Pain is a major health issue for millions in the United States. In fact, pain affects more Americans than heart disease, diabetes, and all types of cancers combined. Chronic pain can severely impact a person’s quality of life, making it difficult for them to do even the simplest of tasks. Pain is the single most common reason for seeking medication in the U.S., to the point where prescription painkillers like opioids have taken over the medical field. Today, we’re looking into the use of oxycodone with aspirin in Percodan, including the drug’s side effects and risks.
What Is Percodan?
Percodan is a combination medication that contains both oxycodone and aspirin. Oxycodone is a commonly prescribed opioid (narcotic) for treating moderate to severe pain. Like other opioids, oxycodone works by attaching mu-Opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, gut, and other areas of the body. When attached, the pain signals from the body to the brain are blocked, alleviating the user’s discomfort.
Unlike oxycodone, aspirin is a common pain reliever that can be purchased over the counter (OTC). Aspirin works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which can be called the on-and-off switch in cells that regulate pain and inflammation. Aspirin reduces fevers, pain, and inflammation, and it’s often combined with opioids like oxycodone to create an effective pain treatment that comes with fewer risks than simply prescribing an opioid.
Taking Percodan can cause some side effects in patients, most of which usually go away with time. Common side effects of Percodan include:
- Upset stomach
- Increased sweating
- Dry mouth
While these side effects usually dissipate within a few days, there are some more serious Percodan effects that do require medical attention. These include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Mood changes
- Difficulty urinating
- Decreasing hearing
- Vision changes
- Easy bruising
- Abdominal pain
- Black stool
- Vomit resembling coffee grounds
- Yellowing eyes or skin
- Dark urine
- Loss of appetite
- Unusual tiredness
- Weight loss
Speak to your doctor right away if you experience any of these side effects when taking Percodan.
Percodan Addiction: Signs and Risks
Percodan is addictive because it contains the opioid oxycodone, especially when the drug is taken in higher doses than prescribed. For this reason, it is important to take prescription painkillers as directed. Along with other opioids, Percodan is classified as a Schedule II drug, meaning it has accepted medical uses and a potential for abuse.
It is no secret that the opioid epidemic has persisted since the late 1990s, with oxycodone sitting at the top of the dangerous opioids list. Percodan can lead to addiction because of its impact on opioid receptors as well as the levels of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with euphoria, pleasure, and sensations of well-being.
Long-term Percodan abuse can impact the brain’s natural ability to produce and regulate dopamine levels. Over time, the user becomes accustomed to the drug’s high, so when they are not using the drug or trying to quit without the help of an opioid detox program, they will experience withdrawals. Catching a developing opioid addiction sooner rather than later increases the person’s chances of recovering.
Common signs of Percodan abuse and addiction include:
- A strong craving for the drug
- Difficulties controlling the use of the drug
- Continuing to abuse Percodan despite the repercussions
- Withdrawal from loved ones
- Neglecting responsibilities to use or obtain Percodan
- Increased tolerance
- Withdrawal symptoms when not taking Percodan or when trying to cut down
- Doctor shopping (going from one doctor to another for prescriptions)
- Lying about ailments to get more prescriptions
- Stealing from others to buy drugs
The individual’s character, hygiene, and physical appearance may also change due to Percodan addiction. They might prioritize their drug use over the people in their lives, their job, and their finances. If you notice that a loved one has developed a dependence on Percodan, our Chicago addiction treatment center offers various drug rehab services that can help get the recovery process started.
Additional Percodan Risks
In addition to addiction, overdose and aspirin poisoning are also risks of abusing Percodan. All opioids can lead to overdose, which can be life-threatening if the individual does not get medical help in time. A person overdosing on Percodan may exhibit symptoms like trouble breathing, unresponsiveness, and slurred speech. These symptoms require medical attention, so call 9-1-1 right away in the case of an overdose.
Furthermore, aspirin poisoning can also occur if a person takes too much Percodan. Aspirin comes with its own risks, and the drug can be particularly toxic if mixed with other products that may also contain aspirin or salicylates, such as Alka-Seltzer, Pepto-Bismol, or oil of wintergreen. Call 9-1-1 if someone experiences aspirin poisoning symptoms like nausea, vomiting, rapid or deep breathing, sweating, drowsiness, confusion, and hallucinations.
Percodan vs. Percocet
Because Percocet and Percodan sound similar, many people wonder if there is a difference. Percocet and Percodan are both medications prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain in patients. However, the difference between Percodan and Percodan is that Percocet contains a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen, while Percodan contains oxycodone and aspirin.
Both drugs contain oxycodone and are used to help alleviate symptoms of acute pain. Acetaminophen is one of the most common pain relievers and fever reducers in the world, and it’s used in over 100 assorted products and medications. Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that’s another OTC drug.
Help for Percodan Abuse and Addiction
With the opioid epidemic still at large, our Chicago IOP is doing everything in its power to help men and women across the nation recover from addiction and regain their health and sobriety. If you or a loved one is battling substance abuse, do not wait to reach out.