Oxycodone is a prescription opioid painkiller that is prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. The medication is sold under various brand names, such as Percocet, OxyContin, Percodan, and Roxicodone.
While oxycodone is effective at alleviating pain, it can also be abused and lead to the development of an addiction. The drug works by binding to and activating opioid receptors in the brain, blocking pain signals, and providing pain relief. However, it also has addictive qualities, such as sedation, relaxation, calmness, and euphoria.
What Causes Oxycodone Withdrawal?
Oxycodone is a central nervous system depressant meaning it slows down breathing, heart rate, and respiration. When it binds to opioid receptors creating these depressant effects, the body’s receptors work harder to compensate.
After regular and long-term oxycodone use, the body will become physically dependent on the drug. Opioid receptors in the body will be accustomed to having oxycodone in the system, and when a person suddenly stops taking oxycodone, opioid receptors will continue acting in an over-compensating state–as if they are expecting to receive another dose. This causes physical and psychiatric symptoms of withdrawal.
People who are addicted to oxycodone are very likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug. However, even people who take oxycodone as prescribed may experience withdrawal if they stop taking their medication suddenly.
The oxycodone withdrawal timeline varies based on dose, length of use, and other factors. If you or a loved one are struggling with oxycodone addiction, it’s important that you don’t try detoxing alone. Our licensed opioid detox center in California can provide you with a safe and comfortable treatment experience.
Symptoms of Oxycodone Withdrawal
Common symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal include:
- Watery eyes
- Drug cravings
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal cramping
- Dilated pupils
- Cold sweats
- Increased blood pressure
Symptoms may vary in intensity from one person to the next. Relapse is extremely common among people who try to detox from prescription opioids without professional support.
How Long Does Oxycodone Withdrawal Last?
The oxycodone withdrawal timeline can be impacted by several factors, including:
- How long you’ve been using the drug and how often you take it
- The dosage you are used to taking
- Personal health factors such as age, weight, and metabolism
- Polysubstance abuse (taking oxycodone in combination with alcohol or other drugs)
Oxycodone is considered a long-acting opioid, meaning it stays in the body longer than some short-acting opioids. As a result, symptoms may take 1-2 days to appear, but in people with severe dependence, symptoms can appear less than 24 hours after the last dose. Symptoms usually peak between days 3 and 4 and will subside after 1-2 weeks.
Some patients with a history of long-term oxycodone use may experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). PAWS refers to protracted withdrawal symptoms like cravings, dysphoria, depression, anxiety, sleep issues, and issues with learning and memory. Symptoms of PAWS are best managed with behavioral therapy and lifestyle changes.
Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline
A general timeline for oxycodone withdrawal is as follows:
- Days 1-2 – Oxycodone withdrawal usually begins 1-2 days after your last dose. Early indicators of withdrawal include excessive yawning, sneezing, watery eyes, cravings, restlessness, and irritability. Many people will relapse during the early stages of withdrawal due to dreadful anticipation of worsening symptoms.
- Days 3-5 – Symptoms usually peak 3-5 days after your last dose. You may experience flu-like symptoms as well as gastrointestinal upset, insomnia, drug cravings, depression, anxiety, and more. The risk for relapse is especially high during this stage of oxycodone withdrawal because of the intensity of symptoms.
- Days 6-7 – Physical symptoms will begin to subside around the one-week mark, but many mental and emotional symptoms may persist. People who are receiving treatment should not leave treatment just because they are feeling better physically. Mental symptoms can still result in relapse.
- 1-2 Weeks – After 1-2 weeks most of your acute withdrawal symptoms should resolve. If you are detoxing in a medical facility, this is when you will transition to an inpatient or outpatient opioid rehab program.
Detox Treatment for Oxycodone Withdrawal
Opioid withdrawal is usually not life-threatening. The biggest risk is associated with relapse. The safest way to detox from oxycodone is to do so under close medical supervision.
Opioid detox centers in California can prescribe medications and monitor your symptoms throughout the withdrawal timeline. Medications that can alleviate symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal include:
- Buprenorphine – A partial opioid agonist that reduces symptoms of opioid withdrawal and cravings. Buprenorphine may be prescribed by one of its brand names, Suboxone or Subutex.
- Methadone – A full opioid agonist that alleviates opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
- Clonidine – An antihypertensive that reduces high blood pressure and may alleviate anxiety-related symptoms.
Drug and alcohol detox centers may also facilitate group and individual therapy sessions as well as offer several comfortable amenities, such as yoga, massage, physical therapy, nutritional support, and more.
Coping With Symptoms of Withdrawal
Certain lifestyle changes and coping skills can help reduce the severity of withdrawal. Whether you are detoxing at home or at an oxycodone detox center, these coping skills can benefit you.
- Take a warm bath – Many people report that warm baths alleviate some of the symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal, such as cold sweats, body aches, and muscle pain. A warm bath can also be relaxing, helping reduce your anxiety and promote restful sleep.
- Share with a support group – Talking about your struggles can reduce the power they have over you. Lean on your support group, counselor, 12-Step fellowship, or peers for support during this challenging time.
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet – Healthy foods can boost your immune system and make you feel better. Try to avoid fast food, processed foods, and treats that are high in sugar. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables will benefit your mind and body. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
- Relax your body – Activities like yoga, gentle stretching, deep breathing, and meditation can relax your mind and body and reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Medically-Managed Oxycodone Detox in Vista, California
The best way to overcome oxycodone addiction is to check into a drug and alcohol detox center. Detoxing from oxycodone in a medically-managed treatment program can effectively mitigate withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and eliminate the risk of relapse.
Arise Treatment Center offers close medical monitoring and pharmacotherapy to help you manage symptoms of withdrawal. The process begins with a comprehensive medical and psychiatric assessment to determine your specific needs during our California opioid detox center. Your detox regimen may consist of prescription medications, nutrition and supplements, full-body IV therapy, and therapeutic support groups.
Our primary goal is to minimize your symptoms of withdrawal so you can begin your recovery on a positive note. If you’re ready to begin your recovery journey, please contact one of our dedicated admissions coordinators today.