Is Percocet a Depressant?
Percocet is a brand-name painkiller that works by depressing or dulling the central nervous system. When someone with severe or chronic pain takes Percocet, the drug blocks receptors in the nervous system, greatly reducing pain symptoms.
Percocet may be a central nervous system depressant, but it is not a mood depressant. In fact, users who take Percocet often feel high or euphoric. That’s because the main active ingredient in Percocet is an opioid called oxycodone. Acetaminophen, another pain reliever, is also found in Percocet and helps to enhance the numbing effect of oxycodone.
Percocet addiction is a possible side effect of taking this medication. Your doctor should give you specific dosing instructions, which will typically include the phrase “as needed.” This should be strictly adhered to. Ask your doctor about over-the-counter pain relievers that are safe for you to try before you resort to your “as needed” medication.
Percocet addiction can occur quickly. As with any other opioid, the brain can begin to “crave” the analgesic effect of Percocet. When Percocet wears off, your pain receptors open up and your pain will return. However, sometimes it may seem like the pain is worse than it was before, or that Percocet doesn’t seem to have as strong of an effect as when you first began to take it for your pain.
These factors can make it tempting for you to take Percocet more often than you used to, or for you to want to increase your dose. Never adjust the dosage without being directly advised by your doctor; overdose is one possible outcome of a Percocet addiction.
As soon as you notice any changes in the way your body reacts to your prescription pain medication, talk to your doctor. Percocet addiction is difficult to overcome on your own, and your doctor may need to immediately wean you off this opioid and onto another medication.
Still, not everyone who takes Percocet will become addicted. Be aware of the possibility of Percocet addiction and communicate readily with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.