Generic Names of Percocet

Close-up of medicine tablets
Percocet pills spilling out of a bottle. (Image: Grytsaj/iStock/Getty Images)

Percocet is the trade name for a prescription pain-relieving medicine, which contains the opiate drug oxycodone and the nonopiate drug acetaminophen. Percocet is widely prescribed in the U.S. for the management of moderate to moderately severe pain. The International Association for the Study of Pain reports roughly 31 percent of males and 40 percent of females suffer from chronic pain. People with addiction disorders may abuse Percocet; roughly 33 million Americans report having used pain relievers for nonmedical purposes.

Oxycodone Hydrochloride/Acetaminophen

Oxycodone hydrochloride is the generic name for the opiate pain reliever in Percocet. This narcotic drug is chemically similar to morphine and has been in use as a pain reliever since 1917. Although the exact mechanism of action is not fully understood, oxycodone and other narcotic pain relievers do not stop pain signals but rather alter the nervous system’s response to pain. The second pain-relieving drug in Percocet is acetaminophen, which is a non-narcotic pain reliever available in many over-the-counter products. Acetaminophen is believed to act by altering how the body senses pain. The co-administration of two pain relievers with different mechanisms of action is believed to provide superior pain relief than either drug would in isolation.

Other Generic Names of Oxycodone Hydrochloride

Oxycodone hydrochloride is known by other non-trade names including oxycodone, oxycodone HCl, and dihydrohydroxycodeinone. Oxycodone is sometimes referred to simply as "oxy". The combination of any of these names followed by any of the generic names for acetaminophen may be used to refer to Percocet. Examples include oxy/APAP, oxycodone HCl/APAP and oxycodone HCl/acetaminophen.

Other Generic Names for Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is known by other nontrade names including N-acetyl-p-aminophenol, APAP and its chemical name N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)acetamide. The combination of any of these names after any of the generic names for oxycodone hydrochloride may be used to refer to Percocet. Examples include oxycodone hydrochloride/APAP, oxycodone/APAP and oxycodone hydrochloride/N-acetyl-p-aminophenol.

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