Percocet is a powerful opioid and a controlled substance, so it’s only available by prescription. When someone takes Percocet, which contains acetaminophen and oxycodone (the opioid component), it changes how the person perceives pain.
When you take Percocet, oxycodone binds to the opioid receptors in your central nervous system. This action releases a flood of dopamine that is responsible for not only changing the sensation of pain you experience but, in some cases, it also creates a high. This is why people may become addicted to Percocet.
Half-life is a term that refers to the amount of time it takes for the quantity of a substance to reduce to half its initial value. For example, if you take a substance like Percocet, the half-life refers to how long it takes for the concentration of the substance in your body to decrease by half.
The drug’s half-life is estimated to be 3.5 hours. However, the range varies:
- On average, it would take the oxycodone component of Percocet more than 19 hours
- The half-life of acetaminophen is around two to three hours.
- Both oxycodone and acetaminophen will be cleared from their system within 24 hours
Although these are the average half-life’s and times to clear the ingredients of Percocet from your system, in rare cases it can take much longer. It should also be noted that some metabolites can linger and take more than two days to fully excreted.
Understanding Percocet half-life is relevant for a few different reasons. First, you may want to know the Percocet half-life to see how long it will take to clear from your system. People may also be interested in Percocet’s half-life to understand safe dosages and how much you can take without jeopardizing your health or overdosing. The Percocet half-life may also be relevant to know when withdrawal symptoms may occur.
What Impacts How Long Percocet Stays In Your System?
There are individual factors that can determine how long Percocet stays in your system. For example, if you have a high height, weight, and/or body fat percentage, it may be excreted quicker than a smaller person. There are also genetic components that play a role. Your liver and kidney function along with your metabolic rate are relevant in determining the Percocet half-life and how long it stays in your system.Also, if you take Percocet more often, such as several times a day, it’s going to take longer for it to be fully excreted because you will have a higher tolerance than someone who has taken it infrequently. The more you take it, the more effects it may have on your liver and kidney function as well, which can mean it takes longer to be fully excreted.
When you take Percocet, your gastrointestinal tract initially absorbs it, and peak levels of oxycodone in your blood are reached within about an hour. The effects are felt for anywhere from four to six hours. The kidneys usually excrete oxycodone and the lingering metabolites.
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