Can the Acetaminophen in Percocet Kill You?

Opiates are among the most addictive substances in the U.S. Many people are being prescribed painkillers, whether it be for acute pain or chronic pain, and end up having addiction by the time they are done with their prescription. The primary drug found in most prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin and Percocet, is an opioid called Oxycodone.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 46 people die from overdoses involving prescription opioids every day. In 2017, prescription opioids continued to contribute to the epidemic in the U.S. – they were involved in more than 35% of all opioid overdose deaths.

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Overdoses on Percocets Are Common

When you hear about opioid overdoses, you assume it is because of an illicit drug, heroin, or fentanyl. Still, it is just as easy to overdose on prescription opioids. Percocet is one of the most frequently prescribed narcotic painkillers. Percocet is a combination of two painkillers: the opioid oxycodone and acetaminophen.

The most common Percocet pill contains 5 mg of oxycodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen but can also come in other doses. A doctor usually prescribes it after surgery, a tooth removal, or any pain-induced injury. Doctors prescribe the medication for a short period of time until the pain lessens. While most patients have no problem taking the drug, there is a risk for misuse and risk of overdose, whether by accident or on purpose.

While there are the dangers of misusing Percocets by taking large doses recreationally, getting dependent, and overdosing from the drug, there are also dangers of liver damage from the overuse of acetaminophen in these Percocet formulations.

Percocet is a Widely Used Pain Reliever

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Acetaminophen, also known as APAP or paracetamol, is one of the most widely used analgesics (pain reliever) and antipyretics (fever reducer). According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, currently, there are 235 approved prescription and over-the-counter drug products containing acetaminophen as an active ingredient. When used as directed, acetaminophen is very safe and effective; however, hepatotoxicity and irreversible liver damage can arise when taken in excess or ingested with alcohol.

When you are taking painkillers, such as Percocet, that contain Acetaminophen, also read the ingredients of over-the-counter drugs as well such as Actifed, Alka-Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels, Cepacol, Contac, Coridicin, Dayquil, Dimetapp, Dristan, Excedrin, Fever all, Liquiprin, Midol, Nyquil, Panadol, Robitussin Singlet, Sinutab, Sudafed, Theraflu, Triaminic, Vanquish, Vicks, and Zicam. These drugs have a significant amount of Acetaminophen in them and can cause overdose and liver damage if not taken as directed.

Acetaminophen Allergic Reactions:

A user may have deadly allergic reactions or side effects that can be a sign of damage from liver disease. You should stop taking anything with acetaminophen in it and call your doctor as soon as possible if you notice:

  • nausea
  • upper stomach pain
  • itching
  • loss of appetite
  • excessive sweating and severe tiredness;
  • dark urine
  • clay-colored stools
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Most Common Side Effects of Acetaminophen Intake Include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • headache
  • insomnia

While you think all these symptoms should be easy to catch, they’re not. If not seen early enough, there are also dangers of Acetaminophen overdose or Acute Liver Failure. Acute liver failure is the loss of liver function that occurs rapidly — in days or weeks — usually in a person who has no pre-existing liver disease. It can cause serious complications, including excessive bleeding and increasing pressure in the brain. It’s a medical emergency that requires hospitalization.

If you happen to catch the symptoms of liver damage, you should act quickly in reversing it. Some things that can get you on the right track are:

  • Stopping the use of Percocets or any other medication that contains Acetaminophen
  • Exploring different ways of pain management such as; holistic natural remedies or meditation
  • Joining a support group such as A.A or N.A. – here, you can share with others that will have gone through the same issues as you.
  • Lifestyle changes such as eating better, exercising, quitting smoking, and even taking vitamins can speed up the healing process of the liver.

Allure Detox is Here to Help with Percocet Addiction

If you or a loved one are having trouble quitting drugs or alcohol and are noticing signs of liver damage, we at Allure Detox can help. Our medical detoxification protocol will help minimize withdrawal symptoms to a manageable level as you start the journey to sobriety. Please contact us around the clock if you’re ready to commit yourself to the Percocet detox program offered at Allure Detox; we will create a personalized plan of action to ensure a successful and smooth detox process. Our West Palm Beach opiate detox is only a phone call away from a brighter tomorrow and a beginning to your recovery.