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How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System

How long does Percocet stay in your system depends on three key variables. Percocet is a combination of oxycodone, an opioid, and acetaminophen. Both are detectable in a drug test. This article discusses how long Percocet stays in your system. Both medications relieve pain but through different mechanisms. According to the FDA, Percocet is detectable for 1 to 3 hours after taking it for 1 to 2 days.


Each tablet contains oxycodone hydrochloride and acetaminophen in the following strengths:

  • Oxycodone Hydrochloride 2.5 mg
  • Acetaminophen 325mg
  • Oxycodone Hydrochloride 5mg
  • Acetaminophen 325 mg
  • Oxycodone Hydrochloride 7.5 mg
  • Acetaminophen 325 mg
  • Oxycodone Hydrochloride 7.5 mg
  • Acetaminophen 500 mg
  • Oxycodone Hydrochloride 10 mg
  • Acetaminophen 325 mg
  • Oxycodone Hydrochloride 10 mg
  • Acetaminophen 650 mg


The best way to measure the length of time a drug stays in the body is to use half-life and then compute based on the amount ingested. A medication’s half-life is how long it takes the body to break down and clear half of the medicines from the body.

  • Percocet has a relatively short half-life of only 3.2 hours.

Half-life means half of the drug will be metabolized and removed from the body 3.2 hours after the last dose. It takes multiple half-lives to eliminate it.


  • The Percocet found in this drug will not be measurable in the system 24-48 hours after the average person’s last dose.

Hair and Saliva

It is still detectable in saliva and urine for up to 4 days after the final amount. It is observable in hair for up to 3 months.

These are generalizations as various factors can speed up or slow down how the body metabolizes or breaks it down—breakdown and cause it to be detectable longer through drug testing.

Females tend to have higher levels of Percocet in their body relative to men at equal dosage. So, it may take slightly more time for females to clear than males.

Age matters too. For several reasons, people over the age of 65 develop higher levels. Senior citizens also tend to take more prescription and non-prescription drugs. Other medications compete with each other for breakdown and clearance. Therefore, older people may clear the medication more slowly. Being on other medications can delay the process.

The liver and kidneys are the main organs that break down and eliminate drugs. In people who have liver or kidney disease, clearance may take longer. Finally, long-term users may not clear the medication as quickly as new users. It is in fat tissue, and this slows breakdown and elimination.

It’s also important to know about the acetaminophen in each capsule. The liver mainly breaks down acetaminophen. The half-life of acetaminophen is 2 to 3 hours but may be as long as 4 hours in people with reduced liver function.

  • Acetaminophen is no longer detectable after 24 hours.


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