Reports from the medical field indicate more than 115 million Americans suffer from severe pain at any given time. Each year, almost 60 percent of those receive prescriptions for opioid painkillers. One of the more common medications falling into this category is Percocet, a powerful blend of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Though it provides effective pain relief for millions of people, reprieve doesn’t always come without a price.
What Are Percocet’s Side Effects?
When used as prescribed and in a short-term sense, Percocet is considered safe for most people. Some exceptions would be those who regularly consume alcohol or are taking antidepressants, certain antibiotics or sleeping pills. Generally speaking, this medication does cause a few common side effects, including dry mouth, nausea, dizziness and constipation. In most cases, the latter is reported more often than others and tends to be the most severe. That being said, long-term use or outright abuse of Percocet can easily lead to more dire consequences.
What Happens When Percocet is Abused or Taken for Too Long?
One common question revolves around this particular drug: does percocet cause depression? It certainly can. In fact, studies show those taking opioids consistently for more than 90 days are 25 percent more likely to develop depression than those who take them for shorter stints or avoid them altogether. These same studies also reveal anyone taking opioids for more than six months consecutively are at a 50 percent greater risk. Percocet and its counterparts can also lead to other serious issues.
- Insomnia: Taking Percocet for extended periods of time can result in a lack of sleep. This, in turn, tends to exacerbate depression as well as stress, anxiety and a number of physical ailments.
- Disorientation: Overuse of Percocet can bring about a lack of focus and concentration, leading to confusion and an inability to entertain normal thought processes or carry out even routine physical actions.
- Hallucinations: Percocet can spark hallucinations, including random flashes of light and color, disembodied voices, visions and other aspects that aren’t actually there but feel all too real to those experiencing them.
All these negative issues can easily come from long-term use of Percocet or taking it more frequently or in higher dosages than prescribed by a doctor. As such, adhering to physicians’ recommendations is crucial when taking this or other opioid painkillers. Those who follow doctors’ orders typically only experience the milder side effects of medications like these.