OxyContin Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, & Detox
Prolonged use or abuse of oxycodone (OxyContin) can lead to the development of psychological and physical dependence, as well as severe withdrawal symptoms best managed with the help of a professional detox program.
When you use certain drugs and substances over a period of time, your body will begin to adapt its internal balance to account for OxyContin effects.
Over time, these physiological adaptations may cause the development of physical dependence, which means you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop use.
These withdrawal symptoms may, in many cases, be severe or even potentially dangerous, as is the case with the prescription painkiller OxyContin (oxycodone).
OxyContin Withdrawal Symptoms
Oxycodone withdrawal has been described as feeling like a combination of a severe flu and mental health crisis.
Common opioid withdrawal symptoms can include:
- anxiety or depression
- fast heartbeat
- increased blood pressure and heart rate
- increased sensitivity to pain
- intense drug cravings
- muscle and bone aches and pains
- nausea and vomiting
- restlessness or agitation
- runny nose
- trouble sleeping
OxyContin Withdrawal Timeline
1-2 Days After Last Dose
OxyContin, as a long-acting/extended-release opioid medication, will tend to generate withdrawal symptoms with a longer delay than shorter-acting drugs. But these effects may also last longer in total.
The first noticeable symptoms likely include increasing feelings of illness, yawning, and teary eyes.
3-5 Days After Last Dose
Physical symptoms of withdrawal begin and increase rapidly, often including muscle aches, cramping, shaking, nausea, and vomiting. Anxiety, cravings, and other psychological effects will also spike.
After peaking, physical symptoms will tend to diminish steadily as the body restores its internal balance.
Unfortunately, the cravings, anxiety, depression, and insomnia that withdrawal brings may continue.
The psychological symptoms of withdrawal will resolve after a certain period of time, usually a few weeks to a month after one’s last dose.
However, some do experience withdrawal symptoms like cravings or anxiety that may reemerge for months or even years after the initial process of opiate withdrawal has finished. However, these post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) are uncommon and will likely resolve given enough time.
While the symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal are not generally life-threatening, those experiencing the worst of oxycodone withdrawal may become dehydrated, experience suicidal thoughts or impulses, or relapse and risk an OxyContin overdose.
Because of this, it is extremely important that those attempting to quit oxycodone do so with the help of a professional medical detox program.
In an inpatient medical detox program, you should expect to receive close support and attention as you work through the side effects of withdrawal in a safe, comfortable, and supportive treatment center before moving on to other forms of treatment.
In many cases, tapering may also be offered as an option to help you slowly lower your dosage over time and avoid the worst of your potential withdrawal symptoms.
OxyContin Addiction Treatment
While medical detoxification is important for managing severe withdrawal symptoms, it is not a replacement for other evidence-based substance use disorder treatments such as:
- inpatient or outpatient treatment programs
- medication-assisted treatment using buprenorphine/Suboxone, methadone, or naltrexone
- behavioral therapies
- peer support groups
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — OxyContin HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION https://www.fda.gov/media/131026/download
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Prescription Opioids DrugFacts https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-opioids
- National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Opiate and opioid withdrawal https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000949.htm
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/d7/priv/sma15-4131.pdf