Percodan Addiction, Abuse and Treatment

Percodan Addiction, Abuse and Treatment

Percodan is a mix of aspirin and oxycodone. It works by binding to the pain receptors in the brain so that the sensation of discomfort is reduced. The aspirin works by decreasing the amount of prostaglandins that are produced. The end result should be further reduction of pain.

Percodan shares the same qualities as other narcotics. This means it is can be addictive and is also structurally different from recognized illegal drugs such as heroin and opium.

The Most Popular Drug in America

Percodan was first developed in the early 1950’s. At one point in time it was one of the most popular prescribed pain killers in history. In fact, as early as 1963, research studies can be found documenting the potential of Percodan addiction.

Overtime, Percodan prescriptions were being replaced with written orders for Percocet. The reasoning behind this was that Percocet was the combination of Acetaminophen (brand name is Tylenol) with Oxycodone which was considered safer due to the fact that aspirin prolongs the prothrombin time when taken in excess. This basically means that an inpidual has potential for bleeding longer which results in blood clotting problems. Use of such a compound in combination with other blood thinners such as Heparin and Coumadin can consequently result in death for inpiduals with pre-existing clotting disorders.

How Can Percodan Addiction Begin?

Percodan, like most opiates, is prescribed for extreme pain. This usually includes things like cancer treatment. However, Percodan is still used and prescribed for other illnesses and conditions.

The population most at risk for dependence is the elderly population. The elderly also have a lot higher chance to overdose due to their age. As inpiduals age he or she will require a lower dose of said medication because of slower absorption of the drug in the stomach as well as slower metabolism and poor liver function. As one’s body ages and slows down it can increase the amount of the drug in the blood at any given time which can lead to adverse effects. Some of these effects include blurred vision or attention and motor deficits. Since these side effects may be regarded as changes associated with age in the elderly, it is probable that these symptoms could go unnoticed or unaccounted for.

Long term use of Percodan for chronic illness does occur, but is dangerous as there is the chance of addiction. Before a practitioner prescribes said medication he or she needs to make sure that the patient does not have a history of alcohol abuse or drug addiction as there is a higher risk of addiction to Percodan.

In 1995 the FDA approved the use of oxycodone in prescription drugs. Since that point in time, there has been an increase in illicit drug use of Percodan. Inpiduals abusing Percodan due so because they like the feeling of pleasure that is felt followed by a complete state of relaxation and contentment. This usually lasts for a few hours.

What Are Side Effects of Percodan Use?
  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Tolerance
  • Accidental injury
  • Impairment of mental or physical abilities
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sedation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness

Perhaps one of the most dangerous side effects of Percodan is the sedation that may occur. Since Percodan is an opiate, it slows down the respiratory rate which can lead to what is known as respiratory depression. If inpiduals taking said drug are not extra careful he or she could stop breathing completely. In fact, respiratory depression is one of the telltale signs of an overdose

Other Symptoms of Percodan Overdose include the Following:

  • Circulatory collapse
  • Stupor
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Coma
  • Skeletal muscle flaccidity
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiac arrest

How Does Treatment for Percodan Addiction Work?

Detoxification from Percodan use requires more than just the traditional methods. Withdrawal from Percodan, like other opiates, is uncomfortable but is not deadly and can be handled properly under supervision. More than psychotherapy is necessary for proper recovery. It takes a team of trained professionals in order to ascertain a long lasting recovery. If someone you know is currently showing signs or symptoms of Percodan addiction it is necessary to get him or her into the hands of trained professionals who can properly treat the problem.

Bloomquist, E.R. (1963) The addiction potential of oxycodone (Percodan). California Medical. Aug;99:127-30.
Chapman, C.R., and Hill, C.F. Prolonged morphine self-administration and addiction liability. Cancer 1989, 63:1636-1644.
Finlayson, R.E.; Maruta, T.; Morse, R.M.; and Martin, M.A. Substance dependence and chronic pain: Experience with treatment and follow-up results. Pain 1986, 26(2):175-180.
Finlayson, R.E.; Maruta, T.; Morse, R.M.; Swenson, W.M.; and Martin, M.A. Substance dependence and chronic pain: Profile of 50 patients treated in an alcohol and drug dependence unit. Pain 1986, 26(2):167-174.
Portenoy, R.K. Therapeutic use of opioids: Prescribing and control issues. In: Cooper, J.R.; Czechowicz, D.J.; Molinari, S.P.; et al., eds. Impact of Prescription Drug persion Control Systems on Medical Practice and Patient Care. NIDA Research Monograph Series, Number 131.1993, pp. 35-50.
Ray, W.A.; Thapa, P.B.; and Shorr, R.I. Medications and the older driver. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine 1993, 9(2):413-438.
Solomon, K.; Manepalli, J.; Ireland, G.A.; and Mahon, G.M. Alcoholism and prescription drug abuse in the elderly: St. Louis University grand rounds. Journal of the American Geriatric Society 1993, 41(1):57-69.

Topic Discussion

  1. Addict

    If you are addicted to Percodan, a prescription opiate pain reliever, you most likely will need medical help in order to detox safely. Used in the treatment of moderate to severe, short-term pain, Percodan is comprised of oxycodone and aspirin. Oxycodone is the opiate component of the drug, while aspirin is a less potent pain reliever. Percodan was once heavily prescribed in the U.S., but many doctors prefer other narcotic drugs such as Percocet, which is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen, and Vicodin, which contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Percodan is considered a Schedule II Controlled Substance in the U.S., a federal government classification. This means that Percodan has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opiate which can also produce feelings of sedation and euphoria. Addiction to opiates including those containing oxycodone, has increased sharply in the U.S. over the last several years.

Leave a comment


To protect the integrity of our site all comments are reviewed prior to being shown, we apologize for the small delay, but this brings a better experience for our readers. SPAM & rude comments are not tolerated. Using the 'Connect with Facebook' option will get your comment up faster!

Contact A Substance Abuse Counselor

We help people take the first steps toward getting help for their drug and alcohol usage and having drug-free lifestyles. To contact an alcohol/drug abuse counselor, please call 1-800-591-6474(Info iconWho Answers?).

Socialize with us
Close Icon

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by a quality treatment center within the USA.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by a licensed drug and alcohol rehab facility, a paid advertiser on

All calls are private and confidential.