Percocet is a narcotic (oxycodone) and acetaminophen combination. They are combined to get a syngergistic effect on pain. Oxycodone is similar to other narcotics in terms of effect and addiction. Acetaminophen is better known as Tylenol.
Other brand names are Roxicet and Tylox. Tablets contain 25 mg oxycodone hydrochloride and 325 mg acetaminophen; 5 mg oxycodone hydrochloride and 325 mg acetaminophen; 7.5 mg oxycodone hydrochloride and 500 mg acetaminophen; 10 mg oxycodone hydrochloride and 650 mg acetaminophen.
Addiction is a major risk with prolonged use (over 2-3 weeks) of narcotics. Even moderate doses of some narcotics can result in a fatal overdose. When increasing doses of narcotics, the person may first feel restless and nauseous and then progress to loss of consciousness and abnormal breathing. Other risks include withdrawal symptoms that may last for months.
Addictive drugs activate the brain’s reward systems. The promise of reward is very intense, causing the individual to crave the drug and to focus his or her activities around taking the drug. The ability of addictive drugs to strongly activate brain reward mechanisms and their ability to chemically alter the normal functioning of these systems can produce an addiction. Drugs also reduce a person’s level of consciousness, harming the ability to think or be fully aware of present surroundings.