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How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

Medical Reviewer

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Percocet is a prescription opioid medication that contains acetaminophen and oxycodone. It is often used to treat the symptoms of mild to moderately severe pain, primarily after an injury, surgery, or even a dental procedure. Even though Percocet can be useful for managing pain, taking it long-term can result in addiction.

Percocet is an opioid and taking it in a manner other than prescribed can result in a substance use disorder. Opioid addiction can be severe and even life-threatening, especially when someone is abusing large doses of an opioid drug.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescription opioids like Percocet were responsible for 16,706 overdose deaths in 2021.[1]

If you or a loved one abuse Percocet, you might be wondering how long it stays in your system. For most people, Percocet stays in urine for about three days after the last dose.

How Long Do the Effects of Percocet Last?

Percocet can cause habit-forming and mind-altering effects when misused. Whether you are buying it illegally or have a prescription, taking it in excess can result in addiction. If you or a loved one frequently abuses Percocet, it’s time to consider professional addiction treatment.

The side effects of Percocet include:[2]

  • Lessened symptoms of pain
  • A rush of euphoria
  • An overall sense of wellbeing
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach pain
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Redness of the face or flushing
  • Headaches
  • Changes in mood

Within 10 to 30 minutes of consuming Percocet, the effects will take place. Typically, the effects of Percocet last anywhere from 3 to 6 hours after you take it.

However, if you are abusing it the length of the effects may become shorter lived. This may cause you to begin using larger doses of Percocet in a shorter period, which can lead to life-threatening effects like overdoses. As a result, anyone misusing Percocet should seek help from a drug rehab center.

What is the Half-Life of Percocet?

The half-life of any drug describes how long it will take your body to eliminate half of it from your body. Typically, it takes between 4 to 5 half-lives for a drug to be flushed from your system.

The half-life of the oxycodone in Percocet is 3.5 hours, while the acetaminophen takes 2 to 3 hours.[3] With that being said, it takes about 17.5 hours for Percocet to be eliminated from your system. However, it will leave behind metabolites throughout your body for a longer period that can be detected by drug tests.

How Long Is Percocet Detected on Drug Tests?

When you consume Percocet, the oxycodone in the substance leaves behind metabolites known as noroxycodone and oxymorphone.[4] These are the chemicals that drug tests look for to determine if you’ve abused the substance. Even though Percocet will be out of your body within one day, these metabolites can remain in parts of your body longer.

Depending on which type of drug test is being used, Percocet is detectable between 18 hours to 90 days after you last consumed it.


Urine tests are the most common type of drug test because they are minimally invasive and relatively cheap to use. If you are in a drug rehab program or applying for a new job, you will probably be taking a urine drug test. These tests can detect Percocet in your urine for up to 3 days after you last used it.


Saliva drug tests are less common because they usually have a shorter window of detection than other types of tests. Tests can find Percocet in your saliva for up to 2 days after your last dose.


Blood tests are most commonly used to detect a substance in your system in hospital settings to determine whether drugs are contributing to your symptoms. Blood tests can only detect Percocet for 18 hours after you last abused it.


Lastly, hair follicle drug tests are the most reliable form of test available. However, they are seldom used because sending them off to the lab can be expensive. Hair tests can find Percocet in your system for up to 90 days after your last dose.

Factors that Affect How Long Percocet Stays in The Body

Several factors influence how long Percocet remains in the body. Understanding these factors can help you manage your medication effectively.

  • Dosage – The amount of Percocet you take affects how long it stays in your system. Higher doses take longer to metabolize and clear from your body.
  • Frequency of Use – If you take Percocet regularly, it can accumulate in your system, leading to a longer duration of action.
  • Metabolism – Your metabolism plays a crucial role. People with faster metabolism tend to process and eliminate Percocet more quickly.
  • Liver Function – Since the liver breaks down Percocet, any liver issues can slow down the elimination process.
  • Age – Age matters. Younger individuals typically metabolize medications faster than older ones.
  • Body Composition – Your body fat percentage can affect how long Percocet stays in your body. Higher body fat can lead to a longer duration in your system.
  • Genetics – Genetic factors can influence how your body processes medications, including Percocet.
  • Other Medications – Concurrent use of other drugs can interact with Percocet, affecting its metabolism and elimination.
  • Hydration – Staying hydrated can help your body eliminate medications more efficiently.
  • Overall Health – Your general health and any underlying medical conditions can impact how long Percocet lingers in your system.

Misuse or prolonged use of this medication can lead to serious health issues, including addiction.

Find Help for Percocet Abuse and Addiction

If you or a loved one frequently abuses Percocet, you might be addicted to it. Suffering from an opioid use disorder can be extremely hard, negatively impacting every area of your life. Thankfully, drug rehab programs like the Carolina Center for Recovery can provide you with the tools and support you need to maintain long-term sobriety.

To learn more about our Percocet addiction treatment center, contact us today.


  1. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA): Drug Overdose Death Rates, Retrieved September 2023 From
  2. Medline Plus: Oxycodone, Retrieved September 2023 From
  3. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA): oxycodone and acetaminophen tablets, Retrieved September 2023 From,040341s013,040434s003lbl.pdf