How Long Does Percocet Stay In Your System?

Oxycodone is an opioid prescription drug used to relieve moderate to severe pain in adults. Oxycodone is available in several different formulations, combinations, and under different brand names. Percocet is one of the combination drugs of Oxycodone. Percocet, like the parent drug, has addictive qualities and overdose side effects. So, it is worth learning ‘how long does Percocet stay in your system’- detection period in urine, saliva, blood, and hair.

What is Percocet?

Percocet is an opioid drug for pain relief.  It is a combination of oxycodone and mild painkiller acetaminophen.

Tylenol is the basic ingredient contained in acetaminophen.

Percocet is a prescription pill recommended for moderate to severe pain. It is a short-term pain relief solution because it has a high risk of addiction and dependency.

In the U.S., Percocet is classified as a Schedule II drug and a controlled substance. A doctor’s prescription is necessary for purchasing this drug.

According to an FDA communiqué, the Oxycodone ingredient in Percocet is a semisynthetic pure opioid agonist whose principal therapeutic action is analgesia. Other pharmacological effects of oxycodone include feelings of relaxation, anxiolysis, and euphoria.

Another ingredient Acetaminophen in this drug is a non-opiate, non-salicylate analgesic, and antipyretic.  The antipyretic effect of acetaminophen inhibits the endogenous pyrogen action on the hypothalamic heat-regulating centers.

What is the half-life of Percocet?

When you intend to quit the use of Percocet, you may want to know how long it will stay in your system.  You can approximately calculate this by figuring out the half-life of this drug.

By definition, a drug reaches half-life when the plasma concentration of a drug is halved after elimination. Several succeeding half-lives occur before the drug is fully eliminated from your system.

Like its parent drug Oxycodone, the half-life of Percocet ranges between 3.5 hours to 5.5 hours. At this rate, a dose of Percocet stays in your system for 20 hours approximately.  However, the metabolites of this drug stay detectable in urine, saliva, blood, and hair for a longer time.

How long does Percocet stay in your system?

Percocet ingredients in potential form stay in your body for about 19-20 hours. However, its inactive metabolites can stay in your system for a few days to 3 months.

After you ingest Percocet, the liver metabolizes it and releases its active and inactive metabolites which are the primary target of Percocet drug tests.

Several factors decide how long time Percocets take to leave your system. Therefore, each user may have a different time duration for eliminating the drug from his/her body.

For most people, a major portion of both oxycodone and acetaminophen will be cleared from their system within 24 hours.

Drug tests are performed to trace the existence of metabolites of the drug in the body.

Commonly used drug tests are a urine test, blood test, saliva test, and hair test.


How long does Percocet stay in your urine?

Opioid drugs are easily detectable in a urine test. A major portion of the Oxycodone ingredient in Percocet is expelled from your body via urine.

Oxycodone can be detected in your urine within 2 hours after you have had a dose and can be detected for 2 to 4 days.

How long Percocet stays in your system is largely dependent on urinary pH level. If you have more alkaline content in your urine, it will take a much longer time for the kidney to eliminate Percocet from your body.


How long does Percocet stay in your blood?

A blood test is the easiest method to detect the presence of opioids in your body.

Generally, Percocet can be detected in blood within 15 minutes after you had a dose. The liver breaks down the Percocet and exports large quantities of its metabolites into the bloodstream. If your liver functions healthy, the particles of this drug will be detectable in blood within a few minutes.

It takes about an hour for the Oxycodone and acetaminophen to reach the peak level of plasma concentration.  As the hours pass by, the presence of the drug metabolites in the blood depletes very quickly. Thus Percocet stays in your blood for around 24 hours only.

Saliva And Hair

How long does Percocet stay in your saliva and hair follicles?

Saliva and urine test for opioid detection produces similar results. According to anecdotal evidence, Percocet is traceable in your saliva for up to 4 days. The presence of the drug in saliva can vary according to individual factors.

The hair follicle test is useful for detecting the misuse of opioid substances. A hair test can detect Percocet up to 10 to 90 days after you quit using this drug.

Some research suggests that a hair test is beneficial for monitoring drug use in at-risk individuals when used alongside self-reporting.

The drug test for Percocet is reliable for only a few days after you had the last dose of the pill. The only long-term test for Percocet is the hair test which can show up Oxycodone build-up for up to 90 days. The duration of the detection period can vary according to several individual factors.

Influential Factors

The retention period of Percocet in your system is influenced by several factors. Here are some of the key factors that matter:


According to anecdotal evidence, the plasma concentration of Oxycodone is 15 percent higher in the elderly (over 65 years old) in comparison to younger people. Most elderly people have slower body functions that delay the absorption and elimination of drugs from the body.


Analysis of some of the drug detection tests’ data indicates that Oxycodone concentration for a healthy female was up to 25 percent higher than in males. There are no scientific reasons that explain this variation.

Kidney functions

Your body expels the metabolites of Percocet via renal functions. According to research, people with kidney problems take a longer time to reach the half-life point of oxycodone.

Liver function

Oxycodone is primarily metabolized by the liver. Any dysfunction of the liver can increase the half-life of Percocet by few hours.


The potency and effectiveness of oxycodone will increase if you consume alcohol. Alcohol delays the elimination of Percocet from your body. It can also lead to the overdose of the drug with fatal side effects.

Frequency and duration

When you take Percocet regularly for more than a month, the metabolites of the drug get accumulated in the fatty tissues in your body. The longer you use this drug longer it will take for the elimination of it from the body.

Other medications

Oxycodone is cleared by your body through a pathway known as cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A). Some of the other prescription drugs can inhibit CYP3A4 and delay the breakdown of oxycodone.

Having oxycodone with other medications like macrolide antibiotics, protease inhibitors or azole antifungal agents also causes serious health problems.

How to eliminate Percocet from the body faster?

The elimination of opioids from your system depends on the following functions:

  • The kidneys’ ability to excrete drugs also depends on
  • Urine flow
  • Blood flow through the kidneys
  • Healthy functioning of kidneys

Percocet is converted to metabolites in the liver before they are excreted in the bile. Healthy metabolic activity in the liver is necessary for the faster elimination of opioid drugs.

Detoxification of your body may increase the speed of eliminating opioids or other drugs from your system. Some of the best detoxification methods are:

  • Stop using Percocet completely
  • Re-hydrate your body
  • Add more nutritious foods to your daily diets such as berries, green leafy vegetables, seeds, yogurt, and other foods rich in anti-oxidants
  • Engage in active physical exercise that boosts blood circulation and metabolic activities
  • Have herbal supplements for detoxification of the body

The Bottom Line

The pain-relief effect of oxycodone and acetaminophen in Percocet will wear off within 12 hours. But the metabolites of this drug can stay in your body from 24 hours to 90 days.

  • In urine, Percocet can be detected within hours of use and detectable 2 to 4 days
  • Percocet can be detected in your blood 15 minutes after use for up to 24 hours
  • In saliva, Percocet can be detected between 1-4 days after last use
  • Percocet can be detected in hair after days of last use and traceable maximum up to 90 days