Can You Take Percocet While Pregnant?

You should not take Percocet (oxycodone combined with acetaminophen) while you are pregnant due to the life-threatening issues that may occur to the baby. Withdrawal symptoms and a range of side effects can harm the child if you take opioids while pregnant.

Percocet, or the combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen, is an opioid pain medication. What sets Percocet apart from other drugs, such as OxyContin, is that it combines the opioid oxycodone with acetaminophen (Tylenol) to provide pain relief.

Although oxycodone cannot be taken while pregnant, acetaminophen is safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding. However, pregnant women should avoid Percocet. 

Percocet is a prescription opioid used to help treat those suffering from severe pain, but other pain relief medications which are safe to use during pregnancy should be considered first instead.

Speak with your prescribing doctor regarding the possible risks to you and your child’s health. If a person suffering from an opioid use disorder becomes pregnant, they may require other medications to help treat the disorder, including buprenorphine or methadone.

Dangers Of Taking Percocet While Pregnant

There are potential risks of taking Percocet while pregnant. Although Percocet contains acetaminophen, Percocet should still be avoided while pregnant because the strong pain reliever may cause certain health conditions.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

When Percocet is taken while pregnant, the drug can penetrate the placenta, exposing the fetus to an opioid. Those who are breastfeeding can also pass the drug from mother to child via breast milk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a potential withdrawal syndrome known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) may occur in babies within 72 hours after birth. Some of the symptoms of NAS can be life-threatening and may consist of:

  • maternal death
  • birth defects
  • poor feeding
  • stillbirth
  • preterm labor
  • poor fetal growth
  • low birth weight
  • stillbirth

Additionally, those who take this chronic pain medication during the early stages of pregnancy or the first trimester may have an increased risk of their child developing certain health problems such as heart defects. 

Speak with your healthcare provider so they can assist you with prenatal care to avoid any undesirable outcomes.

Dangers Of Percocet Drug Abuse

There are several dangers associated with Percocet substance use. Not only can drug interactions and withdrawal symptoms take place, an overdose may become likely if drug use continues to occur.

Drug Interactions

Due to the strength of the Percocet, it should not be combined with other substances, especially other opioid medications. Substances to avoid while on Percocet include:

  • certain supplements or vitamins
  • tramadol (Ultram)
  • hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • over-the-counter painkillers
  • fentanyl
  • alcohol
  • codeine

Percocet Overdose

With Percocet abuse, some may take higher doses than prescribed to achieve a high or profound sedation, resulting in an increased risk of overdose.

Symptoms of a Percocet overdose can include:

  • loss of consciousness
  • weak muscles
  • cold or clammy skin
  • respiratory depression
  • coma
  • excessive drowsiness

If you suspect a drug overdose has taken place, immediately contact 911 or poison control and seek urgent medical help.

If you or a loved one have an opioid addiction and are ready to get help, contact us today for information on our substance abuse treatment programs.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  3. Food and Drug Administration,040341s013,040434s003lbl.pdf
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  6. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 7, 2023

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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