What is Percocet? Drug facts, side effects, abuse and more

Percocet

Story highlights

  • Percocet is a mix of an opioid and the medicine in Tylenol
  • Naloxone is a key tool in fighting the opioid epidemic

(CNN)Percocet is a painkiller that's part of a family of drugs known as opioids. Though some are derived naturally, such as heroin or morphine, others are synthesized in a lab, including hydrocodone and oxycodone. Percocet is the brand name of a drug that mixes oxycodone and acetaminophen, the generic name for drugs such as Tylenol.

These narcotics have the same cellular structure. Opioids such as Percocet latch on to opioid receptors in the brain. They can create a sense of euphoria and numb pain, but they can also slow breathing.
Percocet is commonly prescribed to patients suffering from pain, whether from a cesarean section or a broken bone. Opioids vary in the length of time between when they are taken and when the user feels an effect. Oxycodone, the opioid in Percocet, is relatively fast-acting.