"Nov. 2, 2012 -- Safety steps taken in the wake of the fungal meningitis outbreak have worsened drug shortages, raising questions about whether the U.S. must choose between the safety and the availability of crucial medicines.
Serious adverse reactions that may be associated with PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablet use include respiratory depression, apnea, respiratory arrest, circulatory depression, hypotension, and shock (see OVERDOSAGE).
The most frequently observed non-serious adverse reactions include lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness or sedation, nausea, and vomiting. These effects seem to be more prominent in ambulatory than in nonambulatory patients, and some of these adverse reactions may be alleviated if the patient lies down. Other adverse reactions include euphoria, dysphoria, constipation, and pruritus.
Hypersensitivity reactions may include: Skin eruptions, urticarial, erythematous skin reactions. Hematologic reactions may include: Thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, pancytopenia, hemolytic anemia. Rare cases of agranulocytosis has likewise been associated with acetaminophen use. In high doses, the most serious adverse effect is a dose-dependent, potentially fatal hepatic necrosis. Renal tubular necrosis and hypoglycemic coma also may occur.
Other adverse reactions obtained from postmarketing experiences with PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablets are listed by organ system and in decreasing order of severity and/or frequency as follows:
Body as a Whole
Central and Peripheral Nervous System
Fluid and Electrolyte
Dyspepsia, taste disturbances, abdominal pain, abdominal distention, sweating increased, diarrhea, dry mouth, flatulence, gastro-intestinal disorder, nausea, vomiting, pancreatitis, intestinal obstruction, ileus
Hearing and Vestibular
Hearing loss, tinnitus
Metabolic and Nutritional
Skin and Appendages
Erythema, urticaria, rash, flushing
Drug Abuse and Dependence
PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablets are a Schedule II controlled substance. Oxycodone is a mu-agonist opioid with an abuse liability similar to morphine. Oxycodone, like morphine and other opioids used in analgesia, can be abused and is subject to criminal diversion.
Drug addiction is defined as an abnormal, compulsive use, use for non-medical purposes of a substance despite physical, psychological, occupational or interpersonal difficulties resulting from such use, and continued use despite harm or risk of harm. Drug addiction is a treatable disease, utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach, but relapse is common. Opioid addiction is relatively rare in patients with chronic pain but may be more common in individuals who have a past history of alcohol or substance abuse or dependence. Pseudoaddiction refers to pain relief seeking behavior of patients whose pain is poorly managed. It is considered an iatrogenic effect of ineffective pain management. The health care provider must assess continuously the psychological and clinical condition of a pain patient in order to distinguish addiction from pseudoaddiction and thus, be able to treat the pain adequately.
Physical dependence on a prescribed medication does not signify addiction. Physical dependence involves the occurrence of a withdrawal syndrome when there is sudden reduction or cessation in drug use or if an opiate antagonist is administered. Physical dependence can be detected after a few days of opioid therapy. However, clinically significant physical dependence is only seen after several weeks of relatively high dosage therapy. In this case, abrupt discontinuation of the opioid may result in a withdrawal syndrome. If the discontinuation of opioids is therapeutically indicated, gradual tapering of the drug over a 2-week period will prevent withdrawal symptoms. The severity of the withdrawal syndrome depends primarily on the daily dosage of the opioid, the duration of therapy and medical status of the individual.
The withdrawal syndrome of oxycodone is similar to that of morphine. This syndrome is characterized by yawning, anxiety, increased heart rate and blood pressure, restlessness, nervousness, muscle aches, tremor, irritability, chills alternating with hot flashes, salivation, anorexia, severe sneezing, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, dilated pupils, diaphoresis, piloerection, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and insomnia, and pronounced weakness and depression.
“Drug-seeking” behavior is very common in addicts and drug abusers. Drug-seeking tactics include emergency calls or visits near the end of office hours, refusal to undergo appropriate examination, testing or referral, repeated “loss” of prescriptions, tampering with prescriptions and reluctance to provide prior medical records or contact information for other treating physician(s). “Doctor Shopping” to obtain additional prescriptions is common among drug abusers and people suffering from untreated infection.
Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Physicians should be aware that addiction may not be accompanied by concurrent tolerance and symptoms of physical dependence in all addicts. In addition, abuse of opioids can occur in the absence of true addiction and is characterized by misuse for non-medical purposes, often in combination with other psychoactive substances. Oxycodone, like other opioids, has been diverted for non-medical use. Careful record-keeping of prescribing information, including quantity, frequency, and renewal requests is strongly advised.
Proper assessment of the patient, proper prescribing practices, periodic re-evaluation of therapy, and proper dispensing and storage are appropriate measures that help to limit abuse of opioid drugs.
Like other opioid medications, PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablets are subject to the Federal Controlled Substances Act. After chronic use, PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablets should not be discontinued abruptly when it is thought that the patient has become physically dependent on oxycodone.
Interactions with Alcohol and Drugs of Abuse
Oxycodone may be expected to have additive effects when used in conjunction with alcohol, other opioids, or illicit drugs that cause central nervous system depression.
Read the Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Drug/Drug Interactions with Oxycodone
Opioid analgesics may enhance the neuromuscular-blocking action of skeletal muscle relaxants and produce an increase in the degree of respiratory depression.
Patients receiving CNS depressants such as other opioid analgesics, general anesthetics, phenothiazines, other tranquilizers, centrally-acting anti-emetics, sedative-hypnotics or other CNS depressants (including alcohol) concomitantly with PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablets may exhibit an additive CNS depression. When such combined therapy is contemplated, the dose of one or both agents should be reduced. The concurrent use of anticholinergics with opioids may produce paralytic ileus.
Agonist/antagonist analgesics (i.e., pentazocine, nalbuphine, naltrexone, and butorphanol) should be administered with caution to a patient who has received or is receiving a pure opioid agonist such as oxycodone. These agonist/antagonist analgesics may reduce the analgesic effect of oxycodone or may precipitate withdrawal symptoms.
Drug/Drug Interactions with Acetaminophen
Alcohol, ethyl: Hepatotoxicity has occurred in chronic alcoholics following various dose levels (moderate to excessive) of acetaminophen.
Anticholinergics: The onset of acetaminophen effect may be delayed or decreased slightly, but the ultimate pharmacological effect is not significantly affected by anticholinergics.
Oral Contraceptives: Increase in glucuronidation resulting in increased plasma clearance and a decreased half-life of acetaminophen.
Charcoal (activated): Reduces acetaminophen absorption when administered as soon as possible after overdose.
Beta Blockers (Propanolol): Propranolol appears to inhibit the enzyme systems responsible for the glucuronidation and oxidation of acetaminophen. Therefore, the pharmacologic effects of acetaminophen may be increased.
Loop diuretics: The effects of the loop diuretic may be decreased because acetaminophen may decrease renal prostaglandin excretion and decrease plasma renin activity.
Lamotrigine: Serum lamotrigine concentrations may be reduced, producing a decrease in therapeutic effects.
Probenecid: Probenecid may increase the therapeutic effectiveness of acetaminophen slightly.
Zidovudine: The pharmacologic effects of zidovudine may be decreased because of enhanced non-hepatic or renal clearance of zidovudine.
Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions
Depending on the sensitivity/specificity and the test methodology, the individual components of PERCOCET (Oxycodone and Acetaminophen Tablets, USP) may cross-react with assays used in the preliminary detection of cocaine (primary urinary metabolite, benzoylecgonine) or marijuana (cannabinoids) in human urine. A more specific alternate chemical method must be used in order to obtain a confirmed analytical result. The preferred confirmatory method is gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Moreover, clinical considerations and professional judgment should be applied to any drug-of-abuse test result, particularly when preliminary positive results are used.
Acetaminophen may interfere with home blood glucose measurement systems; decreases of > 20% in mean glucose values may be noted. This effect appears to be drug, concentration and system dependent.
Read the Percocet Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/4/2010
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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