How long does hydrocodone withdrawal last?
Thinking about quitting hydrocodone?
Developing a dependence on hydrocodone is common and even expected by doctors. Why is cutting back so difficult? What happens when you stop taking hydrocodone? Hydrocodone affects the central nervous system and smooth muscle tissue and can changes the way we perceive pain and might induce a change in mood. But this action, while efficient, can also cause us to experience withdrawal symptoms when we quit or cut back.
General onset of withdrawal symptoms occurs within a few hours after hydrocodone effects wear off. But is you’re asking, “Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms – how long?” know this: the length of time until withdrawal stops can vary from weeks to months later. More here about how long hydrocodone withdrawal lasts. And we invite your questions about hydrocodone withdrawal at the end.
How long until hydrocodone withdrawal starts?
Once you have decided to stop taking hydrocodone, withdrawal symptoms can start as early as a few hours after the effect of hydrocodone has worn off. The most common symptoms of withdrawal from hydrocodone include:
- cold sweat and chills
- drug craving
- sleep disturbances
- mental swings
How long do hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms last?
Symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal can last anywhere between a few days to several months after you last take hydrocodone. The harsher, acute effects of withdrawal should resolve within about a week after last dose. However, people have reported insomnia, mood swings, and drug cravings long after hydrocodone detox has occurred.
Hydrocodone withdrawal timeline
As mentioned earlier, hydrocodone affects people differently. Symptoms of withdrawing from hydrocodone will change from person to person. But in general, if you taking hydrocodone for medical reasons in doses as prescribed, symptoms of withdrawal tend to be less intense than someone abusing the medication or taking higher doses than prescribed. Note also that it can take days to weeks to completely remove hydrocodone from the system. It is important to note that because hydrocodone is an opioid, withdrawal symptoms can be delayed. Therefore, it may take several weeks to months to no longer feel the effects of withdrawal symptoms.
24-72 hours hydrocodone withdrawal – General onset of symptoms can manifest shortly after the drug has worn off and linger for up to a few months after the medication is totally out of the system. It is during this time and especially during the first 72 hours that withdrawal symptoms peaks, which include: mood changes, sweats, diarrhea, extreme drowsiness, stomach pains, and abnormal skin sensations as well as possible respiratory depression.
Week 1 hydrocodone withdrawal – In the first week after stopping hydrocodone, symptoms of withdrawal tend to be the worst. Symptoms from the first onset diminish a bit and even out. However, during this phase of withdrawal symptoms can include continued irritability, waves of intense craving, depression, and exhaustion.
Week 2 hydrocodone withdrawal – After the first couple of weeks of stopping hydrocodone, protracted withdrawal symptoms may arise. Symptoms such as diarrhea, mood swing, irritation, insomnia, muscle cramps and back aches can surface during this phase of withdrawal from hydrocodone.
Weeks 3-4 hydrocodone withdrawal – During this stage of withdrawal, waves of cravings and psychological dependence are still persistent.
PAWS for hydrocodone – Post-Acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is a set of symptoms that occur right after you stop taking hydrocodone and can last several months afterwards. Sleeping disturbance, irritability, and mood swings are typical of hydrocodone use and these symptoms can linger for weeks to months after your last dose of hydrocodone. Additionally, cravings for the drug can linger longer after you have stopped taking Hydrocodone. People suffering from hydrocodone addiction are encouraged to seek help in order to prevent relapse.
Hydrocodone withdrawal: how long?
Hydrocodone affects each person differently depending on the dosage and how long you have been taking hydrocodone. In other words, each withdrawal period is unique to the person taking hydrocodone. Additionally, various health concerns need to be taken into considration during hydrocodone detox. This is why experts always recommend medical supervision during any chemical or drug withdrawal.
How long hydrocodone withdrawal questions
Did we answer your question(s) about hydrocodone withdrawal here? If you have any more questions regarding withdrawal from Hydrocodone please ask. We do our best to respond to your questions personally and promptly.
Reference Sources: PubMed Health: Hydrocodone
Utah Department of Human Services: Opioids
Medline Plus: Opiate Withdrawal:
Photo credit: Matti Matilla