Percodan Withdrawal

  • Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Oxycodone Hydrochloride And Aspirin


Percodan is an opioid pain reliever that works similar to morphine. Percodan contains 4.8 mg of oxycodone hydrochloride and 325 mg aspirin.

Doctors prescribe Percodan to relieve moderate to severe pain. Recreational users target Percodan for the euphoria it causes. Taking Percodan for a long time may cause your body to become dependent on opioids.

Percodan withdrawal is a normal, predictable result of a sudden drop in opioid levels in an opioid-dependent person. A doctor will diagnose you as being dependent on Percodan if you experience flu-like symptoms when you stop taking this drug. Percodan withdrawal symptoms can last five or more days. Percodan withdrawal may also cause psychological symptoms that may last longer, especially when left undiagnosed or untreated.


Your body adapts to foreign substances, including Percodan, by adjusting its own chemistry. Your body can grow tolerant of certain chemicals, which means you have to take increasingly larger doses of Percodan to achieve the intended pain relieving or euphoric effect.

With prolonged use, your system may become dependent on Percodan, which means you need to continue taking Percodan in order to feel "normal." If the level of opioids drops in your system, your body struggles to maintain its chemical balance. You feel this battle for chemical stability through withdrawal symptoms.

Doctors call this process detoxification. You can cause detoxification by missing a dose, taking an insufficient dose or using a medicine such as naloxone that drops opioid levels.

Chronic abuse of certain drugs, especially prescription pain relievers such as Percodan, is leading to a high number of people suffering from physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms. Anyone who takes Percodan for a long time may become addicted to or dependent on Percodan. Physical dependence and Percodan withdrawal are serious medical conditions that the help of a qualified professional.

Reduce your risk for Percodan dependence and withdrawal by taking Percodan exactly as prescribed. Stop using Percodan when you no longer need it for pain or when your doctor tells you to stop using it. Do not crush, chew, dissolve or inject Percodan.


The opioid in Percodan, oxycodone, is one of the most widely prescribed medications in the United States. The Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, notes that U.S. pharmacies filled more than 50 million prescriptions for oxycodone in 2008. That year, almost 14 million Americans used oxycodone for non-medical purposes at least once in their lifetime.

More Americans are struggling with abuse and dependence on prescription drugs than ever before. The White House calls prescription drug abuse, "the nation's fastest-growing drug problem." Except for marijuana, prescriptions such as Percodan are the most abused drugs among young Americans. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that, in 2009, "16 million Americans age 12 and older had taken a prescription pain reliever, tranquilizer, stimulant, or sedative for nonmedical purposes at least once in the year prior to being surveyed." To use a drug non-medically means they took it to get high or for a condition other than the one for which the doctor had intended.

The United States consumes more opioids than another other nation. Even though Americans represent only about 5 percent of global population, they use 80 percent of the world's opioid supply, according to the Institute of Addiction Medicine.


Percodan withdrawal causes physical symptoms similar to the flu. Percodan withdrawal also causes psychological symptoms that can interfere with recovery efforts. Percodan withdrawal symptoms are painful and demoralizing, but usually life threatening.
Percodan withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Anorexia
  • Chills Alternating with Hot Flashes
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Goose Bumps
  • Increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle Aches
  • Nausea
  • Runny Nose
  • Salivation
  • Severe Sneezing
  • Sweating
  • Tremor
  • Vomiting
  • Watery Eyes
  • Weakness
  • Yawning


Psychological aspects of Percodan withdrawal may cause you to think you are unworthy or incapable of recovery. Left untreated or undertreated, psychological symptoms increase your risk for relapse.

Psychological symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Poor concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Social isolation

Possible Complications

The primary complication of Percodan withdrawal is relapse. You may experience several cycles of relapse and remission as your opioid-dependence progresses. Relapse increases your risk for overdose, as the detoxification process lowers your tolerance to opioids. Even after experiencing modest withdrawal symptoms, it is possible to overdose on a smaller dose than you used to take before detoxification.

Another complication of Percodan withdrawal includes vomiting and then breathing the stomach contents into the lungs, a condition known as aspiration. Aspiration may result in fluid in the lungs and lung infections. Dehydration is another dangerous complication of Percodan withdrawal, sometimes arising after long bouts of extreme vomiting and diarrhea.

Treatment options

More Americans are seeking help for Percodan withdrawal and other substance abuse problems. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. admission rate for opioid drugs other than heroin leaped up 414 percent between 1997 and 2007.

More than 23 million people in the United States over the age of 12-years needed treatment for alcohol or substance abuse in 2010; of these, only about 11 percent received treatment at a specialty facility. Just over 5 percent of admissions to publicly funded substance abuse programs were for treatment of opioid abuse. These treatment facilities assist individuals in overcoming physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms during detoxification and rehabilitation.

Your recovery relies on proper treatment. There are two phases of substance abuse treatment: detoxification and rehabilitation. Detoxification deals specifically with the process of Percodan withdrawal while rehabilitation teaches you how to live without Percodan. Behavioral modification helps you avoid relapses, thereby reducing the number of times you will endure Percodan withdrawal.


Detoxification is the medical process of lowering the level of Percodan in your body. With most detoxification programs, you can expect several days of intense physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.


Self-detoxification, or "going cold turkey," is the process of trying to overcome Percodan withdrawal alone, without the help of medicine to relieve symptoms or trained professionals to monitor your condition. Cold turkey refers to the way your skin looks during detoxification: pale, cold and clammy with goose bumps, like a plucked turkey.

Some create homemade treatment plans, like the Thomas Recipe, to reduce individual withdrawal symptoms during self-detoxification. The Thomas Recipe includes valium or some other benzodiazepine to calm nerves and encourage sleep. Imodium eases diarrhea while mineral supplements and hot baths relieve muscle aches. L-Tyrosine with B6 gives a boost of energy to overcome malaise.

While the Thomas Recipe relieves some of your Percodan withdrawal symptoms, you will still face a high risk for complications such as aspiration, dehydration and relapse.


High doses of Percodan, or taking Percodan after experiencing withdrawal symptoms, increases your risk for overdose. Overdose is a serious, sometimes fatal medical emergency. If you think you or someone you know has taken too much Percodan, seek emergency assistance immediately by going to the emergency room or calling an ambulance. If you need immediate help, contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Symptoms of Percodan overdose include:

  • Breathing that Stops
  • Cold, Clammy Skin
  • Confusion
  • Extreme Drowsiness
  • Fainting
  • Pinpoint Pupils
  • Shallow Breathing
  • Weak Pulse

Percodan overdose can kill you - nearly 15,000 people died from prescription painkiller overdoses in the United States in 2008, according to the CDC. Prescription painkiller abuse sends nearly half a million people to the hospital every year.

Emergency room doctors administer naloxone and other medications to reduce your Percodan to non-toxic levels. Nurses monitor your vital signs, watch for complications and establish an airway to help you breathe. Nurses may pump your stomach or administer charcoal to absorb excess Percodan. Emergency personnel may perform CPR or other life-saving measures as necessary.

Drug Replacement Therapy

If you are not in immediate danger of overdose, you may benefit from Drug Replacement Therapy, or DRT. Replacement drugs mimic the effects of opioids to reduce withdrawal symptoms but DRT medications do not get you high. DRT drugs include methadone, Suboxone and buprenorphine. With DRT, you can participate in rehabilitation before you attempt detoxification.

After you develop tools that enable you to live without Percodan, you will wean yourself from the replacement drug by taking smaller doses increasingly further apart. Many people have trouble quitting the replacement drug. Harvard Medical School says that 25 percent of methadone DRT patients eventually quit using drugs altogether, another 25 percent continues to take the replacement drug and 50 percent go on and off methadone.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

DRT is just one kind of Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT. Medications reduce the overpowering symptoms of withdrawal, helping you tolerate the process long enough to successfully detoxify your body from Percodan.

Rehabilitation professionals say that MAT is an important and effective treatment approach because it:

  • Improves Survival Rates
  • Increase Retention in Treatment
  • Decreases Illicit Opioid Use
  • Decreases The Risk for Hepatitis and HIV
  • Decreases Criminal Activities
  • Increases Employment
  • Improves Birth Outcomes for Pregnant Women Battling Addiction

Standard detoxification involves a hospital stay of five or more days. During inpatient care, doctors administer naloxone and other medications to reduce Percodan levels along with other drugs to control the ensuing withdrawal symptoms. While standard inpatient detoxification procedures relieve the severity and duration of symptoms somewhat, the patient still endures a lengthy, uncomfortable and demoralizing battle that acts as a psychological barrier to recovery.

Rapid detox is your most humane choice in detoxification treatments available today. During rapid detox, board certified anesthesiologists give you the standard detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs alongside sedatives and anesthesia. This means you will doze in a comfortable "twilight sleep" rather than throwing up and not sleeping for days on end. When you awaken from rapid detox, you will not remember the detoxification process. Instead of a few days, you are ready for meaningful behavior modification in a few hours.


Opioid dependence is a complex but treatable illness. Overcoming Percodan withdrawal symptoms is the first stage of treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug abuse. Without effective, long-term rehabilitation and behavior modification, you are likely to enter a cycle of relapse and remission. This means that, unless you engage in effective treatment, you may have to endure repeated bouts of Percodan withdrawal.

You can choose from a wide variety of rehabilitation options, from long-term residential facilities to monthly meetings with a trained counselor. Treatment largely depends on the severity of your dependence to Percodan and other personal needs, such as childcare or time away from work.

No single treatment is appropriate for everyone, but your treatment does need to be readily available to you. It is critical that you remain in treatment long enough to change the behavioral patterns associated with drug abuse.

Effective treatment attends to your multiple needs, such as physical and mental health issues, legal or social problems and other aspects of drug abuse. Your treatment should address all your needs, not just your Percodan withdrawal.

Your individualized treatment plan might include individual, family or group counseling and other behavioral therapies. You may also receive medication, an important element of treatment for many patients. Many people who are dependent on opioids such as Percodan have other physical and mental disorders that interfere with recovery efforts. Many of these conditions are responsive to medication or other forms of treatment, which improves your chances for recovery from Percodan withdrawal.

The rehabilitation professional will continually assess your progress and modify the treatment plan so that it always fits your changing needs. Your counselor will also monitor for drug use, as relapses do occur. The counselor may request testing for certain illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. She may provide information on how to reduce the risk for contracting or spreading these diseases.

Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. According to NIDA, individuals under legal coercion tend to remain in treatment longer than and do better than those not under pressure.