Percocet contains a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone, whereas Percodan contains a combination of aspirin and oxycodone. The difference between including acetaminophen or aspirin is the major difference between these medications. Drugs.com explains that acetaminophen increases the effects of oxycodone but has less potency as a pain reliever in its own right, while aspirin reduces substances in the body that cause pain, fever and inflammation.
According to Drugs.com, the aspirin in Percodan also makes it riskier for children and teens because it may cause Reye's syndrome. It also presents dangers for those with a recent history of stomach or intestinal bleeding and people who take blood thinners or have allergies to aspirin, oxycodone and NSAIDs. Even though Percocet and Percodan consist of different oxycodone combinations, they appear to have much in common in how they work, their potential side effects and their risk factors. For instance, Drugs.com classifies both Percocet and Percodan as opioids and narcotics. The site also explains that both medications relieve moderate to severe pain.
Drugs.com explains that misuse of either medication may cause addiction, overdose or death, particularly in children or individuals using the medication without a prescription. Furthermore, people who take either Percocet or Percodan within 14 days of taking an MAO inhibitor risk a serious drug interaction.