Pain Home > Percocet

When and How to Take It

General considerations for when and how to take Percocet include the following:
 
  • The medication comes in tablet form. It is taken by mouth, usually every six hours as needed for pain.
     
  • It is best to take Percocet with food, as this may help reduce stomach upset.
     
  • Percocet is either taken "as needed" or on a scheduled basis. "As needed" means you will only take a dose if you are experiencing pain (if you are not in pain, you will skip the dose), while "scheduled use" means you should take it on schedule, even if you are not in pain. Most healthcare providers prescribe the drug on an "as needed" basis, rather than a scheduled basis.
     
  • Be careful not to exceed the maximum recommended daily dose, as this could lead to overdose symptoms or to poisoning from the acetaminophen component, which can cause liver failure.
     
  • You may want to consider taking a laxative along with Percocet (especially if you will take it regularly for more than a few days), as the medication often causes constipation (see Percocet and Constipation).
     
  • For Percocet to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not increase your dose or take it more frequently than prescribed without your healthcare provider's approval. If you have been taking the drug for more than a few weeks, do not stop taking it suddenly without your healthcare provider's supervision (see Percocet Withdrawal).
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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