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Percocet Warnings and Precautions

Specific Percocet Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Percocet include the following:
 
  • Percocet is a narcotic medication with significant potential for abuse. It is not a good choice for people who have a history of alcohol or drug abuse (see Percocet Addiction). Do not take the drug more frequently, longer, or at a higher dose than prescribed. If you feel you may be developing a problem with Percocet, please seek help from your healthcare provider.
     
  • Percocet contains acetaminophen (Tylenol®). Taking too much, or taking Percocet in combination with other products that contain acetaminophen, can cause severe liver problems or even death due to Tylenol poisoning. This drug may not be a good choice for people who already have liver disease.
     
  • The medication can cause slow and irregular breathing. In severe situations, this may be life-threatening. This may be especially dangerous in people with lung problems.
     
  • The medication can cause problems in people with head injuries or high intracranial pressure. Percocet should only be used with extreme caution in such circumstances.
     
  • Percocet can cause a decrease in blood pressure, which can be especially dangerous if you already have low blood pressure.
     
  • Percocet can interfere with the diagnosis of many conditions that cause severe abdominal (stomach) pain.
     
  • Like any other narcotic, Percocet can cause dizziness and drowsiness, and may increase the risk of falls in elderly people.
     
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this drug affects you. Your reflexes and reaction times may be significantly affected, even if you feel fine.
     
  • Check with your healthcare provider before taking the drug if you have hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, an enlarged prostate, epilepsy, gallbladder problems, pancreatic disease, or kidney disease, as Percocet may not be the best choice for you.
     
  • Narcotics such as Percocet are likely to cause constipation. This side effect does not go away as you continue to take the drug. Usually, laxatives are necessary to treat and prevent constipation due to Percocet (see Percocet and Constipation).
     
  • Percocet can potentially interact with several other medications (see Percocet Drug Interactions).
     
  • Percocet is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Percocet and Pregnancy).
     
  • This medication passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Percocet and Breastfeeding).
     
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