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Alternatives to Taking Percocet

By Adam Cloe Ph.D./M.D. ; Updated August 14, 2017

Percocet is the brand name for a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone. Oxycodone is a potent narcotic pain reliever that can be combined with acetaminophen to maximize the pain-relieving effects. This allows a lower dose of oxycodone to be used. However, some patients don't respond well to Percocet, which may require them to seek alternative medications.

Vicodin

Vicodin is similar to Percocet in that it consists of acetaminophen combined with a narcotic pain reliever. In the case of Vicodin, the narcotic medication is hydrocodone, RxList says. Vicodin can be used to treat moderate or severe pain. It comes as 5mg hydrocodone combined with 500mg acetaminophen. The typical dose is one or two pills that can be taken every four to six hours, with a maximum 24-hour dose of eight tablets. Patients can develop drowsiness, nausea, dizziness and lightheadedness as a result of taking Vicodin. Vicodin may also lead to constipation, respiratory depression and hearing loss. One of the most serious dangers of taking narcotic pain relievers such as Vicodin is the addictiveness of the drug due to the ability of hydrocodone to generate a feeling of pleasure or euphoria in the brain. Patients may develop tolerance to Vicodin, which means that increasing doses are needed to achieve the euphoric sensation as well as pain relief. In addition, patients can become dependent on Vicodin, so that when they try to stop taking it they experience physiological withdrawal. This can result in nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, restlessness and upper abdominal pain, among other symptoms.

Tylenol with Codeine

Like Percocet, Tylenol with codeine combines acetaminophen with a narcotic pain reliever, codeine. Tylenol with codeine, also known as Tylenol 3, is effective in treating pain that ranges in severity from mild to moderately severe, Drugs.com says. Tylenol with codeine should be taken at meals or with milk but should not be combined with alcohol. This combination can lead to sudden drowsiness and slowed breathing. Side effects of Tylenol with codeine include shortness of breath, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting. As with Vicodin, patients taking Tylenol with codeine can become tolerant or dependent on the medication.

Talacen

Talacen is the brand name for acetaminophen combined with the narcotic analgesic pentazocine. This drug combination is generally used for treating mild or moderate pain. It comes packaged as 650mg acetaminophen and 25mg pentazocline. One tablet of Talacen should be taken every 4 hours, RxList notes. This medication can result in drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, nausea, vomiting and respiratory depression, and can also lead to increased sweating, insomnia, blurred vision and hallucinations.

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