What are hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms?
Planning to detox from hydrocodone?
Can I just stop taking hydrocodone? Yes, if you’ve just started taking it. But for others who’ve taken hydrocodone for more than a few weeks, tapering to reduce withdrawal will help. Know which hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms to expect during detox, and for how long. Plus a section at the end for your personal questions about hydrocodone. We answer all hydrocodone questions as promptly as we can!
Why do hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms occur?
Hydrocodone is a part of the opioid family of analgesic (painkiller) drugs. How does hydrocodone affect the nervous system? When you take hydrocodone, it can suppress the pain receptors in the brain and slow the overall body responses. This is why when you are on hydrocodone you can no longer feel pain and/or can feel a hydrocodone high. But you also run the risk of developing a hydrocodone dependency anytime you take hydrocodone regularly for more than a couple of weeks.
When you decide to stop taking hydrocodone, you will quickly feel the withdrawals of the medication because the body is trying to rebound from the slowing in the body. In other words, your body needs to compensate for the lack of hydrocodone and does the opposite of what occurs when on hydrocodone. So hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms occur as your brain and body seek homeostasis after you stop taking the pain killer. In general, withdrawal symptoms are more intense when your hydrocodone prescription dosage has been high.
What are symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal?
There are a variety of symptoms you may experience withdrawing from hydrocodone. Early signs of hydrocodone withdrawal can include: runny nose, excessive sweating, shedding tears, yawning, dilated pupils, and increased temperature. Later signs of hydrocodone withdrawal include: loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, a continual or recurrent inclination to evacuate the bowels, goose flesh, weakness, increased blood pressure and pulse, agitation, restlessness, and severe muscle and bone pain. The most commonly reported symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal include:
- cold flashes with goose bumps
- excessive yawning or sneezing
- extreme drowsiness
- involuntary leg movements
- mood changes
- muscle and bone pain
- strong drug craving
Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms: How long?
Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms can develop a few after the next expected dose, peak within 36–72 hours, and subside over 5–10 days. In fact, you can expect to feel hydrocodone withdrawal begin shortly after a missed dose. The degree and time that withdrawal takes, however, can fluctuate given your daily dose frequency and amount.
After about 2 to 3 days people report intense hydrocodone cravings. But a level of normalcy returns in about a week. However, after you have battled the physical effects hydrocodone withdrawal, you will have to deal with the psychological craving for the drug and kicking the need to take it again when stressors arrive.
Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms treatment
How do you treat hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms? First, you need the educational, emotional the psychological support of medical professionals who know about withdrawal. And second, there are medicines that can help you during withdrawal. Here, we’ll review each of these hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms treatment individually.
1. Get medical supervision and support.
Hydrocodone is habit forming and addictive. So drug cravings make it harder to deal with withdrawal symptoms. And while hydrocodone is something you can stop cold turkey, most experts recommend that you treat withdrawal from hydrocodone under medical supervision. Why? To make sure that you have the support you need to help you to combat the withdrawal symptoms. It is also recommended that you be monitored by a physician especially if they are already in charge of your doses. By slowing tapering off hydrocodone, you can minimize the intensity and variety of withdrawal symptoms that you feel.
2. Ask about medications that treat hydrocodone withdrawal.
Withdrawal is the necessary first step to getting hydrocodone out of your body. But there is no reason that you should suffer during detox. In fact, painful withdrawal decreases likelihood that you stop taking hydrocodone in the long term. This is why doctors treat the first stage of withdrawal with medicines that address the acute detox symptoms. This type of opioid withdrawal medication treatment makes withdrawal more manageable. Doctors also offer other medications to help hydrocodone addicts manage cravings and stay off hydrocodone if needed.
Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms questions
Please ask your hydrocodone questions below. We are happy to respond to you personally, and will try to answer your questions ASAP. And if we don’t know the answer, we will refer you to someone who does.
Reference Sources: Federal Bureau of Prisons: Detoxification of Chemically Dependent Inmates
Utah Department of Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health: Opioids
Medline Plus: Hydrocodone overdose
Daily Med FDA Drug Info: Vicodin ES
DEA Drug Fact Sheet: Hydrocodone
Photo credit: DEA