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Oxycodone, one of the primary active ingredients in Percocet, was the 52nd most commonly prescribed drug in the United States in 2017. In that year alone, medical providers approved roughly 15,111,150. Unfortunately, Percocet is one of the most commonly abused narcotic drugs in the United States, playing a part in the current opioid crisis. As such, it pays to know more about this medication, including how long Percocet stays in your system.

Basic Information

Mean effective half-life: 3.51 ± 1.43 hours (oxycodone), 1.25 to 3 hours (acetaminophen)

Time to steady-state: within 24 hours (ER oxycodone/acetaminophen under the trade name Xartemis XR)

Mean accumulation ratio:1.7 fold for oxycodone and 1.4 fold for acetaminophen” (Xartemis XR)

Terminal phase half-life: 4.26 to 4.76 hours for oxycodone and 4.7 to 6.6 hours for acetaminophen (fed and fasting conditions following dosing of two ER oxycodone 15 mg/acetaminophen 650 mg tablets)

Oxycodone, a major element of Percocet, has an oral bioavailability of 60 to 87 percent, although the “relative bioavailability of [Percocet]… compared to extended-release oxycodone is unknown.” Percocet consists of two primary ingredients (oxycodone and acetaminophen) metabolized by the body in different ways. The body excretes oxycodone through the urine, and it breaks down acetaminophen via the liver. Both drugs are readily absorbed by the body and utilized, though. 


What is the half-life of Percocet?

The half-life of Percocet is difficult to determine because it is a combination drug. That said, the mean effective half-life of oxycodone is roughly 3.51 hours and acetaminophen 1.25 hours.

How long does Percocet stay in your system?

Percocet is detectable in your system for the following time frames:

  • Your blood for 24 hours.
  • Your saliva for up to 48 hours.
  • Your urine for up to four days.
  • Your hair for up to 90 days.

How long does oxycodone stay in your system?

Oxycodone is detectable for up to four days (usually 1 to 3 days) in saliva and urine samples and for as many as 90 days in hair samples. 

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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