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Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms + Duration

Oxycodone is considered a semi-synthetic opioid drug that is typically prescribed for relief of moderate or severe pain. It was originally created in 1916 as a drug with newer semi-synthetic properties to help improve upon existing opioid treatment options. The drug has been clinically used to treat both acute and chronic pain since 1917, but wasn’t introduced in the U.S. until the 1930s. Many people find that the drug works better than any other on the market for helping them cope with the pain that they experience.

The bottom line is that when this drug is used properly in a controlled setting, it can significantly improve the quality of life for those with chronic pain. Most people with extreme pain would not be able to function in society without assistance from medications like Oxycodone. This is certainly not something most people want to stay on for life though due to the fact that the initial effects wear off as it is easy to build a quick tolerance.

In addition to being used for chronic pain, some people take Oxycodone recreationally to “get high.” Many people begin taking it for a condition like pain, but become addicted to the effects of the drug – and continue taking it. Although many people take Oxycodone for chronic pain, others use this drug recreationally to “get high.”

Taking enough of the drug typically results in feelings of euphoria, relaxation, anxiolytic, and analgesic effects as a result of stimulating endorphins. Since it’s easy to quickly build a tolerance and become dependent on this drug, many people have a difficult time coping with the withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation.

Factors that influence Oxycodone withdrawal

It is important to recognize that there are factors that can have an influence on both the severity and duration of withdrawal from Oxycodone. These include things like: time span over which you took the drug, your dosage (which influences tolerance), whether you are addicted, how quickly you tapered off of the drug, as well as other individual factors such as withdrawal sensitivity.

1. Time Span

How long did you take Oxycodone? In general, the longer you have taken this drug, the more likely it is your body has built up some sort of tolerance. Those who take it for extended periods of time are typically going to have a much longer and protracted withdrawal than someone who took it for a few weeks. Some people are on this drug for years (or decades). Keep in mind that the shorter the duration you took the drug, the easier time you should have coming off of it.

2. Dosage + Tolerance

  • Immediate Release (IR): The typical starting dose for the immediate-release (IR) form of Oxycodone is 5 mg to 30 mg every 4 hours. Those who have never taken any form of opioid drug are advised to start with lower doses of 5 mg to 15 mg every 4 to 6 horus. Certain individuals may need up to 30 mg every 4 hours.
  • Controlled-Release (CR): For the controlled release (CR) form of Oxycodone, the average starting dose is 10 mg taken once every 12 hours. Some refer to this as “extended release” as well. It is marketed under the brand OxyContin – with the primarily active ingredient being Oxycodone. The controlled-release form of the drug is utilized when a person needs pain relief over an extended period.
  • Tolerance: Individuals that have developed a tolerance to opioids or Oxycodone may be prescribed doses of 60 mg, 80 mg, or 160 mg tablets. These are individuals that have been using these drugs for an extended period of time and aren’t getting the same effects. Starting a person who has never used opioids at a dose greater than 40 mg could lead to depression of breathing (a major concern).

In general, when people have built up a significant tolerance to Oxycodone, the withdrawal process becomes more difficult. The person’s nervous system has become used to receiving the effects of the drug at higher doses. When the person withdraws from the drug, it takes the nervous system awhile to reset itself back to sober functioning. The greater the dose that you took over a consistent period of time, the more difficult you can expect the withdrawal.

3. Addiction

Many individuals have a tough time coming off of Oxycodone because they are addicted. They have taken this drug for such a long period of time, that they cannot cope without it. In addition to providing pain-relief, this drug also can provide a significant boost in mood. Although the mood-enhancing properties may wear off once tolerance is established, many people aren’t able to come off of the drug because they cannot face the inevitable drop in mood that accompanies withdrawal.

In addition to becoming addicted to the lucrative “high” that accompanies Oxycodone, those who have taken it for chronic pain may have a very difficult time reestablishing normative endorphin function. When a person uses an opioid for an extended period of time, the body’s natural endorphin supply gradually diminishes. It will take months before the endorphin levels begin to increase following Oxycodone discontinuation. The lack of endorphins can make it especially difficult for someone who is addicted to withdraw.

4. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

When it comes to withdrawing from Oxycodone, there really isn’t a “best” way to discontinue. Some individuals insist that tapering down your dosage gradually over time is a good approach. However, a lot of people struggle with this method simply because it’s difficult to avoid the temptation of taking extra pills if you have them around. For those that can handle gradual withdrawals, it may minimize withdrawal symptoms by giving your body more time to adjust.

If you need a good tapering protocol, work with your doctor or other professional. You can cut your current dose by whatever percentage you’d like assuming you have enough of a supply. For those with limited supply of the drug, you may want to reduce your dosage by about 25% each day until you are down to nothing. Although this reduction scheme is relatively quick, it can still give your body more time to adjust than “cold turkey” withdrawal.

Some people swear by the “cold turkey” withdrawal method because they can quit, and never look back. Although there could be some potentially dangerous side effects associated with a cold turkey discontinuation, most people are able to do it successfully. The cold turkey method from a low or moderate dose may be your best bet. Although the acute symptoms are typically the most extreme when a person quits “cold turkey,” many people have success.

A third option is that of opioid replacement therapy with a substance such as Suboxone or Methadone. The thinking behind this is that a person stops taking their current more powerful drug, Oxycodone and transitions to a less intense substance. Once they’ve made the transition, they can then gradually withdraw from the opioid replacement drug – which has potential to make for a smoother withdrawal.

5. Individual Factors

Why do some individuals have an easier time coping with withdrawal compared to others? In many cases it boils down to individual circumstances. Those who have been taking high doses of the drug for long periods of time may have a significantly higher tolerance or dependency on the substance. Additionally it is important to consider that each person’s nervous system will adapt to the withdrawal process differently. Some people are naturally more sensitive to drug withdrawals than others.

Other factors that could influence withdrawal include: environment, social support, and daily habits. Someone who is in an environment around other addicts or that have an Oxycodone supply may have a difficult time resisting temptation to quit. It should also be noted that some people have a better social support system that will encourage them to stay strong during withdrawal. Things like eating a healthy diet and getting light exercise may also play a role in speeding or slowing withdrawal.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below are a list of possible symptoms that you may experience when you stop taking Oxycodone. Keep in mind that not everyone is going to have every symptom listed below when they withdraw. It is also important to realize that the severity of these symptoms will differ in both intensity and duration based on individual circumstances.

  • Abdominal cramps: A very common withdrawal symptom is that of cramping. You may notice that you get cramps in many places, but the abdominal region is the most common. This may be painful and annoying to deal with, but you will eventually recover completely.
  • Agitation: In the early stages of withdrawal, you may notice that you are extremely agitated. This means that you find yourself feeling bothered by the nervousness that you’re dealing with. As time passes, you should notice this symptom and other mood-related symptoms improving.
  • Anger: It’s possible to get very angry and throw fits of rage during the withdrawal process. This may be due to impaired cognition that a person experiences when they stop taking a drug that they’ve become dependent upon. If you notice yourself feeling especially angry, do what you can to take some deep breaths, and realize that it’s merely withdrawal.
  • Anxiety: An extremely common symptom during withdrawal is that of anxiety. Opiates like Oxy tend to provide anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects in users. In part this is due to stimulation of the endorphins, but serotonin and dopamine are also thought to be affected to a lesser degree. When you quit taking them, you may experience extreme discomfort in the form of anxiety – this will not be permanent.
  • Body aches: It’s common to feel some sort of body aches and pains when you discontinue this drug. The aches may be minor or pretty severe during the early days of withdrawal. These aches may take awhile to get over for some, but may go away quickly for others.
  • Chills: Feeling chilled all of a sudden after you discontinued this drug? It’s very common to experience this in addition to many other flu-like symptoms.
  • Concentration problems: When you have become dependent on a drug, your brain expects to receive it for functioning. When you stop taking the drug that the brain is expecting to receive, you may notice impaired concentration for awhile. Your brain will have to relearn how to function and concentrate in a sober state.
  • Confusion: A combination of concentration problems, feeling sick, and mood swings can contribute to feeling confused. The confusion is more of a concentration and cognition issue, but can be influenced by physical symptoms as well.
  • Cravings: If you have taken the drug for a significant period of time, you may experience cravings once you quit. These cravings can be tough to resist, but as you resist them, they will gradually lessen over time.
  • Crying spells: Many people become very depressed and cry as a result of the depression that they experience during withdrawal. However, it is also known that people withdrawing can experience watery eyes for awhile. Both the crying from depression and runny eyes will ease with time.
  • Depersonalization: Initially you may feel as though you are no longer yourself when you come off of this drug. The combination of anxiety, depression, and physical symptoms may make it seem as though you feel numb or like someone has invaded your brain. This feeling of depersonalization is a result of activity changes in the nervous system and the brain.
  • Depression: Most people experience some form of depression or low mood during withdrawal. In some cases the depression only lasts for a couple weeks and then fully improves. In other cases, people remain depressed for months following their last dose. In any event, assuming you didn’t have major depression prior to taking Oxycodone, your mood should gradually improve.
  • Diarrhea: While taking opiates, constipation is commonly reported. When you withdraw from them, the exact opposite happens – diarrhea. If you experience significant diarrhea, you may want to consider taking some over-the-counter Imodium to help rectify the problem.
  • Dizziness: When withdrawing from most drugs, among the most common symptoms is that of feeling dizzy. If you notice yourself experiencing dizziness and/or vertigo upon discontinuation, just know that it’s normal. It should improve as you come out of the acute phase of withdrawal.
  • Fatigue: It is very normal to have extremely low energy and nearly chronic fatigue when you initially come off of Oxycodone. This fatigue may make it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, complete work or school-related tasks, and simple tasks may seem impossible. Do your best to cope with how you feel and realize that fatigue is normal to experience as your body adjusts to functioning without Oxy.
  • Flu-like symptoms: These are especially common during the acute phase of withdrawal and may be intensified if a person quits “cold turkey.” The combination of symptoms including: vomiting, nausea, dizziness, headache, chills, etc. – make it feel as though a person has the flu. These can be difficult to deal with, but once this stage passes, you should feel much better.
  • Goosebumps: Some people get “goose bumps” across their skin during withdrawal. These are involuntary sensations that occur while the nervous system is readjusting.
  • Headaches: When you come off of this drug, you will likely experience some degree of headaches. These may be severe (e.g. migraines) or of lower intensity. To reduce these make sure you are staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, and doing your best to stay relaxed.
  • High blood pressure: Taking opioids tends to result in lower blood pressure. When you come off of them, your blood pressure may temporarily increase. This spike could be significant, so if you are prone to blood pressure problems, work with your doctor.
  • Hormone imbalance: Temporary imbalances in hormone levels have been reported during withdrawal. The body will eventually reset its normal hormone production following discontinuation. If your hormones are imbalanced, it could be due to your opiate usage.
  • Insomnia: It is important to realize that you may have to deal with some insomnia during your discontinuation. The insomnia can be influenced by anxiety, but in general your sleep patterns may be thrown off as a result of the symptoms that you experience. If you cannot fall asleep at night, it is recommended to focus on relaxation exercises – these will lower your arousal and allow you to sleep.
  • Irritability: You may feel especially irritable during the initial days of withdrawal. This irritability may be intense and difficult to deal with. Every little thing may start to get on your nerves. Instead of embracing this emotion, take a step back and realize that it’s all just withdrawal – this too will pass.
  • Itching: Another symptom people report is sensations of itchiness throughout their body when they discontinue. If you feel as though your skin is crawling with itches, tingles, or as though you have a rash, recognize that it’s just part of discontinuation. The intense itching shouldn’t last more than a few weeks.
  • Mood swings: During withdrawal it is common to experience changes in mood. One moment you may find yourself anxious, the next angry, and the next optimistic about your recovery. The changes in mood may be significant and revolve around mostly negative emotions in the early phases. Eventually your demeanor should stabilize.
  • Muscle pain: You may notice that you feel muscle pain when you stop taking your Oxy. The pain can be a reemergence of the initial pain that caused you to go on the Oxycodone in the first place, or it can just be a withdrawal pain. Since your body’s endorphins may be depleted, it can be difficult to cope with this pain in the early weeks. As your natural endorphin supply rebuilds itself, your pain should subside.
  • Nausea: You may find yourself feeling nauseous, especially during the first few days of withdrawal. If intense enough, it could lead a person to experience vomiting. The nausea may keep up for a week or two, but should gradually decline.
  • Night sweats: It’s common to sweat excessively during the night. You may wake up in the middle of the night and notice that you are covered in cold sweat. This is thought to be part of your body’s natural way of detoxifying itself. Additionally you may notice that you sweat profusely throughout the day.
  • Panic attacks: If anxiety reaches an extreme, it is possible to experience panic attacks. Your nervous system is highly sensitive during withdrawal, which may lead you to have a panic attack. These attacks are essentially surges of debilitating anxiety that result in panic. Do your best to engage in relaxation techniques to calm your nerves if you are prone to panic.
  • Pupil dilation: While you use Oxycodone, your pupils naturally constrict as a result of their effect. During withdrawal, it is natural to observe dilation of the pupils.
  • Rapid heartbeat: You may notice a rapid heartbeat upon withdrawal. This is essentially a counter-effect to what you experience while taking the drug – your heart rate slows. You may also notice palpitations or sensations that your heart is racing or pounding – which can be exacerbated by anxiety.
  • Restlessness: It’s possible to experience restlessness after you’ve discontinued Oxy. The restlessness has a lot to do with your brain and nervous system being hypersensitive. In many cases this is linked to the increased anxiety that people experience.
  • Sleep problems: During the initial few weeks of withdrawal, your sleep patterns may be crazy. You may sleep extensively throughout the day or have difficulty sleeping at night. You could experience crazy dreams or wake up constantly in the middle of the night. Your sleep will eventually normalize after you’ve made it further through withdrawal.
  • Spasms: You may notice that your muscles spasm during withdrawal. Although most people experience these spasms while they are taking their opioids, it is possible to deal with them to an extent during withdrawal.
  • Suicidal thinking: Some people get extremely depressed when they come off of Oxycodone to the point of experiencing suicidal thoughts. If you find yourself feeling suicidal, it is important to recognize that its a result of chemical changes during withdrawal – this is a phase that will pass. If the thoughts are unbearable, make sure you get yourself into a therapist and/or talk to someone about them.
  • Vomiting: Sometimes nausea can reach a point that causes us to vomit. Many individuals feel very sick (almost flu-like) when they stop taking Oxycodone. The vomiting should gradually subside as you make it through the acute phase of withdrawal.
  • Yawning: Some people end up dealing with constant yawning when they come off of Oxy. Some have stated that these yawns can last over a month since their last dosage. Don’t be surprised if you are yawning for awhile after you’ve discontinued.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Duration: How long does it last?

The withdrawal timeline from Oxycodone is subject to variation based on the individual. One person may experience less dramatic opiate withdrawal symptoms and a quicker recovery, while another person may have protracted withdrawals that last for months. There’s really no telling how quickly you will recover until you have gone through the withdrawal for yourself.

Although the drug itself has a half-life of 2 to 4 hours and will be cleared from your system within approximately 8 hours, being drug-free doesn’t mean that withdrawal symptoms are over. All this means is that the drug has been cleared from your body. On average it can take up to 2 weeks for the most severe physical symptoms to pass. Most people notice that severe physical symptoms last about a week and a half following the last dose.

Psychological symptoms can linger for a longer period of time. When your body and brain have been under the influence of an opiate like Oxycodone for an extended period of time, it may take awhile for them to readjust to sober functioning. It is thought that things like: adequate rest, proper sleep, healthy diet, and light exercise may facilitate a quicker healing process.

It is important to do what you can during withdrawal to stay optimistic and understand that although the symptoms may be uncomfortable, you will eventually recover. During this time you may want to seek out some sort of therapy and/or guidance if you are struggling. Take withdrawal one day at a time and recognize that you will eventually get better. If you have successfully come off of Oxycodone, sharing your experience in the comments section below may really help another person dealing with the same struggle.

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{ 154 comments… add one }
  • fakie namey January 22, 2018, 6:44 am

    I’ve been on a higher dose of Oxycodone for 2 yrs. Didn’t start taking until after my 17th major surgery or procedure. Either way I was always put under. My last surgery I was told by my surgeon I should consider taking Oxycodone and if it helps to offset my daily pain from a catastrophic condition. Things went well for a period of time.

    As,I was into my 2nd year began experiencing symptoms of withdrawal. I knew I did not want to increase my daily dosage an decided to ask my physician for a plan to be weaned off to stop safely. He advised my to seek out a mental health specialist to guide me along. All the while I didn’t tell anyone I had already began weaning myself off.

    Used edibles to assist me so far THEY help. My wife and two daughters (In their early mid 20’s) I told them I was stopping because of how it controlled your life going dose to dose & had enough. My daily pain was better than that horrible drug. I have begun experiencing withdrawals and it is everything you had always heard and more. My take was to bite the bullet and don’t look back.

    It is hard to overcome but making progress. Have a ways to go! My mind stays strong and knows I’m going to win the fight. Just don’t know how long it will take to go through the whole process. I suggest using edibles to help. I refused all other medication to help e.g. methadone etc… Good luck to all who go or are going through. Keep your mind clear and stay positive.

  • Victoria February 26, 2017, 8:05 pm

    I had knee surgery in September and was prescribed 10mg long release Oxycodone hydrochloride (Longtec) x 2 daily, and 10 mg fast action (Shortec) 4 x daily. Of course, initially I needed them, but I realised very quickly what a wonderful mood-enhancer they are and so took them, if I am honest, not so much for the pain, but for the deliciously warm feelings they bring. Cut to 5 months later and starting a job which I hate, the fast-acting 10mg Shortec became a blissful way to blot out the day.

    However, I was also falling asleep at work in the afternoon and have now decided to end my addiction. I have been weaning myself off them – cutting down to just taking 10mg then 5mg Longtec at night, but from tonight that’s it; I am stopping. I want my old self back, my own old life back. The twitching, the bowel problems, the agitation, the inability to sit or lie still – are horrible.

    I don’t know where to put myself, I can’t get comfortable. I’m either too hot or too cold, I have a headache, I feel like I want to hibernate and can’t face the day. Zero energy, no interest in anything or anyone, acute laziness and wishing to remain in bed – that’s me this weekend.

    Reading these other comments has, however, steeled my resolve and although I have a few pills left I will not take them as I cannot, cannot prolong the agony. I KNOW the longer I take them the worse it will be so I must do this now. I will keep you posted as to my process.

  • Mike M. December 16, 2016, 3:13 am

    Well I read these posts and it makes me think I am totally doomed. Currently I am on 30mg IR oxycodone 6+x a day. I function like it’s nothing, but I’ve been on them nearly 5 years like this. I recently ran out and went 3 days without, cold turkey, I wanted to die. Any advice for a habit that strong? I am thinking a medical facility is probably the only way…

  • ScaredStiff November 22, 2016, 7:58 pm

    As my name suggests, I am literally scared out of my mind. This is anonymous, which is why I am posting. There are going to be some people here who are going to be upset with my post, but please understand that I am simply here to seek out any kind of help that I can find. Anyway, here goes… I have been diagnosed as clinically depressed. I also have been fighting severe headaches for about 10 years.

    One day, about a year and a half ago, a friend of mine gave me a 30mg oxycodone for my headache. Needless to say, I loved what it did. And not really just because it took away my headache. The euphoria and mood enhancing qualities were what I loved the most. About 45 minutes after taking it, my depression seemed to be gone. And all because I took one of these little blue pills.

    I was hooked immediately. Since my friend would get about 80 pills every 2 weeks or so, and only took one and a half a day, a short time later, she started giving me the rest. Within about a month, I was taking about 3-4 a day, minimum, sometimes more. I have been on them now for about 17 months, and I have to stop. Please don’t criticize me for taking them without a prescription or my friend for giving them to me.

    I know it is/was wrong. But the bottom line is that they drastically improved my quality of life. Now, though, the euphoria is long gone, and while they still do help, the effects don’t seem to be nearly as good as they used to. But, when I go a fairly long period of time without them, the withdrawal effects are simply unbearable. So, I take one, and things are back to ok.

    The depression is still very prominent, even while on the pills, so at this point, I am only taking them to avoid the unbearable pain and suffering that comes with ceasing. So, I am begging for help here. How do I stop using these things? And how long of a withdrawal process am I looking at? I am terrified of what is coming, but I desperately need to get off of these things.

    Can anyone help me without judging? How can this pill do what it does. I have been on 2 antidepressants and neither did anything for me whatsoever, yet this little blue pill does everything that I would think an antidepressant should do. I need to stop! I need help! Please!?!?

  • Steve September 11, 2016, 5:01 am

    It has been about a week now that I stopped taking oxycodone 20mg two every four hours and then they had me on hydrocodone 10mg every six hours for breakthrough pain. I was in a accident in 2008 and was on just hydrocodone. Then I was in another accident in 2014 Wichita put me on the oxy. What I’m getting at is I have been taking some sort of opiate painkillers for eight years and the last two very high doses of 190mg a day.

    I quite cold turkey and I can tell you days 1,2,and 3 are a living hell. The stomach pain is bad and anything you eat or drink comes out as water. Get some Imodium ad. If you can make it through day three the rest of the days get easier day by day. You will fill like you are drained of all you’re energy. I found that getting up and moving helped even if you feel so drained.

    The reason I decided to stop is because my opiate addiction started effecting my family. I would get my prescription and take more than I was supposed to and when I ran out I would hit the streets paying six dollars a piece for norcos. When my wife started getting effected by this I new it was time to stop. I would spend our grocery money, car payment it really didn’t matter I just wanted to be high and didn’t want to face the withdrawals.

    I know it’s hard but just make it to day three and the days after start getting better day by day. I have had several failed back surgeries and hurt like he’ll but I will never put that poison in me again. The doctors act like you’re a drug addict when they cause the problems and then don’t want to help. Good Luck And Stay Strong. Steve

    • Dee October 5, 2016, 3:09 pm

      Thank you, I need to get past the 3rd day I’m on day 2 and I feel like sh-t. I need to figure out how to kick this terrible habit. I agree you need to move forward keep moving exercise as much as possible. God bless you all.

  • LearnJoyAgain August 17, 2016, 12:32 am

    There is a lot of information out on the internet about withdrawal, lots of stories from people, but what we still can’t understand is our individual (specific) timelines. For those seeking answers, there are none, other than “it depends on a,b,c…z.” You will get right again if you abstain, that’s the most important theme in any of this. I desperately sought answers to how long this was going to last for me, and felt distress when I couldn’t get an answer. Here are some things that can help:

    Journal

    I never journaled before. Start this on your first day if you can and write mornings and evenings. Write about whatever you want, what you’re struggling with, how you feel, what you ate for breakfast, what your kids did that was funny. Every day, or whenever you need something to do and feel restless, read your previous entries. You’ll find that even though today was tough, it was still better (most of the time) than yesterday. Journaling helps you to remember that. 36 years of no journaling (it’s only for teen girls right?), and it’s one of the things that’s helped the most.

    Understand Your Brain

    There’s a lot of really neat science behind neurotransmitters and pleasure in the brain. Remember when you had joy without chemical help? Well, there were actually chemicals involved. Dopamine, Seratonin, and many others were being naturally produced by your brain/body. When you step in and start overloading it artificially with these things (opiates, amphetamines, etc.) is effectively does two things.

    Firstly, since you are pounding the parts of your brain that produce pleasure artificially, your brain is basically like “well, I guess I don’t have to do any of the work if someone is going to do it for me.” It gives up. And when you quit, it doesn’t just pick things back up where it left off. It takes time for it to heal, and to get things back to normal (balance). Unfortunately for you, all of the side effects are what you feel as your brain heals. Recognize that it’s getting better every hour you let it do it’s own thing.

    Secondly, you teach yourself that some things that are great (lots of joy) while sober, are beyond amazing holy crap great while on drugs. You learn to expect that, and find that once you can’t naturally achieve that, you enhance. This could be something as monotonous as cleaning the house, mowing the yard, or writing a computer program. Once you quit (and withdrawal), you start feeling like you will never find joy again, or at least never to the point that you could while you were on drugs. I believe that this is one of the most difficult parts of withdrawal (personally, and opinion obviously). When you feel down, or depressed, or anxious, or seeking drugs in your withdrawal, remember that your brain is healing and trying to learn how to give your joy again naturally. Once you do get there, it’s worth it. The world will turn from black and white to color again, and it will trickle in a bit more each day. Embrace (journal about it!) it for what it is, and enjoy it.

    Get Help

    Do whatever it takes to abstain. If you feel like you need a taper plan and that would work best for you, do it. If you feel like suboxone or methadone replacement therapy would work, do it. If you would rather read about others stories and write about them yourself, do it.

    Learn Joy Again

    Try to find joy again in your life without being dependent on something or someone. It’s hard, I get it, and even those without addiction struggle throughout their entire lifetimes to do it, but don’t give up. Play the guitar, garden, chase your kid around the house, eat an oatmeal cream pie, draw, organize your spice rack, win the little battles that give you joy and you will eventually re-learn how to have joy without the drugs. Your withdrawal isn’t just a battle with the insomnia and the restlessness and the cold/hot cycles, it’s about learning to find joy again.

    Good luck in your journey, and don’t give up.

    • BeenThere August 23, 2016, 12:58 am

      Well stated and thoughtful. It’s a tough thing to kick, these Oxys. I won’t go into detail about my reasons for taking the drug, but I will say that I was on 100mg per day for over 10 years – all under the care of multiple doctors and specialists. It was an “either take the drugs or don’t function” kind of thing. I decided to take my life back back in January of this year.

      I’ve had very little, if any psychological withdrawal issues. Honestly, since day one, I’ve been glad to be rid of the little white pills. Unfortunately, physical withdrawal has been a different matter, altogether. I had the worst flu symptoms I’ve ever experienced for about 3 weeks after quitting on a 1 month monitored taper. Now it’s August and the physical withdrawal issues remain.

      They’re not as bad as they were over the first few months, but good lord, what I’d do to have a normal crap for once. The cough’s still there, sometimes uncontrollable. I still have sneezing fits and from time to time, my body will just feel like it’s been hit by a train (that, on top of the underlying pre-existing pain issues that have returned to roost.)

      I suppose herein lies my point: I’ve learned to embraced WHY I needed the drug and I’ve learned to simply cope. I’m still in a lot of pain, since the reasons for that will stay with me for the rest of my life, but at least now my head is clear and I don’t feel like I have to constantly look at my watch to figure out when my next dose needs to be swallowed. I feel like I’m back in control of my brain and it’s nice not to be sitting in the passenger seat anymore.

      Oxys are absolute garbage. The first time I took them and experienced the THRILL of not being in pain, I didn’t consider the long-term consequences (not that this knowledge was readily available back then since the marketing campaign was in high-gear by the pharma industry.) If I knew then what I know now, I would have absolutely owned the pain back then and stuck with non-opioid medications.

      I read about PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) when I started my taper and thought, “No way… I’ll be feeling great in 3 months.” Well, I’m here to say that just doesn’t happen. This stuff, at least for me, will likely take years to recover from. That being said, every day that goes by is a better day. Nothing could make me go back to that junk.

      If you’re just coming off these drugs, stay positive, stay informed and stay focused: You’ll get to where you want to go in the end.

  • systematic-reset August 16, 2016, 4:30 pm

    Day 7! And well folks, my comments are as follows. And please know, Im offering this, only because I feel inspired to do so. I know my dependance on Oxycodone, came from a personal choice I made, after consulting with a pain management doctor. I know there are those of you out there, who have your own unique circumstances surrounding detox/recovery.

    I know I have not been dependent long, and that in comparison to some, I have been on a mild daily dose. I know some of you are going through a far greater struggle. I believe in you however! I trust our bodies can and WILL repair and heal. That said, here goes… My initial detox, days 1-3 were absolute hell.

    Day one was not terrible, but as the evening fell, and night rolled in, ‘not terrible’ turned into distressing horror. Distressing horror, Im proud to say, I survived! Because of the CLEAR and CONSCIENCE choice that I have made; coming off a 4 month daily intake of Oxycodone (40mg) -I dug deep, and endured each minute of this ugly distress. I mentally powered through days one through three (reminding myself, ‘this too, shall pass’, ‘I want this, I want to live my life CLEAR, I do not want a physical/physiological dependance to ANYTHING!

    I would pray or continually say a mantra (of which Im still doing constantly). I did all this, while physically allowing for as much comfort and rest as possible. Laying in bed, as though I was recovering from a nasty FLU. Thank God I had the grace-allowance, of being off work, to go through these initial phases. Day 1, I started taking various supplements, all recommended on sights like this, I soaked in half a dozen HOT epsom salt baths every day (Still taking two a day am/pm).

    I rub herbal-medicinal ‘pain/stiff or sore muscle salve’ on my aching legs… (the aching legs are by far the worst of this process, in my experience). Topical Arnica Montana or Moon Valley Organics, Muscle Rub, have seemed to offer some aid… I even found a forum that suggested the placement of a bar of soap under the bed sheet; stating that this bizarre trick, helps with RLS… Yes, I too, have a bar of soap under my bed sheet! Some nights are better than others, so, in truth, I don’t know how much praise or acclaim I can offer-up to my little soap buddy!

    I’m incorporating any and all harmless help into this process!! :-) The supplements I have been taking are:
    -DLPA -2x500mg in morning.
    -L-Tyrosine -2x500mg in morning.
    -Vitamin C (eating like candy)
    -B-100 Complex -1 in morning.
    -Fish Oil -2-4 1000mg all at once in the morning.
    -Passion Flower tincture -Full dropper under tongue, not in water, 3 to four times throughout the day.
    -Natural Calm, relaxing magnesium supplement (this stuff is wonderful, it comes in a powder, you can find it at whole foods, or and natural-grocer)

    I have made a hot cup of this each night, before bed. On day one through three, I drank this hot beverage several times! Magnesium can loosen stools, so those of you who still suffer the runs, please note this. (IN ALL THIS, I NEVER EXPERIENCED THE RUNS NOR SEVERE STOMACH UPSET).
    Passion Flower/Valerian tincture -full dropper, under tongue at night, before bed.

    Days 4, 5 and 6, were interesting. My horrific detox phase had passed, (((gospel music)))… though, I still suffered mild to moderate leg cramping and quite honestly, hellish RLS at night. (Alas, even last night, My RLS/dull aching legs were pretty damn bad, so I slept with an ice pack near my thighs.) My mental health seemed to go through a spike, of an anxious/nervous nature day 4, 5 and 6. This I combatted again by, Saying my mantra, reminding myself of things like, this will pass, this is the detox, not me, this is not a permanent state, this is simply my body/brain screaming and grasping for NORMAL.

    Telling myself all these things, helped me to get grounded, and push through the days. Despite experiencing the mental discomfort/fog, I chose to be pretty active these days too. I got out in the world, I ran errands, I cleaned house, I canceled my up coming appointment with my pain management doctor, telling his nurse, “I felt this stuff is toxic, I will NOT be continuing to treat my daily pain with this stuff any more!” -This was a big-one, as even with all my strength and clarity around choosing to come off the pills, somewhere in the back of my mind, I kept thinking, I’ll go to the appointment, and I’ll fill the RX, I’ll keep it on hand, and only take it if absolutely needed…Yeah, right!

    Sorry, but, this choice does NOT come with that flexibility, this HELL Im going through is not worth one infinitesimal risk or possibility of EVER going through this again. So, my point…canceling my appointment, and being direct and honest with the nurse, felt VERY empowering; fueled my WILL-POWER! I WILL GET THROUGH THIS! ANY OF YOU, WHO TRULY WANT THIS, WILL GET THROUGH THIS, AND LIFE WILL BE BETTER IN THE LONG RUN!

    Today, day 7, after another unrestful sleep, thanks to the persisting RLS and dull aching within my legs… People, I actually feeling pretty good! Im not experiencing any anxiety, Im not feeling overwhelmingly sluggish. I have a list of daily todo’s, and I look forward to getting the stuff done. In this moment, considering Im obviously not ‘out of the woods’ completely, I feel pretty optimistic, and full of gratitude.

    I will, no doubt, encounter more uncomfortable experiences in the coming days and weeks. And as they arise, I will, and with kind and gentle self love, acknowledge my progress, remember my goal, remember, this is a process, and look ahead in ernest embrace, that my true-natured self is coming back every moment, I endure and allow for this healing. I know many of you are suffering.

    For that I empathetically offer love and encouragement. YOU and I are so much more than just our physical bodies! Dependance can be overcome! Without aiding or masking pains and or addictions with pills, we might be subjected to feeling more of life’s ail’s, but in all truth feeling/suffering is just a natural part of this existence. Ultimately, I know, remaining on Oxycodone, IS NOT an option.

    My very best to all of you! One moment at a time! YOU can do this! Thanks for reading, systematic-reset

  • Karl August 13, 2016, 2:13 pm

    Well I’m on day 14. Very slight anxiety still but that will soon pass. I have never been so happy in my entire life. My pain has returned but now I have control over it better than I did prior to getting addicted to OXY. I quit cold turkey and I had people doubt me that I would be able to do it. I think the secret to my success is first and foremost, my belief in God, and secondly my will power to never fail in anything I choose to take on.

    I’ve always had a strong willpower but quitting OXY, not only tested it to the limits but also my faith as well. I now look back at day one and how I was actually thinking about ending my suffering by actually contemplating suicide, and how I prayed to God and he answered my prayers, I’m sitting on my front deck writing this to you and watching the hummingbirds feed and listening to the wind in the trees, breathing the fresh air, thinking how lucky I am right now to be OXY free and seeing the world now with open eyes and arms.

    There is so much beauty in the world that being on OXY only clouds your vision and makes you into somebody that your not. Those of you starting your journey, keep in your mind that your suffering will end. I know it’s hard but keep your eye on the prize. The prize being, your LIFE back. Never give up everyone, the human spirit has more strength than you know, all you have to do is believe. God Bless and take care.

  • Karl August 9, 2016, 4:40 pm

    Well day 10 and I’m still not over the hump. Last night was brutal, with every bone in my body aching like I got run over by a truck but for some reason this morning, I smiled for the first time in months. I am also extremely relaxed like I haven’t seen in years. I’m hoping that my endorphins are now starting to produce in my body and over the next few days, I hoping to get my get up and go back.

    I’m also hoping last night was the Oxy’s last try to get me to back down from my quest but with every obstacle it throws at me, it just makes me more determined to succeed. I don’t know about the rest of you but enduring this has made me a stronger person mentally and well as physically. It makes me proud to know that no matter what I have to deal with, I have the inner strength to overcome.

    I hope all of you are still on the path to a better life. And any of you would like to drop me an email, I will most gladly reply to you. Heck, we have to stick together and also any time u can help a friend or someone you don’t even know over his addiction, please do so. I believe in paying it forward. If we all do just that one thing, maybe, just maybe we can help the world. God Bless

  • Karl August 8, 2016, 9:02 pm

    Day 9 , well I made it. I have too say that I am feeling 100% better and in control of my life. I almost gave this battle up but something inside me told me and reminded me a story my massage therapist told me. The story goes like this. HE told me the body ways of telling you that your doing too much or you’ve hurt yourself is pain. He said so many people don’t listen to their body and when it’s telling you something.

    Listen to it and act accordingly. Well I have two back surgeries and it was the first one where I first started taking OXY. The surgeon gave it to me like candy even though I told him I didn’t want to take it. So now I off it and I will never ever take another OXY. I will tell all you Canadians on here some advice.

    I know a lot of people in the med field and they all told me the same thing. If you ever get into a situation where you end up in the hospital, and you are in a lot of pain, there are three drugs that they will give you, morphine, hydromorphone, and OXY. If you don’t have somewhere in your chart not to administer this to you, you may wake up the next morning an addict again. They recommended that everyone tell their physician to put in your medical records that you are allergic and no pain meds be administered.

    And guess what I did. I did just that. It is now in my charts and no matter where I go, it is official. They also mentioned that if you find yourself in that situation to have a friend, partner or love one , inform them as well to make sure it is carried out. This may be overkill but I certainly do not want that garbage in my system ever again. Well wish everyone all the best and like the old saying anything worth getting is never easy. Keep your eye on the prize. God Bless.

  • Karl August 8, 2016, 2:43 pm

    Well day nine and I think I’m over the hump. I think like everyone says once I hit day 14, I’ll be in the clear. It feels really good not being tied to a life of Oxy. There are so many of us on or were on the pill, makes you wonder what the medical profession is doing to the human population. If the trend continues, there will be no normal people left. It will be a drug induced world of a bunch of mindless zombies looking to get their next fix.

    I am feeling really down on myself though cause I lost my soulmate because of these pills and she has no intention on coming back so I’m dealing with that loss as well as the depression of quitting OXY. I know in the end I’ll be ok, and I got my eye on getting a dog. Once my head is glued on correctly again. There has been so much over the years I have missed being an OXY addict and I want to make up for lost time.

    We only live one life and we should all embrace however we can cause the years go by so quickly. God Bless everyone on here and don’t give up your struggle. Just remember it down the line of how much you went through to get normal again. By remembering it, it will give you more strength than you ever thought possible.

  • Karl Aschenbrener August 6, 2016, 6:38 pm

    Hello everyone. I have recently quit taking OxyContin for one main reason, it may me into a totally different person. I would get up in the morning and first though was where are my pills. I was addicted to them and even a few hours late taking them, I experienced anxiety like you wouldn’t believe. So I woke up one day and realize that I wanted my life back and just up and quit.

    Well the first day was like hell. I cried, shake like a leaf, couldn’t sleep, and even had thoughts of ending my suffering by physical harm to myself. But I prayed to God to help me with my journey and he answered my prayers. The second day, wasn’t much better and the third but by the fourth day, I felt my old self emerging. No more thinking about the pills, feeling like I was human again, and extremely happier.

    Well I on my 7th day and I have made it over the hump. I now know I will never return to that world of drug dependency and I will share this or try to help someone through this because up it is all worth it. I took all my pills back to the pharmacy, stricken off my file and now I am free from that hell.

    One word of advice for you all, just take one day at a time, once you get through the first day, the second is easier, and so on down the line. Stay focused on your goal, and never lose sight of a better you. God Bless Everyone

  • bram August 2, 2016, 9:59 pm

    Has anyone gotten withdrawal symptoms from VERY low dose Oxycodone (2.5 mg three times a day) taken for several years? Trying to stop but getting exhaustion, muscle pain, yawning, can’t get out of bed. Now taking just 2.5 mg daily in afternoon but feel awful until I take that.

  • Ron July 13, 2016, 10:21 am

    I am 57 and I broke my neck taking a nasty 60 foot fall on Devils tower, I was a rock climbing guide for about 20 years. The repair was going to be a fusion using titanium and cadaver one. Well the Dr. came in and said he nicked a nerve but that the nerve would regenerate 98% of the time. Come to find out he severed the nerve.

    So I tried everything two to three times; acupuncture twice, physical therapy three times, two pain clinics, then drugs. Vicodin first then five to eight years ago OXYCONTIN and this was drug that solved all my pain but unbeknownst to nearly cost me my family. I had NO idea that this drug was slowly masking what are known as AUTHENTIC EMOTIONS.

    Looking back now I realize that many things in my life were lost. The best band that I ever sang for as front man, gone. I’m so sorry to Todd, Mike and Jim but I swear I didn’t know what was going on and always blamed you guys and now no I was so wrong. This is my number one regret, the loss of that opportunity, that time. I also could not deal with anything emotionally very well at all.

    Relationships with those closest to me suffered more than I will every know or every be able to repair. My daddy was a honky-tonk man and I wanted to be just like him singing and playing bars all over the north country. Well I lost him at 10 because he was drunk and hit a tree sideways and always felt that he died for a buzz and left me behind.

  • Jenni Bean July 9, 2016, 12:12 am

    Hello All, I am 54 hours cold turkey from 150mg of oxycodone for 5 & 1/2 years (Dr prescribed and from multiple back surgeries and chronic pain). I have tried to quit before and I turned into the girl in the exorcist!!! I also would fantasize that I would get sent to jail or something forced like being tied to a hospital bed… what would be the the one thing that would make me have the determination to stop.

    But I will tell you the key… DETERMINATION!!!! That’s the only thing getting me thru. I was tired of being a slave by these blue pills and obsessing about them. I was tired of being treated like a drug seeker at doctors and pharmacists. I was tired of not being able to travel to long or even move to another country because my blue pill chain was here in the U.S.

    So yes I feel many symptoms. I am freezing and roasting in sweat all the time. I have NO hunger at all but am drinking lots of water, orange juice and coconut milk. I can’t sleep more than 2 hours, I feel like I am blacking out from dizziness every time I stand, I have runny bowels which I took a little Imodium which stopped that nonsense, headache, body aches, etc.

    But I am so determined. Every time I look at the clock and see I have gone 2 more hours is a blessing. I CANT wait TO LIVE again without; Foggy brain can’t remember something I read 2 seconds ago, no concentration, blue pill obsession, being a slave to my doctor and pills, feeling a secret hell, no sex drive, having constant anxiety if we have a hurricane or tsunami and I can’t get a prescription… having to return from trips and travel early, worrying I will lose my pills, isolating myself, constipation, being emotionally numb.

    There is so much more much more however I am so determined to do this that I will win!!! So I used to obsessively read recovery journals of people getting off opiates wondering when or if it could be my turn… “Determination is seeing the pot of gold and the end of a painful rainbow.”

  • Scott mabelman July 8, 2016, 12:41 am

    I was on oxycodone for 10 months and then my doctor switch me to Oxy Cotton. I was taking to Oxy Cotton 30 milligram pills a day and I immediately called my doctor and told her that this pill only lasted 6 hours. She said that by taking Oxycontin I would not have the ups and downs of taking the oxycodone every 4 to 6 hours. This is extremely wrong and not the case.

    Once my doctor figured out that my pain was not being broken with the 30 milligram pills she said take a 30 milligram pill every 8 hours so I was taking 90 milligrams of OxyContin a day which after six hours or less I had to take 20 to 30 milligrams of oxy codeine so I ended up taking an extra 50 to 60 milligrams of OxyContin a day for a grand total of 150 milligrams a day. This is simply the worst thing you can do if your body.

    If I can recommend anything do not get on oxycontin. I went and tapered myself down to 90 milligrams and had a hernia surgery and then had to boost back up to 200 and then 180 and 160 and started tapering down and when I got to 3 10 milligram Oxycontin pills I tried to go to the oxy codeine pills which was literally impossible. I had to taper off the Oxycontin first and then I had to taper off the oxy codeine. The Oxy Cotton is 10 times more addictive forming to your body and brain.

    Once I got down to 10 milligrams I simply cut the 5 milligram pills in half and then in quarters and took one every 4 to 6 hours and tried to go without at night then I drop down to 7 milligrams and then 5 milligrams and then I took 1.2 milligrams twice a day for four or five days until I was finally off. This low taper work for me at the end even though I was much fast are dropping down from 200. I hope this helps people out there to not take Oxycontin at all costs.

    It is the worst drug. I am still having side effects 18 days after my last pill and I have been having panic attacks and insomnia with extreme soreness of muscles. I have been taking Epsom salts bath with sea salt and been using a lot of DMSO on my store joints and muscles. I also took L tyrosine and DL phenylalanine during the day and I took 2 5-HTP at night.

    Also taking omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil is extremely important for a good quality sardines to block information. I also use turmeric and bone broth to reheat my body and reduce inflammation. I hope this help somebody in this world and I hope that you listen to my advice is the yo-yo and effect of pain medication is twice as bad on Oxy Cotton do not go there. Take care and peace out.

  • lana2468 June 22, 2016, 9:37 pm

    The worst part for me in weaning off and quitting is the stomach distress. I only weigh 104 anyway (5’2″) and due to feeling sick to my stomach all the time since decreasing dose, I now weigh 98 pounds. I am constantly tired and sick to my stomach. Any advice on how to deal with the stomach issue?

    I can’t afford to lose much more weight. I have not had any appetite for food since starting this weaning process. I would be grateful for any suggestions. And bless everyone who has shared their story here. You are very brave and determined and deserve a lot of respect and admiration. I wish you all the very best.

  • John C. June 14, 2016, 11:21 pm

    I have been taking oxycodone for over 30 years due to a back injury while in the military years ago. So not to drag this out I will make it short. I was discharged from my Pain Dr. in April of this year. He had me on 300mg of oxy per day. The discharge can one month after I provided them with a positive drug screen, which is the first ever positive I have ever provided.

    The month after I gave them urine I went to my follow up appt and was told that I was discharged and would not be given any more medication that I had been getting from them for over four and a half years. So long story short – I went to three other pain doctors and was turned away from every one and placed on a black ball list that is probably nation wide. Looks like I will never be able to resume even a 5 mg endocet.

    I will argue that the Federal government intruding into our lives has been over stepped. Someone in the DEA or wherever gets to decide which medication I can or cannot have, now especially with my first ever positive drug screen I have much less choices. I do believe in tough laws to curb addiction but look, I’m 60 years old, disabled veteran on 100% and on medicare. Who am I offending?

  • Tina June 10, 2016, 3:13 pm

    I am on my 21st day off of Oxycodone 15mg 4 a day (or more) and MS Contin 15mg ER. I am having night sweats still. When does this end? My upper back is achey and my neck is stiff. I had back surgery 3 months ago on my L5S1 and had a fusion with a cage 2 rods and 4 screws. I went to detox for 3 days.

    Once home the night sweats kicked in. I’m taking super busy complex, a multivitamin and Vit D. I have no energy and that is the worst part I believe. At 21 days I figured I would feel better. I’m better today that 2 weeks ago. Just wish the pain, sweats and no energy stopped. When does this stop?

  • Bry May 21, 2016, 8:33 pm

    I had been prescribed 30mg Xxy immediate release 4x a day and 30 mg ER morphine 1x day. After back surgery 3 years ago. It really helped me with my quality of life at the beginning and even for the first 2 years. Over the last year though I didn’t like what it was turning into… Watching the clock for my next dose, counting the days down until my next Dr visit, and the worst part was feeling like I was having to take them just to keep from being pill sick.

    So I decided to quit. My method of quitting was my method and I do not recommend anyone doing what I did unless under the care of a medical team i.e detox facility or what ever the case may be. Needless to say here’s what I did: I disconnected my ER Morph. 2 days before my quit date. Then took my last Oxy at 7pm. May 9th. (I happened to come across seven 8mg subs months before and was saving them for this) so I had a great night of sleep and woke up ready to go threw some hell for another 12 or so hours before I could start the subs.

    I ended up taking my first 8 mg sub at 6pm the following day (23 hours after last Xxy) a bit risky because I hear precipitated w/d are horrid! After about 20 mins I laid down in bed and dozed off for 20 or 30 mins. And woke up feeling like a million bucks.

    Day 2: off Oxy and on subs. I took one 8 mg sub when I woke up and cut the next 8 mg in half and took them once at 1pm and again at 9pm.
    Day 3: took 4mg sub 3x
    Day 4: took 4mg sub 2x
    Day 5: (final day of sub taper) took one 8mg sub at 11am.

    I’m 12 days off Oxy now and I think 7 days off subs and I feel like my brain is a little bit off. My legs ache here and there had a pretty constant mild nagging head ache , low energy/motivation and some bout of diarrhea. Also my sleeping has been off a bit. Still getting 7 hours though thank god! All this is to be expected, you can’t sprinkle glitter on crap and make it pretty, it’s going to be rough for a while I’m sure but talking to family or friends about what your going threw helps so much, getting out of the house really really helps.

    Sitting on the couch or laying in bed is awful for me at least. I’ve kinda increased my sugar and caffeine intake since being off everything I feel like it helped me with the headache. I have a feeling this will be up and down for a while, but I made the decision to stop taking the pills and I’m sticking by that decision. Be in touch with your mind as to what your going threw tell your self it will only be temporary and fight through this.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel! God bless everyone that is going threw this fairly difficult time. P.S. N/A meetings, although I haven’t attended any, can be a great tool for finding a support system within you local community (from what I’m hearing and reading). Good luck everyone we can do this! P.P.S. Sorry about any grammar errors on my comment and if I’m all over the place I apologize my brain is scattered a bit right now!

    • Bry May 23, 2016, 4:23 pm

      As the battle continues. Day 14: the last couple night my sleep was much better, still not like it was but better. Also today I feel a lot better then the last couple days. I started listening to music and it really does wonders for my mind. I’m getting out and doing things more and it really has helped me.

      I have no desire to take the pills anymore and my mind is dead set on that. If you have a really bad day and have no one to talk to, try calling any NA helpline. I’ve called 2 random NA helplines and spoke to 2 wonderful people that chatted with me for 30 mins or so.

      Never once pushing me to come to meetings, only suggesting that it does help folks. Keep your head up if it’s rough but for damn sure possible!

  • Steve May 2, 2016, 10:01 pm

    I am a 71 year old male Vietnam vet who was given 5mg Oxy to take one every 6 hours for post surgical pain. I had a lung removed on March 14th 2016 at the VA hospital in Milwaukee, WI. After a month and a half suffering severe constipation, and the stool softeners they provided were not working, I decided to cut my Oxy down to 1/2 every 4 fours. This didn’t work!

    I called the surgical nurse and informed her I wanted off the Oxy and that I was experiencing most of the withdrawal symptoms listed in the side effect med sheet they provide. She told me I needed to see a shrink and noted so in my health record. A week later I called the pharmacist at my local VA clinic who suggested I take one pill every 10 hours to withdraw from the Oxy. Did that for a week and while I felt good for the first 5 hours, the remaining 5 were crap.

    A week of that and I decided to just quit taking the stuff altogether. My detox experience is in it’s third day. Very little, but some improvement. I cannot imagine what you folks go thru who have been taking large doses over a long period if THIS is what I am experiencing for the short period and low dose in my case. This experience really sucks, and hope it doesn’t last too much longer.

  • Ryan May 1, 2016, 7:33 am

    3 weeks ago I had a quad rupture and had surgery on my knee. I was prescribed vicodin 10-325 as needed… I took them with glee as they cleared the pain for the first week. I then started cutting them in half and was additionally prescribed oxycodone 5mg. In total I was only on Oxy for about 18 days. I stopped after the Aspirin provided me caused me to have stomach problems (NSAIDs are known for this but I had to take it to avoid a blood clot).

    I’m using prilosec to help ease the inflammation in my stomach, per my doctor. Tylenol is working fine for my pain. Today is day 3 off of Oxy and I’ve had insomnia, emotional swings, hot/cold flashes, headaches, dizziness. Can I really be getting these symptoms from the Oxy? I’m so tired, but once I fall asleep my body wakes me up again for some reason. Only had about 7 hours in the last three nights. The insomnia is terrible.

    Any thoughts? How long until I can conclude that it is the Oxy that’s causing the insomnia?

  • Friend in Denver April 22, 2016, 12:47 pm

    I have read all of your comments and I’m wondering how you got your pain to subside? If you go off of the oxys and deal with the withdraw, isn’t your pain that put you on them to begin with still there? I take 200mcg of fentanyl a day as well as 30mg of oxycodone 4 times a day, as well as epidural injections, as well as non opiate meds due to failed back surgery from being hit by a train.

    Even if I were to go off of the opiates, my pain would unfortunately still remain. I have come down from my opiates considerably, and am stable on my current dose. However remember that if you take your meds responsibly and as prescribed these meds can be a good thing too.

    I have suffered with my back pain for 30+ years and fortunately have a Dr that is compassionate and understanding of my pain. I will pray for all of you that have had such a hard time with these medications. I wish you all the best of luck! Sincerely, A friend in Denver

    • D May 25, 2016, 4:26 pm

      Hey, don’t do this to much. I’m a programmer, so I am on a computer a lot of the day. I’m 23, was on 150mg OC IR and 400mg morphine ER a day, never abused. This medicine is just to get more money in the pharmaceutical pockets. But look, this is key, DO NOT JUST SIT AT HOME AND DO NOTHING. Go out and ride a bike, gym, hot tub etc.

      Look your brain gets used to the constant large supply of endorphins so what fixes the way to make more? Exercise. Believe me, morphine is a worse drug, longer half life, but the pain you’re feeling, is going to be increased because your body is used to the ENDORPHINS THAT COME FROM IT. 5-HTP, Imodium, exercise, water, SWEAT, it helps. FYI, like I said, I’m 23, been taking for 3 years almost, as told every time.

      Found out I’ve got cancer in January, had surgery, removed. Now in colon and gallbladder, possibly in lungs. You control your life. This world’s temporary leave a image of the real you. Good luck all, you can do it. P.S. You’ll get to the point where you get em every month well I do BC have to for settlement, and just wait till end of month, flush 150 OC IR 30s and the morphine.

  • Beverly Schmidlin April 18, 2016, 6:19 pm

    I have been on Oxycodone for 6 years. I was born with mild Cerebral Palsy. My c.p. never bothered me much until I got older than the wear and tear on my muscles began to cause pain. My Dr. put me on Oxycodone. Like everyone else I needed more as the years went by just to be able to achieve the same effect and relieve my pain.

    I recently have acquired a pinched nerve. which gave me a new perspective on pain, let me tell ya. So I ended up increasing the oxy again. So I started taking up to roughly 60 mg a day. I did this for a month or so. When I went to a pain management Dr. for my pinched nerve the Dr. had a fit that I had been on Oxycodone for so long.

    He told me I would probably need to have help getting off them. Me, beginning stubborn, I scoffed and thought it would me no big deal. I just began doing it myself. I am down to just one 7.5 mg a day. I have realized how ignorant I was. My anxiety is through the roof. I have loose bowls, chills, night sweats and crying spells.

    Someday I can barely carry on a conversation. My hubby of 30 years has been fabulous. We have four children. They are all on their own. I fell bad when they call me and I do not even want to answer the phone. They gave me a shot for my pinched nerve and it is not working. So it is hard for me to walk. I’m not sure what to do about the pain but there will be no more oxy for me.

  • James Meyer April 18, 2016, 12:31 pm

    I’ve read most of the comments here. You folks are heroes. Struggling with stage 4 aggressive prostate cancer I’ve tried to keep my oxy dosage to 5 mg/day and now cutting the pills in half, and dealing with the pain. I know we are all different but here are a few things that have helped me. Think of yourself as a champ, fighting your way through a storm, and one day the sun will come out.

    In the meantime, focus your attention on your healing, not your pain. I get up in the morning, I walk around the house expressing gratitude for all that I have. I practice short periods of meditation and mindfulness. I get as much exercise as I can, but have to walk slowly for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. It helps.

    I have a mini rebounder (trampoline). I try to bounce lightly (Google “health bounce”) for 5 mins every 2 hrs. And at every opportunity I say I’m feeling great. At night before going to sleep I tell my body it has lots of work to do – get busy “restocking the shelves” of my energy reserves and feel-good chemicals (I visualize the night crew at Walmart happening in my body) so that I’m all ready for a “feel-good” day.

    Most importantly, I never affirm, or say, I’m having less “pain.” That focuses on the pain. Instead, I say, I feel great, I have energy, I feel like a new person… a youngster, even though I don’t always believe it. But I’ve noticed my body will believe anything, if I say it often enough.

    And that seems to have a way of making it happen just the way I’ve been saying it over and over. Best wishes. How I wish I could be of more help to you all.

  • Barbara L. April 12, 2016, 12:22 pm

    Hello everyone. I have not gone through the hell that many of you have, at least I thought not. But reading your experiences has opened my eyes. I was put on Morphine and Oxycodone after emergency back surgery for a badly herniated disk in my back which caused some nerve damage and pain in my left leg. My back surgery was extensive, requiring the removal of previously placed Titanium rods and screws from a prior back surgery for scoliosis, stenosis, and arthritis that caused excruciating pain in my right leg.

    These were then replaced with new rods and screws which now run the length of my back from right above my last vertebrae to right above my bra strap. This was in early Dec. 2015. I was tapered off the Morphine successfully with only minimal withdrawal symptoms by Feb. 2016; however, I continued on the Oxycodone at a reduced dosage. All went well.

    I entered physical therapy, made excellent progress and completed 16 sessions as prescribed. This was especially exciting for me as I suffer from Fibromyalgia and an extremely arthritic knee, and the Oxy. was permitting me to be able (I NOW realize) to exercise. I felt very well. My husband has Alzheimer’s Disease and still lives at home withe me.

    Friends looked after him while I was in the hospital, but once I was out he was back in my care. I seemed to have all the patience in the world with him suddenly. I NEVER thought it had to do with the Oxy. until possibly now, after reading so many entries here! You see, I have Bipolar Disorder and I tend more toward the depressive end of the spectrum with mine.

    I am on medication, which I take religiously, and am in therapy which I attend faithfully with a very good therapist – who, curiously enough, used to work with drug addicts during her earlier years in training. Anyway, I think now that the Oxy. has been giving me a bit of a mood boost! After I’d completed physical therapy, I decided the coming off of the Oxy. was my next step and asked my MD to taper me off of it. I had been at 5 mg. 4 times daily.

    Yesterday was my first day at 1 pill a day. Now, I should mention that I take a boatload of other meds. – for Fibro., Bipolar, Depression, and Sleep (part of the Bipolar cocktail) but none are narcotic in nature. I have never had a problem with taking more Oxy. than prescribed, or running out early, or hiding pills, etc. Anyway, I realize that I have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms since I began tapering from four pills a day – after reading all of your experiences here!

    What an eye-opener! I’ve even had to have my Bipolar meds. adjusted slightly to feel like I can hang on! Dealing with anything has become a monumental chore. Dealing with my husband has become so depressing and stressful! I don’t mind the diarrhea as I’ve dealt with that before, and I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome anyway, so it’s no stranger to me.

    I just take my probiotics, eat Imodium, drink lots of water, eat yogurt, drink Kombucha, and try to eat clean. The insomnia has been a problem for several days now and I’m still on the Oxy., even though it’s only 5 mg. a day at this point. Sleeplessness is anathema to Bipolar sufferers, as it can cause troublesome mood swings and aggravate things like excessive spending or shopping, which I am prone to.

    Anyway, I just thought I’d toss this monkey wrench into the picture, as I think my combination of issues and symptoms is different enough from what I’ve read here that it might be helpful to someone else like me. I know I’ll get through the withdrawal symptoms, I was just quite surprised to find I was having them BEFORE I went off the drug!!!

    At least, to the extent that I’m having them… Best wishes, love and blessings to all of you out there who struggle every day. You’re not alone!

  • Jodi April 10, 2016, 7:31 pm

    I’ve been on Oxycontin for over 7 years for RA, and Fibromyalgia related pain. I started at a dose of 20 mgs 3 times a day then went down to 20 twice a day about 1 year ago, then down to 30, 20, 10. Under doctor’s supervision I took my last 10mg of Oxycontin on Friday. I am doing a slow 3 week taper of oxycodone now. 5 mg twice a day for 1 week then 5 mg once a day for a week then none.

    Does anyone know if it would be of any benefit to go to 2.5mg twice a day for a while then 2.5 then none? I live in Washington State and have been considering a marijuana tincture to help with the anxiety side effects. Has anyone else done this? Also have heard that it can help with the sleeplessness as well. I have a lot of discomfort with the RA and Fibro so I want to do this as pain free as possible. Any suggestions will help.

  • J Smith April 9, 2016, 4:42 am

    Ok… It’s going on 6 weeks since the last time using OXY and I quit cold turkey. I was abusing about 20-40 mg for about 4 years. First few days were hell but the WD eased and began minimizing after a week. I am still having heart palpitations and moodiness. I have cried 2 times today. I was crying 10+ times a days at first. I am SO MUCH BETTER but a ready for all the WD to go away. My spouse was using about 100 mg daily and is on methadone. They told her its may take 1 year. We are a pair.

  • Laura Hamilton March 22, 2016, 6:34 pm

    I had been on 140mg a day of oxycotin and oxycodone. I have RA, fibromyalgia, a bad back and hips and knees. I have been taking this dose for 12 years. I slowly tapered until I was at 10mg of oxycotin twice a day then just went totally off. Felt horrible for the first three days. I’m taking Gabapanetin three times a day. It is a seizure med and helps with the leg jerks that other wise come every few seconds.

    So exhausting and it increases my pain because of the jerking. During the day with the Gabapentin I don’t have leg jerks but when I try to sleep they happen again for hours till I end up taking another dose of Gabpantin, Baclofen and ativan. Then after a couple of hours the leg jerks stop and i can sleep again for just a few hours. I really wonder how I can get through the day without the leg jerks but have so much problems with them at night. I thought perhaps because at night I am trying to completely relax.

    Who knows but it is miserable when it happens and even with more meds it can still continue through the night. I’m on day 6 of no oxycotin. I stayed in my nightshirt for the first four days and thought I was going to die from the withdrawals but for the past couple days I have been somewhat better during the day and have tried to just do a few things around the house. I just really wonder how long I’ll deal with the nightly leg jerks.

    I was praying that they would stop by now. The bad deal is that my pain has come back full force which is depressing. When I’m done having withdrawals I am going to have my nerve roots burnt in my back, my SI joint and my knees. This will greatly help the major pain areas but it won’t help with the other joint pain from the RA or the fibromyalgia.

    I’m hoping that the doctor will let me take Lyrica or Cymbalta to help with the pain. This deal has been the most miserable thing I’ve gone through. If I knew that coming of these meds was this hard I wouldn’t have started taking them except they were great for my pain but it really is time to try to be off of them. My husband says that I’m much more alert now. I just keep telling myself that this too shall pass and when it does my life will be much better. Hang in there.

  • HighHopes March 21, 2016, 8:45 pm

    Hello My awesome and brave Brothers and Sisters!!! Reading all these amazing blogs compelled me to send hope to all that are feeling at odds right now during the temporary nightmare that you’re unfortunately enduring. I’ve been where everyone that has posted on this blog has been. It started with a herniated disc that led to sciatica for a year in 2007.

    My Doctor put me on so many drugs percocets, morphine, vicodin, cymbalta for pain along with it was ridiculous. Had surgery for the herniated disc and was on more meds. Got hooked on them for 9 years. They sent me into a deep abyss! They took over my life and though I wanted to get off of them for years, I feared the detox. But I had no quality of life.

    I was so numbed on those stupid things that I forgot what it was like to feel and be truly happy. But once I set my mind to wanting to be my self again and truly happy I sincerely asked God to give me strength to get through the detox and heal my mind of the addiction and let me tell you a MIRACLE happened!!! I’m not a religious person but I do believe in God.

    My detox was very minimal after nine years of abusing pills and I haven’t looked back since. It’s been 10 months for me and I feel more alive in my life than ever!! I can tell you how amazing it will feel for you to get off the pills. To have control back in your life is the best feeling EVER! Believe in Yourself please because you deserve happiness and you will feel that again I promise you!!!

    I know it sucks right now but you will get past this! You can do it I know you can because I have faith in you! I’ve never met you but I wish you well and the best! You all have an untapped strength within you it’s always been there. You just need to remember it and BELIEVE IN YOU again because that is the person who will make you whole! You can do this!! Your Will can move mountains!! Welcome Back!!!

  • Kathy March 14, 2016, 1:57 am

    I’m sorry you are going through this, Diane. I think it’s crazy when people say that these meds don’t help fibromyalgia. Oxycontin, and now oxycodone are the only pain meds that even put a dent in the pain. Others don’t touch it. And I still get upset when doctors still know so little about fibro pain.

    I was referred to a pain clinic where I was told that they only make use of injections such as epidurals, etc. Don’t they know that an injection does no good for fibro? I don’t understand why they always have to try to fix something that isn’t broken. I have a lot of painful conditions (as you can see above) that were helped by the OxyContin. I had no side effects, never, in the 17 or so years that I’ve been on it, had to change the dosage-I never expected it to take the pain totally away.

    I just needed it to take the edge off so I could function in the day, and sleep at night. So the mighty people at the insurance company decided that it is better for me to stop it and find something else. What gives them that right? It’s all money. My oncologist put me on 10 mg of oxycodone every six hours, which helps a bit, but as soon as it’s effects wear off, I back on my way to withdrawal.

    And it’s worse in the morning after not taking anything during the night. After having a constant amount of the med in my system, now it’s like a rollercoaster and my body doesn’t know what to feel like. I hope you can get some pain relief from your pain management doctor. I’m still looking for one who believes that fibro is an actual disease and knows how to help us get relief. I hope you are feeling better too. Keep well.

  • Dianne March 13, 2016, 2:31 am

    Hi all. I’ve been off oxycodone for 3 days. I was taking them for extreme fibromyalgia pain. I had 6 good months of reduced pain and was able to participate and interact with family and lifer. One day my doctor told me that narcotics do not help fibro pain and I had to get off of them. I stepped down very quickly and have been very sick. My pain has doubled. I’m seeing a pain management doctor to help me find some other way to manage my pain. The most difficulty has been the nausea. It’s non stop. Good luck to anyone coming off these meds.

  • StephenD March 12, 2016, 12:05 pm

    Thought I would share. I have had nine surgeries to my knee then totally messed up my back (altered gait etc). I had been taking Oxycontin/Oxycodone for about 10 years. The combined dosage was up to 140 mg/day. I got fed up with Dr Pill and was in to much pain and was not going to take any more. Well the new doc said we start from scratch here so detox with your former doc.

    I had most of a scrip left so I just tapered it down for a couple weeks and then bit the bullet to get it over with. I have read the “horror stories” but it was not like that for me. The first day was nothing relay except more pain. the next 5 where flu-like including diarrhea (liquid Imodium worked well for me). Truth be told I have had the flu much worse than that.

    Well a month later I still have cold symptoms on and off and my sleep schedule is real messed up. It could be worse. The pain level is not any worse for the most part and my head is clear. I could not function normally before nor now but at least I am in control of my head. I have set physical goals and am working to them with exercise and yoga (I lost allot of flexibility, I did martial arts up till the back wrecked me).

    It is going slow but I am making progress. The biggest key things I can share are: It is not that bad stopping the pills! Prepare, plan and execute, just get er done! Expect a lot of bed time for days 2-5 and expect flu-like symptoms (but I have had the flu worse, trust me on that). Then cold symptoms which are annoying. Do not let Dr pill do you in, insist on treatment not pills.

    If the pain is already to bad it likely wont be any worse 3 weeks later (the narcotics generate a higher pain response). Did it suck for me? well yes and it still does but I am getting stronger and better every day. Does the exercise hurt and put me down sometimes? Well yes it does, but I am making it a full time job to fix the broken body. You all can do it if I can!

  • Kathy March 11, 2016, 11:59 pm

    Good for you, Chad. I am still feeling pretty awful-giant headaches and if I go anywhere, I carry a bottle of Imodium with me and get back home as quick as I can. If I wait to long, the chills, skin-crawling feeling and all start to come back. I was at my oncologist today, and I’ve lost almost 10 pounds since last month (I have to see them once a month), which is not good for a cancer patient.

    And she reminded me that some of the pain I have is from the cancer meds I take-they cause bone pain, in addition to all the other conditions I have. So we decided not to stop the oxycodone right now.But she has me taking the 10 mg. every 6 hours, and less if I can stand the withdrawal. Even though it isn’t long term like the OxyContin, at least I get a couple hours of pain (and withdrawal!) relief.

    We’re just going to go at it real slow. I’m not going to take it until I feel the withdrawal things starting to return. But I need to get my digestion working right again, because I can’t afford to lose any more weight. My only problem is nighttime-even if I take my last 10 mg. of the day at midnight, when I wake up, I am having the withdrawal effects again and don’t feel better until after I take the morning pill.

    I guess that’s how it’s going to be. I guess I got spoiled by finding the perfect pain med for my case, which took so long to find after a lot of trial and error. Since nothing else works, I guess this is the way the rest of my life will be-a roller coaster of feeling good and not every day. I suppose it could be much worse-I read that many people haven’t found any pain med that helps them.

    I’m just so mad that an insurance company gets to go against doctors wishes and decide who can get what, just to make sure then get their money. You would think they would listen to an oncologist, who’s patients are often in pain. But he appealed to them and no dice. Here’s another question. Going through all this like I have, I was thinking. Why is it that insurance companies are so quick to refuse OxyContin to patients, but allow for oxycodone to be used?

    It seems to me that with the formulation of the OxyContin now (making it harder to crush, etc.), it would be much easier for addicts to abuse the plain oxycodone. But they allow me to have those with no problem.It seems like it should be just the opposite. Very confusing. Anyway, for anyone who reads this, thanks for reading. I’m still mad at the insurance company (as is my oncologist) and just have to vent sometimes. Good luck to all who are dealing with this drug, and I hope all of you are well.

  • Chad March 9, 2016, 5:24 pm

    It gets easier. 10 years ago I started taking 2x 20mg oxycontin a day for a back injury . When I stopped 3 weeks ago I was taking 2x 80mg oxycontin and 12x 15mg oxycodone a day. Thats 340mg a day. I stopped cold turkey on 2/20. I locked myself in a hotel room for 4 days. After 4 days most of the severe physical symptoms had subsided.

    My biggest issue now, 3 weeks later, are the neurological effects. I’m still not sleeping at night and I’m constantly sad. Not depressed, just sad. If I’m watching TV or reading a book and someone does something nice I get choked up. I was never very emotional before so this has been tough to deal with. I’m hoping it passes like the physical symptoms did.

    It is possible to stop! I psyched myself up before I detoxed by convincing myself I would experience the worst withdrawal possible. What I actually experienced was much less painful than I expected. I wasn’t quite as ready for the long term neurological effects but I’ll get past this too. I hope someone still addicted reads this and realizes that you CAN stop.

  • Luna Fiesta March 7, 2016, 7:14 am

    I remember when I was first prescribed vicodin for a toe injury. I only took maybe 2 out of what they gave me and carried on with my life. A year later I was prescribed oxycodone for my back. I had a weight lifting injury that felt just like regular pain, until it began to grow so unbearable to the point that I could not sit nor stand without screaming in agony. I had gone to the er, where a doctor put me on oxycodone and muscle relaxers.

    I took a few until I could walk again, and then forgot about them. As the pain got worse (as I walked 3-4hrs to and from work each day), I went to my doctor, who started me on vicodin again. I began taking Vic 10s in 1/4 pieces, but as my body grew used to it, I was prescribed oxycodone. At first, oxy 10s were a miracle (other than the nausea and dizziness). My back pain was gone and I felt like a bird.

    As time went on, I grew used to the nausea and sort of liked the euphoric feeling, when I was dealing with a bad situation. So, I continued to take them for my pain, but the anger and sorrow I was feeling washed away the side effects. I was taking at least 7-10’s a day, and overtime I’ve gotten weaker and more lethargic. Not long ago, I started doing some ab exercises on a sleepless night, and I felt alive again!

    I miss my workouts, for they are what made me optimistic and healthy feeling, a true elation. I had tried to stop taking my medication cold-cut, but experienced one hell of a headache and I felt like I was lost in a nightmare. I asked my friend what was possibly wrong with me, and she said that opioid pain relievers cause a withdrawal. I wished someone would have told me that before ever prescribing them to me…

    So, I started taking them again. My plan was to only take enough to keep the withdrawal symptoms at bay. I’ve thus far cut down to 40-50mg per day, and after the first 10mg of the day, I cut the rest in half to “scare” myself into believing that I am taking too many, so that I’ll take less. I am determined to do this, so that I can have my REAL health back. I want to bodybuild again, and I want back my own mind.

    I want to be able to take my pain medication ONLY when my back gets too bad to move. I don’t want to worry anymore about a withdrawal if someone stole my prescription or I lost the bottle somehow. I want to be free and fully alive again. And a piece of advice, if you haven’t started taking pain medication on a daily basis… DON’T!!

    • Kathy March 8, 2016, 8:12 pm

      I know just what you are saying. I’m down to 2 x 10mg pills of oxycodone IR a day-one in the morning and one at bedtime. This is down from 30mg OxyContin ER in the morning and bedtime. The pain I have is much worse, but I could put up with it maybe if I didn’t still have the withdrawal effects. I thought by now I’d feel better, and maybe take 1 pill just when I really needed it so I wouldn’t be dependent on it.

      But I can’t get past these last 2 pills. It’s now 3 PM and I haven’t taken a pill today yet, but I’ve got that feeling like I want to crawl out of my skin and stomach problems still-can’t venture too far from home, if you know what I mean. Gees, I’m 66 years old, and shouldn’t be feeling like this. I’ve called 2 pain management groups–one only uses injections for pain–I’ve got fibromyalgia and other whole body pain that a shot won’t fix.

      The other says that they don’t accept insurance. I guess I’m just venting here today. Sorry. Anyway, I hope you can get your pain under control soon, and are able to do away with these pills, or just take it when needed. My son (he’s 38) also lifts weights and is a black belt in karate, so I know how important it is for you to get back to it. Good luck, and hope you are well.

    • StephenD March 12, 2016, 12:17 pm

      You can do it! I was told that the meds work like this: the more you block the pain the harder your body tries to push through the narcotic pain block hence causing more pain. I had to start with tai chi just for basic movement then DDP yoga. As messed up as it sounds the last time my back was pain free was when I was doing allot of blacksmithing, I was also looking much better and had built up solid core strength. The pills just steal your life. You can do this!

  • Kathy March 3, 2016, 10:12 pm

    Hi-I’m in the same boat as all of you, and I wish none of us were in it. I’ve been on OxyContin 30mg every 12 hours for the last 20 years. My oncologist put me on it after cancer surgery. In addition to the pain from that, at the time I also had (and still have) lupus, severe fibromyalgia, rheumatoid and osteo arthritis, degenerative disc disease, pain from a TBI. The OxyContin helped me immensely.

    We had tried every other pain med available, and this was the only one that had zero side effects on me. Throughout the past 20 years, I never had to up the dose (I never expected any pain med to totally rid me of my pain) and I was able to function and feel like myself. Didn’t even have the constipation most people have with it. My oncologist has me in every month for blood work to make sure it and my other meds do not cause any physical problems.

    Contrary to many others, I’ve been very happy using this med. But 3 weeks ago, my insurance company decided that I didn’t need the Oxycontin, and won’t pay for it. My doctor appealed the decision, but they told him there are plenty of other pain meds out there and to use them. We tried morphine, which made me extremely sick. Since the one medicine was the only one that I could use to ease my pain, I am not going through another trial and error of other meds.

    My doctor gave me a prescription for 10 mg oxycodone instant relief pills. I started at 1 pill every 4 hours, and then one every 5 hours. That’s when the withdrawal effects started. I haven’t been that sick since I can even remember. The worst have been the constant migraines and stomach issues, as well as the chills, sweats, shivering and fatigue. I’m finishing my 3rd week off OxyContin, and I’m down to 1 x 10 mg pill in the morning and one at night.

    I’m going to stay there for a couple of days and try to go to just 1 at night. I can’t wait until the headaches and stomach problems go away. It seems like its taking forever. One thing that I haven’t seen mentioned is what to do for pain after you’re completely off the oxy. It’s difficult to function with all this pain (I’m 66 years old) – it completely exhausts me. During the time I was on the OxyContin, I slept the best that I ever did because I wasn’t woken up by pain.

    Now I can hardly sleep at all. I wake up as tired and sore as I was before I went to sleep, if I can sleep. How do those who used these meds treat your pain, if you were using them to relieve your pain. I can’t imagine having to look forward to every day being in pain. PT, injections, etc. do nothing, and sometime increase the pain, so they have been stopped. I try to exercise every day, if I can, but at least do stretching.

    Any advice. I know that this drug has a bad rap, but for me, it’s been the perfect pain reliever. But since I’ve gotten this far, I want to get totally off it, but am hoping there is something else I could use. Marijuana? I don’t even know if NY has it, and as I don’t smoke, I would have to eat it in something. Oh well. Good luck to all of you. Hoping all your problems getting off this drug end soon. That’s what I’m hoping for. Thanks for any replies.

  • Craig Rittel February 21, 2016, 3:49 am

    Hello I am retired US Army and have had issues with pain since before my retirement, in addition I also suffer from PTSD. I have been prescribed Oxycodone and taken the drug on and off for seven years during this time I have become addicted. My last dose was 12 days ago, up until that point I had been taking approximately 100 mg a day and I quit cold turkey.

    I have been very ill, but at point I feel a little better every day. The main problem is fatigue I have no energy at all, currently it is a chore to get up and move around. I have been taking vitamins and eating pretty well for the last seven days, the first five I could not keep anything down except water.

    I have given this medication up many times over the years, but no matter what this time I am through I am just so tired of being sick. Well don’t know if this is of use to anyone, just thought I would share. Respectfully, Craig

  • Anon February 20, 2016, 12:38 pm

    Just wanted to add what did help alleviate things a bit for those going through this: hot showers or baths are LIFESAVERS!! The relief may be temporary and you’ll probably have to do it many times a day.. But while it lasts, it’s heaven!! Eliminates the chills and twitching aching muscles, even temporarily. Heating pads too, and lots of heavy blankets (weight helps the twitching a bit). Clonidine with clonazepam will at least let you get some sleep for a few hours.

    Ibuprofen or Tylenol helps with muscle aches. Sounds stupid after coming off such powerful drugs – but it does help. Exercise too, or at least getting up and moving around. Laying still in bed may be all you WANT to do, but I find it makes symptoms worse. Soups/pedialyte – yes it’s for kids but it works for us too!/juice/ meal replacement drinks like boost if you can’t eat. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to clear these nasty things out of your system.

    Imodium (MUST BE loperamide hydrochloride!! It’s an opiate antagonist and it won’t take all your symptoms Away, but it will helps a bit, not only with withdrawal but the other obvious symptom) – DON’T abuse it hoping to get more relief. It can cause issues of its own if overused!!) Crackers and peppermint tea with honey for nausea. Distract yourself. Stretch your muscles (think yoga).

    Music, especially binaural beats or classical music. You’re probably laying in bed anyway, throw on some headphones and find some good stuff on YouTube you like. None of these work 100% – or at least they didn’t for me – but they do help. The fact of the matter is, there’s no getting around opiate withdrawal. The only way through it is… Well, through it.

    It is absolute pure unadulterated HELL – but remember it’s for a good cause, and the worst of it should be over in a few days! Best of luck to all of us!!

  • Anon February 20, 2016, 12:14 pm

    It’s comforting reading these stories and knowing I’m not alone. I’ve never abused drugs of any kinds – hell, won’t even try them! Then a year ago I started getting debilitating headaches daily of all kinds – migraines, tension, clusters, you name it. I tried the dr route And they tried all sorts of meds that did absolutely NOTHING. Someone offered me oxy 20s for relief and it was the first thing that actually helped (well… Usually).

    What started out as occasional use turned into daily use and way more than I needed. At one point I was up to about 180mg/day and even though it was causing respiratory issues, I couldn’t seem to stop, even seeing the harm it was doing. I wasn’t myself either. Listless, lethargic, stoned, essentially. Angry, bitter, nasty…

    It wasn’t until recently after going through my acquaintances entire 240 pill Rx in 3 weeks (legit Rx of hers for chronic pain and I was siphoning them at alarming rates unbeknownst to her) that we decided ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH!!! I want my life back!! I’m on day 7 of withdrawal and while I believe I’m through the worst of it, I still don’t feel great. Day 1-2 I was NASTY!!

    Extreme mood swings constantly, hot/cold flashes, extreme anxiety, restless. Vomiting and diarrea (Imodium helped and thankfully that wasn’t too bad). For me the worst part was the twitching muscles. On day 2, thanks to a combo of acute withdrawal and a lot of meds to TRY to alievieate the symptoms, I got delirious and screamed and thrashed for what I was told was 11-12 hours. Punching, biting, kicking, swearing and cruising my partner when he’d try to help.

    Screaming at the top of my lungs to MAKE IT STOP!!!! I remember almost none of that, just a few second intervals here and there. Happy Valentine’s Day to us, huh? :/. Day 7 and my sleep is not good, and I am FREEZING COLD inside, a chill I can’t get rid of. Im also pretty dizzy and breathless if I’m not careful, and I’m also sneezing a lot, which may be related? Not sure, because I don’t seem to be actually getting a cold, and I don’t have allergies to anything.

    Occasional minor twitching at night when I lay in bed still for which I’ll pop a Clonidine or Ativan or clonazepam & that usually helps calm it down – but otherwise I’m doing okay. I’m starting to get my appetite back, though my stomach is still pretty sensitive and I vomit at least 2-3 times a day with a bit of diarrhea – nothing major though; not even taking Imodium for it anymore. What I LOVE is that I’m starting to feel like myself again!!

    I have interest in things again; my sense of humor is back and my brain fog has cleared! I can think again!! My boyfriend made the comment the other night that it was the first time I seemed like the old me in a long time.. It was a FABULOUS thing to hear!! My rage is disappearing; I’m not perpetually angry anymore like the Oxys made me. The thing that scares me is that it’s still tempting. I need to find the strength to NEVER EVER touch another one of these suckers again.

    But I'm not sure how or where to get that will from. Because of my new profession, I'm terrified to admit this to professionals and have it on file for fear of not finding a job if anyone found out. What a difficult place they put us in!! Any words of wisdom?

  • lindsey February 20, 2016, 3:09 am

    I have fibro and started oxy 4-5 months ago. As much as it helped with the pain and the high at first was amazing. Helped me feel clam which suffering from anxiety panic I never did for as long as I remember. After my body got use to the dose which was 5 mg x 6 a day. Quite low compared to so many others. I knew I had to get off it was making me sick, nauseated, awful heartburn.

    My stomach felt like it was being eaten inside. The headaches were awful. And this was all happening being on oxy. It’s been 7 days for me today. The first day wasn’t bad. The second, third and fourth were awful. I barley ate, I was in so much pain. The headaches were intense, feeling sick. The last three days still aches and pain but I have fibro so I knew this would be a huge part and will continue to be.

    Now tonight I felt very agitated, like I needed to get away or get out of my body. Had a extreme panic attack, even though I take celexa, clonzepam .5 twice a day and three times throughout the last seven days I’ve had .5 lorazepam because just to heighten. Tonight was the worst. I felt like it’s never going to end my head will never feel right, even thought of death which than put my panic over the top and this is after the lorazepam in my system.

    So I prayed please take these fears away and felt some relief. I’m still wound up. I’m afraid how long will it take to feel back to normal before the oxy. For me outside the body pain which is my fibro, the mental part is really taking its toll on me. I’ve also had diarrhea since stopping it still continues just not as often now. I usually do a walk for 10-20 min a day haven’t for two because the lower abdomen pain been so bad.

    But writing this I think I will go and do my walk see if it helps. Another thing being on oxy I smoked cigarettes so much. I’m back to only 4 smokes a day on the oxy I was at half a pack maybe a bit more. I can’t wait till this is done wish I had a time frame to know when my mental health will be leveled back out. Reading everyone posts thank you for sharing and God bless you all.

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