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Withdrawl from Oxycotin

I have been on a different pain killer for the past 7 months due to a knee injury. I started on hydrocodone/apap 7.5/500. After about a month, I stated to the doc that it didn't seem as if the pills were working, so he uped me to 10/650. I stayed on these up until my knee replacement last month, to when he discharged me with Oxycotin. I am now finishing with part of my therapy, and am trying to wein myself from the pain meds.
I've been taken to the ER twice thinking I was having heart attacks, been having shortness of breathe, chest pains, headaches, anxiety attacks, vomiting.
I was diagnosed as starting withdrawl, and prescribed Ativan.
How long should I expect these symptoms to remain, and is there anything other besides putting me on more drugs?
112 Responses
Avatar universal
How scarey that must have been for you, and i want to say that i admire your smartness about wanting to get away from meds altogether!!!
Personally, i think the best way to get away from taking the oxys would be a slow tapper off, and your dr should be able to help you with.  When done slow enough, then it should be relatively painless.  Good thing you don't have addictive tendencies, because this drug is one to fear!!!
Watch the Adivan, and make sure that you don't continue taking those for too long.  2-weeks time should get you away from everything, completely.  Your doctor should be able to help you, and if he doesn't he should be shot!!!
Good luck!
Avatar universal
You are both smart and lucky that you are going to taper. It sounds like you never developed a psychological addiction, and I'm very, very glad for you that you did not.

I had been on hydrocodone for over two years for chronic back pain, and during those two years, I was psychologically addicted, but not yet physcially. During that time, I took it 3 or 4 times per week, in the evenings, and 2 or 3 pills would really feel good..give me the pain relief and a high that I came to really love.  When the pain got worse, and I was preparing for surgery, my Doc told me to take it every 6 hours. This gave me better pain relief, but...then I also had the physical dependance. I recently had the surgery, and was given oxycontin for two months. I didn't crush the pills, just took two 20mgs twice a day, with about 4 vicoprofens in between for breakthrough.  I'm now off the oxy, and trying to taper off the vicoprofen, because I was abusing them, and am mentally as well as physically addicted.

If anyone had told me, when I first started treatment for back pain, that I would get addicted, I'd have never believed them. I have never had a problem with substance abuse before (I'm 38) and thought I was immune.

Anyway...I hope you can taper slowly off the oxy. I know that moving from oxy to hydrocodone only was hard on me...lots of sweating, chills, anxiety...very uncomfortable. That lasted about three days before my body adjusted to just the hydrocodone. I don't know how long you'd expected to have withdrawals last if you stay stopped on the oxy. But, whichever way you go, I wish all the best and hope that you are able to be as comfortable as possible while you go off this.  

How is your pain level these days?

Avatar universal
...I am also on Oxycontin, and like Witchey W. I wasn't your typical drug addict either.  I have to tell you though, Oxycontin is very powerful.  I am taking 1 20mg (equiv. of 4 Tylox w/ no tylenol) twice a day or every 6 hours for chronic pain.  My diag. is multiple trauma w/ injuries also involving the knee.  I do believe that knee surgeries are rough.  I had arthroscopic knee surg. last year, and the doc said this will buy me a couple of years, and I too may be facing a knee replacement,not to mention the hip replacement also.  Anyway, I was given Oxycontin after a long 8 year battle to find or receive pain relief of any sort.  Although, I know they are powerful and a Godsend for pain, I do acknowledge the addictive factor being like no other, or almost like no other.  I am keeping a close watch on how many I take, and I am trying to ween myself off of them too.  I would like to keep them on the side for bad weather days, and the winter, but you and I both know that when we aggree to take this medication it can be like signing a  pact w/ the devil, because once your on them....you almost have to keep taking them forever, because the withdrawals are sooo severe.  If you feel like you can deal w/ the pain on other meds.....then by all means do so.  Best of luck, and talk to me anytime.
Avatar universal
Angelica, did you actually feel a high from the oxy?
I ask because, I did not. Right after my surgery two months ago, I was told to take 2 to 3 20mg oxycontins twice a day, and it never got me high, it just relieved the pain. I knew that it is a highly addictive drug, but I didn't see what all the fuss was about. I later learned that people crush them to break the time release seal...LOL  it is a damn good thing I didn't realize that at the time.
Avatar universal
Hi You'uns:

I guess you've read my previous posts about all the oxy I've been taking for over two years now? I have a feeling you're right, Angelica; I'll be taking this stuff for the rest of my life. Thomas has been very helpful in the "new perspective" department, pointing out that oxy does give me a chance to have a life, and that's a chance I wouldn't have with only plain ol' oxycodone.

Even that being the case, I'm always on the lookout for people who report getting off oxycontin - just in case y'know. Can you (or anyone reading) say by what technique you've gotten yourself free of this drug? I would appreciate knowing very much.

Avatar universal
Just wanted to say that my husband just got off of oxys and methadone.  He is in a wonderful rehab right now, and they actually got him off of everything in 5 amazing days only!!!
I still can't believe it!!!!!  He had been taking them for a long time too, shooting them up no less.
They used phenobarbatol, and i think that was it.  Maybe a little something to help him sleep, and a mild muscle relaxure for the cramps.  But after 5 days, nothing was given to him at all.  He just got approved for a mild sedative to help him sleep.  He has a lot anxiety anyway, naturally.
Good luck with your tapering, and i'm in the same boat, i have to be clean by the time be comes home!!!!  HELP!!!!
Lv Jenny
Avatar universal
Hi Francoise,
I'm not sure that my experience getting off oxy really counts, since I pretty much just switched right on over back to vicoprofen, but...I'll tell you what I did.

Oxy gave me fantastic pain relief and no high, so in some ways I was very scared to go back to vicoprofen, as the vico has a high abuse potential for me.

At the highest, I was taking 60 mgs oxy twice a day, but most of the time I took 40 twice a day. When my Doc told me it was time to get off them, I went down first to 2 20 mgs, had no problem with that. A few days later I went to 10 mgs in the morning, and 20 at night. Three days later, I went to 10mg twice a day.
After that, I switched over to only vicoprofen. That is when the %$&* hit the fan. I was taking 8 to 12 vicoprofens a day and still having withdrawals. My symptoms were chills, sweating, low grade fever, achiness.  It lasted around 4 days. What did help was taking some amitryptalline (elavil, I had an old rx left over from when I took it for headaches). Taking about 50 mgs of the elavil let me get some sleep and seemed to stop some of the discomfort.

Avatar universal
I agree with what's been said to you on this thread. I do find your "symptom set" a little out of the ordinary for opiate withdrawal. Usually, the primary withdrawal symtoms involve extreme diahrea, hot/cold sweats, severe muscle aches in the limbs, especially the thighs and stomach, insomnia, anxiety and craving for the drug. Everyone's a little bit different, I suppose, but I'm still surprised.

Take warning about the Ativan. Get off of that as soon as you don't need it. If you're on it more than a few months, though, I strongly suggest tapering off the Ativan. It took me three withdrawal seizures to learn about Ativan and other benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes. Having withdrawn almost literally a thousand times over thirty plus years of rx narcotics addiction, I find benzo withdrawal simply terrifying, as opposed to narcotics withdrawal which is merely miserable.

Avatar universal
welcome to the forum. from the age of 14 up thru my 30s i took
every opiate i could get my hands on. i did anything for morphine, dilauded, heroin,etc. i never gave a thought to what i'ld do if i
ever really needed a opiate pain killer' 18 years of cleaning up
my hand and my cervical spine went to hell.i'm 50 now, have intractable constant pain.i now take 40-60 mgs of oxy contin twice
a day & 5-6 irs in between.i've worked through the guilt issues of
this. I also take frequent vacations from oxy. I do this so i can feel somethig only if the pain in my neck, to let my natural body
functions catch up, and to have a sex life with my wife. I do
a fast ta[er with irs 12 the first day 9 the next day,6 the next
day,etc.. I also take  thomsa mix of l-tyrosine/b vitamens. add to
this 8- 12 oz glasses a day and some choclate in small amounts. i don't know if this will work for you- but it does for me. hint:
once you taper down to zero stash a couple of good blasts in safty
deposit bank box and flush the rest. when you need more the drug
store wii have plenty to fill your next rx.

hang in there,we all need each other
Avatar universal
Hey guys! I am back......well, I never really left. It's just that I have had a hard time posting (Hmmm, wonder why!?!). Anyway I hope all of my old friends are still out there. In case anyone is interested Deb and I haven't used oxy's in months! I don't keep track of the days anymore because it is a constant reminder of how things use to be. I just want to say to anyone trying to beat the addiction of oxycontin...YOU CAN DO IT! Trust me! I look forward to being back on a regular basis as I have alot of "interesting" stuff to share with you guys! Chad
Avatar universal
This is Wren again. So I went to the doctor and he said my liver enzymes were high - what does this mean? He has put me on vicoprofen - what is the amount that is o.k. for me to take a day? Does anyone know? Also, since this has ibuprofen in it, what organ or systems do I need to be worried about? I think the tylenol in the lortab made my liver enzymes go up. If I stop taking ANY tylenol products, will it go down? Also, my triglycerides are high - could that be caused by my high liver enzymes or the lortab? I guess I see more now why I cannot continue doing this. Any comments would be much appreciated.
Avatar universal
Wren, due to chronic liver disease, I've had numerous blood tests done.  Large amounts of Tylenol or alcohol or both can really screw up the results.  I have copies here of results with my enzyme levels pretty high and they are explained as probably due to alc. or Tyl. and circled. As far as triglyceride levels, mine are well over 200.  My HDL and LDL levels are generally 17 and 90, respecively. SGOT and SGPT are 177 and 114. I take about 1200 mgs of Tylenol per day which is in my pain med compound. I am starting to get better results which indicates to me that the liver has very good regenerative properties.

Thomas, latley I've been taking Xanax more than usual for sleep. Sometimes I will get a tingling sensation in my finger tips and the feeling of falling. My dose is .5mg per night for the past thirty days. Marty has been taking more than that for almost eight years now and says that she has experienced the same side effects. Can you shed any light on this?

Chad, it's good to have you back and sounding optimistic again!

Avatar universal
Hey Chad my man,,,,,Where the hell have you been..I haven't even gotten an e-mail from you and deb....consider this a scolding young man  LOL  clean from oxys  good for you.....but now the big question....have yo been behavin?  no gerbils or small dogs??  LOL    love you                           Wren....I am almost afraid to have my enymes checked...Thomas and JB can tell you about the liver...even though Some of us here are i the medical profession,,,experience is our best teacher.....these guys have the experience    Love to all      cin
Avatar universal
Hey Ladies,,,,Jules,,,,you go girl,,the truths does truly set us free....Wren, I forgot to mention to you that I think it is Thomas....old wise one LOL that recommends Milk Thistle to help repair liver function,,It could be the other one JB,,,,one of those 2 have talked about this I think it is an herb.....These guys, wiz, kip, JB, MIlo Thomas,,,Man they have been my life savers....
Avatar universal
good to see ya back ole boy!.....I'll talk to ya when I think I can't get off this darn stuff by myself.  LOL  

CIN: hi there....lady marmalade sp?  LOL lmao

Avatar universal
.....I forgot to say this:  When I find myself pain free, and I am taking this medication daily....I tend to think of myself as being "PAIN free and needing to get off.  I think that is the brains way of tricking us into thinking we don't need the meds, because the pain is being releived....does that make any sense.  Anyway, I tried tapering, and the pain was definately there 10 fold, and I was not accustomed to it or the increases being so numb for 2 months......
Avatar universal
when re-reading my post about the opiates up there.....
I realize that these w/drawals are a peice of cake...... when taking the benzos into consideration.  It's funny how these doctors want to give you this as a way to taper down or help w/ the withdrawals, only to put you into a more dangerous (also addictive) situation.  I guess on the other hand though, there are no miracle drugs period, huh?  I think you gave some good advice up there.  Did you have any seizures lately??  Hope your doing ok.  I believe stressing this possibility to others will help, because some people probably don't even know about this.  I didn't until you told me about it.  
Avatar universal
Hello to anyone who cares,  I had a major breakthrough last night.  I finally told my husband about my Ultram abuse!  It was not nearly as awful as I thought it would be.  I truly feel his love and support for me.  Now I am comitted to getting help.  He is trying to be as understanding as possible.  I can't believe how it was tearing me apart inside to be holding this in. Well thank you all for being there and I will let you know what happens next!
JENNY - When is your husband coming home and how are you doing cleaning yourself up?  Maybe you should talk to one of his therapists and ask them what you should tell him about your using.  It is so easy to read other paoples posts and give adivce when its not yourself right?  WREN - You really need to talk to a medical professional about all the questions you asked in your post.  CINDI  - Hi buddy How are things?  Love to all

Does anyone know of a godd pain addiction therapist or center in Northern NJ or NYC. Thanks
Avatar universal
Witchey woman.....I love your handle!  I find myself singing that song "witchy woman......see how high she flies..... or something like that..lmao  About the Oxys:  I don't know if you were here the first time I posted about my exp. w/ them.  After the doc telling me that I needed long term meds w/ little to no tylenol for pain relief and that my pain would def. increase...I decided to take them.   The darn things sat on my med shelf for several days.  Then the moment of truth came: LOL  I took one(this was a big media feeding frenzy at the time where I live)and terrified that I'd have some sort of heroin-like experience ...I watched the clock and sat down in a chair and did not move for 1 hour  LOL.  I like you, did not realize that people were tampering w/them....to get a powerful rush all at once instead of 6-12hours....  Anyway, 1hour passed no high no dizziness......no euphoria....notta!  So, duh me, I thought I got ahold of a bad batch, or the sneaky pharmacist traded them out for something else.lmao  Anyway: Glad you beat this thing and your off.....I'll probably be on something for the rest of my life, and I can't believe these doctors are giving this medication for something other than severe long term pain.
FRANCIOSE:  TOM is absolutely right in your case, and probably mine too.  He knows what he's talking about.  I also aggree w/ him ABOUT narcotic withdrawals as opposed to benzo withdrawals...his withdrawals can be life altering and physically changing...... that is serious biz....let me tell you.
Francoise: I can tell you one thing fer sherrrrrr that I've heard from ALLL my doctors:  Opiates do not cause organ damage or failure.....they are safe to take for the rest of your life, and like diabetics, and heart patients etc we have to learn how to live w/ this medication on a daily basis in order to move our bodies....lol  DId you see my post about the hardware???  
angelica  PS: also, my doctor showed me a dosage chart for oxy, and it goes way up there.....we are at the bottom of the totem pole, so if pain increases we should be ok....w/ tolerance.
Avatar universal
Come on,,,hey joe,,ya wanna give it a go  gitchee gitchee yayaya...LOL   but let me tell you this...Lil kim, Christina and pink.....can't hold a candle to Patti Labelle............hey where's Robby been                      love ya sista
Avatar universal
along the  thread--
if benzo are like barbs (reds, yellows,blues,etc) than the best
thing to do with em is leave em up on the shelf! Having been de-
toxed from penta barb thru the berkly method ( the cruelest,
slowest way to safely do) it i've never touched them again.
it just doesn't figure though. i've had a bottle of blue valium
in drawer for a year and never wanted  to touch one. a post sugical
swallowing problem had me taking one at night so i could at least
eat one solid meal a day. hope that swallow problem fixxed,cause
i can't stand the way they make me feel-- all stupid grins and
real doofy

Avatar universal
Thanks everyone for sharing I have been on this oxycontin for 10 m onths when i first was given this for pain my dose was one to two 40 mg's twice daily I was told to take this when the pain first stars that not to let it get severe before taking my daily dose.I now take 160 mgs in the morning and maybe one to two 80 mg's at night I want to try and get off this in hopes that the infection I have is gone the last three times I went off this the pain came back in my prostate so I had to go back on it..Can any one tell me have they had to take a dose this high?? and if I taper off can any one tell me are the symtoms really much eaiser to go through??AS I am scared but want to do this because i think I may be better now and am just taking it to get the warm fuzzy feeling so it's time that I stop..Please some one if you can offer me some information to my questions I would be for ever greatfull.And does any one know while I am withdrawing on the tapper plan,, am I safe to take something mild to help sleep and maybe a muscle relaxer..Can the withdraw be life treatening?? can it cause a heart attach or just feel like one is having one??I just want to get off this now as I would amagine the longer that I am on it the higher the dose I will have to be on and the harder it will be to get off it.. I just hope and pray gang that my condition pain that was the reason I had to take this dont come back.Does any one know if lets say I get off this but still need any pain meds will something like vicodine help after being on this oxy?? Thanks to any one who will answere my questions as I am really scared about this..But want to attempt to get off this and I hope for good god bless all for being here and god bless those that mau be going through this too..Take care and again Tahnk's Richard  r_minjares***@****
Avatar universal
I've never used Oxy Contin so take this for what it's worth.  You have been  on a very potent pain med for 10 months. Oxy Contin was originally for terminal cancer patients but got way out of control.  That warm and fuzzy feeling is what you want more than anything. I know the craving for "it" and will be the first to admit it.

If at all possible, get off of Oxy by tapering down to something like Lortab or Vicodin.  Flame away, people! I'm just someone that has gone from morphine, heroine, opium, dilaudid and several other concoctions and has survived. The point is, you have to be alive to survive.  J.B.
Avatar universal
Hello my friend. My best to Marty, as well.

The hand numbness I referred to is strictly a withdrawal seizure precursor symptom (hey, a new acronym, WSPS!)for benzos in general and usually doesn't occur until you've been out for a day or two. Just taking one at night probably wouldn't put you in my shoes if you stopped. I was on it, of course, 24/7 until I ran out. I would suggest that Marty, should she choose to quit the stuff, taper over as couple weeks and be conscious of those WSPSs.

Hope you and Marty are in good spirits and good health these days, pal.

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