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    Oxycodone Withdrawal Question
    anonguy2 posted:
    I take 30mg of oxycodone daily. I am using 5/325 generic percocet. I take 2 pills with breakfast, 2 with lunch, and 2 at dinner. For my own reasons I want to quit cold turkey. I don't really think withdrawal from 30mg a day would be that bad, but the part that worries me is that i've been taking that much for 3 years now, probably a little longer. I googled earlier and basically scared the crap out of myself reading all the horror withdrawal stories. From what I could gather most of these people were evidently using a lot of stuff as much as possible and I realize i'm not in the kind of shape that most of them were, but still it scared me.

    I have ran out before and after the first day i would feel kinda draggy and disconnected, dizzy spells sometimes but not so bad that i couldn't move, and maybe diarrhea for a day or 2 but normally by that 3rd or 4th day i'd start to feel better. that's normally when i'd get my refill and start taking it again.

    My question is should I be worried if I quit cold turkey? I don't use any other drugs, not even so much as sinus medicine because I am always scared of taking something that would have a bad interaction with it.
    mike91163 responded:
    From a medical standpoint, you shouldn't worry about stopping cold turkey. However, from a general "how you are feeling" standpoint, why put yourself through the misery of CT?

    Yes, 30mg daily is not really a high dose...but, as you already mentioned, you've experienced CT. Why go through the misery if you don't have to? Check with your doctor, but if I were in your shoes, I would drop ONE pill out of your six for 3-5 days, and repeat until done.

    Also, ask your doctor if you're a safe candidate for the Catapres patch during your withdrawal; it's actually a blood pressure medication, but helped me immensely in combating the WD symptoms. Furthermore, Google "Thomas recipe"; it's a cocktail of various OTC vitamins and supplements that will further aid you...and, they're good for you anyway!

    Just curious...what are you taking the percocet for, and why do you want to stop?
    anonguy2 responded:
    I take it for rotator (sic?) cup pain in both shoulders and i also have sciatic nerve pain in my hip that it helps with.

    My main reason for quitting is that it causes me to smoke. I only smoke 2 - 3 cigarettes a day. I started smoking at 18 and quit by 27. I quit it cold turkey and never looked back. About 2 years ago though I decided that 2 - 3 smokes a day couldn't be THAT bad, and my decision was based on the craving caused by taking percocet. Recently though it seems like everyone is getting the C word and it really bothers me that I smoke what I do. I never crave or smoke a cigarette until the "buzz" from the percocet kicks in, then i'm like a heroin junkie over a cigarette. It is the ONLY time I want to smoke, otherwise I don't even think about them. I also don't like the thought of my body depending on something to work properly. I had thought about chewing nicorette gum to take care of the craving but I can't find a straight answer as to whether or not it causes oral cancer.

    I have also considering just taking 1 pill 3 times daily for a total of 15mg a day, and doing that for a few months and then stopping.
    cweinbl responded:
    "Anonguy2," no one should stop taking a narcotic cold turkey, especially someone who has been using it for three years. I guarantee that you will experience withdrawal. I know this because I worked with addiction disorders after my undergraduate degree and I know something about pharmaceuticals. I have also used narcotics for a very long time and know what it feels like to stop one of them.

    The question here is not, should someone stop a long-term narcotic cold turkey (much less two of them). We all know that is destructive. The question is, why would anyone wish to deliberately feel terrible, when it's not necessary. When you can avoid withdrawal by gradually tapering it off, why would you wish to stop cold turkey and go through potential agony.

    Many people are hospitalized for doing what you suggest. I don't mean to preach to you, but you are about to make yourself feel very, very sick. Why?
    PainSuffererRon1 responded:
    Hello Guy- I thought I'd give you a word or two on your subject here. I've had several bumps with withdrawls of Prescribed Pain Meds I have been on for 4 years and taking stout stuff as well because my Pain is severe enough to take me out of commission for a couple days without meds. My recomendation for you to not put yourself or your system in any unnessary shock than it has already- self inflicted-. It really plays a toll on your whole health. My Chronic pain takes my blood pressure very high, dangerously high ! Let alone very sick and into the ER spell. If you want to quit do it with Professional Help so you have help if you need it. And someone is aware of your intentions . Shock syndrome can KILL. Not meant to scare,but just to help with my two cents. Good Luck ! and God Bless ! and Stay Well.
    teresakitty2 responded:

    Charles and Painsuffererron1 are so correct. When I worked as an RN in the ICU, we saw terrible drug and alcohol withdrawals when people came in and weren't straight with their doctors about what medications they were taking or drinking. They thought they could handle it.

    Well, I'm here to tell you it gets very rough. Nausea, vomiting, chills, sweats, body aches, halucinations, were just some of the side effects of stopping cold turkey. Sometimes we had to physically restrain our patients in 4 pt. restraints for their own safety. These can last for 4-5 days.

    In some cases, our patients came to us because they aspirated (breathed into their lungs) vomit and had to be put on the ventilator because inhaling that into their lungs caused pneumonia. I know that is very gross, but there is no other way to describe it.

    I think you see what I mean. Until you have seen a person withdraw, it is hard to imagine that it can be that bad, but let me tell you, it can be a life-threatening event that can trigger many bad things to happen. It was not uncommon when a patient had aspirated that they ended up dying from the pneumonia and other complications. Now, I know what some have said about withdrawal and they did it "cold turkey", but believe me, if you are not one of the very few who can do that, you will be in serious trouble. Like Charles, have no idea why you would want to even take the chance.

    Hope you and anyone else considering going off "cold turkey" realize what that means entirely before you do it. Good luck and be safe. Teresa
    annette030 responded:
    Since you have done it before when you ran out of percocet, you know what it will be like if you just quit. Everyone varies somewhat when it comes to withdrawals, some people have more severe symptoms than others do. What you mentioned sounds about what I would expect in someone taking the amount of oxycodone that you are taking.

    There is no reason for you to quit cold turkey unless you want to. You can get another RX and taper off more slowly, as one of the other posters suggested. You can avoid withdrawal symptoms altogether that way, but you will still deal with your original pain, and will need to work with your doctor on a pain management program. Many people do that without using opiates.

    Since you have noticed a desire to smoke and this seems to be your motivation to stop using percocet, I would discuss this with your doctor. Perhaps a different opiate would help your pain, without giving you that urge. He could also tell you if a nicotene substitute would be medically appropriate for you, and what risks they include. Then the two of you decide what to do.

    Everyone has different cancer risk factors, you and your doctor can figure out what yours are and how much you should worry. You might feel better if you get regular checkups to insure early detection.

    Take care, Annette
    dancingfree48 replied to teresakitty2's response:
    I realize this was four years ago, however, I have to disagree with you. This is a scare tactic as withdrawal from opiates is NOT life threatening as I've been through it more than once. Painful, miserable, YES, but NOT life threatening in general.

    There are those who put themselves at risk when withdrawing from OPIATES, and these people are unprepared or are NOT in good physical health to begin with. I would never suggest going cold turkey and this time I tapered and my withdrawals have been very mild, but I also waited until I was VERY healthy before I tried it again, and also wanted OFF these meds enough to make it happen.

    Secondly, your generalizing is really unfair to the thousands who have opted to go CT alone. There are many reasons people do this and there are also many who have been successful doing it. I am one of those too. The folks you're talking about in your ER experience, are withdrawing from something OTHER than mainly opiates. It is DANGEROUS to withdraw from benzos, or alcohol without help and it is known that in doing so it can cause seizures as part of a withdrawal syndrome as well as other extreme symptoms that are NOT present with opiate withdrawal.

    My opinion is that CT can be done and is done everyday. Tapering is best if you can do it and will make the withdrawal less emergent, but still extremely uncomfortable. Being prepared with clonidine for blood pressure, zofran or promethazine for nausea, Immodium for diarrhea, a benzo for sleep, and this has been a BREEZE. One must be careful with the benzos however and titrate down once the acute phase has passed, along with the clonidine as it can have rebound affects on blood pressure. Why suffer if you don't have too. If you are psychologically prepared, as well as with adequate medications for withdrawal, you will make it.

    This lady is purposely trying to scare you. Just because she's an RN and works in an ER does not make her an authority on withdrawals.
    77grace replied to dancingfree48's response:
    I am glad that I checked into this conversation because it is very important !I haVE BEEN THROUGH ALL THOSE WITHDRAWELS 1ST HAND and I do not recomend it!
    I think that if one can they should go throught either their Dr. or a rehab that is with their insurance,hopefully it has a 12 step part to it!We reallt need guidence,especailly in the beginning!
    I Love you All,77grace
    annette030 replied to dancingfree48's response:
    I totally agree with you, dancingfree48.

    Unless the person is withdrawing from more than just plain old opioids, there really is no danger for a basically healthy adult.

    Benzos and alcohol are entirely different things than opioids, withdrawal from those can cause seizures, and other life threatening problems.

    Take care, Annette
    cweinbl responded:
    First of all, congratulations on being pain free, or at least nearly pain free. After all, why would anyone want to stop using required pain medication unless the pain no longer exists in that severity. So, I'm glad that your pain is much better. That's terrific news.

    Second, no one should EVER stop using an opioid cold turkey. Many people are hospitalized and some die from going cold turkey on a pain drug, especially if you've been using it for along time (ex. "three years").

    You need two things. The first is a schedule from your doctor for gradually decreasing your dosage of Oxycontin. It can easily take two to three weeks to decrease your dosage in scheduled increments, based upon your doctor's recommendation.

    Second, you should know that there are efficacious medications that assist people in decreasing opioid medications. Drug like Suboxone and Nalaxone can make this process much easier. Ask your doctor about using an OPIOID ANTAGONIST to help with withdrawal symptoms.

    If you decide to go cold turkey, please do it near a hospital. After three years of daily administration of Oxycodone, stopping it completely will put you in danger of serious complications and possibly death. You ask if you should be "worried about going cold turkey." My answer (and I know a lot about this as a clinician and as a patient), you are risking your life. Under the best scenario, you will break out in a sweat, you will feel your skin crawl everywhere, you'll be nauseous and possibly vomit. You will experience significant pain and likely also severe headaches.

    People die by going cold turkey. Why would you want to do that when there are extremely valuable medications to treat the withdrawal symptoms?
    Feardorcha68 replied to anonguy2's response:
    If you have pain enough that your doctor has been prescribing Percocet, and that pain hasn't gotten better, quitting your Percocet will make you miserable.

    Can you discuss this with your doctor and maybe use nicotene gum or lozenges when you need them?

    The nicotene replacements don't cause lung cancer because they don't get breathed in through your lungs.

    I don't smoke anymore, but when my pain was worse before fusion, I actually smoked more from pain than from Percocet.

    If you've been taking Percocet for 3 years and still get a buzz, that's pretty weird. Maybe taking the percocet 1 at a time instead of 2 would give you pain relief and decrese the urge to smoke.
    annette030 replied to cweinbl's response:
    People do not die from withdrawals from opiates, particularly if you were basically healthy to start out with, as in no heart disease.

    Withdrawals from benzos and other meds are something else altogether, and can be very dangerous.

    Take care, Annette

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