Percocet is a prescription medication commonly prescribed in the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Percocet is a combination drug containing acetaminophen and oxycodone. Acetaminophen is the generic name of Tylenol. It is an over-the-counter analgesic drug used for the treatment of mild to moderate pain and fever reduction. After ingestion, it has an onset time of about 11 minutes and a half-life of 1 to 4 hours. The half-life is how long it takes the body to metabolize half of an active substance. This means that after two half-life durations, only one-fourth of the substance remains in the body. After 6 half-life periods, which is 6 to 24 hours, only about 1.5 percent remains in the body. Of course, acetaminophen poses no risk in drug testing.
The other ingredient of Percocet is oxycodone. Oxycodone has become popularized in recent years under the brand name OxyContin. Oxycodone is an opiate medication derived from the poppy plant. It is synthesized from thebaine, which occurs in the poppy naturally along with codeine and morphine. All opiate medications require a prescription because they have the potential for abuse and addiction. Many people take opiates because they provide a euphoric sensation, but addiction is severe and causes a number of unpleasant and problematic symptoms. The assistance of a detox or rehabilitation center is often required for users who wish to stop.
Oxycodone has an onset time of 10 to 15 minutes. It has a metabolic half-life of 3 to 4.5 hours. Up to 19 percent of oxycodone is excreted in the urine. Some is metabolized by the liver, and some is excreted in sweat or through other bodily systems such as hair follicles. The action of Percocet usually lasts for 4 to 5 hours. After this, it is totally eliminated from the body in less than 3 days, except for the hair.
Oxycodone is not detected by standard opiate drug tests. A separate test is required. This test was rarely administered in the past, but due to the increase in oxycodone abuse, it is becoming more common. Oxycodone can be detected in the sweat, saliva, or urine for 1 to 2 days depending on the dose taken and the frequency. It can be detected in the hair for over 90 days. However, most hair testing is done for only the past 30 days.
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