Tolerance to OxyContin

Tolerance to OxyContin means you must take increasingly higher doses to achieve the same inital effects. OxyContin tolerance develops at different times for different people. Learn more about tolerance to Oxycontin and other strong opioid drugs here.

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Are your prescribed OxyContin (oxycodone) doses not enough anymore? Do OxyContin effects on the body no longer seem effective? Are you taking more OxyContin in order to feel its effects?  If yes, then you have probably developed a tolerance to OxyContin. Some worry that being tolerant to Oxycontin means they are also physically dependent on Oxycontin.  But this is not true: if you are tolerant to OxyContin you will not necessarily experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking OxyContin. However, drug dependence does not always accompany tolerance. Nor does it mean you are addicted to OxyContin, either.

Here, we take a closer look at OxyContin tolerance, how does OxyContin work in the body, and whether it’s possible to lower your tolerance to OxyContin, or not. If at the end you still have questions about tolerance to OxyContin, please ask and will get back to you as soon as possible.

Developing tolerance to OxyContin

Opioid tolerance to medications like OxyContin occurs because brain cells with opioid receptors gradually become less responsive to opioid stimulation over time. In other words, when your body accommodates for OxyContin, it weakens oxycodone’s ability to work with the same effectiveness. For example, a few weeks or months into OxyContin treatment, more oxycodone is needed to stimulate the VTA brain cells of the mesolimbic reward system to release the same amount of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. This is why OxyContin addicts eventually need more Oxycontin to produce pleasure, compared to initial dosing episodes.

Developing tolerance is such a personal development that at times it may be hard to predict. It does seem though that some people have natural blocks to certain types of drugs like OxyContin and will need alternative medications. However, just because the nerve receptors have been dampened doesn’t mean you are addicted or dependent on OxyContin. If you think you may have developed a dependency on oxycodone, watch out for withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking OxyContin.

OxyContin tolerance symptoms

Common tolerance symptoms of OxyContin include:

1) Exceeding recommended or prescribed maximum daily doses of OxyContin.

2) Feeling little pain relief when you take OxyContin.

3) Maintaining normal functions without the presence of withdrawal symptoms.

But even though you may be experiencing these symptoms of tolerating OxyContin doesn’t mean you’re developing an OxyContin addiction. Several other factors play into drug addiction, such as experiencing OxyContin withdrawal symptoms and the prescence of psychological dependence on OxyContin like mental drug cravings to help cope with day-to-day life.

OxyContin tolerance: How long?

You can develop a tolerance to OxyContin (oxycodone) quickly. But each person develops tolerance to Oxycontin at a different rate. In general, extended use of opioid medications like OxyContin produces drug tolerance. Your tolerance for Oxycontin will increase the longer you are taking OxyContin. OxyContin is also a common substance that is abused; but once you take OxyContin, you can never ever experience the first high again. This is where tolerance can be dangerous because as people chase their first high by increasing the amount of OxyContin they take, which can quickly lead to physical dependence and addiction.

High tolerance to OxyContin

OxyContin is a slow-release long-term opioid pain reliever. Some people have a naturally high tolerance for OxyContin, although it is hard to predict who will have a higher tolerance or not. You are considered opioid tolerant if you exceed 30mg daily in OxyContin, though the largest dose of OxyContin that will be prescribed is 160mg daily. Exceeding this daily amount is considered high and can be potentially dangerous. If you continue to increase your dose of OxyContin and still do not feel its effects, OxyContin might not work at all for you. If you have a high tolerance for OxyContin, it may be best to find another drug that would works best for the symptoms you’re trying to relieve. In general, though, if you are abusing OxyContin you are going to develop tolerance faster.

How to lower tolerance to OxyContin

If you want to lower your tolerance to OxyContin the best thing to do consult your prescribing doctor before you stop taking it for awhile. But keep in mind that some individuals never regain the base level of lowered tolerance. Give your body time to readjust. After some time, your tolerance will lower and you may be able to take OxyContin again. Also, OxyContin is meant more for short term therapy than for long term use. If you are not taking OxyContin the next time you have surgery or get injured, you can expect to take OxyContin with benefits of pain relief.

Building up tolerance to OxyContin questions

Do you still have questions about OxyContin tolerance? Please share your questions and experiences with OxyContin in the comments below.

Reference Sources: National Institute of Drug Abuse: Neurotransmission
Daily Med: OxyContin
Daily Med archive for OxyContin
National Institute of Drug Abuse: The Neurobiology of Opioid Dependence: Implications for Treatment
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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