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OxyContin Detox

OxyContin, derived from oxycodone, was specifically formulated to help patients with severe, long-lasting pain.  It was made to release pain medication to the body for a period of 12 hours.  It was recently stated by the FDA, that painkillers like OxyContin should only be used by patients with severe, chronic pain as caused by conditions such as cancer or arthritis.

Typically a prescription dose of OxyContin ranges from 10mg up to 80 mg.  For people who suffer from chronic pain, the benefit is that pain relief lasts continually for several hours, and that they do not have to take a pain medication every 4 – 6 hours.  This can enable people to participate in daily activities.


OxyContin Detox or Withdrawal Symptoms

OxyContin detox or Withdrawal symptoms are similar to those caused by other opioid medications, however, they can be more severe depending on the usage of the drug.   With strong medications like OxyContin, the potential for addiction is very high.

Typically there are two phases of OxyContin detox or withdrawal.  Symptoms can be acute for 1-2 weeks after not using the drug.


Phase 1 – Early withdrawal:

  • Physical symptoms like muscle cramps or aches, yawning
  • Symptoms similar to a cold like sweating, chills, runny nose, congestion and fever
  • Mood changes like irritation, restlessness, anxiety or agitation
  • Sleep disturbances like insomnia

Phase 2 – Later withdrawal symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Shivering or goosebumps
  • Rapid heat rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blurry vision

Timeline of OxyContin Detox & Withdrawal

Because of its long-acting properties, OxyContin will not being to wear off for 12-24 hours after the last dose was taken.  If the medication was abused and taken to bypass the time-release aspect, withdrawal may begin 4-8 hours after the last dose.

The later symptoms may not start until 24 hours after the early symptoms.  During the first full day of OxyContin withdrawal, it may appear to be a flu, but the second day will show more typical symptoms of withdrawal.

OxyContin withdrawal may last 1-2 weeks, the same as other opioid medications.  Typically acute symptoms will clear up after 3 days, but withdrawal can take 2 or more weeks for some people.  OxyContin’s psychological withdrawal symptoms may continue for months with people who have a strong addiction to the drug.

Many factors will influence the duration of withdrawal from OxyContin.  Some of these factors include: strength of the dose taken, length of time the drug was taken, environmental stress, biological or genetic factors and whether or not the drug was abused or taken in an illegal manner (bypassing the time-release formula).


Medications for OxyContin Detox & Withdrawal

It is important to know what options a person has when wanting to end addiction to an opioid medication like OxyContin.  Medical detox and rehab can greatly benefit many individuals.  This removes them from their environment and provides supervision to help them avoid the stress triggers that will cause them to relapse into their self-medicating or addictive behaviors.

Some medical professionals may prescribe medications to ease withdrawal symptoms.  Buprenorphine and methadone are examples of medications that can help alleviate OxyContin withdrawal symptoms.  Alternatively, tapered doses may be given to wean the individual off OxyContin.

Another method used to ease the psychological withdrawal symptoms is to use psychiatric medications typically prescribed for depression or anxiety.  Clonidine is commonly used and eases symptoms like cold or flu type symptoms, cramps and aches, sweating, anxiety and agitation.

Naloxone is being investigated for possible use as a treatment for OxyContin or opioid withdrawal.  This medication is currently used by emergency personnel in many states to halt overdose symptoms long enough to get an individual to the hospital.  Faster acting than other opioid medications, Naloxone binds to the opioid receptors in an individual’s brain, and is eliminated from the body faster than opioid medications.  Research is still being done, however, to determine how Naloxone could be applied for addiction or withdrawal treatment.

During OxyContin detox and withdrawal, Milestone Detox can provide the most supportive and comprehensive medical environment needed during all stages of detox to ensure successful recovery.  If you or a loved one need help, call one of our professional admissions team members for a free and confidential assessment.

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