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What drugs help with OxyContin addiction?

Q: What drugs help with OxyContin addiction?

A: Although this question can take a whole book to answer, the short answer is that there are only two opioids that are approved for the treatment of OxyContin or other opioid addiction and two non-opioids used during OxyContin addiction treatment.  Although these medication may not necessarily affect OxyContin withdrawal duration, they can help ease withdrawal symptoms and are a much more humane option than cold turkey off oxycodone.

Opioid medications for OxyContin addiction

1. Methadone – Methadone must be prescribed by a fully licensed Opioid Treatment Program.  Methadone is used to treat addiction because it helps relieves symptoms associated with withdrawal from opiates, blocks the euphoric and sedating effects of opiates and can relieve the craving for opiates that leads to relapse.

2. Buprenorphine – Better known as Suboxone, buprenorphine hcl can be prescribed by physicians with a special DEA license.  Buprenorphine works by blocking the effects of opiates while offering opiate-like effects that appear likely to support abstinence from Oxy’s than a non-opiate or opiate antagonist.

Non-opioid medications to treat OxyContin addiction

3. Clonidine – Besides being a blood pressure medication, Clonidine also blocks many opioid withdrawal symptoms regulated by the autonomic nervous system: sweating, goose bumps, chills, nausea, and diarrhea.

4. Naltrexone – Naltrexone is an oral opioid blocker that can be started after you are through the opioid withdrawal, and provides a safety net because it blocks opioid effect if the patient does relapse on opioids. Naltrexone does not lessen cravings or have any opioid effect itself. This medication is now available in sustained release, once monthly injections.

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3 Responses to “What drugs help with OxyContin addiction?
Shelley
9:52 pm December 4th, 2013

My son has gone off oxicontin cold turkey he now has weakness and sever diahrea and has slept only 5 hours in 12 days. Is this normal or should extreme measure be taken can this affect other organs in the body? I extremely worried

Jennifer
4:53 pm October 17th, 2014

I have been taking oxys for a year and a half. All different kinds of doses a day.. Sometimes anywhere from 15 mg up to 200 mg. I feel like shit A lot of the days unless I took quite a bit Oxys. I’m so sick of it, i’m angry myself. I would like to know how long are these withdrawals going to take until I feel back to normal again?

3:02 pm October 22nd, 2014

Hi Jennifer. Withdrawal symptoms from OxyContin will usually subside in about 4-5 weeks. But, there is a chance you can develop PAWS or protracted withdrawal symptoms which can last for months after you have stopped taking OxyContin. See a doctor before you attempt anything on your own. A tapering schedule and meds that can treat the withdrawals can be a lifesaver.

About Dr. Jana Burson, MD

Jana Burson M.D. is board-certified in Internal medicine, and certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. After practicing primary care for many years, she became interested in the treatment of addiction. For the last six years, her practice has focused exclusively on Addiction Medicine. She has written a book about prescription pain pill addiction: "Pain Pill Addiction: Prescription for Hope." Also see Dr. Burson's blog here.

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