- Causes, Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Withdrawal
- Symptoms of Withdrawal from Percocet
- Severity of Withdrawal Symptoms
- Treatment for Percocet Withdrawal
- Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment
- Help Someone Cope with Withdrawal
What is Percocet Withdrawal? Are There Withdrawals from Percocet Use?Percocet is a drug that contains a combination of Oxycodone and acetaminophen, both pain relievers.
Quitting Percocet while suffering from a physical dependency on the drug can produce an array of withdrawal symptoms.
Oxycodone, the more potent pain relievers found in Percocet, belongs to a class of drugs known as narcotics or opioids, which are known for their high rate of abuse and dependency.
Quitting Percocet while suffering from a physical dependency on the drug can produce an array of withdrawal symptoms, some of which may be very difficult to cope with.
Causes, Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Withdrawal
Withdrawal is the set of symptoms a person experiences when he or she stops taking a drug, forcing the body to adapt abruptly to functioning without that substance.
Withdrawal symptoms may be very different from one class of drugs to the next, depending on how the drug affected the body.
In the case of Percocet, the oxycodone works by targeting certain receptors in the brain and interfering with pain signals.
It may also interfere with receptors related to the body’s reward system and breathing regulation. When a person suddenly stops taking Percocet, withdrawal symptoms occur as these receptors in the brain adapt to working without the effects of the drug.
To experience withdrawal symptoms, most people must be physically dependent on the drug. It’s important to note that it’s possible to be physically dependent on Percocet without
being mentally dependent or addicted. A classic sign of physical dependence is a growing tolerance to the drug, meaning the user requires a higher amount of the drug to achieve the same effects.
The manner in which a physically dependent person stops taking Percocet is important. Abruptly discontinuing Percocet is also a sure way to induce withdrawal symptoms.
To minimize the withdrawal process, medical professionals recommend slowly tapering off the Percocet intake over a prolonged period.
Mixing certain substances with Percocet may also produce withdrawal symptoms. This is most true of substances that interfere with Percocet’s function and stop it from working properly in the brain.
A class of drugs known as opioid antagonists has this effect, and some examples include naltrexone, pentazocine, and butorphanol.
Symptoms of Withdrawal from Percocet
In general, withdrawal from an opioid, like Percocet, is characterized by milder symptoms at first, which may become more severe later on.
Flu-like symptoms are characteristic of early Percocet withdrawal. These symptoms may include:
- Watery eyes.
- Runny nose.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the onset of symptoms may occur within a day of quitting the drug, but in the coming days, more severe symptoms may develop. These include:
- Irritability and anxiety.
- Muscle and joint pain.
- Stomach cramps.
- High blood pressure.
- Shallow breathing.
- Increased heart rate.
Opioids can also produce a condition in some people known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or protracted withdrawal syndrome. People experiencing protracted withdrawal may continue to experience some symptoms, particularly psychiatric symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, or depression, for months after stopping Percocet use.
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Severity of Withdrawal Symptoms
In general, acute withdrawal symptoms from Percocet—that is, the symptoms that occur directly after a person stops taking the drug—are uncomfortable, but not life-threatening.
Severe withdrawal symptoms affect your breathing, blood pressure and heart rate.The most serious symptoms are those involving the cardiorespiratory system, and affect the patient’s breathing, blood pressure, or heart rate.
Psychiatric symptoms are the most uncomfortable part of the protracted withdrawal syndrome. A psychiatric evaluation may be necessary for patients experiencing severe anxiety and depression.
The severity of these symptoms, in some cases, may cause a relapse because the individual goes back to using Percocet to escape the discomfort of withdrawal.
- Heavy use of Percocet.
- Long use of Percocet.
- Abrupt stopping of use.
Treatment for Percocet Withdrawal
There are a number of medications that may be administered to help patients cope with their Percocet withdrawal symptoms. Clonidine and Lofexidine are two drugs that are commonly prescribed to help with some of the most typical opioid withdrawal effects, including:
- Runny nose.
Another drug called buprenorphine is also commonly prescribed and may work better than other medications. A 2009 literature review found that buprenorphine is more effective in reducing the signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal than clonidine or lofexidine.
Comparisons between buprenorphine and methadone were less conclusive, but there’s some evidence to suggest that buprenorphine resolves withdrawal symptoms faster.
These people may experience mood changes including irritability, anxiety, or depression and may benefit from a psychiatric evaluation.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment
For people undergoing treatment for Percocet dependency and withdrawal, several kinds of treatment programs may be available. These include both inpatient and outpatient programs.
Help Someone Cope with Withdrawal
During the withdrawal process, one of the biggest concerns is the risk of relapse. Some studies have examined the importance of social support during the recovery process.
Having a support system of friends and family members is critical to a successful recovery.A 2015 literature review on long-term outcomes of opioid addiction indicated that relationships with friends and family and social support is important in the recovery process and maintaining substance abstinence. Having a support system of friends and family members who support abstinence from the drug is critical to a successful recovery.
Participation in a support group may be helpful for friends or family members of a person going through withdrawal. Support groups can help people cope with their feelings and, in turn, be a better support system for others.
Nar-Anon is a general program for friends and family of people suffering from addiction, particularly to narcotics.
Friends and family members may also wish to encourage the individual going through withdrawal to join a support group geared toward people suffering from addiction, such as Narcotics Anonymous.
- National Institutes of Health
- Food and Drug Administration
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Buprenorphine for the management of opioid withdrawal
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Outpatient versus inpatient opioid detoxification: a randomized controlled trial
- Social support and relapse: Commonalities among alcoholics, opiate users, and cigarette smokers
- Long-term course of opioid addiction