Friday March 27th 2015

What are oxycodone withdrawal symptoms?

What are oxycodone withdrawal symptoms?

Whether you need to get off oxycodone for medical reasons, or are treating oxycodone addiction…if you’re looking for details about oxycodone withdrawal symptoms, you’re in the right place. Here, we review side effects of oxycodone withdrawal, duration of symptoms, and their treatment. Then, we invite you to ask us questions about withdrawal from oxycodone or help with oxycodone addiction at the end.

Why do oxycodone withdrawal symptoms occur?

Drug withdrawal symptoms occur any time you take a habit forming medication and develop physical dependence on the drug. Often prescribed for pain relief, oxycodone is a very strong medication. Over the course of regular daily dosing, the central nervous system becomes dependent on oxycodone. The brain and nervous system adapt to the presence of oxycodone and its metabolites in the system and send signals to the body to accommodate for the additional chemical. And when you significantly lower oxycodone doses or stop taking oxycodone completely, the body responds with “rebound” symptoms, also known as withdrawal.

What are symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal?

Once an oxycodone user lowers the dosage by more than 1/2 at a time or stops taking oxycodone altogether, the body starts manifesting withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal include (but are not limited to):

  • anxiety
  • chills
  • cramps
  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • fast breathing
  • fast heartbeat
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle or joint aches or pain
  • nausea
  • restlessness
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • sweating
  • vomiting
  • watery eyes
  • weakness
  • yawning

Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms: How long?

Withdrawal symptoms usually begin 4- 6 hours after the last use of the drug. In general, oxycodone withdrawal peaks 72 hours after cessation of use and resolves in 7-10 days. However, oxycodone withdrawal symptoms may last from couple of hours to several days. It all depends on the doses administered, the period of time the medication was consumed and whether doctor’s advice was followed, or not. Some people for example, who had only used the drug therapeutically may not even realize that they are experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Many report thinking that they just have the flu.

Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms treatment

The first step in treating oxycodone withdrawal symptoms is to seek medical help. Doctors can help you set up a tapering plan, when possible, so that you can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Although tapering may not be for everyone (especially in cases when addiction is present), slowly reducing oxycodone doses over time can prevent intense symptoms of withdrawal.

Further, withdrawal does not need to be painful or exhausting. Instead, medications can mitigate symptoms of withdrawal as they occur. Medicines can also address drug cravgings, as well as sleep or mood disorders.

Finally, you can address symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal using over-the-counter medicines or aids such as Imodium AD, heating pads, muscle ache creams, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs such as paracetemol, acetaminphen, or ibuprofen to treat specific symptoms. Warms baths or long showers have also been used to treat body ache. Massage and central nervous system calming teas such as chamomile or rosemary may also help.

Oxycodone withdrawal questions

Still want to know about oxycodone withdrawal and its treatment? Please post your question(s) in the comments section below and we will answer try to answer you personally… as soon as possible.

Reference Sources: Food and Drugs Administration: Drugs Class Information
Medline Plus: Oxycodone
PubChem/Oxycodone Compete Summary

Photo credit: Jozsef Rippl

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40 Responses to “What are oxycodone withdrawal symptoms?
8:52 pm February 10th, 2014

I was taking 50 mg of morphine sulphate daily in two 25mg doses. Morphine made me dizzy and drowsy. I asked my doctor to switch me to something else. He prescribe oxycodone 5mg four times daily. After the next day I went into withdrawls from the morphine so I increase the dosage to 10mg x 2 plus 1 5mg daily after speaking with my pharmacist ( doctor away vacation) and it worked but after a night sleep I feel the withdrawl symptoms in the morning. Should I worry?

10:25 am February 13th, 2014

Hello Alain. You’ll need to discuss your particular case with your prescribing doctor, who understands more about the context of your medical history and physical needs. Withdrawal occurs when dosing is interrupted after a period of physical dependence. How long do you expect to be taking pain medications?

Susan Nelson
8:46 pm February 15th, 2014

I M withdrawing from oxycodone and methadone It has been since Feb 1 and I am extremely weak. I am also having difficulty sleeping, and feel like I need to eat because I get real nervous about how long does this nonsense take to complete the get out of my system

12:53 pm February 17th, 2014

Hello Susan. The time it takes to withdraw from opioids is generally related to your dosing history: doses, amount, frequency, and length of time you used oxycodone. However, you can expect acute symptoms to resolve in 7-10 days of cessation. The longer term symptoms such as problems sleeping and mood disorders can linger for weeks to months later. Check in with your supervising doctor to see if you can benefit from the prescription of antidepressant medications, or not (to be used for a short term period of 3-6 weeks). You certainly don’t want to trade one addiction or dependency for another. But there are protocols for treating protracted withdrawal symptoms from opioid dependence (PAWS).

11:55 pm May 8th, 2014

i have been on oxyies for 2and half years.i hab 3 diskes removed,and fusion,10/325.i have tryed to cut down from 4x to 1 time a day,since i have been doing this for about 2weeks.i have had no go i just sit in a chair and sleep,is this from cutting down to fast…..

2:36 pm May 9th, 2014

Hello Graham. It’s possible that the fatigue is a symptom of withdrawal. Experts recommend that you cut down by 25% at a time, but no more than 1/2 the previous dose. Did you set up a tapering schedule with your supervising doctor?

6:58 pm May 9th, 2014

I am taking 20mg 4 times a day for chronic pain from oesteoarthritis . I wake up in the morning from withdrawls symptoms every day around 6ham
I take a dose and then 3 hours later I take another one because symptoms appear again.
I take a dose 4 hours later 1pm
I take the last dose between 4pm and 5 pm sometimes I take one extra dose later if pain is really
bad but it really bothers my falling asleep
I don’t know if I am taking the right dosage? I would like to remain at 4 doses per day.
Can’t see my doctor I had for 17 years because I moved to another province and I have to find a new doctor before I run out. I don’t want to go cold turkey done it before and it’s terrible.
My doctor prescribed Elavil and Ativan to help me go to sleep.
I also take apo-gabapentin for my neuropathy I take only at night because makes me to drowsy
during the day.
I don’t like taking all those pills but seems like I have no choice

11:35 am May 12th, 2014

Hello Alain. Your dosage will need to be managed by a prescribing doctor in order to minimize the pain and withdrawal symptoms. Tolerance is a known outcome of long term use of opioids like oxycodone. However, you might want to consult with a pharmacist to get additional feedback. Good luck in adjusting your doses.

6:32 pm May 18th, 2014

I’ve been off oxycodone for 96 hours and I just took a dose and my going to restart withdrawal

1:11 pm May 19th, 2014

Hello Angie. Yes, once you interrupt withdrawal by dosing, you’ll need to go through symptoms again. However, depending on the dose amount and frequency…withdrawal symptoms could be more or less intense. Medical supervision is always recommended during oxycodone withdrawal, so be sure to seek help from a detox clinic or your supervising, prescribing doctor.

5:02 am June 2nd, 2014

Total Knee Replacement surgery 4-1-14. Prescribed Oxycodone 5MG pills post surgery. Week 1 post discharge hospital = 80MG/DAY. Week 2 = 50MG/Day. Week 3 = 30MG/Day. Week 4 = 22MG/Day. Started taper Week 5 = 15MG/Day. Week 6 thru Week 8 continued to taper from 15MG/Day to 7.5MG/Day. Very difficult for me to taper from these small quantities. Switched to Hydrocodone 5/325 on doctors orders end of Week 8 and was not successful in keeping pill (5.5MG/Day) down. So went Cold Turkey. Now 72HRS from last Hydrocodone (1.25MG/5 HRS) and 5 days from Oxycodone (7.5MG/Day).

I am at the end of my rope. I felt I was on limited use and managed a taper program down to 7.5.MG Oxycodone/Day. I have all classic withdrawal symptoms including flu-fever w/ temps averaging 101F to 103F running several hours. Today (Day 3) = 12 Hours no let up w/ hi-temp. Exhausted and extremely frustrated. Can you please make an opinion when I can expect my withdrawal symptoms to subside? When will fever break to < 99F?

Should I start Imodium AD?

12:47 pm June 2nd, 2014

Hello John. Check in with your doctor, but Imodium AD is typically used when helpful. The fever and discomfort and insomnia peak at around Day 3, and resolve within 7-10 days. Hang in there! And call a detox clinic for a consult if things get particularly uncomfortable.

1:49 pm July 1st, 2014

I have been on oxocodone 30mg for 5 years. I have lupus /RA/ 6 disks out and nerve damage. I stopped my medication 3 days ago and I’ve been taking Benadryl every 6 hour ‘cuz it helps with the detox symptoms. How long will this last?

3:34 pm July 2nd, 2014

Hi Melissa. The duration of withdrawal symptoms from oxycodone varies from person to person and it’s linked to the individual’s metabolism and how long oxycodone was used. It can take about a few weeks for someone who’ been taking the meds for a longer time, even if they took them as prescribed.

8:30 pm July 27th, 2014

I was prescribed oxycodone 15mg 4 times per day for knee pain. I very rarely took more than two pills daily. Last week I took 4 tabs a day for two days. After that I stopped completely. Can I actually be going through withdrawal? I feel depressed as hell, just want to sleep all day, I can’t sleep well at night and my mood is in the gutter. Can this be after such a short period? Should I just try to halve my dosage to 7.5 mg daily then stop altogether?

2:54 pm October 9th, 2014

I took oxycodone for pain following a double knee replacement for about five months, but in gradually tapering-off doses, and stopped taking it when the prescription ran out and the pain had lessened. About a month after stopping it completely, the pain in one knee became intense, for reasons not yet determined (still awaiting test results), so I requested and received a refill. One dose not only got rid of the pain, but I am still pain-free 14 hours later. I have been feeling totally exhausted and barely able to function, and sweating a lot. Now, after one dose, I feel great, and this leads me to wonder if I could have still been suffering from withdrawal effects a month and a half after stopping the drug. My doctor is awaiting lab results to see if there is an infection, but that seems unlikely. Any thoughts?
Thank you very much.

5:15 pm October 10th, 2014

I was on/off a couple days and I feel terrible!!! I feel sleepy but can sleep, jittery, sad, anxious, burpy…are these the withdrawal symptoms, I’ve been off 36 hours from my last tablet…how much longer will this last?

3:53 am October 12th, 2014

Boyfriend and I have been on them for yrs almost ten for me and 5 or more for him! doing it cold turkey as none of our friends or family are aware of the mess we are in! we are on day five or six and have managed but with the help of another st drug !!!! we take prescibed sleeping pills to sleep sometimes they work sometime not! My question is, what makes my boyfriend jump twitch kick and flice all over the bed after he has gone to sleep ??? im scared for him, I mean we both have awhile with restless legs and aches but his is sooo extrereme when he sleeps ???

1:30 pm October 17th, 2014

Hello Lost. Have you sought doctor’s assistance? It’s safer to have him examined.

6:01 pm November 4th, 2014

I had a TKR in June 2014 I’m taking oxycodone 5mg every 5 to 6 hours. I want to stop taking it so I tried several times not to take it at night and the pain an Restlessness was horrible. I woke up my nose was running at the very anxious

peter brown
8:17 am November 5th, 2014

Was taking 20mg morning OC 20mg night. for 8 to 10 years. Have stopped the 20 mg in the mornings and keep falling asleep during the day as well as muscle cramps etc. Do not sleep well at night but during the day just drop off to sleep while sitting with people. Can this be a sign of withdrawal

2:49 pm November 6th, 2014

Hello Peter. Yes, trouble sleeping ( falling asleep, staying asleep AND sleep routine problems) are symptoms of opiate/opioid withdrawal. Seek medical advice from your prescribing doctor or a pharmacist about addressing these symptoms.

j stricklett
9:41 pm November 13th, 2014

Hello, I have been on Oxycodone and OxyContin for 7 years, for the last 15 months my doctor had me on 20mgs every 4hrs so 120mgs daily, now she is cutting me down, 30 mgs daily.. I have had extreme bowel movements and extreme nausea along with a lot of other issues.. it’s been 3-4 weeks and the issues are just starting to slow down but still there.. now she wants to cut more? She is not adding anything to help.. is this a normal reaction, should I still be feeling withdrawal symptoms? Also is she doing this right? The nurse she has and her seem to think I should have no issues with cutting down every week or two? I have always done exactly what she wanted but this is horrible… and now because I am saying I am having issues cutting down she wants me to find another doctor but I am having issues doing this.. Was the dose she had me on too high? Because this seems to be the feedback I am getting? She also had me on more oxycontin which I have asked and then cut down because I thought that was the “bad” drug, but This seems worse to cut down..? Should I be feeling this bad still?

8:10 pm November 19th, 2014

I start Oxcodone on NOv 10th. The pills were 5 mg. I took two a day after I came home from the hospital. I’m on the second day of half the dose of Oxcodone. I would like to know how long it takes to set rid of the additional muscle & joint pain. I also cannot sleep at night. I also have emotional outbreaks because of this drug.

Please help.

8:46 pm December 9th, 2014

Hi. I have been doing an awful lot of reading lately primarily because I have been prescribed to 15mg Oxycodone 6x per day for about the last 3.5 years. I have asked my doctor about “getting off” the medication as I seemed rather physically dependent yet the pain was still present. *car accident… several discs dislocated and herniated as well as some minor nerve damage….* I am in my 20s and have a few young children. I have never used recreational drugs. I just want off the oxycodone the safest and most efficient way possible. My PCP suggested switching me to Kadine and went on to inform me that it would be our best move… I did some research and Kadine is a form of Morphine and I do NOT want to be dependent on any medications. My PCP also suggested suboxone or methedone; once again, I do not want to be on any medications where I am physically dependent. I am deeply afraid of going through withdrawal symptoms primarily because my children need me everyday. They have no one like a grand parent or aunt who can help out with basic necessities such as baths and dinner etc. I guess what I am trying to ask is what is the best way to get off and minimize any withdraw symptoms from home? I am in fear that my doctor is now making this dramatic switch with anyone who has or is on oxycodone without honestly considering “what” and even “how” are we supposed to switch but still be able to do what we have to on a daily basis and as for me that is to work and take care of my children… not to mention the holidays- I am worried I won’t be “ok” and my kids need me…. I want them to know I am there for them and they don’t have to be scared seeing me in a rare form (from all that I have read…)

I am so scared to be completely honest. Terrified. I also have been prescribed for several years now Soma 350mg 4x daily (which I mainly take during the evenings to assist with sleeping) and 1mg Xanax 3x daily for severe anxiety.

Any advise would be more than appreciated. Just to say- as I’ve been reading, it is scary, it is serious, always speak up and don’t be ashamed whatever you personal situation is… your stories are easing my days these past few weeks; I am sure they are doing more for someone else! I applaud all that is working towards change!

3:19 pm December 15th, 2014

Hi… I have been checking to see if anyone responded to the posting I posted. I see no other posts as of today Monday December 15th. Since my last post, I have decided to just try to reduce my intake of the three prescriptions I have been taking for several years. I started on 4 15mg oxycodone about 3 weeks ago to 3 then 2 for the last 6 days. Yesterday I only took 1; 1/2 in the morning half during the night as I was having some muscle tensions… very uncomfortable feeling. I haven’t took any meds today.. not even my xanax. I am trying to just stop them all as the dependency situations are simply not for me. I’m weak and tired but that’s all really. Some dizziness and headache come and go but seems to be caused from 24 hours in my bed… my body is not used to just resting like this… I am feeling great! I go see me doctor Wednesday and instead of him putting me on suboxone or kadine- I can tell him I took myself off!! Some idea’s that helped me- benedryl at night, lots of fluids and try to eat regular! Hot showers and body massages helped a lot! Rest! Take it easy; stay in bed and just let your body rest. Hightened sensitivity was something weird I was feeling when I touch my hair or make a fist; from what I read- it’s normal!

Good luck to anyone who is trying to make major moves in their life. It is scary, it’s not 100% easy but not hard as you may think. Worth the effort to get the toxins out your body!

5:42 pm December 16th, 2014

Thank you, Chante, for your feedback. I’m very happy you are succeeding in your goal and that you feel good. I hope you inspire others to walk your steps of patience and relaxation, towards success.

9:27 pm January 4th, 2015

I think I am an example of adult ADHD. I always used to be hyper all my life. Now I am 33, since a year I have stopped consuming milk as well as gluten products and I am feeling very nice. I am always calm and I can think clearly. Since I am a vegan I take b12 tablets daily and it helps me a lot. Recently I had vitamin d tablets after reading about it on the internet about how good it is but I have had a bad experience with it after having it I have become a little hyper again and I think I am going through withdrawal symptoms after not consuming it. Today is the 30 th day after I had d but still I am not feeling as good as I did before. Please suggest what should I do? And how long these symptoms will last?

6:38 pm January 14th, 2015

I have been off Hydrocodon-APAP 10-325 for nine days. I took two pills twelve hours apart on the day nine. I have been doing this on my own. Withdrawal has been bad. Since taking the two pills, am I going to go thru the withdrawal again, and will it be as bad?

8:15 am January 25th, 2015

Pain meds. After withdrawl. I have bursitis, headaches, broke 3 ribs and messed up my neck and shoulder, oa, fibro., bipolar
So far nothing else is working. I tried vicodin oxycontin scared me, aleve, tapering but scared of side effects.
I take 2.5 6x a day. I don’t feel this is alot but my shrink feels ANYTHING is vettrr than narcoticks.

11:51 am February 7th, 2015

after taking oxycodone for over 3 x years, I am now on a reduced dose of 5mg ( slow release ) twice a day. I recognise, along with my GP that I no longer have pain and the med is more an addiction which I long to get off. However, I simply cannot do this final lap to cease taking the drug. Is there anything you can advise me to do to help ?

12:37 pm February 9th, 2015

Hi Martin. You can also discuss this issue with your GP. I guess the next step is 5mg once a day?! Your doctor can help prescribe medications or suggest which OTC’s will help you manage withdrawal symptoms as they occur and make the final jump as comfortable as possible. Good luck to you! You are almost there!

6:53 pm February 22nd, 2015

Have been taking 30 mg of oxycodone for 4 years my doctor changed me to patches and I could not get them takes prior authorization and I ran out of my meds yesterday what’s going to be the outcome of the sudden removal of this medication? And is it right that he just decided to do this my insurance company said they had no problem with paying for the oxycodone! The Dr told me it was because my insurance company don’t want to pay for this medicine.

5:18 am March 5th, 2015

Veteran, 40mg, 3 times daily. The VA is weaning me off. Started at 30mgs, twice daily. This is giving me problems. I sorta freaking out, but the withdrawal symptoms. I already ack. I’m worried because I am still in pain. Not able to smoke weed, which helps somewhat. I beat herion in Germany. I don’t want to go through that again. But that looks like what will happen. What happens about my pain, the reason I’m on the pills now, when I have nothing for the pain. Hope y’all can ubunderstand the rambling. HELP ME

3:24 pm March 12th, 2015

Hello Ghosst Rydrr. It’s a good thing that you are being gradually tapered down form Oxy. Unfortunately this cannot completely eliminate the withdrawal effects, but it does significantly lower the severity of the discomfort. If you are doing this under doctor’s supervision, s/he can help you take other remedies to treat your withdrawal symptoms as they occur, plus offer some alternative ways for pain management that will help you relieve pain.

12:09 am March 15th, 2015

my wife has been on oxycodone 10mg every 6 hours for 15 days and has stopped as her pain level has dropped to a level she says she can tolerate …. will she be subject to the withdrawal symptoms…

4:57 am March 15th, 2015


I am not going to go into my whole story as it would take about 10 pages. But I have been on opiate based pain medication since the age of 16. I will be 39 later this year. I use them as directed most of the time. I increase and decrease my dosages based on my symptoms but I have developed a tolerance for my pain medications that is nothing less than insane. I am currently taking around 800mg of oxy a day in a mixture of 80mg OxyContin extended release pills and 30mg Oxycodone instant release tablets. This is the formula that has worked best for my pain in the past mixing the extended and instant release forms. I have been on them so long now that I have no idea if I have even healed. My doctor is not taking me off them as she says I will be in agony. I need to know for myself if this is really the case. I suffer from RA but during the summer I am almost symptom free and I want to spend this summer pill free as well. My question is if it is safe to go cold turkey from that dosage with my extended history of dependence on opiate based medication. I have been on Oxy in one form or another for close to 8 years….

Any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions would be appreciated!!


12:16 pm March 16th, 2015

Hi Charles. She might, you never know how quick an organism gets adjusted to the presence of a medication. But, given the fact she was only taking it for two weeks time, the severity and duration of the withdrawal symptoms won’t be complicated. It’ll be over soon, and if she gets a symptom you can treat it with simple over-the-counter meds you can get at any pharmacy.

7:01 pm March 18th, 2015

My situation is rather complex. I have had fibromyalgia since I was 30 – am now 73. I experienced a period of relative remission in my fifties but then the symptoms got beyond what OTC drugs could handle. I’ve been under a doctor’s care all this time. About 6 years ago, my symptoms worsened to the point where oxycodone was required to control them. It did and I enjoyed a good quality of life by taking 30 to 45mg every four hours. (I have a high tolerance for drugs and functioned well on that dosage.) As you know, doctors no longer want to treat chronic pain with narcotics so I have been slowly withdrawing for a year and now do 15mg every 4 to 6 hours. My doctor told me to stop titration for four months while I was being treated for cancer – slow-growing malt lymphoma in the duodenum,stage 2. I went through radiation therapy but un-fortunately, the lymphoma was not responsive. It will be some months before inflammation from the radiation has cleared so I can try another round of therapy. Between now and then, I would like to complete withdrawing from the oxycodone. I’m experiencing many of the withdrawal symptoms listed but only mildly so I can maintain my daily routine. I must add that I am taking low doses of xanax (have for many years) and cymbalta. What is your recommendation? Thanks!

8:31 am March 26th, 2015

Hello Karen. You seem to have a good understanding of your medical condition and needs. But I’m not sure if you’re concerned about the withdrawal symptoms or the symptoms of the condition? Have you spoken with your doctor about the use of dronabinol, the synthetic THC during the cancer treatments? Would you consider this as a treatment option?

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