Oxycodone, otherwise known as OxyContin, was created to help patients with long-lasting, severe pain. It works by releasing pain medication into the body over a period of 12 hours. The FDA recently stated that painkillers such as OxyContin should only be used by patients with chronic and severe pain caused by conditions such as arthritis or cancer.
Most pain medications only last 4-6 hours, so the benefit to people with chronic pain, is that relief lasts continually for a longer period of time, enabling them to participate in daily activities. A prescription dose of OxyContin ranges from 10mg up to 80mg.
Withdrawal Symptoms and Detox of OxyContin
Withdrawal symptoms and detox of OxyContin are similar to other opioid medications, however they can be more sever depending on how much the drug was used. The potential for addiction is very high with strong medications like OxyContin.
There are usually two phases of OxyContin withdrawal or detox. Symptoms can be acute for 1-2 weeks after not using the drug.
Phase 1 – Early withdrawal:
- Sleep disturbances like insomnia
- Physical symptoms like yawning, muscle cramps or aches
- Symptoms similar to a cold like sweating, chills, runny nose, congestion and fever
- Mood changes like anxiety, irritation, restlessness or agitation
Phase 2 - Later withdrawal symptoms:
- High blood pressure
- Shivering or goosebumps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
- Blurry vision
- Rapid heat rate
- Dilated pupils
OxyContin Detox & Withdrawal Timeline
OxyContin has long-acting properties, so the effects will not begin to wear off for 12-24 hours after the last dose was taken. Withdrawal may begin 4-8 hours after the last dose if the medication was abused or taken to bypass the time-release aspect.
Later symptoms may not start until after 24 hours of the early symptoms. During the first full day of withdrawal, the symptoms may appear to be flu-like, but the second day more typical symptoms of withdrawal will appear.
Withdrawal from OxyContin may last the same amount as other opioid medications which is typically 1-2 weeks. Acute symptoms usually clear up after 3 days, but withdrawal can take 2 or more weeks for some people. The psychological withdrawal symptoms may continue for months with people who have a strong addiction.
Factors such as length of time the drug was taken, strength of the dose taken, environmental stress, biological or genetic factors and whether or not the drug was abused or taken in an illegal manner (bypassing the time-release formula) will all influence the duration of withdrawal.
OxyContin Detox & Withdrawal Medications
When a person wants to end an addiction to opioid medications like OxyContin, it is important to know what options they have. Medical detox and rehab can be a great benefit to most individuals. A detox facility removes the individual from their environment and gives them supervision and support to help avoid the stress triggers which would cause them to relapse back into their addictive behaviors.
Prescription medications can be prescribed by medical professionals to ease withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine and methadone are two medications that can help alleviate OxyContin withdrawal symptoms. Tapered doses may also be given to wean the individual off OxyContin.
Psychiatric medications typically prescribed for depression or anxiety are sometimes used as another method to ease the psychological withdrawal symptoms. Clonidine is often used and eases cold like or flu type symptoms, cramps and aches, sweating, anxiety and agitation.
Naloxone is being investigated for possible use as a treatment for OxyContin or opioid withdrawal. Emergency personnel in many states are currently using this medication to halt overdose symptoms long enough to get an individual to the hospital. Naloxone is faster acting then other opioid medications and it binds to the opioid receptors in an individual’s brain. It is also eliminated from the body faster than opioid medications. Research is still being conducted to determine how Naloxone could be used in addiction or withdrawal treatment.
During OxyContin detox and withdrawal, Resolutions Behavioral Health will provide a supportive and comprehensive medical environment throughout all stages of detoxification to ensure a successful recovery. If you or a loved one need help, call one of our professional admissions team members today for a free and confidential assessment.