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How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?

Percocet is a prescription opioid drug that contains oxycodone and acetaminophen.[1] It is used to treat moderate to severe pain, primarily after surgeries or injuries. While Percocet is effective in treating the symptoms of pain, it is also highly addictive. 

If you are addicted to Percocet, you must seek addiction treatment. Opioid addiction can be incredibly dangerous, often leading to unintentional overdoses. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), “In 2021, the number of reported deaths involving prescription opioids totaled 16,706.”[2]

How long Percocet stays in your system depends on a number of factors, including how long you’ve been using it, what dose you’ve been taking, and certain health factors. If you or a loved one are struggling with Percocet addiction, please contact our team at Mandala Healing Center today to discuss your treatment options.

The Onset and Duration of the Effects of Percocet 

Whether you are prescribed Percocet or buying it illegally, you can get addicted because this drug can cause pleasurable side effects like pain relief and euphoria, triggering your brain’s reward response. As a result, anyone taking Percocet should be extremely cautious regarding how often and how long they consume it.

The side effects of Percocet include:[3]

  • Pain-relief 
  • Euphoria or an overall sense of well-being
  • Dry mouth 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Drowsiness or lethargy 
  • Flushing 
  • Headaches 
  • Mood changes 

Percocet starts working within 10 to 30 minutes after ingestion and the effects should last somewhere between 3 to 6 hours. If a doctor prescribes you Percocet for pain relief, they will usually tell you to take it every 4 to 6 hours as needed.

However, if you have been taking Percocet for longer than 4 weeks, you might develop a tolerance. This means the substance will not affect you as much as it did before. It is important to note that even with a tolerance, taking large doses of Percocet can lead to life-threatening overdoses.

What is the Half-Life of Percocet?

The half-life of a drug describes how long it takes your body to eliminate 50% of a single dose of it from your system. Typically, it takes 5 half-lives for a substance to be completely eliminated from your system. 

When it comes to Percocet, the half-life is 3.5 hours for the oxycodone and 2 to 3 hours for the acetaminophen. Keeping this in mind, it takes about 17.5 hours for Percocet to be completely removed from your body. 

How Long Does Percocet Show Up on a Drug Test?

While Percocet stays in your system for about a day, it leaves behind metabolites in your body that linger for longer periods. Because oxycodone is the main ingredient of Percocet, the primary metabolites that can be detected by a drug test are noroxycodone and oxymorphone.[4] 

The window of detection for Percocet depends on the type of drug test being used. Additionally, detection times can differ depending on a variety of personal factors, including how often you abuse the substance, the dose you take, and your overall health. Taking Percocet for extended periods of time or using it in higher doses than prescribed can cause it to stay in your body longer.


Urine drug tests are the most common type of test used because they are affordable and minimally invasive. Additionally, they tend to be pretty reliable, allowing larger windows of detection than other types of drug tests. Urine drug tests can detect Percocet in your system for up to 3 days after you last used it. 


Saliva drug tests are less common than urine because they offer shorter windows of detection. However, these tests can typically pick up on Percocet in your system for 2 days after your last dose.


Blood tests are one of the least commonly used types of drug tests because they are invasive and expensive, without providing a lot of detection time. Blood tests can detect Percocet in your system for about 18 hours after you last used the drug. 


Hair tests are relatively expensive, which means they are less common than urine tests. However, they provide the longest window of detection out of any type of drug test known to man. These drug tests can detect any substance, including Percocet, in your system for up to 90 days after your last dose.

Find Help for Percocet Addiction Today

If you or a loved one are addicted to Percocet or other prescription opioid drugs, it’s time to consider attending drug rehab. Addiction treatment programs like Mandala Healing Center can provide you with the tools and support you need to maintain long-term sobriety. 

To learn more about our Percocet addiction treatment program, contact Mandala Healing Center today.


  1. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA): oxycodone and acetaminophen tablets Retrieved June 2023 From,040341s013,040434s003lbl.pdf
  2. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA): Drug Overdose Death Rates, Retrieved June 2023 From
  3. Medline Plus: Oxycodone, Retrieved June 2023 From
  4. The National Library of Medicine: A Practical Guide to Urine Drug Monitoring, Retrieved June 2023 From