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Percodan

Written by: Editorial Staff.

Percodan is a potent pain killer originally marketed in 1950 by DuPont Pharmaceuticals. The pill contains a combination of oxycodone and aspirin. Initially, the pill contained a small amount of caffeine which was later removed from the ingredients.

Percodan was once one of the most prescribed drugs for post-operative pain until it was replaced by safer alternatives. Percocet was largely its replacement and is preferred because it contains acetaminophen instead of aspirin. Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs increase prothrombin time and therefore prevent the blood from clotting which can cause post-operative complications such as excessive bleeding. Percodan is rarely prescribed for this reason.

Classification

Percodan is a powerful opioid pain killer used to treat short term pain. Percodan contains 4.88 mg of oxycodone and 325 mg of aspirin. Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic and aspirin is a salicylate drug often used as an analgesic. Legally, Percodan is a Schedule II substance which means it cannot be called into a pharmacy and no refills are permitted.

Similar Drugs

Drugs that are similar to Percodan are other oxycodone preparations such as Percocet or Oxycontin.

Uses

Percodan is used to combat moderate to moderately severe acute pain.

Effects

Percodan’s intentional effect is to treat pain and give relief to the suffering patient. However, the drug brings many other unintended effects.

Common Side Effects Include:

  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Vomiting

If these effects become intolerable one should check in with their doctor for guidance. However, there are some severe side effects and allergic reactions which should be evaluated by a doctor at once.

Severe Side Effects Include:

  • Rashes or hives
  • Bloody or black stools
  • Dark urine
  • Fainting
  • Fever
  • Hallucination
  • Seizures
  • Ringing in ears
  • Shortness of breath
  • Yellowing of skin or eyes

Addiction Information

Addiction to Percodan often happens unintentionally. A patient may begin using the drug for their pain and then grow to become accustomed to the euphoria produced by the substance. This over time leads to increasing the amount of Percodan ingested to maintain the sensation of escape it produces. This can become extremely dangerous because of the aspirin contained in the pill which can cause liver damage or failure at high doses.

Withdrawal

Once the body becomes physically dependent on Percodan to maintain homeostasis in the body, withdrawal can be very uncomfortable.

Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Aches and pains
  • Anxiety
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Tremors

Percodan withdrawal should always be carried out under close medical supervision to limit these withdrawal effects and to prevent relapse.

Overdose Information

Overdose on Percodan is very possible and produces distinct physiological reactions.

Overdose Symptoms Include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Bluish colored fingernails or lips
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Weak pulse
  • Low blood pressure
  • Coma

Combining Percodan with other depressants raises the risk of overdose which can slow the nervous system to a halt.

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