Several case studies have revealed that patients who were prescribed to use Oxycodone to treat their post-surgical pain for at least two weeks have experienced withdrawal symptoms as soon as they reduced their dosage. From taking 20mg thrice a day down to taking 20mg twice a day, withdrawal symptoms started to show up at least 8 hours from their last dose.
Although there are a variety of factors that contribute to the level of withdrawal a person may likely experience, these findings prove how potent the substance is in terms of establishing physical dependence. Given that a two-week prescription of the drug can already pose severe withdrawal symptoms, how much more an unprescribed excessive use.
How Does Oxycodone Cause Withdrawal
Oxycodone is the prominent substance included in opioid pain relievers such as Oxycontin and Percocet. As a semi-synthetic opioid, it binds with the natural opioid receptors of the body and changes the way the brain perceives pain, resulting in intense relief. It also induces an increased amount of dopamine which leads to euphoria or a sense of high.
This mechanism of the substance is what causes physical dependence, a state where the body completely relies on the drug to function normally. Without its presence, the body becomes extremely disturbed and reacts negatively by igniting withdrawal symptoms which can be painful and quite overwhelming to endure.
With excessive use, the drug can make a person suffer from severe withdrawal over a long period, depending on the duration and degree of substance abuse. Life-threatening conditions await those who have used the drug in conjunction with other potent and addictive substances, as well as those with a history of serious physical and mental illnesses.
Can Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms Be Prevented
It is difficult to tell how withdrawal symptoms can be prevented during treatment. When physicians prescribe Oxycodone, they usually assess a person’s medical history, start with the lowest possible dose, and increase the dosage gradually depending on how much it helps patients cope with their pain.
Some patients who have been prescribed narcotic painkillers before are usually shifted to Oxycodone treatment if it fails to work for them. These cases require a higher dose of Oxycodone compared to those who have no history of opioid prescription at all because of their high tendency for opioid tolerance.
There are also various forms of Oxycodone treatment which affects the amount of dosage required for every person. The two forms of Oxycodone are the extended-release and immediate release medications which can be capsules, tablets, or liquid. The extended-release ones are more suited to individuals who have a history of opioid treatment.
Each form of Oxycodone needs specific measures to follow and this must be carefully done to avoid the habit-forming factor of the drug. It is never advisable to shift forms of treatment since each contains a different strength of the substance and doing so requires a different set of doses. It is best to always heed the advice of one’s physician when it comes to doses.
By carefully following the prescriptions given by the physician upon treatment, getting addicted to the drug or increasing one’s tolerance to it could be avoided. This is essential because once a withdrawal is determined necessary, long and complex detox treatment can also be prevented.
However, no matter how cautious prescriptions have been given to patients, withdrawal symptoms are still imminent considering the chemical makeup of the substance. It is best to constantly work with one’s physician from pain treatment up to withdrawal so that coping with the symptoms can be made more manageable.
Several case studies have revealed that by carefully following the doctor’s prescription, patients are more likely to get through withdrawal in at least two weeks. Although symptoms started severely as soon as the dosage was decreased, conditions were alleviated through the supervision of a physician.
The chances of experiencing post-acute withdrawal syndrome – a withdrawal that can last for months – are less likely with those who have used the drug as prescribed. However, this does not also guarantee that the symptoms can be mild since a person’s overall health condition determines the degree of withdrawal one can experience.
When Should Oxycodone Treatment Be Stopped
Oxycodone treatment can be stopped as soon as recommended by the physician. With regular monitoring of the patient’s response to treatment, stopping Oxycodone can be determined especially when one reaches stability in a specific dose. However, this must not be done by quitting cold turkey. Dosage must strictly be tapered off with medical approval.
Averagely, the dosage can be lowered to at most 50% each day but then again, this all depends on one’s response to the detox treatment. Some patients experience withdrawal symptoms so severe that doctors would return to the original dose and then taper off to about 10% of the original dosage each week.
In line with decreasing the dose, doctors would also recommend medications that can help one cope with the withdrawal syndrome. Clonidine is best prescribed as part of the detox treatment plan. It helps one relieve physical withdrawal symptoms. Antidepressants can also be added to the list to relieve one from mental withdrawal symptoms.
There is no specific dose that determines the prevention of Oxycodone withdrawal syndrome. Some studies share that treatment with the substance in less than two weeks can save one from experiencing withdrawal, however; these studies remain limited to only a few respondents.
There are also instances of patients experiencing mild withdrawal symptoms only. Those who have never been into opioid use in the past or those who have healthier physical and mental health dispositions are counted in this list. In terms of those who are at a higher risk for oxycodone withdrawal, the seniors and pregnant women are in the list.
Despite this uncertain gauge of whether one is vulnerable to experiencing severe withdrawal or not, a medically supervised detox treatment is proven to be highly reliable in helping one cope with the severity of withdrawal. It is best to always seek the help of professional experts rather than withdrawing from the substance all alone to ensure one’s safety upon treatment.