Article: Percodan

PercodanĀ® is a potent opioid painkiller used to treat moderately severe to severe acute (short-term) pain. Percodan was first marketed by DuPont Pharmaceuticals and prescribed in the United States in 1950. At one time one of the most widely prescribed painkillers, Percodan has largely been replaced by safer alternatives.

Pharmacology

Each Percodan tablet contains the following active ingredients: 4.5 mg of oxycodone hydrochloride, 0.38 mg of oxycodone terephthalate, and 325 mg of aspirin. Each tablet also contains the following inactive ingredients: FD&C Yellow 10, FD&C Yellow 6, microcrystalline cellulose and starch. The oxycodone component in Percodan is technically 14-hydroxydihydrocodeinone, a white odorless, crystalline powder which is synthesized from the opium alkaloid thebaine. Thebaine by itself has no therapeutic value. Oxycodone is metabolized into oxymorphone. Unlike morphine and like codeine, oxycodone has a good oral potency. Prior to the introduction of acetaminophen (Tylenol), Percodan was the mainstay in post-operative oral pain treatment due to the potency and long half-life of oxycodone. Percodan originally contained a small amount of caffeine.

Decline of Use

Percodan has largely been replaced by Percocet (which is a compound of oxycodone and acetaminophen, instead of Percodan's aspirin) and other oxycodone-containing compounds for post-operative pain, since aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs increase prothrombin time and thus inhibit the blood from clotting, which can result in post-operative complications, such as excessive bleeding. In the United States, Percodan is regulated as a Schedule II controlled substance under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1970, along with cocaine, morphine and raw opium. Schedule II prescriptions may not be filled telephonically (except in an emergency), and no refills are allowed. Percodan is becoming something of a relic in the United States, at least, as the number of prescriptions has fallen precipitously since the 1960s in light of the safer and stronger drugs available containing oxycodone (Percocet, Tylox, OxyContin, Roxicodone, Percocet 10/325).

Miscellaneous

Percodan is also sold under the brand name EndodanĀ®. All products containing oxycodone (including Percodan, Percocet, OxyContin) have the potential to be habit-forming. Oxycodone can produce drug dependence of the morphine type and, therefore, has the potential for being abused. Percodan is subject to the Federal Controlled Substances Act (Schedule II); it is a favorite of and eagerly sought after by opiate addicts; most opiate addicts, however, prefer OxyContin because it does not contain any other active ingredients besides oxycodone, unlike Percodan and Percocet, which each contain aspirin and Tylenol, respectively.

Percodan and Percocet are currently (2006) manufactured by Endo Pharmaceuticals.

Dosage

The usual adult dosage of Percodan is one tablet by mouth every 6 hours as needed for pain, not to exceed 12 tablets in 24 hours in any event.

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