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How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

February 15, 2024

Table of Contents

Percocet is a well-known prescription medication used to manage moderate to severe pain. It contains two main ingredients: oxycodone, a powerful opioid pain reliever, and acetaminophen, a common over-the-counter pain reliever found in Tylenol.

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In this guide, we’ll delve into the question “How long does Percocet stay in your system?” We’ll also explore different methods used to detect Percocet in the body. Understanding this information can be crucial for individuals prescribed Percocet and those concerned about its potential effects.

Let’s dive in to learn more about the duration of Percocet in your system and the ways it can be detected.

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How Long do Percs Stay in Your System?

How long does a Percocet stay in your system is partly determined by the elimination half-life of the substance. The half-life is the amount of time it takes for blood concentration levels of the substance to reduce by half. Elimination half-life is also a helpful estimate of the onset of withdrawal symptoms.

Oxycodone is a short-acting opioid with a short half-life of 3.5 hours – more on this below.

Acetaminophen, the other ingredient of Percocet, has a similarly short half life.

Oxycodone is a short-acting, immediate-release drug, so it has a relatively short half-life which is estimated to be between 3.2 and 4 hours. The other component of Percocet, acetaminophen, has a similar average half-life of around three hours. The effects of Percocet generally last for four to six hours, so the medication is usually prescribed to be taken every four to six hours.

Beyond the Percocet half-life, how long do perc stay in your system is influenced by factors that include:

  • Age: Adults aged 40+ will eliminate oxycodone from their systems more slowly than under-40s.
  • Duration of Percocet use: Percocet may accumulate in the body after sustained use. This means that the substance will be detectable for longer after the last dose.
  • Liver and kidney function: Individuals with impaired liver or kidney function will metabolize Percocet more slowly.
  • Metabolism: The quicker your metabolism, the faster Percocet will leave your system.

How long does Percocet stay in urine?

Urine tests are inexpensive, readily available, and commonly used to test for Percocet.

Factors like liver or kidney function and Percocet consumption may influence detection times, but most urine tests will detect Percocet for 48 hours.

How long does Percocet stay in hair?

Percocet can be detected in hair tests for 30 days. This type of testing method is typically used when there are concerns about ongoing substance abuse.

How long does Percocet stay in blood?

Percocet is detectable in blood for 24 hours, meaning that is has a very low detection window.

How long does Percocet stay in saliva?

Percs may be detectable in saliva for up to 4 days after the last use.

Percocet Half-Life

Percocet has an average half-life of 3.5 hours. It takes roughly 5 half-lives for all of a substance to leave the system. This means that it takes an average of 19 hours for all Percocet to be eliminated from the system.

This process may be more protracted in those who have been using Percocet long-term. Traces of opioids may linger for longer in fatty tissues as a result of chronic abuse.

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Are You Addicted to Percocets?

Percocet is one of the most abused prescription medications. The abuse of any opioid like Percocet is liable to trigger serious adverse outcomes, including Percocet dependence and addiction.

Opioids can be highly effective for the short-term relief of pain, but tolerance to this class of drug builds quickly. When you become tolerant to Percocet, you will need more of the opioid or more frequent doses to achieve the initial effects.

Those prescribed Percocet for the management of chronic pain often find that tolerance prompts misuse and abuse that often leads to the development of physical dependence and addiction.

Percocet addiction is clinically described as opioid use disorder, a type of substance use disorder. Opioid use disorder is a chronic brain condition that is incurable but treatable. Like all addictions, opioid use disorder is diagnosed according to the symptoms outlined in DSM-5-TR (the latest edition of APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

These are the diagnostic criteria for Percocet addiction:

  1. Taking more Percocet than intended or using the medication for longer than intended.
  2. Trying and failing to moderate or discontinue use of opioids.
  3. Devoting a lot of time to Percocet use.
  4. Experiencing intense cravings for Percocet.
  5. Failing to fulfill personal and professional commitments due to opioid use.
  6. Ongoing Percocet use even though it is causing problems in your personal relationships.
  7. Giving up social and recreational activities in favor of Percocet use.
  8. Using Percocet in potentially dangerous situations.
  9. Continuing use of Percocet even though it is causing or inflaming a health condition, whether physical or mental.
  10. Tolerance to Percocet developing.
  11. Withdrawal symptoms developing as the effects of Percocet wear off.

Percocet addiction is diagnosed depending on the number of symptoms that present as mild (2 or 3), moderate (4 or 5), or severe (6 or more).

The most effective form of treatment for Percocet addiction typically involves a supervised medical detox followed by ongoing medication-assisted treatment combined with psychotherapy and counseling.

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Percocet Addiction Treatment at Renaissance Recovery

If you need a flexible and affordable pathway to recovery from Percocet addiction, we can provide this at Renaissance Recovery Center in Huntington Beach.

Our intensive outpatient treatment programs allow you to remain anchored to your everyday life without compromising the quality of the care you receive while addressing opioid addiction.

We can connect you with licensed medical detox centers throughout Orange County if you require assistance detoxing from an opioid like Percocet.

Those with opioid addictions and co-occurring mental health conditions can take advantage of integrated and coordinated dual diagnosis treatment at Renaissance.

All treatment programs offer individualized treatment that draw from a combination of science-backed and holistic treatments. Like all opioid use disorders, Percocet addiction responds favorably to medication-assisted treatment. FDA-approved medications can streamline the withdrawal process while promoting ongoing abstinence.

When you’re ready to move beyond a life ruled by Percocet, reach out to Renaissance. We will guide you throughout your recovery journey and equip you with the tools you need for sustained sobriety without relapse. Call admissions today at 866.330.9449.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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