Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline, Symptoms, and Treatment

 

oxycodone withdrawal timeline symptoms and treatment

Oxycodone addiction is a severe and complex condition. While abusing oxycodone, people can face serious consequences to their physical and emotional well-being. Some become involved in activities that can lead to life-altering legal and financial trouble. People often require professional treatment to overcome oxycodone addiction.

More than 11.5 million Americans have abused opioid medications like oxycodone.[1] While opioid pain relievers can be used safely under careful medical supervision, these and other prescription medications can be addictive–even with a prescription. It’s essential to understand the risk of oxycodone addiction and how to manage oxycodone withdrawal symptoms safely.

 

oxycodone infographic
oxycodone infographic

 

What Are the Side Effects of Oxycodone Abuse?

Doctors typically only prescribe oxycodone for short-term use. People who take oxycodone must do so only under the guidance and supervision of medical professionals. Some people experience uncomfortable side effects when using this medication, including:

  • Constipation
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations

Oxycodone and other opioid medications can cause slow, shallow breathing.[2] When breathing becomes too shallow, it can turn into a life-threatening medical emergency. The likelihood of a deadly overdose increases if people take more of the medication than they should. Using too much oxycodone, or taking it longer than prescribed, can lead to dependence and addiction.

Recognizing Oxycodone Addiction

Many people have ideas about how an addicted person may act. They may imagine someone who is unable to function or someone with a long history of drug abuse.

However, anyone who takes oxycodone–even with a prescription– can abuse it, even without a prior history of substance abuse. Everyone is at risk of developing an addiction to opioids, even without other risk factors.

Recognizing the signs of opioid addiction can help you seek treatment as quickly as possible. These include:

  • Taking more oxycodone than prescribed or taking it more often
  • Needing more of the drug to get the desired effect
  • Taking oxycodone longer than your doctor recommends
  • Feeling unable to stop using oxycodone when you want to
  • Spending significant time getting, using, or recovering from using the drug
  • Getting into financial or legal trouble as a result of oxycodone use
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you take less or stop using the medication

Being aware of the signs of oxycodone addiction is essential so that you can seek professional treatment as quickly as possible.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

When someone suddenly stops using oxycodone after a period of heavy use, they are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. Oxycodone withdrawal can be very uncomfortable, although it is typically not life-threatening.

Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Increased heart rate
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Poor concentration
  • Body or muscle aches

The severity of symptoms people experience depends on various factors, including the length and severity of their oxycodone abuse.

How Long Does Oxycodone Withdrawal Last?

A person’s oxycodone withdrawal timeline can vary and depend on several individual factors, including:

  • How long you have been abusing oxycodone
  • The amount of oxycodone your body is accustomed to
  • How often you use oxycodone
  • Co-occurring mental or physical health conditions
  • Age, weight, and gender
  • General health
  • Metabolism
  • Other substances you use

For most, withdrawal symptoms begin within 8-12 hours after taking their last dose and typically peak around day three and start to subside after day 5.

Most acute withdrawal symptoms will fade after one week, but some people may experience symptoms like depression and cravings as part of post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). PAWS can last for many months and requires ongoing treatment.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline

Knowing when your symptoms will develop and fade may motivate you throughout detox. Most people who detox from oxycodone experience the following withdrawal timeline:

Day 1-2: Withdrawal symptoms may begin within 8-12 hours of the last dose. Early symptoms include:

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Pupil dilation
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety

Many people begin to worry about what symptoms may come next–and some begin to use oxycodone again to avoid it. It’s essential to continue with detox until it is complete. Treatment and emotional support can help you get through the process as comfortably as possible.

Days 3-5: Symptoms may peak during this time and may include:

  • Shaking
  • Cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting

Muscle aches continue, and many people find the discomfort so intense that they relapse. The only way to guarantee your safety and continued sobriety is to detox at a medical facility.

Days 6-7: Physical symptoms lessen, but psychological symptoms intensify. Many experience crippling anxiety and depression. Irritability and mood swings are common as you face more uncomfortable days. Fatigue may set in. Treatment and support are essential during this stage so that you do not relapse.

Day 8 and beyond: As the detoxification process finishes, symptoms begin to taper off. Some people start to feel guilt or remorse as their thinking clears and awareness sets in. Relapse is still likely during this stage, and medical and emotional treatment is still necessary.

Professional treatment can prevent people from relapsing during the acute withdrawal phase and can allow people to have a safe, comfortable detox experience.

Risk of Attempting to Detox Independently

Some people may attempt to detox from oxycodone alone, but most fail. Oxycodone can also lead to dangerous withdrawal symptoms and side effects, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Dehydration
  • Elevated blood sodium levels
  • Heart problems
  • Relapse
  • Overdose

To have the best chance at a safe, complete withdrawal from oxycodone, you must seek treatment and support during detox.

Treatment for oxycodone withdrawal symptoms includes supervision, medications, emotional support, and holistic therapies to support comfort. In a medically supported opioid detox program, people have round-the-clock access to medical and mental health professionals who can provide the treatment they need to ensure a safe, complete detox from oxycodone.

Find Help for Oxycodone Abuse and Addiction Today

Don’t take chances with your health by attempting to manage your oxycodone withdrawal symptoms alone. Call the caring specialists at Moving Mountains Recovery today to learn more about your oxycodone addiction treatment options.

References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Prescription Opioids, Retrieved March 2023 from https://www.cdc.gov/opioids/basics/prescribed.html
  2. Nazia M. Sadiq; Travis J. Dice; Therese Mead in the National Library of Medicine: Oxycodone, Retrieved March 2023 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482226/
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