With so many drugs on the market today – both medical drugs and illegal drugs – it’s important to understand what these drugs are and the differences and similarities between them. This kind of understanding can help people who are addicted to these drugs understand the pitfalls of taking them, as well as educate others to recognize when their friend or family member is addicted and needs help.
Today we are looking at two often confused medical drugs – Percocet (or percs, paulas, roxicontin, blue dynamite, etc.) and Vicodin (vike, vik, Watson-387).
Percocet is basically a combination of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and oxycodone. Oxycodone is an opiate, and the amount of acetaminophen added in actually strengthens or reduces the strength of the effect of oxycodone.
The reason Percocet is prescribed is for moderate to severe pain. However, because it is an opiate, it is very addictive. People who are addicted to Percocet often chase a high which includes numbness and extreme relaxation. However, this is one of those drugs on which it is easy to overdose because it’s hard to tell where the high ends and the overdose begins. Overdose symptoms can include extreme drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, muscle weakness, clammy skin, weak pulse, coma, blue lips, etc. That’s from the oxycodone portion of the drug. However, we are dealing with a combination of two drugs – so overdose can also come from the acetaminophen portion – these symptoms could include: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, liver failure, sweating, confusion, and jaundice.
Vicodin is basically hydrocodone mixed with acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a synthetic opiate (this means that scientists start with an opiate and modify it in the laboratory to make hydrocodone), and acetaminophen again strengthens or reduces the strength of the affect the hydrocodone has. Like Percocet, Vicodin is an addictive pain reliever. When the hydrocodone portion of Vicodin is made, it’s often made by mixing two substances (as I said above –it’s synthetic). These mixtures are often damaging to the liver. This is one of the differences between Percocet and Vicodin. Percocet is damaging to the liver because it contains acetaminophen, both of Vicodin’s components are damaging liver. Additionally, Vicodin and Percocet affect your body differently, so if you are already on a medication for something else, a doctor is more likely to prescribe one painkiller over another – for example, if you are on antidepressants a doctor is more likely to prescribe Percocet as Vicodin can cause harmful physical and mental reactions when combined with most antidepressants.
However, because they are both opiates, the overdose symptoms and the high the user is chasing are pretty similar. Though, with Vicodin, the risk of liver issues (nausea, jaundice… death) is higher than with Percocet. They are also both prescription pain relievers – used for moderate to severe pain.
If you or someone you know is addicted to Percocet or Vicodin or addicted to any prescription pain pills, contact us today. We have a program with a proven track record to get addicts off of these dangerous substances and back into a safe and healthy life. You can reach us by calling 1-866-572-1788 572-1788. You can also contact us via SuncoastRehabCenter.us.