What are common opioid medicines?
Opioids have many names. These are often prescribed to reduce pain. Examples include: oxycontin, oxycodone, Dilaudid®, Vicodin® (hydrocondone/acetaminophen), methadone, codeine, Percocet®, fentanyl, Tramadol®, and others.
What is opioid withdrawal?
Opioid withdrawal can occur when you stop taking opioid medicine after 2 weeks or more of regular daily use. It can also occur when you take less than you normally do.
When does opioid withdrawal start and how long does it last?
Opioid withdrawal starts when your body no longer has the amount of opioid it is used to. It can last for many days or longer. It depends on the type of opioid you were taking. It can also depend on the amount you were taking.
The symptoms of opioid withdrawal
- Feeling irritable
- Feeling anxious
- Muscle cramps
- Upset stomach
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Sleeping trouble
- Feeling weak
Treatment for withdrawal
It is best to prevent opioid withdrawal when possible. There are medicines that can be used in the hospital to reduce your symptoms. Your health care team will talk with you about these. You should see your primary care team if you are not in the hospital. There are ways to treat opioid dependence as well.
Danger of withdrawal
Opioid withdrawal is not life-threatening. It can be very uncomfortable. Withdrawal from alcohol or medicines known as benzodiazepines can lead to death. Tell your health care team about all the medicines, drugs, and alcohol you use.
Danger of opioids in the future
Taking opioid medicine when your body is not used to it can lead to illness or death. You may not need to take very much to have a problem.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 10/26/2011
Copyright © 10/26/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7266
Print Health Fact For You