Skip to main content

Key Points

  • Percocet is a popular narcotic pain medication used for moderate to severe pain.
  • Percocet is a mix of oxycodone and acetaminophen.
  • It is a Schedule II drug, according to the Controlled Substances Act.
  • Those who become addicted to Percocet are more likely to misuse it by snorting or injecting it.

Even prescription drugs can have a significant potential for abuse. If you are worried about Percocet showing up in your urine, you might wonder how long you’ll have to wait until this substance is cleared from your system.

How Long Does Percocet Stay In Your Urine?

How long does Percocet stay in your urine? Percocet can appear in your urine for up to 48 hours. This drug can also be detected in other bodily fluids and locations for different periods. If your body metabolizes drugs quickly, they may be eliminated within a shorter period.

Urine Drug Testing Info

Percocet is one of many opioids, and many ways exist to test for opioids in the system. One of the most common is to test a person’s urine. Many drugs will be excreted through the urine a few days after the drug is first taken. While opioids are often taken as prescribed to treat painful ailments, they are also commonly abused.

Many employers test to see if potential employees are using opioids and other drugs before they are hired. Urine testing may also be used in forensic settings to see if a person was under the influence of certain medications within the last few days. A urine test can also determine how much of a medication you are taking.

If your urine test shows you are taking as much Percocet as your doctor prescribed, you shouldn’t have a problem. But if your urine test shows that you are taking far more than you’re supposed to, or if your urine also contains other drugs, you might be in trouble. Besides testing for opioids, most drug screenings look for marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other common drugs.

The point of a urine drug test is to determine if you have a drug addiction. Employers don’t want to hire those who are addicted to drugs. If your urine shows that you are taking more medication than you should, this may be a sign that you are addicted or are misusing your medication.

What Happens During an Opioid Urine Test?

A urine sample in a sealed container placed over a lab test form in a clinical setting.

Giving a urine sample is very simple. You will be given a small cup to urinate in. Sit on a toilet and urinate into the cup until it contains about an ounce of urine. Once it is filled to a certain amount, close the lid on the cup and leave it in a designated area for a nurse or technician to pick up.

Often, you can do this alone. But in some cases, a supervisor may need to be with you while you do this. This is to ensure you don’t switch your urine with someone else’s to hide that you are taking drugs you’re not supposed to.

A urine test may not always be necessary when testing for opioids. Some may prefer to draw blood from you instead. Percocet is detectable in the blood for up to 24 hours, in contrast to 48 hours for urine. Hair follicles have the longest drug history and can show Percocet use up to 30 days ago.

If you have an upcoming drug test, make sure that you are not taking any illicit drugs and that, for your prescribed medications, you are taking only as much as your prescription requires.

Prescription Painkiller Addiction Statistics

2.1 million people in the United States suffer from opioid use disorders.[1] This is not to say everyone who uses opioids has a substance abuse problem. However, because opioid painkillers can be so addictive, it is necessary to exercise caution when using them.

Many who get addicted to opioids abuse them in some way. They may take more than they’re supposed to, snort the crushed pills, or dissolve and inject the pills.

Misusing the drug like this causes instant euphoria because the entire drug is released into the person’s body simultaneously. This is unlike taking an opioid pill orally, allowing it to release itself in small doses throughout the day, preventing a strong sense of euphoria.

Those who get addicted may also have substance use disorders. This makes them more likely to develop addictions and makes it more difficult for them to stop. Once people discover the euphoria that opioids can offer, they can’t help but continue misusing them. Few understand this can lead to various health problems, overdose, and death.

The leading cause of injury-related death is drug overdoses, many of which involve opioids.[2] This not only includes prescription painkillers but also illegal opioids such as heroin. Despite these risks, the availability of prescription opioids has continued to increase in the last two decades.[3]

Opioid painkillers are suitable for treating certain types of pain, such as chronic or severe pain, but doctors and patients alike must always be cautious when using these medications. It may be best to treat pain with other methods if a person has a substance use disorder or a history of substance abuse.

The Long-term Dangers of Opioid Medications

As with any medication, Percocet is not meant to be taken for long periods. The first downside that many people will experience when taking opioid medications is that they will develop a tolerance. They may start on a small dose that works well to reduce their pain. But after some time, they may need higher and higher amounts to get the same pain-relieving effect.

There may come a point when they intentionally misuse their medication to get a more substantial pain-relieving effect. This can lead to accidental overdoses, especially when the drug is mixed with alcohol or other substances. Overdoses are often fatal. People who overdose will be confused, dizzy, and nauseous and may experience mood changes or psychotic symptoms.

Opioid overdoses often cause people to fall unconscious. They can cause respiratory depression, slow heart rate, and hypoxia. Hypoxia prevents the body and brain from getting enough oxygen, and this can lead to permanent brain damage or death.

Long-term opioid use is also terrible for the liver. When opioids are taken orally, the liver breaks them down and slowly releases them into the body. This won’t hurt the liver much within short periods, but over many years, the liver may eventually become less efficient at its job due to continuous damage. The kidneys may also suffer in the same way.

Frequently Asked Questions About Percocet and Opioids

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about percocet and opioids.

Percocet almost always shows up in the urine up to 48 hours after taking the medication. In some cases, the test will appear negative even if you have taken the drug. However, this is uncommon, as these tests are quite sensitive. 

When mixing this medication with other substances, the side effects may become more dangerous. Common side effects include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, stomach trouble, and confusion.  Severe side effects may include fainting, heart palpitations, seizures, heart attacks, overdose, and death. 

Percocet is a strong opioid painkiller meant to treat moderate to severe pain. As with most opioid painkillers, it treats nerve and chronic pain particularly well. In less common cases, some may specifically seek out opioid painkillers to misuse them. 

There is a better way to live. Let us help you reclaim your life.

Whether you're struggling with an addiction, mental health disorder, or dual diagnosis, there is help available. Call today for a free confidential consultation.
Contact Us

[1] Dydyk AM, Jain NK, Gupta M. Opioid Use Disorder. [Updated 2022 Jun 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Retrieved from on 2023, May 27. 

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023d, May 8). Understanding drug overdoses and deaths. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from on 2023, May 27.

[3] Schiller EY, Goyal A, Mechanic OJ. Opioid Overdose. [Updated 2022 Sep 19]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Retrieved from on 2023, May 27.

Absolute Awakenings Treatment Center Editoral Guideline

At Absolute Awakenings, we take information integrity seriously. We have dedicated our resources to ensure that all content published to our blog is medically sound. As such, all content on our blog has been thoroughly reviewed by a doctorate level clinician such as a Medical Doctor, or Psy.D, so that you can trust all of the data we publish.

Yes, You Can Get Your Life Back. Call Absolute Awakenings Today.

With our trained and compassionate professionals in your corner, freedom can be yours. All it takes is you choose yourself. Choosing a better tomorrow.

Close Menu
Call Now