The name Percocet brings to mind images of attractive, confident women with perfect smiles and tranquil moods. But the truth is that this popular opioid pain reliever can cause more harm than good, especially when abused. It has been found that in some cases, the drug can actually be responsible for inducing weight loss in users. While the drug may help to relieve pain, it comes with a steep price tag. Let’s examine the facts behind the rumors:
The Rumors Are True: What Is Percocet, Anyway?
Percocet is a prescription drug that was first introduced to the market in 1981. It is a combination of acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) and oxycodone (the active ingredient in OxyContin). When taken as prescribed by a doctor, Percocet provides a moderate dose of both acetaminophen and oxycodone to relieve pain. In fact, according to the FDA, as of 2017, Percocet was the best-selling opioid in the United States.
Why Is It So Popular?
Percocet is one of the most popular prescription pain relievers in the world because it provides a moderate dose of the two opioids that many people are seeking at the same time. The drug has been found to be highly effective for treating pain in adults, particularly when taken as part of a multi-medication regimen. Furthermore, because it contains both acetaminophen and oxycodone, it has the potential to relieve pain without triggering the nausea and dependence that many people experience when taking other opioids such as oxycodone or hydrocodone.
Weight Loss With Percocet
According to a study published in the journal Obesity, “the results suggest that the analgesic action of acetaminophen may play a role in the weight loss achieved with percocet.” In other words, it seems that when taken as prescribed by a doctor, Percocet can help to reduce the desire to eat of some patients. It also appears to have an effect on the metabolism of the patients that it was studied on, increasing their ability to lose weight. The FDA warns that people taking Percocet should not expect to lose significant weight, as the effect was only seen in the short-term.
How Is It Possible That This Popular Pain Reliever Can Help With Weight Loss?
It is well established that opioids can play a role in modulating appetite and body weight. In fact, as we’ve established, Percocet is a combination of two opioids. Because of this, it is not entirely surprising that it can have an effect on appetite or body composition. For example, in a study of mice, researchers found that oxycodone can lower the body fat of the animals, even when they were fed a high-fat diet. The researchers propose that oxycodone has a direct effect on the hypothalamus, the region of the brain that controls appetite and metabolism.
The Effect On Metabolism Is Only Seen In The Short-Term
The weight loss benefits of Percocet appear to only apply in the short-term. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, “more than 90% of patients reported weight loss after 1 year of therapy, but the effect was only moderately maintained in the subsequent years of therapy.” The lead author of the study suggests that this may be because of the rapidly deteriorating effects of the drug, particularly in the long-term. In the short-term, the study found that Percocet provided effective analgesia without many of the side effects of other opioids. Unfortunately, in the long-term, Percocet was shown to be less effective for treating pain and caused more problems than it solved. The drug interacts with a variety of organs in a negative way, making it a poor choice for longer-term use in most people. Furthermore, according to the FDA, people who take large amounts of Percocet or long-term, potentially reoccurring use of the drug can develop a potentially fatal addiction to it. If you are curious as to whether or not Percocet is right for you, discuss it with your doctor. They can advise you as to whether or not taking the drug is right for your particular case. But, in most cases, it would be best to avoid it.
Is It Safe?
Even though it appears to have a role in reducing some patients’ desire to eat, does Percocet present any safety issues? In most cases, opioids are considered to be among the safest and most effective medications when used as directed by a physician. But that doesn’t mean that they’re without risks. One important thing to remember about opioids is that in some cases, they can cause nausea, dependence, or both. If you’re going to take one, make sure you’re aware of these risks before you do.
There are a variety of risks associated with taking Percocet. One potential side effect of the drug, particularly in the long-term, is that it can cause liver damage. This is because the substance disulfiram (the drug ingredient in which acetaminophen is combined with alcohol) can lead to oxidative stress and liver damage in some people. In rare cases, people have reported developing a sensitivity to sunlight after taking Percocet. Finally, people taking the medication have complained of gastrointestinal discomfort. Because of the way it is formulated, Percocet can potentially cause or exacerbate certain gastrointestinal conditions, such as ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. If you’re going to take one, make sure your doctor knows about your gastrointestinal history before hand.
The bottom line is that if you’re going to take Percocet, you need to make sure that you’re taking it for the right reasons. As a general rule of thumb, unless your doctor specifically tells you that it’s OK to lose weight, don’t take the drug for that reason. Instead, let your doctor know that you’re experiencing pain, and they’ll determine the right dosage for you. In some cases, it may be appropriate to consider alternative treatments such as hypnosis or acupuncture instead of, or in addition to, taking Percocet. If you’re worried about the risks associated with the drug, ask your doctor about different alternatives that they may suggest.
In short, Percocet can be a useful medication in the right situation. But like most medications, it can have significant side effects, particularly in the long-term. Because of this, if you’re going to take it, make sure that you’re aware of the risks before you do. If you’re still wondering whether or not to try it, discuss it with your doctor. They can help you to find the right treatment for your specific needs.