Percocet Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, Causes and Treatment
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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.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a Percocet addiction, have a fear of withdrawal, and want advice about your addiction treatment options, call
1-888-993-3112Who Answers? to speak to a member of our support team.
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.
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Flu-like symptoms are characteristic of early Percocet withdrawal. These symptoms may include:
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.
High blood pressure.
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.
If you want more information on the type of treatment that is best suited for the stage of withdrawal you’re in, please call us at
1-888-993-3112Who Answers? to speak with a compassionate treatment support representative today.
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.
Behaviors linked to more severe withdrawal symptoms:
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:
For severe or long-term withdrawal, a drug called methadone may be prescribed and the patient may be put on “methadone maintenance treatment,” in which he or she receives regular doses of methadone to help with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
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.
Besides receiving medications to help with the physical symptoms, some patients may feel the need to seek psychiatric treatment as well, particularly if they’re going through a protracted withdrawal.
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.
Inpatient programs, which admit patients into a facility, are what many people associate with drug treatment. But they come in a greater variety of forms than many people might think.
In some places, patients may have the option of choosing a residential inpatient treatment program tailored to their preferences. Some examples are:
Luxury inpatient programs.
Programs for business executives.
Other people may opt for an outpatient program instead, which allows them to visit the facility regularly for treatment instead of being admitted.
At least one study has suggested that inpatient treatment may be more effective than outpatient treatment when it comes to opioid dependence, but its small sample size and certain aspects of its design suggest that further research is still necessary.
In general, outpatient programs are probably best for people with relatively mild withdrawal effects, while those suffering from more severe symptoms—particularly when psychiatric symptoms, such as anxiety or depression are present—may be better off with an inpatient program.
If you or a loved one is worried about finding the right treatment option, you can talk to a member of our support team by calling
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
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