Traces of Percocet usually stay in your urine for a day — 4 days at maximum — based on the testing method and other factors.
Percocet is a medication people take for pain relief. It includes a combination of acetaminophen (paracetamol) and immediate-release oxycodone, an opioid. Opioids can remain detectable in your urine for a maximum of 4 days.
People may often misuse Percocet because it contains oxycodone. It can be a highly habit-forming and potentially harmful drug. It can cause you to test positive for opioid use.
Urine tests can detect opioids like oxycodone for around 4 days after your last dosage, but it may take less time for the drug to work its way out of your system.
Drug tests don’t test for Percocet specifically, but most drug tests include a panel for oxycodone or opioids. It’s unlikely that a doctor will test you for acetaminophen, given that it’s non-habit-forming.
Depending on the testing method, the opioids in Percocet can be detectable for up to 90 days.
Urine tests are one of the most common ways to test for drugs, partly because it’s cost-effective and easy to carry out.
For immediate-release oxycodone, the window of detection can last 1 to 1.5 days. Some sources, however, suggest that oxycodone can be detectable in urine up to 4 days after you take Percocet.
Oxycodone is usually detectable in saliva for 1 to 2 days after you take Percocet.
Immediate-release oxycodone, which is in Percocet, can be detectable in your blood for up to 24 hours after use, but it may be undetectable in as little as a few hours.
The chemicals in drugs can travel to the hair follicles via the small blood vessels in your scalp. As such, doctors can use a hair segment close to the scalp to detect drugs months after you take them.
The time it takes for Percocet to clear your system depends on a lot of factors, such as your individual metabolism, the state of your liver, and how much Percocet you took.
Firstly, let’s consider the average half-life of Percocet. In pharmaceuticals, a drug’s half-life is the time it takes for your body to clear out half the drug.
It can take several half-lives — usually around five half-lives — to clear a drug from your system. As such, it can take your body around 16 hours to eliminate Percocet after you take it.
This doesn’t mean that Percocet can’t be detectable via a drug test, though — just that the effects will wear off about 16 hours after you take it.
Certain factors can affect how your body metabolizes Percocet.
These factors include:
- Age: The older you are, the longer it may take for oxycodone to clear your system. Research shows that blood concentrations of oxycodone can be 15% higher in people older than 65 than in young adults.
- Sex: The blood concentration of oxycodone can be up to 25% higher in females than in males, but it isn’t clear why.
- Kidney and liver function: Your kidneys and liver help your body metabolize drugs. If you have kidney or liver conditions, it will take longer to clear oxycodone from your system.
- Length of use: When you take oxycodone regularly, it can accumulate in your body’s fatty tissues, meaning it can take longer to clear your system.
Other drugs can also affect how your body metabolizes Percocet. Your body eliminates oxycodone through a pathway called cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A). Certain drugs affect CYP3A, which means it’ll take longer for your body to break down oxycodone.
No. The way your body metabolizes Percocet is mostly out of your hands.
Beware of advice on the internet that suggests drinking gallons of water to test negative for Percocet. Drinking large quantities of water in a short time can be harmful — even life threatening.
There are no reliable ways to rid your system of Percocet any faster. If you’re experiencing side effects, try to remember that they won’t last forever.
If you’re having a bad reaction to Percocet or you’re experiencing intense side effects, consider going to the emergency room.
Traces of Percocet usually stay in your urine for about a day. However, some sources suggest you can detect oxycodone up to 4 days after taking Percocet.
If you’re experiencing intense side effects from taking Percocet, get emergency medical attention.
Sian Ferguson is a freelance health and cannabis writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She’s passionate about empowering readers to take care of their mental and physical health through science-based, empathetically delivered information.