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Readers Respond: What Were Your Toughest Oxycontin Withdrawal Symptoms and How Did You Cope?

Responses: 334

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Updated September 22, 2012

Anyone who has taken Oxycontin, even as prescribed, can experience discomfort when they try to quit or cut back. What were your most difficult withdrawal symptoms? What did you do to deal with the withdrawals? Share Your Experience

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Supposed to take 10 mg 3 x day but take more since I've grown tolerant. When I get down to two pills I BReak THEM IN HALF AND ONLY TAKE A HALF FOR PRETTY BAD WITHDRAWALS. Believe it or not, this cuts down on symptoms by at least half. TRY IT!!!
—Guest Shaker

Doable

Not much of a forumposter but as I found this site to be very helpful I feel obliged to leave a short message. Been recreationally using a variety of pills for years, at the same time being a fanatic sportsguy. Anyway, stopped working out, started taking more pills and ended up with an oxycontin/oxycodone/hydrochloride and occasional fentanyl addiction of abouft 120 mg a day. Tried tapering down with a doctor starting with 2x30 mg a day then reducing 5 mg p/w. This worked great -only first 3 days were a little anxious but since this way of tapering down lasts several months I felt the motivation crumbling and when I was only on 5 mg p/d I relapsed. Tried tapering down myself again and came to 2x15 mg during day then 1x5 mg for the night. Then went cold turkey. Now in 6th day and it's bearable. Had all the symptoms except for vomiting. Smoked marihuana for emotional relief (always have). Best tips: tell yourself you have the flu! Baths/showers, walk/do situps and eat! Best to all of you
—Guest Martin

not easy but coping

I have been taking 100 and 50 mgI lof oxy 4 13 years.I had just been to my doctor, and on the way home I got pulled for not turning on my blinker. I don't know why but the police my prescriptions. My doctor gave me a couple of new ones, but put me down to a much lower dose. After that she only gave me and weeks worth and I tried to wean myself down and God is it really hard.she said before she can give me anything else she has to see the prescriptions they took. I have klonopin, restoril, neurontin butI still I feel horrible. I am on my third day. I can't eat at all but I'm trying to drink a lot of fluids that will help. Trying to get up and walk around, tidy up my place, that my god it is so hard. I pray for everyone who is going through this because I know it's not easy. 13 years is a long time 2 get cut off like that when I didn't even do anything wrong. God bless everyone and I hope things get better for all.
—Guest p w s

Day 6 cold turkey

For those that are thinking of getting off the meds or just started. I was precribed 80mg of oxycodone per day. Not alot of oxy to many but enough to create hell on earth. On tue morning I took my 20mg of oxycodone, at around 10am I just decided I had enough! So I stopped taking. At around 2-3pm I started to feel thewithdrawls, tired and lethargic. By the end of the night I was in BAD shape. I then took my clonidine I had from a year ago for another temporary issue I had. WOW! What a difference! I almost slept through 3 days of the bad stuff. I was still miserable but in a very relaxed way. Took away all the bad symptoms except insomnia and a tiny bit of anxiety. Day 4 I forced my way out the door and walk a trail for a mile and a half and it felt wonderful. I was exhausted but it was worth it. Stretching will takesome of the aches away, even the anxiety. Day 5 I was a little tired due to absolutly NO sleep but forced myself to walk again. Day 6 I feel 80%! :)
—Guest rapaport

In the Midst, with surgeries coming up

I've been on 225mg. Oxy for 6 yrs. It recently began to affect my family life, & time w/ older kids was, well not enough !! In bed 12 or more hrs. a day, Oxy is VERY activating for me. I have to have a 7th major surgery this summer ( a re-vised total knee replacement; I was kicked by a horse in ' 81 & almost died, then was told I couldn't walk w/ out a cane ( I was 26 ) I proved them wrong & became a fitness instructor & Bodybuilder. Now, after more surgeries & facing a big one, I've learned how to reduce oxy to a min., then raise it Post-Op, etc. but I'm sick of it !! I'm in my 3rd week, ' protracted W/ drawals ', will have the surgery this summer. After that heals, I plan to remain on a LOW dose of Percocet & Vicodin, for body-parts pain & Fibro. that remain. I'm lucky that I can ' control it ' but HATE the yo-yo & want off soon !! Thanks everyone for sharing your painful stories.
—Guest Guest Francesca

Withdrawals after 8 yrs.on High Doses

Began Oxy after a complicated knee surgery; dose increased w/pain & more surgeries. Got up to 225 mg./ day for 6 yrs. Now needing another surgery, cut down 60 mgs.myself butneeded Dr. help to keep going, & am down to 125 mg. a day. Next week will drop another 40 mg./ day to get down to 85mg./ day. Withdrawals began 16 hrs. after first drop-down of 100 mg. Nausea, muscle cramps, bloodshot eyes, SEVERE pain & restless legs; Shakes, freezing cold inside body, dry-heaving, ZERO short-term memory, unable to re-call SIMPLE words, thoughts;panic,anxiety, abdominal cramps, & insomnia. Asked Dr. for help. Now, day21, still have nausea, mild cramping, shakes, can barely hold down food. On the following meds to ease W/Ds ( I only feel good asleep or heavily sedated ): Soma, Clonidine, Klonipin, Ambien, Seroquel, & Flexeril for sleep, sedation,& muscle cramps. I could NOT tolerate ' Cold Turkey'; Best wishes to all, & DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP !
—Guest Francesca

For Not Again

Not Again, I believe you should take the prescription, but when it is time to go off, work very closely with your doctor to wean slowly. You can use oxycontin as low as 10 or oxycodone as low as 5, in order to go down just 5 mg at a time (you just take oxycodone more often - about 4x a day - since it is not time released - and you use a lower dose.) I think you can get through withdrawal if you will go down 5-10 mg at a time. Will power will be needed. Reduce 5-10 mg and you will feel it, but it won't be terrible. When you again feel normal, wait a few days, then reduce again. Wean slowly, with doctor supervision.
—Guest guest here

Continued from last

I was able to stop methadone after 3 days of taking it for the oxycodone withdrawal. The worst of the oxy withdrawal was gone. Another great effect is methadone lingers in your body for 3 times as long as oxy and after taking it once a day for 3 days it continues to diminish the oxy withdrawal. Only taking it for 3 days and only taking 30 mg once a day means I had zero methadone withdrawal symptoms. If you take let's say hydrocodone instead of methadone for oxy withdrawal once you stop the hydro your oxy withdrawals will return. Not the case with methadone since it is not cross tolerant with oxy. It basically masks the oxy withdrawals and allows them to run their course without you suffering. Consult a doctor first as since it's not cross tolerant you can't measure your tolerance based on you're tolerance to oxy. 30 mg of methadone is enough to cause respitory depression easily even with a decent tolerance to oxycodone. And please give it time to work. It's not fast acting like oxy.
—Guest James

Things that worked for me

The worst part of oxy withdrawal for me is this restless agitation I feel in like the core of my stomach. Just can't sit still at all. I read lots of people saying methadone replaces one opioid for another. For me though I have had withdrawals where I'd have 3 methadone pills. I'd take one pill at noon every day for three days. I was on about 200 mg of oxy per day so I took 30mg of methadone each of those 3 days. 20 mg may have even been enough. You only should take one because it lasts about 12 hours as it's a long acting opioid. Also it takes longer than oxy to take effect. 2 to 3 hours to start working for me, so don't take it and then a half hour later take more because you feel nothing. That is why methadone had such a high overdose rate for recreational users who are not familiar with the drug. Methadone can cause respitory depression in much lower doses than oxycodone. For me though. Taking the methadone each day at 12 completely eliminated withdrawal (continued in next post)
—Guest James

Just a thought

My husband diagnosed with esophageal cancer at 45 years old. No warning- no reason. Non smoker non drinker. Given two months to two years to live. Severe pain in shoulder down arm from matastisis tumor near spine crushing vegus nerve. Doc put him on oxy 2x a day at 20mg. and dilauded for break thru pain. Started Rick Simpson oil to cure cancer. They say it can (and you should) also help you get off of painkillers. So we tried it. But just did 1 oxy a day for three days then stopped them. Had no idea the side effects. Was out of my mind with fear that something new was wrong. He had restless legs and arms, headaches, hard to sleep, and major loose bowels...uncontrolled. Sneezing and that was strange. Now in men's Depends. He is miserable, but I think it would have been even worse had we not had the R.S.oil. Had nurse to house said he was hydrated- thanks to coconut water, regular water, gatoraid. And blood pressure and pulse and temp were perfect. It has been 7 days since weaning.
—Guest Care giver

This forum has inspired me

Im trying to get off of oxycodone about 100mg daily or more. has been over 10 years at first it was one 10 mg every other day now over years it has escalated to what it is now 100 mg. I have ruined so much and hate person im becoming. I want my life back I spend over 1000 a month for it and sometimes more I have nothing to show for money I have but pills. you guys sharing your stories has helped and im focused on quitting this time im using info from different people I work in healthcare and wouldn't get job if ppl knew my problem.also I just want to deal with it myself because im embarrassed of it and my family has suspicion but not sure.i will be drinking powerade for electrolytes I will take multi vitamin and also nerve pill at night to help me sleep. god bless u all I hope I kick it im excited about it and I know it will bw tough but it will be so worth it and I can spend the extra money o things that matter.im hopeful. I pray for us all
—feelingconfident

2nd time around 28yo male

A few years ago I was taking 250mg of morphine per day. The withdrawals were terrible and painful. It took about a month to get back to almost normal. My symptoms were textbook. I'll share what helped me in hopes it will help others. Remember, they don't last forever. You WILL feel better! I quit cold turkey with no other needs to help. Here is what helped with the symptoms. Pain and restlessness, HOT, long showers or baths. The hottest you can stand. It really felt wonderful. It was the only time during the withdrawals I felt normal Ibuprofen helps but not a lot. I recommend the liquid gel, it works pretty quickly and will help with the headaches and a little with body aches and inflammation. Exercise! Weed! Pot! Marijuana! Personally, it did not help a lot with pain, but with a strong indica strain, it did help with the restlessness. Masturbate, have sex! I know, but it really helps with the pain and restlessness. It releases endorphins which curb the pain and restlessness.
—Guest Ryan

Do not use methadone

As one already stated, methadone and suboxone are just other opiates in your system making you feel ''high'' it still messed with your reward system in your brain and there will be a horrible Come down from the alternatives. when I went to rehab for oxy they gave me non narcotic meds to help. Clonodine and neurotin for restless legs. Ask your doctor if the meds could help you. I was not dependant on the meds and could stop taking them after two weeks perfectly fine. after two weeks i had the best sleep in a long time, with no meds.
—Guest joe

Not again

many years ago I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow. It was devastating and painful. The cancer had reduced my bones to that of a 90 year old when I was only 45. I had been a firefighter/paramedic for 23 years. It was also extremely depressing. I was on a number of powerful pain meds, one of which was oxycontin. After taking these meds for 2 years I quit. I soon found out what withdrawal felt like and seriously wanted to die. I would not wish this on the devil himself, didn't think there was anyway to survive, but I did. Recently injured my back again, fractured 3 more vertebrae with disc and nerve involvement. When the doctor came back to my room with 2 prescriptions one of which of course was oxycontin, fear hit me like a locomotive. I uttered my fear and concerns and past experience with this drug. He tried to assure me that if taken as prescribed I should not be at risk. I have absolutely no intention of letting this happen again. Suggestion
—afraid78

5th day

I was on roxicodone and hydro done 10-325 for a year one day my dr says I am not giving you anymore out of the blue. I asked if he could give me something so I could wein myself off, he said no, 1st day was horrible crawling out of my skin 2nd day also bad! I still have not slept and I am lethargic but today my 4th full day I am starting to feel better! So hang in there everyone it does get better!
—Guest Guest laura

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What Were Your Toughest Oxycontin Withdrawal Symptoms and How Did You Cope?

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