Sunday November 23rd 2014

How to stop taking OxyContin

Interested in quitting OxyContin (controlled release oxycodone)?

Maybe you are having problems with OxyContin.  Maybe you want a life without mind altering chemicals.  Or maybe you’re afraid you will OD on OxyContin.  Whatever your reason, you probably won’t be able to just quit OxyContin cold turkey. Long-term OxyContin use causes dependence and even addiction, and it’s hard to quit OxyContin without experiencing debilitating side effects.

Learn more about OxyContin dependence, addiction, and how to stop taking OxyContin below. Plus, we saved a section for your questions about taking OxyContin at the end. Please leave us your questions and we’ll get back to you with a personal and prompt response.

Can I just stop taking OxyContin?

Most times, no. You cannot just stop taking OxyContin.

While you can quit taking OxyContin at any time, there’s many reasons why you shouldn’t abruptly stop this medication. OxyContin causes some strong withdrawal symptoms, which may tempt you to use OxyContin again. And while some people can quit OxyContin cold turkey, it is difficult and may be counterproductive for many people. Plus, if you are addicted to OxyContin, you must address the underlying psychological cause for your OxyContin problem – or you may end up needing to continue taking it in order to cope.

What happens when you stop taking OxyContin?

Your body adjusts to having oxycodone in your system after taking OxyContin for extended periods of time. Once you stop taking OxyContin, you go into withdrawal from oxycodone because your body is not used to functioning normally without it. This causes withdrawal symptoms – which happen whether you have just a physical dependence on Oxy or if you are addicted to it.

Side effects stop taking OxyContin

Just a few short weeks of OxyContin use can result in a dependence. Withdrawal effects may be worse if you’ve taken OxyContin over long periods – for instance, over several years to help treat chronic pain. Withdrawal effects can include a number of side effects, such as:

  • abdominal cramping
  • anxiety or agitation
  • diarrhea
  • insomnia
  • muscle aches
  • sweating

Stop taking OxyContin suddenly

Stopping OxyContin suddenly isn’t a good option for most people. Doctors always recommend OxyContin dosage be gradually tapered to help avoid withdrawal effects. Stopping suddenly can also cause an OxyContin relapse if you feel the need to take it to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Stop taking OxyContin cold turkey

There might be situations in which you need to stop taking OxyContin cold turkey. This isn’t the easiest option, but if you have negative effects from the drug or drug addiction won’t allow you to take moderate doses, it can be the best way to handle certain medical needs. If you have an OxyContin addiction, don’t expect to be able to quit cold turkey without help – talk to a doctor or therapist about how you can handle the underlying emotional factors which drive your addiction.

How do I stop taking OxyContin?

Gradually reducing your dose over several weeks or even months is the best way to stop taking OxyContin. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate dosing schedule so that you can safely taper yourself off of OxyContin.

How to stop taking OxyContin safely

The safest way to stop taking OxyContin is by consulting a doctor and following his or her instructions. There are currently several effective and safe medical treatments including medications which can help ease the symptoms of OxyContin withdrawal.

Stop taking OxyContin questions

Do you still have questions about how to stop taking OxyContin? Please leave them below. We do our best to respond personally and promptly to your questions. And if we can’t answer your questions, we’ll refer you to someone who can.

Reference Sources: ToxNet: Oxycodone
PubMed: The controversy surrounding OxyContin Abuse: issues and solutions
Department of Justice Drug Alert: Generic OxyContin Emerges as New Threat

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29 Responses to “How to stop taking OxyContin
Barbara Theodosiou
9:31 pm August 28th, 2012

Living in South Florida I have seen the effects of Oxycontin and we have a major issue with what we call pill mills. People get on OxyContin and cannot stop, and then we’ve got addicts running around everywhere.

7:41 pm September 3rd, 2012

Hi Barbara. Yes, Florida is a state known for its abuse of prescription medications. But in addition to being a state of heavy drugs users, Florida is also a state with many treatment centers! Anyone looking for treatment can find it by searching for the SAMHSA treatment facility locator.

Edgar
11:14 am November 1st, 2012

Hello, Just wanted to post some information about a very, very close friends experiences, very close, if you get what I mean. This person had got up to 30-60mg of oxys a day over a 3 year period. Had stopped so many times, and just after the withdrawls when they started feeling good, started again. The only way they were finally able to stop was by getting away from it, stop going to places where it might be available, and cutt off all connections with anyone they could get it from. The problem is, while you are on it, you feel great, at first, but then its more a mental thing where you think if you get it, you will feel great, but you really dont, the great feeling diminishes, and you are left with the memory of what it used to be like, so you keep trying over and over again to get back there, but never really do, but have to keep trying because you think you can get back there. Sure, there’s some pleasure involved still, but the tolerance forces you to take higher doses, and the dangerous cycle begins. Then, you quit because it has cost you so much in your life, and it makes you feel sick in the morning, and you are always tired when you aren’t on it. But then, a few days later, when you feel good again, after the withdrawls, its to easy to tell yourself that you could just do it on the weekends, and you would be fine, or it really wasnt that bad (and the fact that you feel much better now clouds your judgement about the sickness it is when you’ve done it all night and how you felt the next morning). So you slip, and you do it becuase you can get it, and the next day you are ashamed of yourself, and vulnerable, and then it’s even easier to slip back into it. At any rate, this won’t be how all people feel, or what everyone experiences, but this is certainly real for many people. For people trying to quit, I suggest this… 1. Give your pills to someone you completely trust, or better yet (if your ‘prescription’ is actually legit) a doctor, and have them help you stick to a taper schedule. (If you try to taper yourself, you probably wont, and you might just end up taking all of it again) 2. During the withdrawls, hot baths help. Pick some music and listen to it during your hot bath. It can become your theme song to a better life, and give you inspiration. And if you cant sleep, and are not allergic, a few benadryls can sometimes help. 3. Hang out with people that dont do it, so it doesnt randomly pop-up. 4. Revive old hobbies to keep you busy, or start new ones (a busy, productive life style makes it harder to have the time to be involved in the oxy taking). For the people that have a family or friend that are on this, I would suggest trying to let them know that you are willing to help them get off of it, and be there for them and let them know you will support them. Sometimes, people don’t have that support, and if they did, that might give them the courage to try to stop. Sometimes, people on it deep inside want to get off of it, but feel like they can’t and they are begging for help on the inside. At any rate, I hope this helps someone, I know some people might get mad even seeing this pst as this is more aimed towards people that have a problem with the oxy, and not really a situation where they needed it, (although it can also apply to legit situations, but in those cases, I would hope the doctors could assist) but regardless, they (or maybe you) have formed a terrible habit, for whatever reason, and you are searching the internet for help. This is not from a doctor, or a professional, just someone ‘who knows someone’ who has been there many, many times and all the shame and pain it has caused. Dont be scared of the withdrawls, it can be terrible for the first week, sometimes longer, but you can get past it. The worst for my friend was the insomnia, and feeling like they had the flu. In closing, getting off the oxy, and back to normal will take you a little while, but really, after the first week, maybe 2 weeks, you will start feeling so much better. this is the dangerous part, feeling good can make you think you can start taking it again, so you need to remember the pain and the sikness tha tit has caused you, and then pray to God on top of it that some won’t just turn up or a new ‘friend’ ends up having a bottle, and if that does happen, try with all you have to stay away from it. If you can manage, as soon as you see it to just tell the person, please keep that away from me, that might be the quick action that saves you. You can quit, each of us have it in us. I applaud each person that quits, and even each person that tries. Trying is the first step, and I pray that you will have the strength to get your life back. Thank you for your time, Best to each of you, and if I have offended anyone, I sincerely apologize and mean no disrespect. Thanks everyone, – Secret Person

craig
12:32 am November 5th, 2012

I was injured and have nerve damage in my spine along with bone erosion. I have been in severe pain for 3 years now and have had two major surgeries on the nerves in my spine, the most recent 4 months ago. I started out taking 4 oxycodone 10 mg 4 times a day. After a year the amount was increased due to my tolerance. For two years I have been takin the same amount of Oxycodone and three 20 mg Oxcontin per day. My last surgery relieved a lot of my pain but I still suffer without medication My surgeon has advised me to try to cut back on the medications. My question is, Is it better to stop the oxycodone (breakthrough pain med) or the Oxycontin which is time release. My local doctor seems to think I should stop the time release Oxycontin first. I feel like the other would be better. Any experience or comments with my situation

5:53 am November 5th, 2012

Hi craig. From my reading, extended-release opioids have not been proven to be safer or more effective than short-acting opioids for managing chronic pain. However, I think that the doctor’s logic is that because the base dose of oxycodone helps keep your body opioid tolerant, the OxyContin is the “add-on” dose. Check in with a pharmacist on this question and you can read more about doctor’s protocol for opioid use for pain management here:

http://www.agencymeddirectors.wa.gov/Files/PrescGuide.pdf
http://www.agencymeddirectors.wa.gov/Files/OpioidGdline.pdf

Tara
2:17 pm December 27th, 2012

Help! Husband was on Oxy 40 mg a day for two years and he stopped cold turkey. He’s in agony now on day three. Hospital has no help. He’s too floppy and sick to get into a hot bath. Need advice Now!,,,,

12:07 pm December 31st, 2012

Hello Tara. I’d suggest that you call your local pharmacy and seek advice about over the counter NSAIDs, remedies and treatments that can help treat OxyContin withdrawal. Also, have you informed his prescribing doctor?

No one
2:40 pm December 31st, 2012

To Edgar , wow, I feel your ‘friends’ pain. The expense is wrecking my friends life as well as the lies. She has financially destroyed her family. Her husband suspects but he isn’t sure. She doesn’t take them to be high. She actually has pain and can barely function without meds. The doctor She used to go to handled her pain effectively but after her doctor retired she had to start at a pain management clinic. Her meds were changed and are ineffective. She has told the doc to no avail. He feels its enough, maybe so but She was used to so much more. She is trying to wean down but it’s such a miserable feeling and she has to work a lot. She is close to rock bottom. Is it all in her head that she needs them or do you really take in account the doc does prescribe them for a reason, it just needs supplemented by friends who help but at a huge cost. Currently costs her close to $30/ day in addition to what she gets legit. She is planning to try the reduction recommended. She is afraid withdrawal to quickly will certainly cause misery. Need prayers at this point because otherwise I am afraid she will just give up and take them all to leave everyone alone and not hurt them anymore.

Matman
3:22 pm January 17th, 2013

I have my ups and downs with Oxy and the like. I still occasionally dable, but it’s expensive and not allways available when you are wanting it. When u turn forty I believe the government should just give u an endless script..lol. A friend of mine told me about Mitragyna Speciosa. It is a leaf from a plant in Thailand that stimulates the opiate receptors when chewed. The older tribesmen used to take it to be able to work more. It’s Legal, inexpensive and I didn’t believe it, but it Seriously works. It’s not exactly the same thing, but you can certainly feel it. I would totally recommend this for anyone trying to come off of opiates. I keep a regular supply.

JACK ELLER
4:33 pm February 15th, 2013

I have been taking percets for years. i have been on 10mg 4 times a day,which the drs. give me 5 mg. mainly becauce of the cost of co pay . my co pay is $41.?? for 116 10 mg peroset. for 5 mg. copay is $14.70 for 224 5 mg. i have found the best results are to take one 5 mg. ever 3 to 31/2 hrs. i have never ran out ,i normally have 10-20 left at the end of the precption period. my last mri showed i had a severe case of spinal stonatis and 3 hurniated disc.my question is what is the possibility of being addicted to them? i am sure after the length of time i have taken them i am dependent on them. what is if any variense between addiction and dependence?

1:57 pm February 18th, 2013

Hi Jack. Great question, and a tough one for someone in chronic pain. Addiction is usually present after you withdraw from an opioid/opiate and manifests as cravings or psychological need for the drug in order to feel/act/be normal in your own skin. Addiction is further characterized by underlying psycho-emotional issues which compel use.

You can take an online survey for drug addiction (Google the keywords drug addiction survey questionnaire) or ask your prescribing doctor or a psychologist for an evaluation.

Thanks for your honesty, and good luck in your quest.

Miranda
12:29 am September 29th, 2013

I have been on OxyContin over the past 12 years. I was prescribed it when I broke 7 vertebrates in my back and was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus. I hated having to depend on the OxyContin for pain relief. 6 months ago I decided to take myself off of the oxy. I started at 90 mg per day and decreased it weekly. I am now down to 10 mgs a day and was wondering if I can just stop the 10 mgs altogether? I have had withdrawal symptoms since I hit 30 mgs, the withdrawals are tolerable. Again, should I stop the 10mgs! Or ask my doctor if it comes in a 5 mg? Thanks ‘

1:32 pm October 2nd, 2013

Hi Miranda. Thanks for your question. I’d suggest that you consult your doctor. Oxycodone does come in 5 mg doses – the lower the dose during a taper, the less severe the withdrawal symptoms. Seek an expert consult and go from there. Good luck!!!

TZHALL
2:39 am October 16th, 2013

I have been on 40 mg of Oxycotin 5 times a day and 10 mgs of Lortab 5 times a day for the past 7 years…my pain management Dr. has moved and there are no Drs. where I live that will touch my prescribed dosage with a 10 ft. pole…so now I am stuck with out a Dr. or any help…it has been 3 days and I have taken 3 of each a day and now am starting to really feel the effects of not having my usual dosage and I am not ashamed to admit that I am no hero on quiting cold turkey and am finding myself a little less than happy…am getting really concerned about the next few days..and not knowing what to expect..

maureen
7:37 pm September 8th, 2014

WHAT TYPES OF MEDS CAN HELP WITHDRAWL. WHY WITHDRAW IF YOUR PAIN IS CHRONIC AND IS AN EVERY DAY THING THAT DOESN’T LET YOU DRIVE, DO LAUNDRY, REGULAR NORMAL THINGS.

2:52 pm September 12th, 2014

Hello Maureen. Buprenorphine and methadone are prescribed to help during OxyContin withdrawal, but are often prescribed for long term management of cravings. If you are looking for a substitute therapy for pain, not many medications are used in the treatment of chronic paid other than opioids. Have you spoken with your prescribing doctor about the reasons you want to quit and/or alternative treatments?

Ester
10:29 am September 22nd, 2014

Hi I have a son in his early 50′s and he had back surgery about 10 years ago , since then he has been on oxicontin or percacet , he is married and a father of 3 girls that adore him but he has been on these 2 pain killers and I really do not know how much he is taking but I do know it is causing problems in his marriage . his wife has tried hiding his pain meds and he is taking money out of their bank accounts . he is taking more then he should , that I do know but he will not tell his wife what doctor he goes to or how much he is actually taking . he is buying the pills off the street but we do not know who or where he is getting them from .
how can we find out more info . he says he does not have a problem . he is working every day .
I am very concerned about him ,do you have any suggestions

Barbara
4:56 pm October 2nd, 2014

stopped oxycotin cold turkey. Called my MD and she said this was out of her field of knowledge. I have all of the symptoms. I will not take any more Cannot go to a rehab facility because I am the only caregiver for family member. Am drinking lots of water have not been naucius, but cannot sleep

Tara
9:09 pm October 26th, 2014

I have been using both short acting and long acting Oxy for four years now for chronic pancreatitis. About 8 weeks ago I began feeling symptoms of sweats, chills, dry mouth and aches, nausea and vomiting. It was really bad for about two weeks but I did have the flu, so I’m sure that was partially responsible. However, the symptoms persisted and my doc told me it was likely side effects of the oxy. I had reduced my dose on my own, as my gut pain was somewhat better, with acute episodes of pain instead of chronic pain. I decided to come off the oxy. I am a nurse and was never very comfortable about taking this drug, but my docs had slowly increased my dose over the last 3 years and I was on a ridiculous amount of this stuff. i am so uncomfortable. I am constantly teary and emotional, crying at any little old thing. Is this common with withdrawal? Will I have symptoms like this the whole time I am weaning off? My doc wants to do this slowly, over three or four months but I do not want to feel like this for another four months. I want my life back. How long does it usually take to wean off this stuff? Would it be safe to discontinue the long acting completely and only use the short acting instead? I could really use some advice. My doc does not think I will be able to cope without this stuff but I can’t live like this. I’ve never gotten any kind of high from this med. I don’t ever take more than prescribed, and have never abused this or taken any kind of recreational drug. A doc friend recommended medical marijuana for pain and withdrawal but I am hesitant to add any more drugs here. Help please.

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
12:13 pm October 28th, 2014

Hi Tara. I have to advise you to see a doctor first. Every organism is different and you should have your individual tapering schedule. Your doctor can help you create one that fits your needs best. You’ll probably need some other medications to assist you during the withdrawal stage, and this is one more thing your doctor can help with.

David
1:59 am October 30th, 2014

I have been on 60mg Oxycontin 3x a day for years now. I really want to stop but don’t know how. My doctor was wanting to try and slowly reduce the dosage by doing the 40mg 4x a day, which is still a lower overall dosage, but my insurance company said for 40mg and below, they will only approve 2 a day. I tried going longer on the 60 to try and do 2 a day but I can’t concentrate at work. I start getting withdrawals between. It’s really hard. I feel like I am stuck and don’t know what to do. There’s a hospital in treatment that helps with withdrawals if you go cold turkey but it’s expensive and it requires 5 days in there, which means I have to miss at least 3 days of work. Plus I am a single father of a teenage son. I’m so desperate but I feel like I’m out of options.
Any suggestions?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
12:25 pm November 7th, 2014

Hi David. It will be hard to stop, but it’s worth it. Keep reducing the doses as your doctor instructed. The brain needs to learn how to function again without the oxycontin. Then, when you’ll finally quit for good, it will need time to recover and regenerate itself. The detox clinic sounds like a good idea, it can help you get back to your life faster. Here you can get some ideas on how to lower the cots: http://addictionblog.org/FAQ/how-much-does-detox-cost/
Also, do you have relatives that would take care of your son while you are away? Remember, you need to take care of yourself first, so you can take care of your son.

Tara
12:34 am November 8th, 2014

David, are you talking about the clinic in Michigan? I heard wonderful things about it and considered it for myself, but we live in Northern Canada and it would be very expensive to go. I’ve lowered my dose now to half of what I was on before and feel so much better. I can’t believe how much of my symptoms were due to the drug and not the medical issue. It is so worth it to wean off, and this forum is good for motivation without judgement. If you do want to pursue the detox clinic, I realize how expensive it is but think of it this way: Its still far less expensive than a funeral. That is what my specialist told me and it made me rethink the whole thing and only made me more determined to get off this stuff. Talk to your doctor about weaning and about options to do it with insurance coverage. It is so worth it. I feel like I’ve lost the last couple of years and am now just coming out of the fog and back to myself. Good Luck!

michael
1:01 am November 11th, 2014

Can you die from sudden stop of taking oxycontin AMD oxycodone. Have to go to jail been taking both drugs for years. Be in jail four to five days.

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
10:26 am November 11th, 2014

Hello Michael. If you have to go cold turkey off OxyContin you can expect severe withdrawal symptoms such as muscle aches, sweating, agitation, anxiety, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and abdominal cramping. You generally experience these withdrawal symptoms within hours or days after your last dose of OxyContin. It’s not fatal, and remember that you can ask for help and medical assistance if you need it.

David
4:19 am November 12th, 2014

Michael, I would make them aware of your situation. I don’t know if there’s anything they can do to help, but if nothing else, they should offer medical assistance. But honestly, as bad as it will be, it might be the opportunity you need to get clean. They say day 3-4 is the worst. Once you make it past day 4, it gets a little better each day. I’m still contemplating how I’m going to do it as I’m in a bind, because of work and money issues. I really hope this works out for you! Good luck!

j
6:09 pm November 16th, 2014

This is a long comment but if you need help read it. I have been through this many times myself taking this medication and lost people that i love because of it.

Well to start this off I had a degenerative condition of my hip at a young age of 7. I had my feamer bone cut in half, re positioned and a plate instaled, then removed a year later. So to start off with I have a very high torrents to pain. When I was 14 I started to work on cars and motorcycles so I was lifting heavy objects, being very active and the pain got worse and worse. So when i was 15 i started taking 3.5 mgs two times a day for a year then it got worse because i build up a high tolarence to the meds. So at 16 i graduated high and started working to help my family out because we were a military family and didnt have a bunch of money. So by the time i was 18 i was on oxycotin. I am not ashamed to say this but i did take way more than i was perscribed and sometimes i would do it for the high. Casing the dragon so to speek. Through the whole time i was going through this i had quit cold turkey numerous times in a year but as i got older the withdraws got worse. So lets get to the nitty gritty of the reason why i am writting this. I am 25 and the medication keeps getting harder to get even with perscriptions and its cost me a lot in life, money, family, and more.
If you or someone you know needs to get off of the medication here is my play book and this has worked for many people. First off the person has to realize they need to quit and REALLY WANT TO QUIT. It takes a lot of mental strength to do so. I have been through a hell of a lot of termoil in my life, in just 25 short years. So to do this the best way is to slowly drop the millagrams and how many times a day you take it. Once you start feeling the effects of weaning yourself off of medications you need to quit cold turkey or you will not get of it. There are thing you can do to help stop the withdrawls. They have a medication called dicyclomine which is generic for bentyl which is for stomach pain. Go to GNC or a pipe shop and buy a good cleanser or detox drink. It will help within hours of drinking it. Meanwhile drink lots of water, water, water. Curl up in bed with a big blanket and sweat it out and if it starts to get bad get in a warm bath or shower it will help big time. For one thing i do not recomend detox centers because all they want is your money and to get you on suboxone or methydone which you will get hooked on and have to go right back to give them more money. One of the biggest things is you need to have a strong loved one to stick with you through this process which is really hard on that person because they have to watch your body and mind fight it self. You will go through big mood swings and anger but you have to fight it. More things to help with the withdraws is BC powder and tylenol pm, which the bc powder is fast acting to help the pains and the tylenol pm to help with the pain and to get some sleep. Sleeping is the best way to pass the time which takes about a week for the worse syptoms. Relapsing is a big problem when going through the withdraws but you have to remember the pain you are going through to stay off of them. You have to want it and to realize that the pain you were going through to be perscribed this medication is not as bad as the withdraws and that is where the problem lies with getting off of it. You will feel like a new person in two weeks time but your not out of the woods yet because the mental aspect is still there.you HAVE TOO remember the withdraw pains not how the drug made feel because it is an uphoric drug it tricks your brain by making you feel good. I have lost a great deal to this drug so that is why i want to help people with it. It is very easy to get hurt and get right back on it but you dont have to have it trust me its a black hole.

David
7:37 pm November 17th, 2014

Thanks for the advice. Yeah, that sounds like a good plan. How many days does it take before the worst part wears off? It’s bad enough after just hours of missing it, I can’t imagine days.

Tara
11:59 pm November 17th, 2014

J, are you Canadian? I have been weaning off these meds, having gradually been increased over the past 4 years by my doctors for pancreatitus until I was taking a crazy amount. One specialist told me I was taking over 4 times the absolute maximal dose. He told me I was taking enough to put 2 elephants to sleep. I’ve never gotten a “high” from these meds, not even in the beginning and now that I’ve reduced my dose by over half, I feel so much better already. I’m desperate to get off these meds and was wondering about detox cleanses and such. What is BC powder? Also, you must still have considerable pain from your medical issues, and are you using other medications to deal with that? Now that I’ve reduced my dose so much I am having considerable breakthrough gut pain from the pancreatitis, but I’m hesitant to add another drug to the mix, so to speak, however I don’t think I will be able to function without some pain relief. Is there medication available for moderate to severe pain that is not addictive? My doctors keep telling me I will likely be unable to come off completely or will have to choose another painkiller but they aren’t really offering options yet since I am still using the much lower dose. Not quite sure what to do from here.

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