While withdrawals from Oxycodone are generally not life-threatening, they can be very uncomfortable and unpleasant to deal with. Although some individuals are able to successfully detox from oxycodone at home, with the help of certain remedies, the most fool-proof way to get through the withdrawal period safely is under medical supervision. There are some tactics that detox facilities use to help patients get through the pain, discomfort, and negative symptoms associated with acute withdrawal, which can be used in a home setting.
Comfort Measures for Oxycodone Withdrawal
Symptoms of withdrawal from opiate medications include:
- Runny nose
- Body aches
- Abdominal cramps
- Diarrhea, vomiting
- Restlessness and anxiety
- Fever and chills
- Muscle cramps, especially in the legs
- Increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure
Comfort measures are things that can be done without medicines; these include providing a quiet environment, and pain management measures such as hot baths or showers, or heating pads and hot water bottles for localized therapy.
Because diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, and other symptoms can lead to dehydration, it is important to do what is possible to keep fluids in the system. Most specialists recommend fighting dehydration with broths and soups along with sports drinks. It’s important to avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee or soda, because they can have diuretic action. Additional potassium in the diet, in the form of bananas, along with added vitamin C from oranges, can also help with muscle cramps.
Medicines and Supplements to Assist Oxycodone Withdrawal
Not all addiction treatment specialists agree on the subject of supplements; because they are not as well-regulated by the FDA as medications, they can vary a great deal in potency and dosage, and there is limited evidence to their usefulness. However, some doctors have said that peppermint oil has demonstrated usefulness in reducing nausea. In addition, some doctors have found that certain supplements, when used appropriately, have shown effectiveness in managing some of the symptoms of withdrawal. Many addicts have nutritional deficiencies as a result of years of poor eating habits, compounded with the nutrient-leeching properties of an addictive substance like oxycodone. Eric R. Braverman, M.D., recommends the mineral magnesium to aid in muscle relaxation, along with melatonin and tryptophan for treating insomnia and anxiety.
In addition to supplements, several over-the-counter medicines are put to use in mitigating the effects of oxycodone withdrawal. Ibuprofen and naproxen are both good for providing pain relief, although if a patient’s stomach is very upset, they may tolerate acetaminophen (Tylenol) better. Over-the-counter diarrhea treatments are also very useful, along with hydrocortisone cream or diaper rash ointment in cases where the patient’s more delicate areas are irritated. Some doctors also recommend a good multivitamin with extra vitamin C for nutritional support needed in the early days of detoxing. Although it is considered somewhat controversial, diphenhydramine or other anti-histamines are sometimes useful for patients suffering from severe anxiety or insomnia, and under a doctor’s supervision they can be helpful.
Ultimately, the remedies for oxycodone withdrawal symptoms are straightforward. Some doctors will recommend lifestyle-type remedies once the most acute part of the withdrawal has passed; however, it is important to make sure that you’re not trying to do more than you’re physically capable of. Tried-and-true methods, such as the hot showers, over-the-counter medication, and supplements mentioned above, are much safer than any “quick fix.” Withdrawal will take time, but there are measures you or your physician can take to minimize your discomfort.