Percodan Detox

  • Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Oxycodone Hydrochloride And Aspirin

Percodan detoxification brings a person to an opioid-free state. Someone may require Percodan detoxification after using this drug for an extended period of time to treat pain.

Percodan is a brand name drug that contains oxycodone and aspirin. Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid medication that drug makers create from codeine derived from the opium poppy plant. Aspirin is a non-opioid drug that works along with oxycodone to relieve pain better than either drug could alone.

Percodan and other opioids work with the nervous system to change the way the brain interprets pain signals. Other neurological effects include sedation, relaxation and a pleasant euphoric feeling. These neurological changes alter the way a person thinks, feels and behaves in a way that can negatively affect the individual’s ability to hold a job, take care of responsibilities and interact with others.

Along with the nervous system, Percodan and other opioids work with other body systems. Opioids work with smooth muscle groups, including intestinal muscles that push stool through the digestive tract, the muscles in blood vessel walls that control blood pressure, the eye muscles that cause the pupils to grow large and small, and the muscles just beneath the surface of the skin that are responsible for goose bumps.

Doctors commonly prescribe Percodan to relieve moderate to severe pain. In 2010, U.S. pharmacists dispensed 58.2 million prescriptions for Percodan and other drugs containing oxycodone. While most consumers take Percodan as directed, some people use this drug for non-medical reasons, either to get high or to treat a condition other than the one the doctor had intended to care for when she prescribed Percodan. Each year, approximately 5 million Americans use Percodan and other prescription painkillers for non-medical use.

Anyone who uses Percodan frequently for longer than a few weeks, whether for therapeutic or non-medical reasons, may become physically dependent on opioids and suffer withdrawal symptoms when she stops using this drug. The body adjusts to the presence of certain substances, including the oxycodone in Percodan. With continued use, the body begins to depend on a certain level of oxycodone to feel normal - she becomes opioid-dependent.

According to results from a 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 1.9 million Americans are dependent prescription analgesics including Percodan. The number of opioid-dependent Americans has grown slightly since 2004, when there were 1.4 million opioid-dependent people in the United States.

When oxycodone levels drop drastically, the opioid-dependent body struggles to regain chemical stability and recover from the toxic effects of long-term Percodan use. Doctors refer to this as detoxification. The patient experiences Percodan detoxification through unpleasant, flu-like withdrawal symptoms that begin a few hours after the last dose of Percodan. Left uninterrupted, these withdrawal symptoms continue for five or more days before disappearing by themselves as the individual completes the detoxification process.

Chronic aspirin use does not cause dependence but long-term aspirin use associated with Percodan abuse can cause serious side effects and complications that can affect Percodan detoxification.

The opioid-dependent person does not have to do anything special to initial the detoxification process - it starts when the individual skips a dose of Percodan or takes an inadequate dose. He may take non-opioid medications to ease withdrawal symptoms; these anti-withdrawal drugs do not disrupt the detoxification process. The individual may stop withdrawal symptoms at any time by taking more Percodan but this reverses the effects of detoxification and returns the individual to an opioid-dependent state.

Detoxification can also refer to the medical process of lowering opioid levels and reducing withdrawal symptoms with medications. Medical Percodan detoxification can occur at home, through an outpatient clinic or at an inpatient hospital setting.

Complete Percodan detoxification brings the patient to an opioid-free state but detoxification, by itself, does little to change the behaviors associated with drug abuse. Left untreated, these behaviors will likely lead the patient back to Percodan abuse. Most opioid-dependent people benefit from rehabilitation that gives them the skills to lead a drug-free live. Rehabilitation usually includes counseling and behavior modification that teaches the individual how to identify situations that may lead to drug abuse and how to refuse Percodan when offered.

Complete detoxification facilitates the patient’s entry into rehabilitation and helps him remain there long enough to reverse some of the neurological changes and other effects of Percodan abuse. This clarifies his thought processes, helps him return to work and restores his intrapersonal relationships. Percodan detoxification promotes abstinence and reduces the occurrence and severity of relapses when they do occur.

Types of Detox

Only about 10 percent of those who need help with a drug problem get it at a specialty facility, such as a hospital, outpatient clinic or mental health institution. Everyone else tried self-help, asked a private physician for help, got treatment in an emergency room or endured detoxification while incarcerated in prison or a local jail.

Self Detox

When it comes time for a patient to stop using Percodan, her doctor will usually suggest she wean herself from this drug by taking smaller doses - just enough to stop withdrawal symptom - each day until she completes the detoxification process, usually about two weeks.

Self-detoxification is appropriate for those who have been dependent on opioids for only a short time and would prefer to attempt detoxification at home.

Cold turkey

Lingering withdrawal symptoms prevent some people weaning themselves from Percodan. These individuals may be tempted to quit cold turkey, abruptly discontinuing Percodan in hopes of enduring withdrawal symptoms long enough to complete the detoxification process.

The phrase “cold turkey” refers to the pale, cold and clammy, bumpy appearance the skin takes on during Percodan detoxification, resembling a plucked and frozen turkey.

Natural remedies

Some people try to reduce the severity of Percodan withdrawal symptoms with natural remedies. Acupuncture, yoga, massage, and meditation are popular alternative approaches to Percodan detoxification. Another alternate approach is to use herbs to ease symptoms, such as ginger or peppermint for nausea and chamomile or cayenne for diarrhea.

Some people take a medical approach and develop a homemade treatment plan that combines prescription drugs with non-prescription medications. One such homemade remedy is The Thomas Recipe. This plan reduces anxiety and promotes sleep with a benzodiazepine, such as Xanax or Librium, and addresses diarrhea with Imodium. The Thomas Recipe suggests Vitamin B6 with supplements and hot baths for restless leg syndrome and muscle aches. A daily dose of L-Tyrosine provides a burst of much-needed energy towards the end of the Percodan detoxification process.

Medical Detox

Medical detoxification, sometimes referred to as medication-assisted detoxification, uses safe and effective drugs to make Percodan detoxification easier to endure. Medical detox can take place through an outpatient clinic or in an inpatient setting. Medical detoxification is appropriate for anyone who cannot complete self-detoxification.

Outpatient detoxification is appropriate for anyone who has been dependent on Percodan for more than one year and who wishes to avoid a hospital stay but still desires the benefits of medical treatment. Patients take home buprenorphine or methadone and start with high doses during the induction phase, then reduce daily dosage over the course of several days or weeks during the tapering phase.


A German chemist first synthesized methadone in 1939, searching for an inexpensive and effective pain reliever. Doctors around the world still prescribe methadone as an analgesic. In the early 1960s, doctors noticed that methadone stopped withdrawal symptoms in heroin addicts. In 1964, doctors used methadone to suppress a heroin epidemic sweeping across New York City.

In 1972, the FDA approved methadone for use in the treatment of opioid dependence. About 100,000 Americans use a methadone maintenance program, where the patient takes methadone instead of Percodan while he participates in rehabilitation. Once he learns how to live without drugs, he weans himself from methadone.

Doctors now use methadone to help patients “step down” from opioid dependence. A doctor will start patients on 10 to 15 mg of methadone and increase dosages by 10 mg a day until he finds an induction dose that covers withdrawal symptoms. Once the doctor establishes the induction dose, he will reduce dosage by up to 10 mg per day until the patient completes the tapering phase and achieves an opioid-free state.


Patients may take buprenorphine as part of a maintenance program or as medication-assisted detoxification. There is no set schedule, but many patients can complete Percodan detoxification in as little as one week with buprenorphine.

Buprenorphine is available under the brand name, Subutex. The consumer places the buprenorphine tablet under his tongue where it dissolves and enters the bloodstream.


Some people abuse buprenorphine intravenously by dissolving the tablet before injecting it into a vein to get high. Drug makers deter improper administration and abuse by adding naloxone to the brand name buprenorphine preparation, Suboxone. When taken under the tongue as directed, naloxone has no effect. When taken intravenously, however, naloxone neutralizes buprenorphine so the consumer does not get high. Additionally, intravenous administration causes withdrawal symptoms in an opioid-dependent person.

Many hospitals and specialty clinics now offer inpatient Percodan detoxification. Inpatient detoxification uses potent drugs to lower opioid levels and reduce withdrawal symptoms, along with professional treatment plans and intense patient monitoring to reduce complications including relapse.

The patient may receive naltrexone to lower oxycodone levels and initiate the detoxification process. He also receives a variety of anti-withdrawal drugs, such as hydroxyzine or promethazine for nausea, Loperamide for diarrhea, and clonidine to ease multiple symptoms including restlessness, watery eyes, and sweating.

Anyone who wishes to improve his chances of completing Percodan detoxification with the help of safe and effective medications coupled with professional care could participate in inpatient detoxification. Inpatient care is appropriate for those who did not respond well to self-detoxification or outpatient care. Inpatient Percodan detoxification is appropriate for those at risk for severe withdrawal symptoms or have underlying conditions that increase the risk for complications.

Inpatient detoxification is necessary for anyone who is recovering from a Percodan overdose or who is otherwise too ill to receive treatment safely as an outpatient. Those with severe psychiatric problems that prevent participation in outpatient care or self-detoxification should engage in inpatient Percodan detoxification, especially if the individual has serious depression with suicidal thoughts or acute psychosis that may cause him to hurt himself or others.

Rapid Opiate Detox

Rapid opiate detox is a safe and efficient approach to achieving an opioid-free state in a short amount of time. Specially trained anesthesiologists sedate and anesthetize the patient before administering the standard detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs so that the patient dozes in a comfortable “twilight sleep” during Percodan detoxification. Patients awaken a few hours later, renewed and refreshed.

Our detox center: Who we are and what we do

Our board-certified anesthesiologists and other highly trained professionals deliver compassionate and effective care. We have helped thousands of people complete detoxification since opening the doors of our fully accredited hospital more than a decade ago.

We prescreen patients in our accredited facility to uncover any underlying conditions that may complicate Percodan detoxification. We develop a personalized treatment plan, often including rapid detox procedures, to bring the patient to an opioid-free state quickly and safely. Once the patient completes Percodan detoxification, he may continue recovery in our qualified aftercare center.

Detox Comparisons

Choosing between the various forms of Percodan detoxification as each approach has its advantages and disadvantages. It its often helpful to compare the various approaches with one another to determine which is most likely to bring the individual to an opioid-free state in a safe and efficient manner.

Without the expense of anti-withdrawal drugs, self-detoxification is the least expensive form of treatment. The lack of anti-withdrawal medications and professional supervision puts self-detoxification patients at the highest risk for severe withdrawal symptoms and complications. Self-detoxification is also the most flexible approach in that patients can perform the procedure at home whenever it is convenient. Self-detoxification can bring the patient to an opioid-free state in about a week.

Outpatient detoxification is the next most flexible and convenient approach to Percodan detoxification in that patients can take methadone or buprenorphine at home and begin the process whenever it is most convenient. While methadone and buprenorphine are not expensive, outpatient care is more expensive than is self-detoxification and the patient may remain in treatment for months or years when on a maintenance program.

Inpatient care offers the greatest protection against complications, including relapse. Inpatient care brings the patient to an opioid-free state faster than does outpatient care: the average length of stay for inpatient detoxification is 4 days, while the typical patient stays on medication-assisted therapy for an average of 197 days.

Rapid detox brings the patient to an opioid-free state in the shortest possible time; a qualified rapid detox physician can complete the process in only one to two hours. Rapid detox is also the most humane, sparing patients from the uncomfortable and humiliating withdrawal symptoms that can undermine success.

Detox Possible Complications

The detoxification process is not usually a life-threatening procedure but the patient may suffer dangerous complications. Severe withdrawal symptoms, underlying medical conditions, co-existing substance abuse problems, long-term or severe Percodan abuse, and pregnancy increase the risk for complications.

Relapse is the chief complication associated with Percodan detoxification. Many patients relapse during the detoxification process as a response to overwhelming withdrawal symptoms. Others return to Percodan after completing the detoxification process. Relapse does not mean recovery efforts have failed - relapse does mean the patient must participate in a more aggressive form of therapy.

Relapse increases the risk for overdose. The detoxification process decreases the body’s tolerance of oxycodone, making the individual more sensitive to the effects of Percodan. This lowered tolerance and increased sensitivity means it is possible for someone to overdose on a smaller amount of Percodan than he used to take before experiencing even modest withdrawal symptoms for a short time. Overdoses of Percodan and other opioids claimed 14,800 American lives in 2008, killing more people than overdoses of cocaine and heroin combined.

Self Detox Possible Complications

Complications can arise during self-detoxification, whether the patient attempts to quit by tapering, quitting cold turkey, or using a homemade treatment plan. For example, she may have trouble weaning himself from Percodan and remain in an opioid-dependent state. Extreme and prolonged vomiting or diarrhea can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances including low potassium and chloride.

Percodan detoxification can cause sweating and increase the patient’s blood pressure or pulse in a way that may worsen certain underlying heart conditions. Detoxification may heighten anxiety in patients with pre-existing anxiety disorders. Percodan detoxification can cause pain to return in patients who were taking this drug to relieve discomfort associated with a chronic illness, such as cancer or arthritis.

The aspirin component of Percodan increases the risk for complications. Using Percodan daily causes aspirin to build up in the body, sometimes to toxic levels known as chronic overdose. Dehydration increases the risk for chronic overdose, causing symptoms similar to Percodan withdrawal symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Anyone who uses aspirin daily, as would someone dependent on Percodan, faces an increased risk for blood clots that can lead to heart attack if he discontinues aspirin suddenly.

Outpatient Care Possible Complications

Someone may become dependent on methadone or buprenorphine and have trouble tapering these replacement drugs at the appropriate time. Methadone is not entirely safe: even though methadone represents only about 2 percent of the prescription painkiller market, it accounts for about one-third of deaths associated with drug overdoses. The number of deaths associated with methadone overdose is on the rise - in 2009, there were 5.5 times as many deaths associated with methadone as there were in 1999. Most of these deaths were associated with abuse and combining methadone with alcohol or other drugs.

Individuals may abuse buprenorphine intravenously, dissolving the tablet before injecting it into a vein. It is possible to overdose on buprenorphine, especially when the consumer combines buprenorphine with benzodiazepines such as those used in The Thomas Recipe.

Inpatient Detox Possible Complications

Withdrawal from multiple substances, especially alcohol, benzodiazepines, sedatives, and anti-anxiety drugs increases the risk for complications during inpatient Percodan detoxification.

Rapid Detox Possible Complications

Rarely, someone suffers an allergic reaction to the drugs used in the rapid detox procedure. High doses of sedatives may cause problems with breathing, blood pressure and heart rate. Someone might experience bruising, inflammation or infection at the anesthesia injection site.

Detox Myths

Medical researchers have been studying opioid dependence and detoxification since scientists created the first opioids early in the 1800s. Despite centuries of research and a mountain of clinical experience gained from real opioid-dependent patients and the doctors who treat them, myths shrouding detoxification prevent many people from getting the help they need. Learning the truth about Percodan detoxification makes the process easier and increases the likelihood of reaching a true opioid-free state.

Self Detox Myths

Myth: Quitting cold turkey is the only way to self-detoxify.
Fact: Most physicians recommend tapering Percodan use slowly over the course of two weeks rather than discontinuing this drug abruptly. In fact, it can be dangerous to abruptly discontinue any product containing aspirin after long-term use.

Myth: Combining prescription and non-prescription drugs make home remedies like The Thomas Recipe a safe way to achieve a drug-free state.
Fact: Combining prescription and over-the-counter medications can result in dangerous drug reactions.

Outpatient Detox Myths

Myth: Outpatient treatment is a waste of money. It would be cheaper to throw drug addicts in jail to “dry out.”
Fact: A year of prison costs taxpayers about $24,000 per prisoner, whereas that same year of methadone would costs only about $4,700 per patient.

Myth: Methadone was originally named after Adolf Hitler.
Fact: One drug maker offers methadone under the brand name Dolophine. This pharmaceutical company combined the Latin word for pain, dolor, with the French word for end, fin, to create the name Dolophine.

Inpatient Detox Myths

Myth: Inpatient care is a waste of a good hospital bed as all drug addicts always relapse anyway, even with treatment.
Fact: Even with treatment, relapse rates for drug addiction are 40 to 60 percent, about the same for other chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes or high blood pressure. All ill people deserve compassionate and effective treatment for their conditions, even if they suffer multiple relapses.

Myth: Spending money on drug treatment is like throwing money down a hole. Communities simply cannot afford to take care of drug addicts.
Fact: In these tough economic times, communities cannot afford to ignore the savings drug treatment can bring. For every dollar spent on drug treatment, experts estimate a community saves between $4 and $7 in reduced theft and other drug-related crime rates and the criminal justice costs associated with prosecuting these criminals. Add in healthcare savings and the return on the investment leaps to $12 gained for every dollar spent.

Rapid Detox Myths

Myth: Pain and humiliation are important features of Percodan detoxification, as they serve as a punishment for drug dependence.
Fact: Human suffering is never an appropriate part of any medical treatment plan. In fact, the physical and emotional punishment of withdrawal prevents many people from completing Percodan detoxification. Rapid detox is a humane and more effective approach to Percodan detoxification in that it spares patients from the uncomfortable and demoralizing withdrawal symptoms that may have prevented success in the past.

Myth: Complete Percodan detoxification takes days or weeks to perform.
Fact: Rapid detox brings patients to an opioid-free state in one to two hours. Patients remain under close supervision for a couple more days until reaching a stable condition.

Detox and Pregnancy
An opioid-dependent woman is more likely to suffer from certain medical conditions, such as blood infections or anemia, heart conditions, hepatitis, mood disorders, pneumonia, and infectious diseases including sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. These conditions can complicate pregnancy to cause wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels, hemorrhage and bleeding, separation or inflammation of the tissues shared between mother and fetus, spontaneous abortion, premature labor and delivery, and fetal death.

These conditions and complications can make Percodan detoxification unsafe for a pregnant woman and unborn baby. Methadone reduces these complications. Currently, a methadone maintenance program is the only approved approach to treating opioid dependence in a pregnant woman.

A baby born to a woman who uses Percodan regularly during pregnancy may suffer withdrawal symptoms, low birth weight, seizures, breathing problems, feeding difficulties and death.

Self Detox and Pregnancy

Self-detoxification may be dangerous for a pregnant woman, especially for any woman attempting to quit cold turkey or use a homemade treatment plan. A pregnant woman should consult a physician before tapering Percodan use or engaging in any other form of self-detoxification.

Outpatient and Pregnancy

A pregnant woman can start methadone maintenance as an outpatient. Doctors will typically start pregnant women on 10 to 20 mg of methadone and adjust upwards until finding a safe dose that controls withdrawal symptoms, with a maximum dose of 60 mg. While most patients on methadone maintenance must come to an outpatient clinic once a day for a dose of methadone, a pregnant woman must come twice a day for assessment until the physician stabilizes her dose.

Some pregnant women require stronger doses of methadone towards the end of pregnancy.

A baby born to a mother on methadone maintenance will remain under close observation in the hospital for 72 hours after delivery.

Inpatient and Pregnancy

A pregnant woman may choose to start methadone maintenance as an inpatient, where doctors can closely monitor her condition. Healthcare providers can also asses the baby’s response to treatment with fetal monitoring equipment. The pregnant woman can expect to stay in the hospital about three days as doctors stabilize her methadone dosage.

Opiate detox symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms associated with Percodan detoxification tend to appear in two waves, with the first set of symptoms beginning a few hours after the last dose of Percodan. Initially, the patient may suffer from restlessness, chills, body aches, and large pupils. He may also have watery eyes, a runny nose, and sweat excessively. Later, he may seem irritable or anxious and have trouble sleeping. He might complain of a backache, joint pain, weakness, abdominal cramps, nausea, and loss of appetite. He might have vomiting, diarrhea, high blood pressure, and rapid pulse or breathing. All of these symptoms fade as the individual completes the Percodan detoxification process.

What is the best method to detox from this drug?
Each person experiences opioid-dependence in a different way and everyone responds to treatment differently. The best method to detoxify from Percodan depends largely on individual need - some people require the flexibility of self-detoxification or outpatient treatment while others respond best to the drugs and close patient supervision available with inpatient care.

The individual should assess her own ability to refrain from drug use and avoid high-risk behaviors that could lead to relapse then choose the least restrictive form of Percodan detoxification that is still likely to bring her to an opioid-free state in a safe and effective manner. The treatment choice should always reflect the patient’s need for structure and support.

Please contact us for more information on what approach to Percodan detoxification may be right for you or for your loved one.