Get Help Today. (800) 516-4357

Percocet Withdrawal & Detox

Percocet is a substance that can cause physical dependence since it contains oxycodone, an opioid.[1] As a result, Percocet withdrawal will occur when use stops.

Struggling with Percocet Addiction? Get Help Now

When taken repeatedly, the body adjusts to treat the presence of opioids like oxycodone as its “normal” state. Then, in its absence, the body overcorrects, causing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms until the brain can adapt back to drug abstinence.[2]

Key Facts

Key Facts

  • Percocet contains the drug oxycodone, an opioid that can cause dependence and has significant abuse and addiction potential.
  • Percocet dependence can form, even when the drug is only used as prescribed.
  • Medications like buprenorphine or methadone can manage Percocet withdrawal when used as part of medication-assisted treatment.

What Is Percocet Withdrawal?

Percocet withdrawal occurs when a person takes the drug repeatedly over a long enough period of time, potentially even if they only take it as prescribed. This is the result of a person developing a physical dependence on the oxycodone contained in Percocet. The body adjusts to the continued presence of the drug and then needs time to readjust back to its absence when use stops.[2]

This means withdrawal can signal an addiction to Percocet, but a person using the drug exactly as instructed by their doctor might also experience it when they stop taking it. Withdrawal is often more severe in those who abuse the drug.

Opioid cravings are a real danger because they make it more likely that a person may overdose. An overdose on Percocet can be life-threatening, causing severe respiratory depression that can lead to potentially permanent brain damage or even death.[3]

Percocet Withdrawal Symptoms

If a person becomes dependent on Percocet and then stops taking the medication, they will experience withdrawal as their body adjusts. The most intense phase of withdrawal is acute withdrawal, and this can last about a week.[4] 

During acute withdrawal, relapse is likely due to the discomfort. Many people simply return to Percocet use to make the pain go away.

Common symptoms associated with acute Percocet withdrawal include the following:[4,5]

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Anxiety
  • Backache
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Joint pain
  • Eye tearing
  • Muscle aches
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Nausea
  • Perspiration
  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Yawning

After the acute withdrawal phase, a person may experience protracted withdrawal. This is a potentially months-long period of much less severe withdrawal. The body is still adjusting to the absence of Percocet, so it’s common to feel generally unwell and have strong cravings to abuse opioids. 

What to Expect From Percocet Withdrawal

A person’s withdrawal experience can vary depending on their unique circumstances. The more severe one’s opioid abuse, the more likely their withdrawal experience is to be intense and long-lasting. 

As a general rule, withdrawal from Percocet in a dependent person will begin within one day of their last use of opioids. Acute withdrawal, when withdrawal is most intense, will last between four to 10 days, followed by a less intense withdrawal period that can last several months.[2]

The following table is meant to illustrate the basics of what to expect from withdrawal:[2]

Time Since Last Use of PercocetWhat to Expect
8-24 hoursWithdrawal symptoms start, such as fatigue, irritability, and muscle pain.
1-2 daysSymptoms increase and resemble a bad flu.
3-4 daysSymptoms peak in intensity.
4-10 daysSymptoms lessen in strength after their peak until they subside completely.
Up to 6 MonthsProtracted withdrawal may occur, which involves persistent uncomfortable feelings as well as cravings for opioids.

Detox for Percocet Withdrawal

Ideally, a person will withdraw from Percocet in a medical setting through a process called medical detox. A person stays at a facility throughout the acute withdrawal phase, where they are overseen by medical experts. Professionals can keep them safe and prescribe medication as needed to control the worst of their withdrawal symptoms. 

In this setting, the risk of relapse is virtually nonexistent since people won’t have access to Percocet or other substances of abuse. They’ll also be monitored around the clock and have continual support.

Opioid withdrawal may be treated symptomatically, meaning medications are given as symptoms occur rather than preemptively. Clonidine is sometimes prescribed to address withdrawal symptoms, as it can help reduce sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, chills, anxiety, insomnia, and shaking.[6] 

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Percocet addiction is often treated with medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which is a combination of medications and therapy.[7] Medications like buprenorphine are used to manage opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings, so people don’t go through the traditional Percocet detox period. They are able to largely avoid most of the discomfort of withdrawal.

Part of a Full Treatment Plan

Importantly, medical detox or the early phase of MAT should only be the first step of a comprehensive addiction treatment program. To maximize the chances of addiction recovery, the root causes of addiction must be addressed. Otherwise, relapse is likely after the detox period. 

Medical Detox for Percocet Abuse at Boca Recovery Center

Recovery from Percocet addiction isn’t easy, but with the right help, it’s manageable. The best way to regain control of your life and stop abusing all opioids is with professional help. At Boca Recovery Center, we can design a recovery plan tailored to the severity of your addiction and your specific needs, maximizing your chances of long-term recovery.

If you struggle with Percocet or other types of opioids, reach out to us. We offer medical detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient care, MAT, and evidence-based therapy. Our team of empathetic and professional addiction treatment experts is ready to help today. 

Check out the locations of our addiction treatment facilities in Florida, New Jersey, and Indiana. Whether you live locally or are traveling for treatment, we can get you set up with a treatment plan that works for you. Call us to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some frequently asked questions about Percocet withdrawal and detox include the following:

How does Percocet dependence develop?

Percocet contains the opioid oxycodone. This binds to special receptors in the brain and other parts of the body, causing a neurochemical reaction that blocks pain and causes euphoria. The brain registers this as highly rewarding. 

Over time, the brain adjusts to view this as its “normal” state, causing dependence. It needs time to readjust to the lack of Percocet, which is what causes withdrawal. 

Is it safe to quit Percocet at home?

Opioid withdrawal, including withdrawal from Percocet, can be life-threatening, so it is not recommended to quit at home without medical supervision. Detox and MAT programs ensure you stay safe and comfortable as you stop Percocet abuse. These programs also make it easy to connect with specialists who can offer additional assistance once you get through the withdrawal process.

Is it safe to quit taking Percocet cold turkey?

No, quitting Percocet cold turkey will result in intense withdrawal symptoms. They can be intensely painful, and this discomfort often leads to a relapse to Percocet abuse.[4] In addition, some of the symptoms can be life-threatening, so a tapered approach to withdrawal or the use of MAT is usually recommended for Percocet addiction.

Updated May 10, 2024
  1. Percocet. Endo Pharmaceuticals. Published November 2006. Accessed March 12, 2024.
  2. Clinical guidelines for withdrawal management and treatment of drug dependence in closed settings. World Health Organization. Published 2009. Accessed March 9, 2024.
  3. Opioid overdose. Schiller EY, Mechanic OJ. StatPearls. Published 2019. Accessed March 9, 2024.
  4. Opioid withdrawa Mansi Shah, Huecker MR. l. StatPearls. Published June 4, 2019. Accessed March 9, 2024.
  5. Review article: Effective management of opioid withdrawal symptoms: A gateway to opioid dependence treatment. Kosten TR, Baxter LE. The American Journal on Addictions. 2019;28(2):55-62.
  6. Comparative Effectiveness of Different Treatment Pathways for Opioid Use Disorder. Das S, Jain N, Chavan B, Sidana A. Efficacy of buprenorphine and clonidine in opioid detoxification: A hospital- based study. Indian Journal of Psychiatry. 2018;60(3):292.
  7. Medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder in a rural family medicine practice. Deyo-Svendsen M, Cabrera Svendsen M, Walker J, Hodges A, Oldfather R, Mansukhani MP. Journal of Primary Care & Community Health. 2020;11.
Take The Next Step Now
Call Us Now Check Insurance