Wednesday July 18th 2018

Trusted Helpline
Help Available 24/7

OxyContin withdrawal treatment: How to treat OxyContin withdrawal

OxyContin (oxycodone) withdrawal sucks big time. But unlike alcohol detox, OxyContin withdrawal is not life threatening.  When you stop using OxyContin, symptoms can be uncomfortable, but co-occurring medical issues complicate withdrawal from OxyContin only in a few cases. So what are some ways you can treat OxyContin withdrawal? What can you do to make withdrawal less painful? We review here, and invite your questions about OxyContin withdrawal treatment at the end.

Effects of withdrawal from OxyContin

What are some of the effects of withdrawal from OxyContin? Well, opioids like OxyContin affect the opiate receptors in the brain. Specifically, OxyContin blocks opiate receptors in the brain which send messages of pain and regulate your mood sensors. That’s why oxycodone is such an effective pain medication.

But over time, the more you take OxyContin, the more your body adapts to the presence of oxycodone in the system. Soon, you can develop a physical dependence on OxyContin. This means that OxyContin has altered the chemistry of your body so much that you can only function normally when OxyContin is present in the body. That is why when you stop taking, OxyContin withdrawal symptoms result.

In effect, once you stop taking OxyContin, the opiate receptors in the central nervous system are no longer occupied. It’s like releasing water that is damned up, flooding your brain with chemical information, triggering your body into hyper-drive to accommodate and re-adapt. In this way, OxyContin withdrawal is the way that the body learns how to function without oxycodeon. But the temporary over-exposure to information is why it’s so painful to go through withdrawal.

Withdrawal from OxyContin symptoms

After your last does of OxyContin you can expect withdrawal from OxyContin symptoms occur 6-8 hours after oxycodone effects have worn off. However, how long OxyContin withdrawal lasts depends on your use: the longer you have been dependent on OxyContin, the longer withdrawal from OxyContin symptoms will last. Likewise, the higher the dose and more chronic the use, the more severe withdrawal from OxyContin symptoms can be. The following are symptoms typically experienced during OxyContin withdrawal:

  • accelerated breathing
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • fast heart beat
  • joint pain and aches
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea/vomiting
  • restlessness
  • runny nose
  • sleep disturbances
  • watering eyes
  • yawning

How to treat OxyContin withdrawal symptoms

Treating OxyContin withdrawal symptoms is pretty straightforward, unless you are diagnosed with other co-occurring medical issues, which may complicate the process. Medications treat OxyContin withdrawal symptoms directly. These include:

Trusted Helpline
Help Available 24/7
1-888-882-1456 Who Answers?
For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the helpline is a private and convenient solution. Caring advisors are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options.
Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit (IP: will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC) or a paid sponsor.
  • antidepressants
  • buprenorphine (occupies opioid receptors during short and long term detoxification)
  • clonidine (helps regulate blood pressure and comfort)
  • insomnia medications (help treat sleep problems)
  • methadone (mainly used for severe cases of OxyContin addiction)
  • Naloxone (injected to prevent withdrawal symptoms can prevent relapse)
  • NSAIDs (medications like Advil or ibuprofen can help with aches and pains)

While medications can help with treat OxyContin withdrawal symptoms, giving yourself time, rest, and fluids is essential. Your body will need time to recover, so having a place you can relax without the stress and demands of life can be helpful to your recovery.

Best way to withdraw from OxyContin

What’s the best way to withdraw from OxyContin? Everyone will withdraw from OxyContin differently. In general, however, the best way to withdrawal from OxyContin is to have your OxyCotin dose tapered over time with the help of a physician. This can happen at home or on your own, depending on the guidelines set out by your doctor. OxyContin doses will be decreased by about 20%-25% every week until the last possible dose is fully eliminated from the sysem. If you don’t want to feel withdrawal symptoms during the tapering process, it is not recommended that you decrease your dose of OxyContin by more than about 10% a day. This process allows you to slowly rewire the communication between neurons with minimal withdrawal complications.

Finally, if you suspect you are addicted to OxyContin, you will need to take other precautions to help maintain abstinence from OxyContin. Seek addiction treatment in the form of pharmaceutical or behavioral treatments to stay off OxyContin for good.

OxyContin withdrawal treatment questions

Still have questions about OxyContin withdrawal treatment? Would you like to know more? Please ask any questions you may have and we will get back to you personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: NBCI: Long-Lasting Injectable Naloxone
White House: Medication Assessment Treatment

NCBI: Inpatient and Outpatient for Opiate Withdrawal

Leave a Reply

20 Responses to “OxyContin withdrawal treatment: How to treat OxyContin withdrawal
Mark Willenbring, MD
1:56 am January 24th, 2013

Suboxone is the best treatment for opioid withdrawal, period. Clonidine is very distant second best that helps a little but not much. Most people who become addicted to opioids require long-term treatment with either methadone or buprenorphine. There is not one study published that finds that abstinence-based treatments are effective, no matter how long they go one. It is cruel to suggest that people addicted to opioids can remain abstinent if they “get the program” or “work the steps.” Dozens of studies demonstrate that this is false. People with more than one year of daily or near daily addiction to opioids require long-term opioid agonist therapy with either methadone or buprenorphine. Whether you like or not that is a demonstrated, scientifically proven fact. Now, you may believe in astrology, acupunture, Chi, spiritual healing, energy therapy or whatever, but there isn’t any evidence to support your assertions. If you have cancer, you can choose between moxibuxtion and chemotherapy, but if you want to live longer and more comfortably, you will choose modern, scientifically based medicine.

1:54 pm January 24th, 2013

Thanks for your input, Dr. Willenbring. We appreciate your experience and commitment to the science of opioid addiction treatment.

9:22 pm January 24th, 2013

Hey everyone soo I have not been addicted lOng for about 2 mounths and yesterday I couldn’t get any oxy so I said ENOUGH last night was fine and today I’m still clean but fine I got a bit of the hot and cold flash and def bathroom issues 🙁 ….BUT besides. That my body is ok IT’S MY HEAD. I don’t understand nor no what to do my mind is playing trick like good angel bad devil kinda thing DOO IT noo noo ur fine like AHG. I got an 80mg oxy. Which I usally devise into 4 pieces and if I could just know how to stop my mind I’d be fine orcmaybe I’m not I’m so emotional and just rambling 🙁 I’m sorry any suggestions or kind feedback??

2:10 pm August 24th, 2014

i have arachnodititis in spine from back surgery and also have three forms of arthritis. Ibeen on oxycontin 80 9years . doctors say its still working. I am in a lot of pain and dont know what to do. I do not abuse any medications. thank you

10:25 am September 1st, 2014

Hi Wayne. Are you doing anything else for the pain other than taking the pills? Loosing some weight can lower the pressure on the bones, low impact exercise can help you lower your weight, plus it’s good for your condition on it’s own. There is also the hot and cold therapy, acupuncture, meditation or relaxing massages. Keep this in mind, you can add turmeric to your diet, it contains the chemical called curcumin that may be able to reduce arthritis pain, since it has anti-inflamatory properties.

1:48 am September 21st, 2014

im derek was on oxy 80s 5 a day doctor retired no new doctor will need help with withdrawing tricks feel like ran over wiyh truck

10:02 am September 22nd, 2014

Hello Derek. You should definitley go and speak with your new doctor about this. Let him know that you’d want to taper and have him help you create a tapering schedule. Otherwse, cold turkey oxy can be very inhumane.

5:15 am September 24th, 2014

Been stuck on oxy for 2yrs now only thing on my mind was dont run out of them everything revolves around oxy i had enough stopped 7days ago cold pain nearly gone now its cramps cant keep still and no sleep whatso ever but im getting there i just want my happy face back

betty a
8:33 pm February 15th, 2015

My daughter in her fifties has been on opiods for years. She has been in treatment twice. It is sad to say she gets her pills from injured knees and knee replacement, now it is her back. this just goes on. Now she is having stomach problems. She does nothing but sleep, ly and watch tv. She works but I know she is going to get fired soon, as she been out so much. She is a beautiful lady and smart, but not smart about some things. The many doctors she goes to continue to give her perscriptions……She need Help

2:27 pm February 18th, 2015

Hello Betty. Why didn’t the two times of treatment work? Are you going to counselling? If she has a problem with opioid drugs, she needs to work on the problem; but, you should also go into therapy and try to understand what it is that drives her back to using the meds. She will need your support and encouragement, and both can learn valuable skills for communication and behavior. I wish you luck and success!

6:44 am April 23rd, 2015

I have been taking Oxycontin for about 11 years. I started with 120 mg time released tablets every 12 hours for about 6 years. I took myself down to 80 mg time released every 12 hours. I am now down to 60 mg time released every 12 hours, and I want to quit all together. I also take hydrocodone 10/325 mg, every 4 hours for breakthrough pain. I have taken the hydrocodones down to about 2 a day now. I think I can quit the hydrocodones altogether, but I can’t seem to stop the oxycontins. I have metal plates in my 5 and 6th vertebrae, so I do get a lot of pain. however, I am determined to stop the pain meds as I am tired of taking them. I want to be normal, and deal with my pain. I will not go through a treatment facility, nor do I want to see a Doctor. Do I have a chance to quit the Oxycontin at home?

12:27 am June 12th, 2015

I see so many people looking for “help” via other medications like benzos and chances are they have already played a role in their history. For me to take on this battle I had to battle for a “clean & sober” life. I chose to tapper over an 8 week period for 2 main reasons. First, due to spinal nerve impingement I have been on OxyContin & oxycodone for 5 years….as you know your tolerance builds up so your dose goes up so as you can imagine I was close to 300mgs on some days (combining both) and I didn’t think twice about it bc I had the MRI’d to show surgery didn’t work and my doc wrote them, I never ran out so I thought I was “okay”……but going from running marathons, having lots of friends & family, being a personal trainer and having it all to finding myself wondering why my hormones were off, my thyroid not doing it job, ect…….the health problems began to stack up and I began to retreat to my bedroom and disconnect with my world. My life saver was my doc frowning on the fact that I told him I was having lipo bc I was unhappy with my body now. He was very sympathetic towards my pain but pointed out a few major points that changed my life! 1. The opiates over time can increase your pain and there is no higher dose (speaking of pain I would be going into painful surgery topped out unable to take anything stronger than what I was on…..mind you, still having back pain). 2. He said go home and Google what opiates do to your hypothalamus (which btw…’s the control center for everything in our bodies, hormones, brain chemistry, nervous system, thyroid….EVERYTHING!!) 3. Look at the patients as you leave, do you want to be that, be what you are now? So, armed with this info I rush home and do my own research only to have this huge messy puzzle of health problems all make sense and come together……all things pointed at one thing…opiates! Back to why I chose to tapper……first, I needed to do this on my own, I wanted to own it, come clean to the people I affected and make them proud and make myself proud. Secondly, I knew I had done damage to my body so my main priority was to do right by this body that had survived such abuse at my hands. I knew it needed to be “babied” and I also did enough research to know that the best thing for my damaged organs & brain was to be eased into health as it healed. I am also blessed to have a good support network and I am a stay at home mom who didn’t have to report to work so I had my husband’s full support to take the time to detox at home. I decided on taking 6-8 weeks vs the year the doc had recommended if I cut by small amounts each week or month. I took all the vital supplements that my brain & body needed for recovery, committed to eating as clean as I could (which trust me was an effort but not perfect) and to come clean to to my support system and find accountability. My accountability was to be honest with my current dose, make a plan and I bought a clear M-S vitamin container which I kept on my bedside table so that I can look at and be proud of what I didn’t take that day or week. Anyone could see where I was at. I cut my dose each Monday and T, W, Th were pure hell, sick as a dog! Friday I did what I could and Sat & Sun I felt good enough to force some cardio & light weights……much of the time it was simply walking but I pushed myself to walk as far and long as I could knowing it would help my brain to produce serotonin to help me feel better (or so I read). For 8 weeks each week went like that. At week 8 I was down to 5mgs of only the oxycodone (slow release) bc I read that dropping the slow release was most important so I was off of that by week 6. At 5 mgs I decided to take the jump……my final week didn’t go as all the others, I didn’t get that Sat & Sun to feel “okay”……I was sick for 4 days longer but I was ok with it bc I realized it was the first time in years my body was getting ZERO opiates! To get through the bad parts of my detox/tapper I used a tens unit which helped my aching legs, I used Aleve or Advil and lots of hot salt baths and my infrared sauna and as much exercise as I could (which sounds like a joke when your withdrawling and someone even suggests that!)……but a little helps! Here is the part that people get lost…….you get through the final physical symptoms and you expect it to all be uphill from there, your support system expects the same but while your legs might feel better, your stomach can hold down food you still have that one last thing we tend to disregard…….our brain! No matter what you do your brain takes so much longer to recover. To begin to work. It’s not all at once…’s one chemical or receptor at a time and this can take a year, even more! That I found is where the battle is at! Your clean, your proud but your brain is telling you different……it’s telling you that your still tired, your sad, your scared it might not recover, you feel bla. After all that work and your brain won’t let you be proud, return to the you that you worked so hard to recover. This part really sucks! I thank God I don’t crave the oxy, it’s poison to me and I remind myself daily of this and trust that the cleaner I live……the sooner my brain will begin to work. So, as much as I would love to sit here and say that “YES! In _____ amount of time you will feel great!”……I can’t. I can tell you that each day the cloud lifts, your feeling of empathy and disconnect will slowly return. Don’t rely on what other have been through bc we are all different but please understand the damage this stuff does to our bodies and know that it takes time! Not weeks, not months but possibly years to reclaim yourself physically, mentally & emotionally. Don’t let people who say they feel great X number of weeks out let you down…….we have all been on different doses, different amounts of time, different reasons……and have different bodies to reclaim. Trust the process, trust your process!

1:00 am July 10th, 2015

I have took 80 mg. twice a day for 10 years for arachnoditis of lower spine andosteroarithris and ra. . talk to doc. about getting off and said could give me moriphine if oxycontin was not working. I said no thanks. I get woke up every night from from this medicine.I am having avery hard time.Iam 61 years old and lost on what to do.can I tolerate getting off at my age. thanks

7:03 am March 5th, 2016

Hi I’ve been on them 3yrs or more I’m having a lot of trouble giving them up & have been on 2 40mil a day! I stopped them only taking 1/2 off my dose 40m but not having any luck with it! My pain the sweats, sleepless nights, nusa, ect.. I want to get off them as my health is not good! Has anyone cut down down there own meds?
Kind regards

8:50 am August 14th, 2017

Hi there people I have been on OxyContin for a couple of years and now I know I’m addicted and I’ve not been prescribed these but originally off what i thought was a caring lady friend but now a long story but now I’m scared and need help,so I went to my gp at my new address they guided me to a place that deals with addiction and I’ve been a few times and I was honest about how I got them and all they tell me is you will be ok and no treatment for me or a replacement so I’m scared now because I thought they or my gp would say hay wait a minute let’s get this going properly and do a 3 way program between me my gp and the addiction place and but I mentioned it to a different doctor I saw at the time not interested and now I’m so scared because I’m feeling really depressed shit and everything and I’m only 39 please can someone help me? many thanks for reading this post

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
2:39 pm August 25th, 2017

Hi Paul. Call the helpline you see on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant.

7:45 am August 28th, 2017

Hi, I’ve been going through oxy and Percocet withdrawals for the last four days cold turkey bc my docktor quit his job and left all his patients stranded to fend for themselves and my new Dr’s policy is to not write any narcotics rxs for new patients for 6 months. Anyway the withdrawal has been aweful at times I’ve even thought death would be better than this. Like I said I’m on day four and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better any words of encouragement when maybe this will be ending. This pain is terrible. Thanks

10:30 pm March 8th, 2018

I have been on oxycodone 15mg IR tab X2 5 times a day since Oct 2017. And 20mg Oxycodone ER X 2 times a day for Chronic pain. I have been tappering off for the last 2 weeks. I stopped the 20mg ER cold turkey no physical withdrawal. The Oxy IR is a little different. I have tappered about 10 percent a day. I am now just taking 1/2 15mg pill 2 times a day. In morning and ar bed time. I have noticed today bowel problems, you all know what I mean. And my legs start to hurt and my arms start tingling. It’s not horrible,but it’s not great either. Wish me luck getting off Narcotic pain killers for good.

1:42 am March 14th, 2018

Hi my name is Wayne I’ve been on oxycontin for 13 years 80 mg two times a day under doctor’s care I’m slowly tapering as of November 15th of 2017 I started detox with doctors help I am now taking 120 mg a day to 60 s a day is that going to slow or is that okay

Mark , MD
1:05 am March 16th, 2018

Opioid tapers are easier at first and get harder over time. “That last 10 mg is the hardest” is the rule. So as you get down in dose, it is often best to slow the rate of taper. Unless there is an urgent or emergent reason for rapid taper, there is no benefit from suffering. My usual approach is to drop in increasingly smaller doses, and wait until there are no longer any w/d sxs before the next step down. Take your time. There is no hurry here; what’s important is the end result.
[Disclaimer: my remarks here do *not* constitute medical advice. They are expressions of some general principles I have observed in my practice. Tapers should always be done under medical supervision by your personal physician.]

Leave a Reply

Trusted Helpline
Help Available 24/7