Independent Health and Addiction Coverage
How To Treat OxyContin Withdrawal Symptoms
OxyContin, a derivative of oxycodone, is a very strong pain reliever that is specifically formulated to release medication for an extended period of time into the body. It is a prescription drug for severe chronic pain as the relief lasts longer. Normal dosage for OxyContin ranges between 10mg and 80mg. While restricted prescriptions and the time-release aspect are intended to make the drug less targeted for abuse, it is still often abused for its euphoric effects. This puts users at the risk of an overdose and death. Once the body also develops a tolerance to the drug, trying to quit can result in OxyContin withdrawal symptoms.
Side effects of OxyContin withdrawal
Most people who try to get off OxyContin usually experience withdrawal symptoms that are almost similar to those of other opioids. The severity, however, depends on the amount of dosage taken and the method of consumption. OxyContin withdrawal symptoms appear in two phases. Symptoms of the first phase include;
- Nasal congestion
- Fever and sweating
- Muscle pains and cramps
- Frequent yawning
- Restlessness and agitation
- Anxiety and mood swings
As the withdrawal progresses to the second phase, patients are likely to experience;
- High blood pressure
- Increased rate of heartbeat
- Shivering and goosebumps
- Blurry vision
- Dilated pupils
- Decrease in appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
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OxyContin withdrawal timeline
Because of the drug’s extended-release aspect, it can take up to 24 hours after the last dose for the symptoms to start appearing. However, higher dosages that bypass the time-release aspect can result in the withdrawal symptoms kicking in within 8 hours since it has a half-life of 4 hours.
How long do OxyContin withdrawals last?
Typically, the withdrawal symptoms can go on for up to two weeks. Under normal circumstances, the withdrawal symptoms will start clearing after three days and completely end by the second week. However, patients with severe addictions can experience the symptoms for even more than two weeks. Psychological withdrawal symptoms may take months to clear. How long the withdrawal symptoms will take to clear will depend on the following factors;
- The length of time the patient has been abusing OxyContin
- How much of the drug they were taking
- Whether they are abusing multiple substances
- Frequency of OxyContin consumption
- The patient’s mental health history
- The patient’s medical profile such as age, weight, and gender
- Method of OxyContin consumption, for example, injections, snorting, or oral dosages
Treating OxyContin addiction may require the patient to enroll in an inpatient OxyContin withdrawal treatment center so that they can receive professional medically-supervised detox and rehabilitation. Medications such as Methadone, Naloxone, and buprenorphine are often used in the treatment of OxyContin withdrawal symptoms and to reduce cravings for the drug. In some instances, tapering off may be the most effective way of managing the withdrawal symptoms.
It is not advisable to try quitting the drug cold turkey as it can be fatal to the patient. In case you need OxyContin withdrawal help, an addiction treatment facility is the best way to get professional care and experience recovery programs that truly help people that want to overcome substance abuse disorders.
- fda.gov – Food and Drug Administration
- deadiversion.usdoj.gov – Drug Enforcement Administration
- cdc.gov – Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – National Center for Biotechnology Information
- teens.drugabuse.gov– National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens
- store.samhsa.gov – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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