Oxycodone Detox: How To Detox From OxyContin/Percocet

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on May 27, 2022

Detoxing from oxycodone (OxyContin/Percocet) may require professional treatment through a detoxification program, followed by a drug abuse rehab program for those with opioid use disorder.

How To Detox From Oxycodone

Oxycodone, also known as OxyContin or Percocet, can cause physical dependence and symptoms of withdrawal with sudden, stopped use of the drug.

Oxycodone detox is a process of fully eliminating the oxycodone from your system. If you’re physically dependent on oxycodone, this could result in mild to severe withdrawal.

Oxycodone withdrawal can be most safely and effectively managed through a detox program, which can be found through a detox facility or inpatient addiction rehab center.

Find out more about detoxing from opioids

Why Would Someone Need To Detox From Oxycodone?

Detox is a process of eliminating toxins from the body. If you’ve become addicted to a drug, or physically dependent, this will include the elimination of that drug from your system.

Quitting oxycodone after a period of chronic use, or misuse, may cause withdrawal. This is the body’s reaction to your stopped drug use, and can be physical and psychological in nature.

How Oxycodone Detox Works

Once you’re dependent on oxycodone, getting off it will require either gradually tapering off the dose you’re taking, or entering a medical detox program for acute detox.

What medical detox for oxycodone involves:

  • an initial intake assessment
  • oxycodone detoxification and withdrawal
  • preparing for an opioid treatment program

What comes after detox will largely depend on the nature of your oxycodone use.

If you misuse oxycodone or have developed a drug addiction, a higher level of care such as an inpatient or residential rehab program for addiction may be recommended after detox.

Side Effects Of Oxycodone Detox

Quitting Percocet or OxyContin after taking it for more than a few weeks can cause side effects known as withdrawal. These can be mild to severe in nature.

Oxycodone withdrawal will often occur in stages, beginning with early then late withdrawal. This lasts about four to 10 days on average.

Early symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal may include:

  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • muscle aches
  • agitation
  • sweating
  • hot and cold flashes
  • runny nose
  • teary eyes
  • excessive yawning

Late withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • diarrhea
  • dilated pupils
  • nausea and vomiting
  • stomach cramping
  • goosebumps
  • changes in blood pressure
  • pounding heart

Oxycodone, like other opiates, is known to cause flu-like symptoms during the detox and withdrawal process. If you’re addicted to other substances, additional side effects may occur.

Is Oxycodone Detox Dangerous?

Opioid withdrawal is rarely life-threatening on its own. But there are certain risk factors that can increase the risk for serious complications developing during detox.

Risk factors for severe withdrawal symptoms include:

  • polysubstance abuse (i.e. misuse of other drugs, including alcohol)
  • long history of oxycodone abuse or addiction
  • co-occurring medical or mental health conditions
  • poor nutritional status
  • dehydration during detox

Furthermore, a high risk of overdose after detox is a major concern for people who have an opioid use disorder. This is largely because detox can reduce a person’s opioid tolerance.

Preventing complications during the detox process can be safely accomplished with the help of medical staff through a medically supervised detox program.

Oxycodone Detox And Withdrawal Timeline

Oxycodone withdrawal can begin to set in within eight to 24 hours after taking your last dose. Acute withdrawal symptoms may last anywhere from four to 10 days.

Day 1: Early signs of Percocet withdrawal may begin to set in within the first 12 hours of your last dose. You may feel anxious, irritable, and start to feel physically sick.

Days 2-4: Withdrawal will become most intense in the first few days after quitting oxycodone. This may cause physical discomfort and psychological distress.

Days 5-10: Most physical symptoms of withdrawal should begin to gradually decline in their intensity or go away completely. This may take longer for those with severe addiction.

Days 10+: After acute withdrawal, some psychological and emotional symptoms may linger. This includes side effects such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and drug cravings.

Lasting withdrawal symptoms can be a sign of protracted withdrawal, or post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). This syndrome is temporary and treatable.

What Factors Can Affect How Long Oxycodone Detox Lasts?

A range of factors can affect how long the detox process takes and for how long withdrawal symptoms last.

Factors that can affect how long it takes to detox include:

  • amount of oxycodone taken
  • frequency of drug use
  • duration of oxycodone use
  • use of other drugs (e.g. benzodiazepines, alcohol)
  • certain medical conditions
  • impaired liver function
  • treatment received during withdrawal

People who are older, have poorer health, or have a severe addiction to one or multiple drugs may have an extended detox process. That is, it may take longer to fully detox.

The longer you use oxycodone, the longer and more intense the withdrawal process is likely to be. For anyone with chronic addiction, seeking professional help is strongly encouraged.

Oxycodone Detox Programs

Oxycodone detox programs offer the safest way to stop using oxycodone and to find treatment for OxyContin/Percocet abuse and addiction.

Detox programs are offered by some inpatient and outpatient detox centers, which often partner with nearby treatment centers for follow-up care and addiction treatment.

Medical Detox For Percocet Addiction

Medical detox is a type of inpatient detox program. This offers 24-hour access to treatment and support from medical professionals within a supervised, clinical setting.

Benefits of medical detox programs include:

  • around-the-clock care
  • medical monitoring
  • increased safety
  • prevents relapse during detox
  • offers treatment for withdrawal symptoms
  • may provide treatment referrals

Outpatient Detox For Percocet Addiction

Outpatient detox is a less intensive option for getting off opioids.

Percocet detox should ideally take place in a detox facility. Outpatient services may be recommended if that option is not available.

Who may be suitable for outpatient detox:

  • people with mild opioid dependence
  • people without a substance use disorder
  • people who have a robust outpatient support system
  • people who are not at risk for severe opioid withdrawal

Oxycodone Detox FAQs

Find answers to frequently asked questions about oxycodone detox and opioid addiction treatment options.

❓ What Is The Drug Percocet?

✔️ Percocet is a prescription painkiller that contains oxycodone and acetaminophen. It is chemically similar to OxyContin, another prescription pain medicine.

❓ What Medications Are Used For Oxycodone Detox?

✔️ Medical detox programs for oxycodone dependence may offer medicine to help relieve moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms.

Common medications used for oxycodone detox include:

  • clonidine: This medication can help with symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, and other physical symptoms of withdrawal.
  • methadone: This is a long-acting opioid that can serve as a replacement for oxycodone, relieve drug cravings, and ease withdrawal symptoms.
  • buprenorphine: This is a partial opioid agonist that can relieve drug cravings and be taken long-term as a medication-assisted treatment.
  • vitamins: Taking vitamin B and C supplements is recommended during the opioid detox process.

Read more about medications used during addiction treatment

❓ Can You Stop OxyContin Cold-Turkey?

✔️ Quitting a drug like oxycodone cold-turkey, or all at once, isn’t recommended outside of a medical detox program, or without a robust support system.

This may cause intense drug cravings, as well as other severe symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

Find Treatment For Oxycodone Detox And Addiction Today

Overcoming oxycodone addiction begins with finding a treatment program that’s right for you. If you’re looking for detox for yourself or a loved one, we can help.

Call our helpline now to find a treatment program for drug detox and addiction recovery today.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on May 27, 2022
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