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Oxycodone Detox Guide: Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

Oxycodone is a prescription medicine used to treat moderate to severe pain. It comes in a few different formulas. OxyContin is pure oxycodone that treats severe, long-lasting pain.1 Percocet is oxycodone mixed with acetaminophen and is often used for moderate pain.2

But even though it has valid medical uses, like other opioid medicines, using oxycodone puts a person at risk of a life-threatening or deadly overdose. Plus, using oxycodone too often or for long periods of time, even if used as a doctor tells you, can lead to dependence and withdrawal. This guide will help you learn more about oxycodone withdrawal symptoms, how long withdrawal lasts, and how to cope with these symptoms and find help.

What are the Symptoms of Oxycodone Withdrawal?

Long-term oxycodone and other opioid use can lead to dependence, even when you use it exactly as your doctor told you.3 Dependence happens when your body gets used to the drug. This means that you will go through withdrawal if you suddenly stop taking it or greatly reduce your dose.3 Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms include:5
Prescription bottle with oxycodone pills laid out

  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Sweating.
  • Chills and goosebumps.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Compulsive yawning.
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia).
  • Drug cravings.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depressed mood.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms are often very uncomfortable. This may cause some people to start using opioids again to ease the discomfort.5,6 But there is hope. There are many safe treatment options that can help keep you comfortable through withdrawal. We’ll talk about these more below.

How Long Does Oxycodone Withdrawal Last?

Oxycodone and other opioid withdrawal symptoms can be different for everyone. How strong your symptoms are and how long they last depend on: 5,7

  • How long you’ve been taking oxycodone or other opioids.
  • How much you take.
  • How often you take it.
  • If you use any other substances.
  • Your overall physical and mental health.

In general, oxycodone withdrawal symptoms start around 6 to 12 hours after your last dose.6 If you take oxycodone that’s marked “extended-release,” withdrawal symptoms may start even later.12 Talk to your doctor if you’re unsure which formula you take. Withdrawal symptoms tend to be at their worst (peak) at around 1 to 3 days, then will slowly fade around 5 to 7 days after your last use of oxycodone.6

How Can I Deal With Symptoms of Oxycodone Withdrawal?

Withdrawal from oxycodone and other opioids is rarely life-threatening. But in rare cases, some people do have symptoms that need medical care, such as existing heart problems that may get worse.7 Also, many people who try to quit opioids on their own start using again to make the withdrawal symptoms stop.3 A professional detox center can offer you a safe place to deal with these issues and keep you as comfortable as possible during withdrawal.

Oxycodone detox can take place at an inpatient or outpatient setting. Your doctor can help you decide which setting is the right choice for you. In general, outpatient treatment works well if you have no other medical or mental health issues and have been using oxycodone for a short period of time.7 On the other hand, inpatient detox may be helpful if you: 7

  • Also need to detox from other substances.
  • Have tried outpatient treatment before.
  • Have other medical or mental health issues.
  • Have a home life that is not supportive of your recovery.

If you go to inpatient treatment, you will live at the detox center during withdrawal and have 24-hour support. In outpatient treatment, you will go to scheduled appointments during the day and go home at night.7

No matter which setting you choose, detox is but the first step in treatment.10 After detox, many people continue their recovery work in rehab, counseling and behavioral therapy, and support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

Opioid Withdrawal Medicines

During detox, your care team may give you medicines to help ease withdrawal symptoms and control drug cravings. These medicines include:7,

  • Buprenorphine or methadone. These medicines reduce cravings and ease withdrawal. Some people keep taking these medicines even after detox to help control cravings and prevent relapse (return to drug use after a period of not using).
  • Lofexidine and clonidine help ease some withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety.
  • Sleep medicines.
  • Non-opioid pain medicines.
  • Medicines to help control diarrhea and nausea.

Can I Detox from Oxycodone at Home?

As noted earlier, withdrawal from oxycodone or other opioids is rarely life-threatening. But, withdrawal can be very unpleasant and you may be tempted to start using again to make these symptoms stop.

Another risk to detoxing at home is overdose. When you don’t use oxycodone or other opioids for a period of time (abstinence), your body loses its tolerance to the drug. So, the same dose you took before can cause an overdose.9

It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about your options for quitting. They can help you find a program that fits your needs so that you don’t have to face these symptoms alone.

How Can I Find Oxycodone Detox Near Me?

American Addiction Centers is a leading provider of oxycodone detox and rehab nationwide. Our caring and compassionate staff can help you detox safely and guide you through long-term treatment. We are here to support you in all your recovery needs. Ready to take back your life? Call our free and confidential detox helpline any time, day or night: .

Sources

  1. Food and Drug Administration. (2021). OxyContin.
  2. Food and Drug Administration. (2018). Percocet.
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Prescription opioids drug facts.
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Prescription opioids and heroin research report.
  5. Pergolizzi Jr, J. V., Raffa, R. B., & Rosenblatt, M. H. (2020). Opioid withdrawal symptoms, a consequence of chronic opioid use and opioid use disorder: Current understanding and approaches to management. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 45(5), 892–903.
  6. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th Ed.).Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
  7. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). TIP 45: Detoxification and substance abuse treatment.
  8. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). TIP 63: Medications for opioid use disorder.
  9. MedlinePlus. (2021). Opiate and opioid withdrawal.
  10. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide (Third edition).
  11. Renfro, M.L., Loera, L.J., Tirado, C.F., & Hill, L.G. (2020). Lofexidine for acute opioid withdrawal: A clinical case series. Mental Health Clinician, 10(5), 259–263.
  12. Kral, L.A., Jackson, K., & Uritsky, T. (2015). A practical guide to tapering opioids. Mental Health Clinician, 5(3), 102–108.
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