How long does Percocet stay in your system?

two percocet tablets

Quick overview

Percocet is a highly prescribed opioid painkillers made from a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Drug tests for Percocet test for the presence of oxycodone in the body, using the following tests:

  • In urine, Percocet can be detected within hours of use for up to two days
  • Percocet can be detected in your blood 15 minutes after use for up to 24 hours
  • In saliva, Percocet can be detected between 1-4 days after last use
  • Percocet can be detected in hair for up to 30 days after last use

From hydrocodone to morphine, codeine to oxycodone, opioids are highly addictive drugs that can lead to severe addiction by the user. And these opioids are creating addicts in the United States. In 2013, nearly two million Americans had gotten hooked on prescription opioids, and were either dependent on them or abusing them.

One of those opioid prescription painkillers is Percocet, a highly prescribed opioid painkillers, made from a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. It’s used mainly as a pain-relieving drug to manage chronic pain issues like severe back pain, gallstones, intestinal pressures and more in patients.

The drug is potent, and doctors can prescribe it legally in doses of 2.5 mg oxycodone or even upwards of 10mg of oxycodone, depending on the severity of the pain. Percocet is classified as a Schedule II drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and can be detected in most standard drug tests.

In this article, we will examine the effects of Percocet, how long is it detectable in the body, and what to do if you’ve tested positively for Percocet.

What are Percocet’s effects?

Initial use of Percocet brings on a euphoric feeling for the user. It gives the brain a different signal about the pain and kicks in a dopamine response to the user. Increased use of the drug can bring about a ‘high’ that gives the user pleasurable feelings and a relaxed, giddy sensation.

But with higher dosages of the drug, an addiction can form, resulting in a variety of physical ailments and dependencies, as well as psychological damage to the user.  Once a user is addicted to Percocet, it can take medical treatment to help the user withdraw from Percocet.

How long will Percocet show up on a drug test?

Percocet can be found in users via a variety of ways, including blood, urine, and saliva tests. The tests seek out the opioid component—oxycodone—not the acetaminophen.


In urine tests, Percocet can be found as soon as a few hours after ingesting, or as long as two days afterward. Urine samples work best between 3-20 hours to determine Percocet use by a person. Urine sample tests are more popular for testing for the drug, due to the convenience factor by the user and by the better scientific results that urine samples provide.


In blood tests, Percocet use is found somewhat sooner, as the drug enters the bloodstream quickly. Samples can be found as quickly as 15 minutes after the user ingests Percocet. But blood samples are not as reliable as time goes on, and urine samples are often used after 24 hours. Blood samples are most often used if a person is unconscious, and are unable to provide a urine sample.


In saliva tests, Percocet is found very quickly and are considered advantageous by law enforcement officials when dealing with users who look to be drunk or high from a substance. Police can do a saliva test and test it on a device to see if the person has oxycodone in his or her system. Samples can also be sent to a lab for later testing.


In hair tests, oxycodone and its metabolites can be detected for up to 30 days after the last use. However, hair tests for oxycodone register a positive result at 100 pg/mg, which can make it difficult to detect oxycodone. This test is most likely to detect oxycodone in high-dose or chronic users, but might not be accurate with low-dose or infrequent users.

Getting help

If you or a loved one has tested positively for Percocet, it may be a sign that it’s time to get help. At the Recovery Village, we offer a full continuum of care to best suit your individual needs.

The United States has an opioid epidemic, with some 207 million opioid prescriptions given in 2013, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2014. If you or a loved one may have a dependency on Percocet, you aren’t alone. Learn more about how we can support you on your sober journey, from Percocet detox to an aftercare plan that considers all of your needs.


“Opioid Epidemic costs U.S. $78.5 million Annually: CDC” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 21, 2016. Accessed October 21, 2016.

“What Are Opioids”? National Institute on Drug Abuse. Accessed Oct 21, 2016.

Patterson, Eric, MSCP. “Percocet Abuse”. Accessed October 21, 2016.

Volkow, Nora D. M.D. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. “America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse”. May 14, 2014. Accessed October 21, 2016.

How long does Percocet stay in your system?
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