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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Withdrawal can be unpleasant and scary, but a professional detox center can help you feel more comfortable.
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
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).
During detox, your care team may give you medicines to help ease withdrawal symptoms and control drug cravings. These medicines include:7,
If you’re thinking of quitting oxycodone, talk to your doctor. They can help you find the right treatment to ensure your safety and comfort.
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.
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 helpline any time, day or night: 1-888-509-8965 Who Answers? .