A generic version (M523) of the brand name drug Percocet is a prescription medication that combines the opioid-based drug oxycodone with acetaminophen, the active ingredient in the over-the-counter brand name pain reliever Tylenol. This addition is thought to enhance the effectiveness of oxycodone without the need for persons to use more frequent or higher dosages. It’s believed that this also reduces the risk of addiction.
The generic Percocet version is a white oblong white tablet marked M523 on one side and 10/325 on the other, meaning it contains 10mg of oxycodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen. It is intended to be taken orally, and the effects onset within 30 minutes and last around 4-5 hours.
The drug provides fast relief from moderate-severe acute pain due to injuries, after surgery, and sometimes chronic pain conditions. The mild euphoria and relaxation it can induce make it a sought-after recreational drug with a very high abuse rate. Although it’s supposed to be available only by prescription, it is a common product of drug diversion and sold illicitly.
How Long Does Oxycodone (M523) Remain in the Body?
The half-life of Percocet is around 3.5 hours, which is the length of time required for half of the substance to be excreted from a person’s system. However, that doesn’t mean there are no effects or that the medication can’t be detected on a drug screen after that time. It can take up to 19 hours for the entire dose to be eliminated from the body, and it can still be identified on drug testing after that.
Certain factors, such as the person’s weight, unique biological factors, the amount usually taken, and duration of use, determine how long oxycodone can be identified on drug tests. Oxycodone can be detected in urine samples for up to 48 hours, in blood for 24 hours, and for up 90 days after the last dose by analyzing hair follicles.
Oxycodone Dependence and Addiction
Oxycodone is not really intended for long-term use unless it’s for severe chronic conditions or end-of-life care. Instead, most often, it should be used for intense pain that’s temporary, and that will subside on its own gradually over time. Using the drug as directed by a doctor at the proper dosage reduces the risk of oxycodone dependence while improving people’s lives needing acute pain management.
Exceeding the dosage of oxycodone (M523) to achieve a high or misusing the drug by taking it when it isn’t needed to control pain is likely to lead to dependence and addiction in some people. This is especially true for those with a genetic vulnerability to addiction or those who have had a past or present tendency to abuse substances.
Since oxycodone is usually prescribed for acute pain management and it is a controlled substance, there are usually no refills. If dependence occurs during that time, patients might try to substitute a different opioid-based drug, such as heroin. Addiction can also lead to legal issues and unlawful behaviors such as taking other people’s medication, forging scripts, or doctor shopping to get multiple prescriptions.
Dangers of Oxycodone (M523)
In addition to the risk of becoming addicted to oxycodone, some hazards come with use even when the drug isn’t being misused. Combining oxycodone and alcohol is potentially dangerous for several reasons. Oxycodone and alcohol can both cause severe drowsiness in addition to nausea and vomiting, raising the risk of losing consciousness or choking on one’s own vomit as a result.
Because excessive amounts of acetaminophen and alcohol both cause damage to the liver, toxicity and possibly liver failure can occur when the two substances are used simultaneously. Both alcohol and narcotic pain medications depress respiration, so combining them can contribute to respiratory distress.
There is also a higher likelihood of developing dual addictions when combining two substances with a high potential for abuse. The risk of unintentional injury due to reduced reaction times and the compounded effects of alcohol and painkillers is also higher.
Getting Professional Treatment for Drug Abuse and Addiction
Persons struggling with an addiction to prescription pills like (M523) or illicit drugs or alcohol are urged to seek professional help as soon as possible. Undergoing withdrawal in a specialized detox facility is the safest and most comfortable way, and the risk for relapse is non-existent.
Following detox, a smooth transition into a comprehensive long-term residential or partial hospitalization program is highly recommended and clinically shown to improve individuals’ chances of achieving long-term sobriety.
Just Believe Recovery offers these programs, all of which feature a wide variety of therapeutic services and activities, such as behavioral therapy, psychoeducation, counseling, group support, art and music therapy, aftercare planning, and more.