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How Long Does It Take Percocet To Be Cleared From The System?

percocet on drug testing

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Percocet is routinely prescribed to relieve mild to moderate cases of pain. It is no secret that this drug is often abused and even legitimate users can easily lead to Percocet addiction. Based on reports by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, a primary component of the drug is one of the top three prescription opioids responsible for overdose deaths.
Anybody who is concerned about painkillers addiction must know how long does Percocet stay in the system. Anyone trying to withdraw also must understand that it can lead to adverse side effects, and how drug tests can detect it after the last pill was taken.

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Table of Contents

How Long Does Percocet Stay in The Body?

Doctor showing his watch with his finger When the goal is to clear the body from the drug successfully, it is imperative that a person understands the half-life of Percocet. It will provide useful information to know how long does Percocet withdrawal last but, dosage, the total period of intake, and individual physiological differences will also have to be considered.
Percocet is made from a combination of oxycodone which is derived from opioid and acetaminophen, a mild non-narcotic painkiller which also happens to be the key ingredient that Tylenol is made up of. Oxycodone part of Percocet acts by numbing receptors in the brain and nervous system, making the person who uses it oblivious to the sensation of pain.

What is the Half-Life Of Percocet?

Percocet half-life requires the elimination of both oxycodone and acetaminophen components of the drug. According to FDA research, the oxycodone component has a half-life of 2-5 hours from the time of administration, depending on individual circumstances. Between 8% to 14% is excreted from the body within 24 hours from the time of intake.
It is important to highlight how long does Tylenol stay in the system too. The half-life of acetaminophen is about 2 hours.
So, how long does Percocet last in the system? To eliminate both components will require about 24 up to 48 hours. In rare cases, such as high doses of Percocet, it may take an extended time for the drug to get out from the system.

How Will Percocet Show Up on a Drug Test?

Doctor is doing laboratory testsDespite the drug’s half-life values, Percocet drug test detection time may take longer. People will metabolize the drug differently, and the period for Percocet to stay in the system after one stops taking it will depend on many factors.
Not all drug tests will be able to detect this painkiller. The most basic drug test used in the workplace is the 5-Panel test which tests for opiates but, reactants used on the strip are not sensitive enough to detect the presence of prescription opiates like Percocet or Norco. When drug testing intends to determine the abuse, the 12-panel test is used. There are also newer test strips that are used for opiates only.

Variables That Affect How Long Percocet Stays In The System

Time of appearance on the drug test depends on other factors, including the following:

  • Liver and Kidney Health. People with renal diseases will generally take longer to metabolize this painkiller.
  • Period of taking the drug. It can accumulate in fatty tissues with prolonged use. How long does Percocet stay in the system for a urine test or any drug test; therefore, it is also affected by the period the drug was taken. It is recommended to look for safer Percocet alternatives if a patient has a need in painkillers for a long period.
  • Age. Older people generally have a harder time clearing the drug from their system.
  • Gender. Women have been found to keep higher levels of drug components in their bodies compared to men. Percocet use by pregnant women is not advised in general.
  • Alcohol Intake. Mixing alcohol with Percocet can lead to high toxicity and can be fatal. Mixing the drug with alcohol will likely influence painkiller’s urine detection time.
  • Drug interactions. Taking Percocet and Xanax together, for example, can further lower the average threshold for overdose. And as a result, lead to prolonged withdrawal.

How Long Does Percocet Stay In The Urine?

For a urine test, the drug can be detected just hours following administration and up to 3 to 4 days after the last intake.

How Long Does Percocet Stay In The Saliva?

It may be detected on a users saliva for up to four days from the last time the drug was administered.

How Long Does Percocet Stay In The Blood?

The drug can be detected in blood, starting approximately 15 minutes from the intake. It remains detectable in the blood for up to 24 hours.

How Long Does Percocet Stay In The Hair?

Oxycodone ingredient can be detectable for the tests in a hair follicle up to three months.

How to Get Percocet Out Of The System Faster?

When this medication has been prescribed for a legitimate reason, doctor’s orders must be strictly followed. However, when painkiller addiction is an issue, the best way to successfully withdraw from the drug and to stay off of it for good is to get professional help in addiction treatment.

Man Pouring Fresh Pure Water From PitcherBelow are some tips to keep in mind when clearing users system is the goal:

Load up with Fluids

Water will dilute the urine. Try to push as many fluids out of the body. The sooner user can start flushing, the better the chances of getting a negative drug test result will be.

Taper Off Gradually

When a severe dependence has been developed, do not withdraw suddenly. A drug dependent person will most likely go through withdrawal symptoms that can include life-threatening Percocet side effects. Violent seizures and other severe withdrawal symptoms are likely with drug abuse.

Seek Professional Help To Get Percocet Out Of The System

Go through gradual withdrawal with a professional. Will-power is a key, but having a medical professional can be an ace when it comes to withdrawing from painkiller addiction. Get professional help. Health specialists know how to treat addiction and to correct the habits for good. Checking in at a qualified treatment facility can also help.

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Medically Reviewed By Michael Espelin APRN
Roger Weiss

About Author

Roger Weiss, MD

Dr. Roger Weiss is a practicing mental health specialist at the hospital. Dr. Weiss combines his clinical practice and medical writing career since 2009. Apart from these activities, Dr. Weiss also delivers lectures for youth, former addicts, and everyone interested in topics such as substance abuse and treatment.


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  • Marc
    I took about 15mg of oxycodone Friday, I have a UA today and was wondering if it will show on my UA test?