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Prescription Medication Withdrawal Symptoms

When you are prescribed a medication by your physician, you normally do not ponder what may happened if those prescriptions are taken in the wrong manner – or if the pills get into the wrong hands. Perhaps you have teenagers at home and perhaps they know where you keep your Xanax. This behavior could lead them down a dark and dangerous road. Maybe you, yourself, are suffering from addiction and do not realize it. Prescription medication withdrawal symptoms vary by the individual. Call Better Addiction Care today at (800) 429-7690 for further information.

3 Minute Read | Published Sep 19 2023 | Updated Mar 12 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
Written by
Dameisha Gibson
Reviewed by
Emma Collins
Written by
Dameisha Gibson
Reviewed by

Learn all about the medication withdrawal symptoms and more

Drug Withdrawal Remedies

If you are attempting to detox in your own home, there are some home drug withdrawal remedies you can put into practice. It is recommended that one tapers off of the drug (especially opiates). Doing this may lessen the effects of the withdrawal symptoms. You must remember to hydrate – many people end up in the hospital due to dehydration when going through withdrawal. Pedialyte is sometimes helpful when really trying to remain hydrated.

Tylenol and Advil are useful for headaches and other assorted aches and pains. If you have diarrhea, Imodium is a great choice and should help. Bonine and Dramamine are excellent for nausea. As with many other important things in life, it is crucial to be prepared. Perhaps you should buy enough medication to last you for the duration of the withdrawal. How long does drug withdrawal last? That depends upon the individual and a few other things.

How Long Does Prescription Drug Withdrawal Last?

Drug withdrawal depends upon the substance abused (and whether you abused more than one substance or not), how long you abused it for, and in what quantity you abused the substance. Some examples of abused prescription drugs include:


  • Fentanyl (Duragesic)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)

Depressants of the central nervous system (anti-anxiety meds)

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, up to thirty-six million people around the world abuse opiates (including prescription medication and heroin). If you have become addicted to painkillers, or opioids, withdrawal is similar to that of heroin (yes, heroin). You experience flu-like symptoms for a couple of days. Medical detox may be helpful in this instance as people tend to go back to using after experiencing withdrawal. Anti-anxiety medications (or benzodiazepines) are a little different. Once you have become addicted and try to stop using, you may experience seizures and/or anxiety for weeks or even months.

Prescription Medication Withdrawal Symptoms

Once one has built a tolerance to the drug, withdrawal symptoms will occur when trying to cease use. Your body has become dependent on said substance and has come to rely on the drug to go through their usual daily routines. Not only do withdrawal symptoms vary by the individual, but they vary by the type of drug abused.

Anti-anxiety medication withdrawal symptoms include (but are not limited to)

  • Tremors
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures (of the life-threatening variety)
  • Confusion
  • Tachycardia
  • Sweating

Withdrawal symptoms associated with Stimulants include:

  • Intense dreams
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

Painkiller withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dilated pupils
  • Insomnia
  • Bone and muscle pain
  • Agitation
  • Cramping of the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The most common effects of prescription drug abuse include:

  • Homelessness
  • Social isolation
  • Unemployment
  • Financial issues
  • Legal issues
  • Risk-taking behaviors and the consequences
  • Becoming withdrawn
  • Physical and mental illnesses become worse
  • Personal relationships suffer or fall by the wayside
  • Addiction

Should you still have questions about prescription medication withdrawal symptoms or believe you have an addiction problem, please call us today. Better Addiction Care can help you find treatment facilities that will meet any and all of your needs.


bullet Healthline
"Home Remedies to Ease Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms"
Retrieved on June 13, 2017
bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse
"Over-the-Counter Medicines"
Retrieved on June 13, 2017
bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse
"Testimony to Congress"
Retrieved on June 13, 2017

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