How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System

Percocet is a prescription opioid drug that is used to treat moderate to severe pain and chronic pain. This medication contains both acetaminophen and oxycodone. While Percocet is useful for managing pain, long-term use can lead to addiction.

If you or a loved one abuse Percocet, it is important to be aware of the risks. Using Percocet in large doses can lead to an opioid overdose. Unfortunately, these overdoses are usually life-threatening and always require emergency medical attention.

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

When you abuse Percocet, you might wonder how long it stays in your system. Knowing this information can help you determine when your withdrawal symptoms will start.

Typically, Percocet stays in your system for a little less than 24 hours. With that being said, it leaves behind metabolites in your system that drug tests can find for a longer period. For example, drug tests can detect Percocet in urine for up to 3 days after your last dose.

How Long Do the Effects of Percocet Last?

Percocet provides pain relief when used as prescribed. However, people might abuse it to experience feelings of drowsiness, sedation, and rushes of euphoria. Repeated abuse of Percocet will lead to addiction, making it vital that you seek professional help.

The side effects of Percocet include:

  • Pain relief
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • An overall sense of wellbeing
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach pain
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Redness of the face or flushing
  • Headaches
  • Changes in mood

When you use Percocet, the effects will begin within 10 to 30 minutes of consuming it. Typically, these effects last anywhere between 3 to 6 hours. Someone who is addicted to Percocet might experience the effects for a shorter period, causing them to binge on the drug.

How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?

The half-life of a drug explains how long it takes your system to remove half of it. That said, it can take up to 4 to 5 half-lives for a drug to be eliminated from your system.

The half-life of the oxycodone in Percocet is about 3.5 hours. Similarly, the half-life of acetaminophen is 2 to 3 hours. In other words, it might take up to 17.5 hours for your system to eliminate Percocet.

It is important to note that the amount of time Percocet stays in your system depends on a variety of factors, including the rate of your metabolism and overall health.

How Long is Percocet Detected on Drug Tests?

When you consume Percocet, it leaves behind metabolites in different areas of your body. These metabolites are known as noroxycodone and oxymorphone. Drug tests look for these metabolites to determine if you have used Percocet.

Depending on what type of drug test is being used, Percocet shows up on drug tests between 18 hours to 90 days after you have taken it.


Urine tests are the most commonly used drug test out there. Testing administrators prefer them because they are relatively cheap and minimally invasive. That said, urine tests can detect Percocet for up to 3 days after your last dose.


Saliva tests are less common because they have shorter detection times than other types of drug tests. These tests can detect Percocet in your saliva for up to 48 hours.


Blood tests are not used commonly because they have short detection times and are invasive. With that being said, hospitals might use them to determine if Percocet is contributing to your symptoms in emergencies. Blood tests can only detect Percocet for up to 18 hours after your last dose.


Hair testing looks for metabolites left behind in your hair follicle. Because of how your hair grows, these tests can find Percocet in your body for up to 90 days after your last dose.

What Factors Affect How Long Percocet Stays in Your Body?

While Percocet usually leaves your system within 24 hours, certain personal factors can affect how long it stays in your body. Additionally, some people might test positive on drug tests longer than others.

The factors that affect how long Percocet stays in your system include:

  • Method of use (i.e., snorting, smoking, injecting)
  • Frequency and duration of use
  • The dosage you are taking
  • The rate of your metabolism
  • Overall health
  • Age, weight, and body fat percentage
  • Health of your liver and kidneys
  • Hydration and nutrition levels
  • Whether you’ve abused other substances

If you have been using Percocet for a couple of years, you might test positive longer than a first-time user. Additionally, if you have any liver or kidney conditions, your body might take longer to eliminate the substance.

Finding Help for Percocet Addiction

If you or a loved one abuse Percocet, it’s time to seek help. Percocet abuse can lead to severe addiction, which puts you at risk of experiencing life-threatening overdoses. Thankfully, PAX Memphis is here to help you regain control over your life.

PAX Memphis Recovery Center is a drug & alcohol treatment center in Memphis TN and we provide quality care to all of our patients. Our doctors are leading experts in addiction management and they will equip you with the tools required to beat drug and alcohol addiction.

Most of our staff here at PAX Memphis Recovery Center in Memphis Tennessee have over fifteen years of experience and they know how important it is to provide every patient with an individualized drug treatment plan.

We strive to help our patients recover from the disease of addiction and we will always be ready to help.

Contact us today to get connected with a top-rated Percocet addiction treatment center.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


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

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

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