Drugs Q & A

How Long Does a TEC Pill Last?

Your body is full of nerve endings in your skin and tissues. Some of these nerve endings can sense pain, like from a burn or a blow to a body part (like your friend’s foot hitting your shin). When cells in your body are injured or damaged, they release chemicals called prostaglandins.

The special nerve endings that sense pain are very sensitive to this chemical. When prostaglandin is released, the nerve endings respond to it by picking up and transmitting the pain and injury messages through the nervous system to the brain. They tell the brain everything about the pain, like where it is and how much it hurts. The brain then responds.

Pain is painful, but it isn’t all bad. It’s your body’s early warning system that something is wrong, so you can take steps to correct the problem. For example, if you couldn’t feel pain, and you had your hand on a hot stove, you wouldn’t know your hand was burning. Because of pain, your brain gets the message to get your hand off the stove right away!

What is TEC Pill?

TEC Pills, officially known as Oxycocet is a generic version of Percocet, a prescription medication containing oxycodone hydrochloride and acetaminophen. This medication is produced by Teva Canada. TEC Pills provides relief for moderate to severe pain and lasts up to 3 to 5 hours depending on the formulation.

TEC Pill is a strong pain reliever most often prescribed for intense, short-term pain felt after surgery or trauma, but it is also sometimes used for patients with severe chronic pain. TEC Pill is often seen as a safer way to get high because it is legal to purchase (it is available with a prescription).

However, TEC Pill is still widely abused for its narcotic effect. A high enough dose can result in a sense of euphoria similar to that experienced by heroin users. Abuse of TEC Pills can lead to addiction or something harder. According to reports, the TEC name is among the most desired brands of prescription drugs in Canada’s opioid epidemic.

How many TEC pills can you take?

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking TEC Pills and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take TEC Pills by mouth as directed by your doctor. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to decrease nausea (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using TEC Pills unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

The dosage of TEC Pill is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose, take the medication more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the TEC Pill when so directed.

Pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.

If you have ongoing pain (such as due to cancer), your doctor may direct you to also take long-acting opioid medications. In that case, this medication might be used for sudden (breakthrough) pain only as needed. Other pain relievers (such as ibuprofen, naproxen) may also be prescribed with this medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using oxycodone safely with other drugs.

Suddenly stopping TEC Pills may cause withdrawal, especially if you have used it for a long time or in high doses. To prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have any withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, mental/mood changes (including anxiety, trouble sleeping, thoughts of suicide), watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, muscle aches, or sudden changes in behavior.

When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.

Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Tell your doctor if your pain does not get better or if it gets worse.

What is the half life of TEC pills?

Half-life is a term that refers to the amount of time it takes for a substance to reduce to half its initial amount in your body. For example, if you take a substance like TEC pill, the half-life refers to how long it takes for the concentration of the substance in your body to decrease by half. TEC pill’s half-life may also be helpful to estimate when withdrawal symptoms may occur.

Because the oxycodone component of TEC pill is a short-acting, immediate-release drug, its half-life is estimated to be between 3.2 and 4 hours. Similarly, the acetaminophen component of TEC pill has a half-life of around three hours. However, TEC pill’s half-life range varies and may increase if you have poor kidney or liver function.

Generally, it takes about five half-lives for a drug to be completely removed from your system. Based on a half-life of 4 hours, TEC pill is likely to stay in your system for about 20 hours.

Factors That Influence How Long TEC pill Stays In Your System

There are individual factors that can determine how long TEC pill stays in your system:

  • Physiological Factors: A person with poor kidney or liver function may clear TEC pill slower than a person with healthy kidney and liver function, leading the drug to last longer in their body.
  • Drug Interactions: TEC pill has some drug interactions that can make the body clear TEC pill more quickly than expected, including anti-infective rifampin and the seizure medications carbamazepine and phenytoin. Some medications can make TEC pill stay longer in the body than expected, including antibiotics like erythromycin, the antifungal ketoconazole and the HIV medication ritonavir.
  • Dosage: The higher the TEC pill dose you take and the more often you take it, the longer it may take your body to clear the drug.

You may find useful information on: How to Identify Real TEC Pills From Fakes


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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