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OxyContin Withdrawal Side Effects

One of the major initial obstacles that must be overcome in addiction treatment is the withdrawal phase. It a big cause for many substance abusers to carry on with their substance abuse – in order to avoid the withdrawal symptoms along with the pressures that intense cravings can cause. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths caused by opioid overdoses increased by fivefold from 1999 to 2016. Sales of opioids such as OxyContin quadrupled in the same time. It is better to deal with OxyContin withdrawal side effects now with the help of rehab centers than to risk further abuse and possible overdose death.

3 Minute Read | Published Sep 25 2023 | Updated Mar 12 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
Written by
Ashley Bayliss
Reviewed by
Emma Collins
Written by
Ashley Bayliss
Reviewed by

Drug Detoxification – OxyContin Withdrawal Side Effects

In this article, we will look at what to expect as far as OxyContin withdrawal side effects go, the duration of the symptoms and medications that can help.

Why Does Withdrawal Occur?

As a person abuses an opioid such as OxyContin, their body and specifically their brain starts to change. It does this to try and adjust to drug’s constant presence, reducing natural dopamine levels among other things. It reaches a point where the balancing act your body is doing becomes required and stopping opioid use creates a massive imbalance. This imbalance in brain chemistry is what causes OxyContin withdrawal side effects.

OxyContin Withdrawal Side Effects

The best way to describe opioid withdrawal symptoms is acute flu-like symptoms coupled with psychological effects. Mental health can be affected due to the area of your brain in charge of regulating moods being altered.

The symptoms of withdrawal can become severe with more acute addictions and the length of the dependence can also have an impact. Generally speaking, the following are the most common withdrawal symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Pain in the joints
  • Stomach cramps associated with all opiate abuse
  • Increased heart rate and breathing
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Teary eyes and running nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Excessive yawning
  • Severe cravings

How Long Does It Take to Withdraw From Opiates?

How long does it take to withdraw from opiates such as OxyContin? The start of the withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on whether long or short acting opioids were abused. Short-acting opioids can begin to show withdrawal symptoms around 6 to 12 hours after the last use. Since OxyContin is a long-acting opioid, you can expect to start seeing withdrawal symptoms starting at around the 30-hour mark.

Withdrawal can peak around the 72-hour mark. The total experience usually last around a week before they become manageable. However, psychological symptoms such as depression, agitation and anxiety can lasts for several weeks.

OxyContin Withdrawal Relief

OxyContin withdrawal relief can come in the form of medications that are administered during medical detox programs. These programs are designed to medically assist the individual through all of the severe withdrawal symptoms.

The three most common medications that are given with a prescription by a healthcare professional during detox are naltrexone, methadone and buprenorphine. Methadone and buprenorphine are the main medications used to lessen the withdrawal symptoms because they are themselves opioids. However, the risk of abuse in such a setting is very low and naltrexone is given to help block some of the effects of opioids. Altogether, the medications lower the symptoms while not adding further to the addiction.

Over OTC medications can also be useful to help with symptoms such as nausea. These are given as they are needed.

If you or a loved one is struggling with 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 (800) 429-7690.


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