Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline & Detox

Last Updated: January 8, 2024

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Article at a Glance

  • Oxycodone is a highly addictive opioid that comes in both short and long-acting dosage forms
  • Oxycodone withdrawal can cause many different symptoms ranging from diarrhea to anxiety
  • Withdrawal typically lasts around a week, although some symptoms may persist for a longer period
  • Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can be severe in some cases and can lead to potentially fatal complications
  • Success rates for detox are highest when you participate in an inpatient medical detox program
  • Treatments for oxycodone withdrawal include medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with methadone or buprenorphine

What Is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is an opioid that is prescribed to treat both acute and chronic pain. The drug comes in several formulations, including:

  • Short-acting oxycodone
  • Short-acting combination medications with acetaminophen, sold under brand names like Percocet
  • Long-acting oxycodone, sold under brand names like Oxycontin

Oxycodone, no matter its formulation, is a Schedule II controlled substance that carries a high risk of abuse, addiction, and dependence. If you or a loved one struggle with oxycodone, it is important to consult with a doctor about how best to wean yourself from the drug. Options may include tapering your dose of oxycodone and arranging for a long-term recovery plan like rehab.

What Is Oxycodone Withdrawal?

When you take oxycodone regularly, your brain and body become used to the drug’s presence. Suddenly quitting the drug can, therefore, cause your brain and body to struggle to adjust as you detox from oxycodone. This readjustment process is called withdrawal and can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous in some cases. For this reason, it is important to undergo the detox process while under medical supervision.

Can Oxycodone Withdrawal Lead to Death?

Oxycodone withdrawal rarely leads to death, but death can occur in some cases. Generally, this is due to complications from opioid withdrawal, such as electrolyte disturbances, including high blood sodium levels from excessive vomiting and diarrhea. In turn, heart problems can occur, which may be deadly. Managing withdrawal symptoms to avoid complications is key and can be done with effective medical supervision.

How Long Is Oxycodone Withdrawal?

Oxycodone withdrawal can last for different periods of time, depending on whether you have been taking the short or long-acting version of the drug. Although everyone’s withdrawal experience is unique, there is a general timeframe for how long oxycodone withdrawal is expected to last. Typically, withdrawal from short-acting oxycodone will start sooner but be over more quickly than withdrawal from long-acting oxycodone products like Oxycontin.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline

A typical oxycodone withdrawal timeline is as follows:

Short-acting oxycodone and oxycodone combination productsLong-acting oxycodone
Withdrawal symptoms startWithin 12 hours of the last doseWithin 30 hours of the last dose
Peak withdrawal symptomsWithin 24 to 48 hours of the last doseWithin 8 days of the last dose
Withdrawal symptoms resolveWithin 5 days of the last doseWithin 10 days of the last dose

However, some withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and insomnia, can persist for weeks or months after quitting an opioid like oxycodone. This is called protracted withdrawal and resolves on its own with time. Medical supervision and support during the withdrawal period can help treat any troublesome symptoms both in the short and longer term after you quit oxycodone.

Factors Affecting Withdrawal Duration

Your withdrawal duration can vary significantly based on multiple factors. These include:

  • How long you have taken oxycodone
  • Amount (dose) of oxycodone you take
  • Physical and mental health
  • If you are addicted to any other substances

Having medical assistance and a support system to guide you through withdrawal is key in helping you manage withdrawal symptoms, regardless of the duration of your oxycodone withdrawal experience.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can occur at any time during the withdrawal process. They can vary in severity from person to person. A person may not experience all, or even most, withdrawal symptoms. The most common withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Runny eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning
  • Enlarged pupils 
  • Goosebumps
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

How to Cope with Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Coping with oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can be a challenge while you are detoxing, and having a support system is key. Exercise, meditation, and mindfulness techniques can help distract you from uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. At the same time, proper nutrition and hydration can give you the strength to overcome withdrawal.

However, the best way to cope with oxycodone withdrawal symptoms is to seek medical assistance in detox. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with methadone or buprenorphine-based agents is available during a medically supervised detox. It can help minimize your withdrawal symptoms and reduce your cravings. This helps you prepare for long-term sobriety from oxycodone and is considered the gold-standard treatment.

Detox Treatment for Oxycodone Withdrawal

Medically supervised detox is a cornerstone of oxycodone recovery. Detox can take place in an inpatient medical detox setting or an outpatient setting if medically appropriate. Choosing the best setting for your oxycodone withdrawal experience can help set you up for success in maintaining your abstinence throughout your recovery.

Medical Detox

Medical detox occurs in an inpatient setting, with round-the-clock care for doctors and nurses. In a medically supervised inpatient setting, staff can promptly manage any withdrawal symptoms that occur as you are slowly tapered off oxycodone under close supervision. MAT is available if clinically appropriate, and a smooth rehab transition can occur. Inpatient medical detox has the highest completion rate among detox options.

Outpatient Detox

Outpatient detox may be appropriate for some people who struggle with oxycodone. Outpatient detox requires both medical advice and a strong home support system to help with withdrawal symptoms. Although your medical provider may be able to prescribe some medications to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms, a drawback of outpatient detox is that these medications cannot be adjusted as quickly as they may be in an inpatient setting. The completion rate for outpatient detox is not as high as that of medical detox.

Detoxing at Home

Detoxing at home requires a strong support system. The temptation to quit recovery may be strong as withdrawal symptoms surge, leading to a risk of relapse. Hydration and nutrition are key to ensuring you stay healthy during a home detox, and medical support from your doctor is important. Your support system should be alert for complications like dehydration that may occur so they can help you seek medical attention.

Quitting Cold Turkey

Quitting oxycodone cold turkey is not recommended. Suddenly stopping your oxycodone can lead to a surge of withdrawal symptoms that can be dangerous and may lead to relapse. Instead, it is important to seek medical advice on the best way to taper (slowly decrease) your oxycodone dose. In a medically supervised setting, doctors and nurses can handle this tapering process, slowly weaning you from oxycodone.

Finding a Detox Center

There are different factors you should consider when choosing an oxycodone detox center. While some factors reflect personal preferences you may have – for example, about the location of the detox facility – other factors will help you choose the highest quality facility available. Factors include:

  • Accreditation: Is the detox center fully accredited?
  • Treatment options: Does the detox center offer a continuum of care, such as rehab options after detox is complete?
  • Staff-to-patient ratio: How many patients are assigned to each staff member?
  • Location: Is the facility near supportive family and friends?
  • Cost: Does the facility have payment plans or work with your insurance?

How Long Does It Take To Detox?

Because oxycodone withdrawal lasts about a week, the length of a typical detox program will be around the same timeframe. However, it is important to remember that detox is only the first step in starting an oxycodone-free life: following it up with inpatient and outpatient rehab is important to help teach you the skills necessary to avoid oxycodone over the long term.

Medications Used in Oxycodone Detox

A variety of medications can be used during oxycodone detox to help ease any withdrawal symptoms you may experience. Experts recommend MAT for heroin withdrawal to increase your chances of staying oxycodone-free over the long term. Gold-standard MAT medications for oxycodone addiction include methadone as well as buprenorphine-based products. 

Methadone and buprenorphine are both long-acting opioids. Although they are both opioids, it is difficult to get high off them. Instead, both medications blunt oxycodone’s effects and can reduce oxycodone cravings. Further, experts consider both drugs to be gold standard treatments for oxycodone addiction.

Methadone is an oral medication that is dispensed from specialty outpatient methadone clinics. These clinics require you to go in person to pick up the drug on a daily or near-daily basis.

Buprenorphine is available in both oral and long-acting injectable dosage forms. While the injectable dosage form requires a doctor’s office visit, oral buprenorphine can be dispensed from any outpatient pharmacy. 

Other medications may also be used to help relieve symptoms if needed. These can vary and include acetaminophen for pain and clonidine for those who cannot take methadone or buprenorphine.

Oxycodone Detox in Indy

The Recovery Village Indianapolis offers a continuum of services to help get you off oxycodone and keep you off for good. Our detox program is staffed by oxycodone recovery experts who can help wean you off oxycodone. We also have oxycodone recovery counselors on staff in our rehab programs. They can help you build healthy long-term habits that keep you sober over the long term. We offer same-day admissions to help you begin oxycodone recovery as soon as you are ready. Don’t wait: contact us today to learn more about how we can help.


Drugs.com. “Oxycodone Monograph for Professionals.” April 19, 2023. Accessed January 2, 2024.

Darke, Shane; Larney, Sarah; Farrell, Michael. “Yes, people can die from opiate withdrawal.” Addiction, August 11, 2016. Accessed January 2, 2024.

Kosten, Thomas R.; George, Tony P. “The Neurobiology of Opioid Dependence: Implications for Treatment.” Addiction Science and Clinical Practice, July 2002. Accessed January 2, 2024.

American Society of Addiction Medicine. “National Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder.” December 18, 2019. Accessed January 2, 2024.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Protracted Withdrawal.” July 2010. Accessed January 2, 2024.

Gupta, Mohit; Gokarakonda, Srinivasa B.; Attia, Fibi N. “Withdrawal Syndromes.” StatPearls, April 29, 2023. Accessed January 2, 2024.

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