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  • Percocet Withdrawal | Timeline, Symptoms, Remedies, & Detox

    man with his face in his hands suffering from percocet withdrawal symptoms

    If you have ever had a dental procedure, surgery, or injury, you may have been prescribed Percocet to manage the pain. Used for short-term treatment of moderate to severe pain, it is also a highly addictive narcotic

    Anyone who is prescribed opioids is at risk for dependence and addiction, which can lead to withdrawal syndrome when you stop taking it. Knowing what to expect when you stop taking Percocet can help prepare you for detox and addiction treatment. 

    Percocet Withdrawal Timeline

    Percocet contains both oxycodone, an opioid, and acetaminophen, a non-opioid pain reliever. When you take Percocet, it activates opioid receptors in your brain and causes pain relief and euphoria. 

    If you take it long enough, your body will rely on it to function normally. This means you are physically dependent and will experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop or decrease your dose too quickly.

    The following factors can affect how long you experience withdrawal symptoms:

    • age
    • weight
    • health
    • strength of your dose
    • frequency of your dose
    • how long you have been taking Percocet

    If you want to stop taking Percocet, it’s important to know when the withdrawal will start and what to expect.

    Early-Stage Withdrawal

    The oxycodone in Percocet is immediate-release and its effects are fast-acting. You will likely experience withdrawal symptoms anywhere from 8-12 hours after your last dose. 

    Oxycodone is also the main ingredient in the brand name painkiller Oxycontin. Oxycontin is an extended-release form of the drug and is released over twelve hours. Oxycontin takes longer to leave your system so you will experience withdrawal later than you do with Percocet.

    Symptoms of withdrawal:

    • agitation
    • anxiety
    • muscle aches
    • insomnia
    • runny nose
    • sweating
    • yawning

    These symptoms usually peak within 36-72 hours after you stop taking Percocet. 

    It’s important to be in a medical environment during this stage because the symptoms can become very uncomfortable. It can feel similar to the flu and a detox program will provide you with medications or support to ease your symptoms. 

    Even though withdrawal is not life-threatening, the severity of the symptoms can increase your risk of relapse and overdose.

    Late-Stage Withdrawal

    About three days after your last dose of Percocet, you should start to feel the early-stage symptoms begin to subside. However, depending on your health and the extent of your drug use, you may experience them longer. 

    As you enter the next stage of withdrawal, you should be prepared to feel these symptoms for at least 48 hours. 

    Symptoms of withdrawal:

    • stomach cramping
    • diarrhea
    • dilated pupils
    • goosebumps
    • nausea
    • vomiting

    Even though withdrawal symptoms should last about five days total, you may feel any number of these symptoms longer. 

    Once the physical symptoms go away, you may still have lingering anxiety and cravings. Long-term treatment programs can help you develop healthy coping skills to deal with these symptoms.

    Percocet Withdrawal Treatment Options

    You may be ready to come off of Percocet because you no longer need it or you may decide you are addicted and want to seek treatment.

    Tapering off Percocet

    If you have been taking Percocet and are concerned you may be dependent, your doctor may taper your prescription. Your doctor will gradually lower your dose in small increments. The slower you taper off of Percocet, the less likely you are to feel withdrawal symptoms. 

    The strength you are taking and how often you take it will determine how long it will take you to complete your taper. 


    If you’re physically dependent or addicted to Percocet, you may want to seek a medical detox program. Detox is a safe environment with medical professionals available 24/7 to help you through withdrawal. 

    In a detox center, you will be given medications to ease withdrawal and decrease cravings. You may also be given the option to use a maintenance medication, especially if you struggle with relapse. 

    These medications may include:

    • clonidine: a blood pressure medication used to calm your anxiety and agitation
    • loperamide: anti-diarrheal
    • melatonin: sleep-aid 

    Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

    Some medications help with cravings and to lessen withdrawal symptoms. They can be taken while you are in detox and may be continued long-term if you have a history of relapse and substance abuse. 

    MAT medications include:

    • methadone
    • buprenorphine
    • buprenorphine/naloxone
    • naltrexone

    Naltrexone For Opioid Addiction

    Naltrexone is a maintenance program that can help prevent relapse and can be administered after you have detoxed from opioids. 

    You will first be given a pill after your doctor is positive the opioids are no longer in your system. If you have any opioids in your body when you take naltrexone, it can put you in immediate withdrawal. 

    Naltrexone is given as a monthly injection and helps with both opioid and alcohol cravings.

    Long-Term Addiction Treatment

    If you compulsively use even after detoxification or have cravings that don’t go away, you could be addicted. If you think you or a loved one may be addicted to Percocet, there are many long-term treatment options that can treat the behavioral aspect of addiction. 

    Outpatient Treatment Programs

    Outpatient programs are beneficial if you have a job or family at home that you cannot leave for an extended period. This type of program works best when you have a stable and supportive environment at home. 

    Inpatient Rehab Centers

    Inpatient treatment may assess you for co-occurring mental health issues and provide treatment if necessary. Counseling and behavioral therapy are also provided, which helps you identify triggers and learn healthy coping skills. 

    If you think you or a loved one is struggling with Percocet addiction, please contact Ark Behavioral Health to speak with one of our addiction treatment specialists.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2023 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    DailyMed - PERCOCET- oxycodone hydrochloride and acetaminophen tablet
    National Center for Biotechnology Information - Opioid Withdrawal
    U.S. National Library of Medicine - Pharmacologic treatments for opioid dependence: detoxification and maintenance options
    U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on April 13, 2022
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