Common Painkiller Withdrawal Symptoms

Written by Chloe Nicosia

How Severe Are Painkiller Withdrawal Symptoms

An unexpected diagnosis, job-related accident, or surgical procedure, can find you taking pain pills to deal with the discomfort. For too many people, an event that results in a prescribed pain medication ends up as a personal tragedy of addiction. Opioid drugs, even when taken according to your doctor’s instructions, have addiction potential. When you take an extra pill or take a dose a couple of hours early, you are becoming tolerant and increasing the risk of addiction. Painkiller withdrawal symptoms can be severe, and many people find they cannot stop taking them without help.

Painkiller Withdrawal Symptoms

Some familiar pain medications include the brand names Avinza, Duramorph, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Lortab, Duragesic, Actiq, and Fentora. You may know people who have taken them without any dependency or addiction issues, but for many Americans the first painkiller prescription can result in a tolerance that becomes dependence and ultimately addiction. One of the contributing factors is the discomfort of painkiller withdrawal symptoms. When the person’s current dose of the painkiller starts to wear off, and the withdrawal symptoms occur, another dose of the pain pill is taken to stop the symptoms. Some of the withdrawal symptoms that occur include some that are psychological in nature and others that mimic the flu.

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Profuse sweating
  • Aching muscles
  • Yawning often
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Tremors

The first symptoms can begin begin within a few hours of taking the last dose, and the stronger and most uncomfortable symptoms can last up to a week or more. Once the symptoms are underway, there is a strong urge to just give in and take more pills for relief. People are easily trapped in an addiction cycle. If this scenario relates to you or someone you love, you need to get professional help and enter an addiction treatment center to safely detox from the medication. Better Addiction Care (BAC) is an advisory service that can help you get connected to the facility that can best meet your addiction issues. They will connect you with an addiction treatment center that provides medical personnel on staff including doctors, psychiatrists, and nurses.

How Long Do Painkiller Withdrawal Symptoms Last

If you are experiencing signs of addiction, it is unadvisable to try quitting on your own at home. Because withdrawal symptom severity can depend on a number of factors including the amount you have been taking and the period of time involved. Are you wondering, “How long do painkiller withdrawal symptoms last?” The answer will vary, and the only way to know is to make the decision to get off the medication. When checking into a top addiction treatment facility, you can be assured you will have medical care and whatever help is needed to get you through detox safely. Often your doctor will prescribe a medication to help you through the withdrawal and recovery, such as naloxone or buprenorphine. You may also be given some over-the-counter preparations to help with gastrointestinal discomfort and muscle aches. In the best case scenario, your withdrawal symptoms may last a week or a bit longer.

Painkiller Addiction Symptoms

Painkiller addiction symptoms are easy to recognize. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms indicating painkiller abuse, get help immediately.

  • Frequent mood swings exhibiting anger, anxiety, or hostility
  • Lying to obtain extra prescriptions or larger quantities of the drug
  • Continuing to take the painkiller after the pain is gone
  • Avoiding family functions or social events
  • Sinking job performance and complaints from boss
  • Lack of concern about appearance and personal hygiene
  • Forgetfulness or blackouts
  • Sleepiness
  • Inability to focus
  • Confusion


If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms of painkiller addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.