I had knee replacement surgery 5 weeks ago. From that point in time I was prescribed a daily dosage of oxycodone that averaged about 15 mg/day, a relatively low dosage. After finishing several weeks of physical therapy, I started my cold-turkey withdrawal 4 days ago - no more drug, period. So this is a very typical profile of a person who has had NO other addictions to any drugs and does not have any chronic pain problems that requires continual usage of oxycodone.
I have endured the typical withdrawal symptoms - shivers, sweating, anxiety, tingling, and depression - as reported by many others. But I could not find good comments for other oxycodone withdrawal questions with this typical profile since many of the commenters have admitted to extensive oxycodone use in the past.
My question: what's ahead for me? Am I over the bad part, or is there a lot more bad stuff to come? How long does the withdrawal effects last? Physically? Mentally? Surely there are many of you in a very similar limited-first-time-with-oxycodone-for-surgery situation who can give advice. Thanks for any info and help.
Hey,,you have had a small dose and the symptoms should not stick around too long...I do have a question for you though,,I need a total knee myself and I am prolonging the situation but the knee is shot??How was post surgery and how are you doing now?? just curious because I am next,,,Bugz
I agree with Bugsy, you'll be glassy-eyed for awhile longer, expect some anxiety and possible depression. I was coming off of about 4 7.5 Hydros a day. I had been on them for 4 months solid for pain management, which led to addiction. Prior to that I was off and on as needed for almost 2 years. As I remember, the 4th day in WD was the worse for me. It slowly got better. By 2 weeks I was free and clear of symptoms, pretty much, but I was physically weak from the whole deal. I'm into a summer sport that requires me to be in good shape, and I wasn't anywhere near being in the usual shape I need to be in by springtime. Opiates can take a lot out of you physically. you'll need to catch up a bit to get back to where you were.
My hospital stay was 4 days + 3 nights at an excellent quality metro hospital. My oxycodone usage began immediately after the operation (for which I took the time to do the research to find one of the top docs in the city - I strongly recommend this!). I was walking on the new knee using a walker within hours of coming back into my hospital room after surgery (they encourage this). And I had no pain.
Then I went home. Each day I walked more and more freely, and used a passive-motion machine daily at home to flex my knee. Basically spent two weeks at home before the bandages came off and the staples come out. All the while I had no significant pain, but I hated the constant discomfort of the heavy bandages. But the common saying "every day it gets better" is really true.
But you MUST have some caregiver available (at least in the evenings) for these first TWO weeks at home because there will be many details in dressing and moving about for which you will need another person to help you. And you will not be able to drive during that time as well (i.e. it is likely you cannot resume work). And you typically will have a physical therapist and an occupational therapist visit you at home periodically. The former helps set up at-home exercises for you to do; the latter helps configure your home setup to make it easier to do exercises.
Then you typically go on to have several (4-6) weeks usually twice a week of out-patient physical therapy in order to strengthen the knee and to achieve its maximum mobility.
At the present, my knee is great and close to max mobility. I am walking normally with no pain and have no trouble with stairs or cycling. But, as was the point of my question, the big problem I am having was the "hell" of withdrawal, especially with depression and anxiety. But I am doing the right thing: stopping the drug now (and I got rid of my pills so I could not change my mind) and working with my doctor to get myself through the withdrawal.
Bottomline: you will have a great knee for 20-25 years so it IS worth it, but the process is long (say, 6 weeks for the whole thing) and definitely not a "walk in the park".
Well, I starting day 8 - and the two remaining symptoms is depression/loneliness and loss of appetite. Otherwise I am physically fine. But the depression is what is really scaring me now. I had thought that my relatively light exposure (compared to many others) would allow me to be holding my chin up by now ...
I have been assured by a very knowledgeable practitioner that I will be back to normal by day 14. I am hoping so much that she is right.
Is there anyone out there who has had a comparable exposure who can comment on their wd experience?
I think my time period of usage was similar, maybe longer but short in comparison to some? I used oxycodone daily for severe pain about 3 months before quitting, and then I did a really short taper. I still had horrible withdrawals; the works. The depression and anxiety will get better soon, too, especially since you were not on it long. It lasted only about 6 days after the physical symptoms subsided for me. Everyone is different though. Just remember this too shall pass, and you are not alone. Good karma coming your way!
Toketeeman~ I'm just checking on you! How are you doing now? Weekends can be a bit of a "down" time. So,any plans? It helps to keep a structure to your days and get out for a bit...Let me know how you are. :)
Wow. Thanks so much. We're strangers, but you care so much for people. I am always afraid of imposing too much on a help-giver's time.
Luckily the weather is superb right now (Portland, Oregon), so my daughter and I have just spent 4 hours getting a lot of exercise cleaning out 10 years of accumulated junk (including tearing down a storage shed) in and around my house, and we worked outside in the sunshine a lot. But she now has her own things to attend to, so I won't see her again until late tomorrow. Well and good, even if I end up counting the hours (the late evenings are the worst). As much as her presence makes me happy, I cannot intrude too much in her life either. But we are very close, and I am very thankful for that.
I am now into day 9 and and endured a mild depression this morning as we worked. Also, back on day 8, I was surprised to wake up right into a depression that lasted most of the day. So I am understanding more how the mental effects really keep on blasting for a while instead of slowly easing off. Consequently, my daughter (an orthopedic MA, by the way) has become a little afraid with my depressions, concerned that maybe something more serious than the withdrawal is going on. But I still trust the advice I've gotten through Medhelp and have calmed her down about it, although I often trust her judgement, too!.
And my cardio seems to be really reduced. My knees and legs are great, strong, no pain or soreness, but I get winded very quickly doing some good exertion with my upper body - like today with swinging a pick-axe and lifting debris. So I have to stop after just ten minutes of work and get my wind back. And I had read that aerobic capacity is dimished for a while, too. My very good physical therapist is also focusing now on my strength and fitness now, no longer on my knee that already does what I want it to do. So this should just be a matter of continuing to exercise, exercise, exercise.
And I will continue to work outside the house the rest of today and tomorrow - while hoping the depression waves finally stop. So I do have some semblance of a structure plan for a little ways ahead.
Sorry I'm such a talker - inherited from my dad, I guess. But all these words help me to cope and feel better. Thanks again for checking in. I can't wait for all this stuff to pass, and yet I need to be patient - I do believe that I only have a few more days to push through.
- toketeeman ("toketee" from the chinook jargon, meaning "swift and graceful" - LOL!)
LOL...probably an accurate screen name. Glad you checked in. It's never an imposition.
As much as what you're feeling depression wise is normal,I need to caution you. If this
persists longer than 2 weeks,you need to contact your physician. It's natural...with
the withdrawal and surgery,brain chemistry can be disrupted. It doesn't take much to get it back on track,though. Are you sleeping well? Eating well? It makes a difference,as you know. Glad to hear you're doing things outside...
Post whenever you want to~not a problem.
Now Sunday evening, in the middle of day 10. I have taken much of your advice, Vicki. I spent the entire weekend outdoors in the sunshine in my yard as much as possible, busy working with my daughter to remove all the trash on my property accumulated the past 10 years ... and when my daughter was not with me, I had great conversations with three of my long-time next-door neighbors who have been very aware of the withdrawal I have been going through. And some of them have had the experiences with depression as well.
Saturday was rough with depression most of the day but the work outside made it much more tolerable. But today was better with one short wave coming in the morning and another short one in the late afternoon with both being relatively mild. So I think I have survived the weekend.
I am hopeful that the depression phase is really starting to subside. Please let it be so. I have been really shook to the core by this experience.
Now starting day 13. Days 11 and 12 were relatively depression free - best days so far -but there were a few brief mild tinges of it during those days. So in total, my physical symptoms lasted during days 1-6, my depressed period ran through days 4-10. I now have only insomnia and infrequent lingering tinges of depression/anxiety remaining. And I have read in this site that the insomnia can last a few more weeks ...
Nevertheless, today was a bit sadder, probably due to the cloudy and rainy day, but I continue to hope that the overall trend continues in the positive direction..
Hi !! I think it will continue to get better;especially once your sleep schedule is back on track. Sleep is huge!! And lack of sleep can account for those "down" times. It does
sound like the depressive feelings are becoming less and less,though. I'm happy to read that...
You are on the way to feeling great again!! I know you'll be thrilled when this little journey is over,huh? It will be...don't worry.
I forgot to mentioned that I have arranged an appointment on day 14 with my primary care doc (as per your earlier suggestion) to review the whole situation and see what additional help might be needed.
Man, will I EVER be thrilled when this "once in a lifetime" journey is over! Thanks again for all your help. You - and my daughter - have been my main sources of sustinence throughout this time.
Hey Big Guy~~~ YOU did all the work!! But,I'm happy if I helped in any way and you've been a very compliant "patient" !!! LOL
Good! You have an appt. with the doctor...you'll feel reassured after speaking with him/her and getting a quick check up. You've done well and I know it hasn't been easy.
I've been there,my friend...
Keep posting here AND post to others. You have a lot to offer!!
I can tell you bro from my experience a year ago I was taking about 8-12 10mg oxy's a day and I had enough and quit cold turkey on a Sunday night. Wednesday was the worst night, but by Thursday, I was starting to feel better by noon. I was on a happy but on an emotional roller coaster ride because I had beat it on my own for about a week ,but no hurting or nausea or diareha. I felt better than I had for a long time.
Ending day 13, I received another very mild wave of loneliness for a few hours in the evening after having a day of normalcy.
Day 14, I saw my doctor. He was quite satisified with the wd progress and emphasized to me that it is "exceedingly rare" that permanent brain chemistry damage occurs. But again in the evening for a few hours, another little wave.
Boy, this stuff gives up very, very slowly. Will day 15 be the first completely normal day for me? I will soon find out.
Hey~ You're up late! I couldn't sleep which is unusual for me. What's your excuse?
Day 15 will be fine because you will make it that way!! I think your brain chemicals will calm down very soon. If they don't...call him up. Sometimes,as I've said,they need a little help via antidepressant(short term).
You're doing great!
My excuse was to watch the long season finale of Greys Anatomy! But I also have the usual almost-expected should-be-assumed wd insomnia like so many others do ... so I'm often up at all hours now, too. But I'll take insomnia over depression any day. And I intend to avoid any anti-depressants if at all possible - I'm very addiction-shy right now!
Yep, almost there I think.
Well, day 15 was a bust. I woke up directly into some anxiety, and then it mostly disappeared but I could feel the edge of down-ness all day long. I immediately followed your suggestion and contacted my doc whom I had just met with the day before, and he proscribed 20mg daily of citalopram on a temporary basis. I will see the doc again now in 2 weeks to monitor the situation. I was assured that I would not become addicted again from this short exposure. We will see ... what a disappointment.
And I have been researching citalopram (i.e. celexa) to see how bad it can be ...
Thanks for giving me advanced warning of this possibility.
Hey~ It's okay. It's not going to be bad. Let go of any negativity here. This is an anti depressant along the lines of Paxil,Prozac etc... It will get you over the "hump" and you won't become addicted to it per se'. It's recommended that it be tapered a bit prior to discontinuing...that way blood levels won't plummet all at once. Your doctor sounds great. He sees this as a temporary episode and put you on the lowest dose possible.
You'll notice it's effect in 1-4 weeks (usually 2 with each day better). The effect is subtle.
You'll just begin to feel "okay"...
Hang in there! BTW I read "Grey's Anatomy" was great last night. I didn't see it. I like
"Bones" and "Fringe". LOL I'll watch Grey tonight!!
Now going into day 17, two days with the anti-depressant. Unfortunately, I am still having down/sad periods. I hope this is a temporary of an adjustment to the drug because I felt better back on days 13 and 14 ... my daughter keeps encouraging me, take it day by day. Gotta keep going.
hi cangads on day 17 ....I have taken celexa b/4 it takes a wile for it to start to work
usually around 2 weeks till it builds up enough in your system to be effective...coming off narcotics send a lot of people into depression the celexa should help but your just going to have to give it some time...also the longer your clean the less symptoms you should have...look up the amino acids in the health pages on the right of the screen they help out alot...also I drink whey protein shakes you can pick it up at walmart for 15buck a 2lb can
it is loaded with vitamins as well as amino acids along with the protein all of witch the brain needs to heal you might give it a try..it helped me...god luck and God bless...Gnarly
Thank you, gnarly_1 and vicki595 for your great reassurance. Sometimes I over-research things, and I've read that having some down times after starting an anti-depressant is one symptom for which I should "immediately" call my doc. So I appreciate your mutual common sense.
Yes, I'm been a little bit of a shut-in this weekend due to horrible wet overcast cold weather here in the PNW (having a very late spring), but I will be going out very soon to do some yard work - the sun FINALLY broke out! I can open my petals again! Ha!
Just a progress report, for the sake of providing information to others ... recall this all started from 5 weeks exposure to 15 mg per day of oxycodone for pain management after my knee surgery. Compared to most, that's a pretty liight exposure. Nevertheless, apparently I am extrememly sensitive to the drug and therefore became addicted. Consequently I went cold turkey over three weeks ago.
unfortunately the wd effects extended beyond 2 weeks for me. In particular days 18-19 was marked by a sharp 15-minute dehabiliting anxiety episode followed by at least 18 straight-hours of the most extreme fatigue. I had started the anti-depressant citalopram at day 15, but it's hard to tell whether these symptoms were due to it or the original withdrawal.
I'm now at day 22 in the wd and day 8 with the citalopram with the last 3 straight days feeling O.K. (a milestone!) except for insomia with a mild lack of energy and occasional episodes of restless legs. Interestingly I tried Hylands Restful Legs for the RLS but that failed. Then I discovered that RLS could also erupt from iron deficiency - so I popped a couple of dietary iron pills - and they worked! What can I say?
So I think I am finally getting into the clear. (All fingers and toes crossed!) Thanks to many of you who helped me so much, especially in those difficult early periods of depression I went through.
Prior to spinal surgery earlier this year (severe spinal stenosis of the lumbar area), I was in a significant AMOUNT of pain and had been prescribed Oxycodone to the tune of 240mg/day..(that is a lot !). I am now down to 15-20mg/day...4 months after my surgery. And yes the weaning process is a formidible battle. It seems that I have experienced all the typical side effects while taking the drug and through the weaning process. It is rather de-moralizing ! One of the less common side effects that I have experienced and still do is severe 'cramping' in my leg calves. Anybody ever have this problem ?
I wonder how u would have gone if u slowly reduced it over time - even a month long. The slower the better. U can use the older oxycontin pills as they are easier to break up than oxycodone. Though the newer oxycontin (pills marked with OP) have some special stuff so u cant chew them up.
Glad your doing better. Im just coming off oxycodone slowly ( I have to as I have CFS and cant afford much withdrawl). I have come off morphine slowly no problem at all. Seems Oxycodone may be more difficult. Its hard to know as im not coming off it because I dont have any pain anymore, but because my body gets resistant to it fast. If i take it constantly I will be resistant in 8 days. So Ive just been having 1 dose in the night. Which gives me about 3-4 weeks before it stops working. Its rough stuff.
wow 5 years, and you quit, may I ask what prompted you to go off oxycodone? I am going on 4 years, I am in severe pain 24/7 but the oxy's is what gets me through day by day, I am taking 8 to 10 30mg a day, close to 9 pills in an 18hour span, I am running out before my appointment and my doctor will not help me until I see him next thrusday and I am freaking out, I have 3 pills laid out for each day until next thrusday, and my doc ordered me tramadol, I am like what, are you serious, that is not acceptable, I was furious, how can a pain mgmt doc do that when he should know what the withdrawls are like, knowing I am use to 9 a day, for the past 2 years and told him I would be out by this saturday if I stay at only 7 a day, and the receptionist said sorry but that is the best he can do is give you TRAMADOL, so I am feeling withdrawls and severe pain, and freaking out, who can help me here.
I was on tramadol for 7 years and decided to quit taking them in 2011. The withdrawals were absolutely horrible. So last fall due to some issues I began using oxycodone, hydrocone, oxycontin, etc... whatever I could get. Obviously not for physical pain, but to deal with a divorce and his new gf (they made me not care). 8 months later I was not taking as many as most, but I was taking enough when I realized I was hooked. So, my idiotic self went to my dr and got tramadol thinking it would help me wean off the opiates. After one month of taking 1-2 tramadol a day I tried to stop and within 24 hours of taking my last pill felt like I was losing my mind... like I wanted to rip my skin off. So, I went and got some oxycodone 5's, which I was taking for a month about 10-15mg a day. I took my last dose Monday...it's now Thursday. I have had some withdrawals.... nervousness, agitation, crying, chills, sleeplessness, but NOTHING like with tramadol. Don't take it! I will say that Xanax for the last 3 days has been a lifesaver. I take one .05 mg Xanax during the day at work, and then the night time withdrawal ease capsules at night, which consist of melatonin, etc. Day 3 for me (today) I have experienced the worst physical symptoms so far and I'm hoping it they get better, not worse, from here. IMO I think that it's just that your nerves, colon, etc. have been numbed by the drug for so long that they "wake up" and that's what you feel. At least that's what I keep telling myself. My ending statement will be to reiterate DON'T TAKE TRAMADOL... the WD's are MUCH worse.
I am wondering why you went cold turkey. I have been on oxy after my knee repl. and at 10 weeks I had tapered down to 3 5m. a day so I thought I could stop at that point. I am definitely feeling the nausea and fighting the depression. At this point I wonder if I should take one a day just to ease off a little slower. I have only been off for about a day. I have been supplementing with Advil for the edema in my knee and the pain I still have. Any thoughts?
I have been taking 10mg oxycodone for 9 months now for chronic back pain due to ruptured discs in my lower back. I can go several days without taking the oxy but when I do I get really depressed. I feel like I just want to crawl into a hole and die. I also get bad hand tremors and anxiety. I am hoping to have my surgery soon (worker's comp keeps jerking me around) and recover so I can stop taking them for good.
I am at week three following surgery, and doing very well, but ready to stop the Percocet. Pain-wise it is no problem, but I am feeling depressed and 'achy' so checked out the withdrawal symptoms, one of which is achy bones. I can identify with that. One place said it should be done gradually rather than cold-turkey, so may try that. To start, I cut one of my 7 1/2 pills in half to see if that relieves the symptoms. If it does not, then I will start tomorrow by taking half the number of doses, then gradually cut each dose lower by splitting the pills. Am hoping that will get me through it with fewer of the unpleasant symptoms. And to the person who was wondering about it, you gave a good description of how it goes. The only thing I would add to it is that it is VERY IMPORTANT that you work on getting mobility back by doing you daily exercises. I just had my second knee done, but the first one is like normal, and expect great things a few months out after I finish the therapy on this one, too.
Hi there..just ran across this..it is so sad that health care professionals have to be the gatekeepers so rigidly when people are in pain. I just wish they could experience what we do. I have been on 20 mg oxcontin 2X day and 15 mg oxcodone 4 times day. I am down to the oxycodone only 1/2 pill a day and am in tremendous pain. The stupid thing is that no matter what dose we are all on, we are addicts as we just are and that is what we are labelled. Stupid stigma.. However I am trying to wean off of everything so I can see what my real pain is and my real needs and will go back on if I need to. I have severe facial pain, trigeminal neuralgia back, neck issues, etc...pain pain pain. I hate it. I used to be a great runner and now I can barely survive one hour at a time. I have a pc that works closely with me and monitors my drugs. Oxcontin lasts longer in system, but again, addictive. I wish I had really understood all of this when I started, however, the 15 advil a day was killing me. Tramedol does nothing for me. If you take 2 advil and 2 tylenol that acts kind of like a narcotic, but I would check with doctor first before doing this. So sorry you are in pain.
Hip trouble for me that ended in total hip replacement.
I was on 2-40mg's control release twice a day and 2-7.5 every four hours for almost three months before surgery on 8/26/13. I left the hospital on day four and eased myself off of the controlled release within a week.
8 days ago I stopped the 7.5 mg's cold turkey and I am paying a heavy price, Constant headaches, flu like symptoms and no sleep without sleeping pills.
I know that I could just start taking them again but I don't want to. Both my orthopedist and GP have told me they will wean me off, but I thought I would try it on my own. What a mistake!!!
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