
- experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking it
Opioid withdrawal symptoms
- abdominal cramps
- high blood pressure
- muscle pain
If a person has used alcohol and Percocet at the same time, they should seek help right away. If a person does not yet have symptoms, they should contact Poison Control for advice. They can do this by:
- calling 1-800-222-1222
- using the online POISONCONTROL tool
Call 911 or the number of the nearest emergency department immediately if a person develops:
- reduced or shallow breathing
- low or irregular heartbeat
- loss of consciousness
If a person is concerned they may have a dependency on Percocet or alcohol, they can seek help from a doctor. Doctors can provide medication-assisted treatment to ease withdrawal symptoms and help the person detox safely.
Do not stop taking Percocet suddenly without medical guidance, as this can be dangerous.
Seeking help for addiction may seem daunting or even scary, but several organizations can provide support. If you believe that you or someone close to you is showing signs of addiction, you can contact the following organizations for immediate help and advice:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 800-662-4357 (TTY: 800-487-4889)
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988
Percocet is a powerful opioid medication with a high potential for misuse and dependence. People should never take Percocet with alcohol, as it increases the risk of potentially dangerous side effects and
A person must leave enough time between Percocet and alcohol consumption to avoid any interactions. If a person takes Percocet, they should talk with a doctor about safe alcohol use.
Likewise, if a person experiences any signs of dependence, addiction, or withdrawal, they should seek help from a medical professional. Treatment options are available to aid recovery.