A painting of me

Opiates and Opioids

   16 March 2010, mid-morning

Ratio-Oxycocet is the generic version of Percocet. Its a small white tablet with TEC marked on one side and a groove on the other to make it easier to chop in half. The tablet is a combination of two drugs, acetaminophen and oxycodone. Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol. It relieves pain and gives you liver damage if you take too much. It’s a very common drug, found in almost everything — for example, Percocet. You’ve probably had acetaminophen many times in your life. Oxycodone on the otherhand is something you hopefully haven’t had to take before. It’s a fairly powerful opioid, similar in strength to morphine. In the TV show House the lead character is addicted to Vicodin, a weaker pain killer. Ocycodone was developed early in the 20th century with the hope it would be less of a disaster than Bayer’s very powerful painkiller, Heroin. At the time Heroin was being taken off the market because it was Heroin. (Heroin is apparently 16 times stronger than morphine! What? It’s also apparently still prescribed under the name Diamorphine.) Oxycodone doesn’t work as quickly as either drug, and its effects don’t last as long, which is why it was thought it would be less likely to be abused. The time release capsule version of oxycodone is sold as OxyContin, which you may have heard of. I was given Oxycotin when I had my wisdom teeth taken out. OxyContin is apparently one of the most abused prescription painkillers in the US. (Abusing Percoet is probably a bad idea because of its acetaminophen content, though I don’t doubt people do.) The moral of the story here is that it’s hard to make an opioid people won’t try and freebase. Me? Not so much. I’m so sick of taking Percocet I spend my mornings reading about opiates and opioids.



  1. Ram, I wish that more patients who are taking opioids have an attitude more like yours. Seriously, the world would be a better place. As stupid as you may think it is, people come up with all sorts of sob stories and scams to get their “Percs”. I cringe for their livers (some people take 10-12 a day), although I wonder if they’re just selling some on the street. Such drug-seekers make it really tough for doctors, which in turn makes it tough on legit patients.

    I hope you’re feeling better… I only drop in occasionally, so I’m not even sure what happened to you.

  2. I can see how people could end up hooked on them. I mean, they're made out of some pretty addictive stuff. I was taking 12 a day when I was discharged actually, which is kind of crazy when I think about it now. I'd wake up or stop whatever I was doing because I knew I'd hit the four hour mark, like clockwork. That lasted a 3-4 days, then I switched to 6 a day. Now i’m down to 1 in the morning, when my stupid-ass leg wakes me up. I have 9 pills left. So maybe i’ll be all crazy for percs when they run out.

    And yeah, a car ran over my leg.

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