The Best Ways to Take Percocet

By Ciele Edwards

When your doctor gives you a prescription for any medication, the dosage instructions will be on the prescription bottle. What your doctor may not tell you, however, is that every body reacts differently to medications---especially painkillers. Side effects are common with prescription painkillers and can be very unpleasant. There are ways to take Percocet that will minimize your risk of side effects---including addiction---while still allowing you to find relief from your pain.

The Facts

Percocet is a medication composed of oxycodone and acetaminophen. It is available only by prescription and is intended to be used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is a Schedule II narcotic and can be dangerous in large amounts and for individuals with a history of kidney or liver problems. Women who are pregnant may want to avoid Percocet since its effects on fetuses are unknown. If you are allergic to Tylenol you should not take Percocet.

Smaller Dose

Percocet is most often prescribed in pill form. Because of this, it is easily broken in half. Drug allergies are common and can have severe---and even deadly---results. If you have never taken Percocet before, you have no way of knowing how the drug will affect you. Breaking your Percocet in half and starting with only half of the pill will help you determine which side effects, if any, you will experience with the medication and if a smaller dose is enough to manage your pain. If your pain is manageable with only half of a Percocet, you may want to speak with your doctor about reducing your dosage.

Before Bed

Percocet may do a good job of getting rid of your pain, but it does not last forever. Consider taking your Percocet before going to bed to ensure that the medication works through the night and you are able to rest. No matter what you are recovering from, rest is good for your body. Taking your medication before bed has the added benefit of allowing you to go to sleep while the pill takes effect, thus helping you to avoid any unpleasant side effects.

With Food

Because Percocet is such a strong painkiller, it may cause nausea and vomiting. You can reduce the likelihood of nausea by not taking Percocet on an empty stomach. If the idea of eating and then possibly vomiting concerns you, taking Percocet with a glass of milk or a handful of crackers rather than a full meal can also help prevent sickness. Having food in your stomach when you take the medication has the added benefit of helping to prevent any feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness that are common among individuals who are prescribed Percocet.

Under Medical Supervison

Although Percocet may be effective in treating your pain, that does not mean that you should take it without being under medical supervision. If you do not currently have a prescription for Percocet, do not take a Percocet that is prescribed to someone else. Your doctor knows your medical history, medical conditions, allergies, and current medications that you are taking. He will decide whether Percocet is right for you based on those criteria. Taking drugs that are not prescribed to you is a form of drug abuse and can lead to addiction.

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