Percocet is commonly used to treat short-term pain, such as pain due to an injury, surgery, or dental procedure. In some cases, the drug is prescribed for migraines or other recurring conditions. Off-label Percocet uses include the treatment of insomnia and coughing, but these are no longer considered legitimate by most healthcare professionals, as more appropriate drugs are available for these conditions.
What Is Percocet Used For?Percocet® (oxycodone/APAP) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of moderate to moderately severe pain.
The drug is commonly used to treat short-term pain due to a surgery, dental procedure, or injury. Sometimes, Percocet is used to treat migraines, chronic pain, or other types of recurring or long-term conditions that cause pain. It is often used (or rather, abused) inappropriately, as it contains oxycodone, a narcotic medication (see Percocet Addiction).
How Does Percocet Work?
Percocet contains two different medications: oxycodone and acetaminophen. Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic narcotic opioid pain reliever. It is chemically related to codeine. Oxycodone is effective at decreasing pain and relieving coughing, but also causes drowsiness and decreased breathing (known as respiratory depression).
Acetaminophen is pain reliever and fever reducer commonly found in non-prescription medications, such as Tylenol®. Adding acetaminophen to oxycodone helps improve the effectiveness of both medications at relieving pain and may limit the abuse potential of oxycodone (the maximum dose of Percocet is limited by the acetaminophen content). Make sure to carefully monitor your acetaminophen intake (including acetaminophen from other sources) while taking Percocet in order to avoid toxicity (see Percocet Drug Interactions and Percocet Dosage for more information).