Oxycodone belongs to a class of drugs called opioids, which are prescription narcotics that are used to treat pain. They are powerfully addictive drugs that should never be used long term, as oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can be experienced after just a few weeks of use. Find the answers to your questions regarding oxycodone withdrawal, oxycodone side effects, and oxycodone overdose symptoms below.
Q: What are oxycodone side effects?
A: According to Livestrong.com, there are serious long term side effects that can result from taking oxycodone for an extended period. Long term use of this very powerful painkiller can negatively impact the liver, brain and kidneys. Normal side effects include nausea, vomiting, constipation, headache, itchy skin, insomnia, or lightheadedness. More severe and less common side effects include allergic reaction to the drug, heart palpitations, and migraine headaches, excessive sweating, swelling in the arms or legs, chronic bowel obstruction, confusion, and heart failure. Men who use oxycodone long term may also experience a decrease in testosterone or enlargement of the prostate. One of the more serious oxycodone side effects is the tolerance one can develop when using the drug. Once a physical dependency on the drug has been established, which can happen in just a few weeks, a serious side effect resulting from oxycodone abuse would be the withdrawal symptoms that users experience when they are trying to come off of the drug.
Q: What are the symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal?
A: Once a person develops a physical dependency on oxycodone, this means that the individual must keep taking the drug to prevent withdrawal symptoms from occurring. Over time, the individual will have to take more of the drug to achieve the same result. When a person undergoes oxycodone withdrawal, he or she will experience symptoms that include agitation, anxiety, muscle aches, severe abdominal cramping, insomnia, excessive sweating, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, dilated pupils, as well as other symptoms that differ in severity from person to person. Withdrawal from opiate drugs can be a very difficult situation. It can also be life threatening in some cases, which is why it is recommended that medical detox services be explored when seeking drug addiction treatment for opiates.
Q: What are oxycodone overdose symptoms?
A: Chest pain, loss of consciousness, irregular heartbeat, decreased awareness, lack of muscle tone or movement, drowsiness, speech changes, and constricted pupils are all oxycodone overdose symptoms. Some individuals overdose on oxycodone accidentally when it is prescribed to them to treat pain from an injury or medical procedure, but the majority of oxycodone overdoses happen when users take the drug recreationally. As oxycodone use increases, users face deadly side effects such as extremely slowed breathing or even respiratory arrest.
Q: What is a medical detox?
A: According the National Institute on Drug Abuse, medical detoxification is the first stage of recovery where the individual undergoes withdrawal under medical supervision and management. Medical detoxification safely manages the physical symptoms of withdrawal to help prevent possible seizures, elevated blood pressure or anxiety. Medical detoxification enhances the comfort of the patient while they experience withdrawal symptoms as well.
Q: What types of treatment can help people stop abusing oxycodone?
A: There are effective treatment methods that have been proven successful in helping individuals end their addiction to oxycodone or other opiates. They include medications that help with detox, such as Methadone, a long term maintenance medication in which the dosage is reduced over a period of time. Methadone also helps reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms as well. Medications like Clonidine reduce anxiety, muscle aches, cramping, and other withdrawal symptoms. Other medications reduce cravings to use and help with sleep. Antidepressants are also used to treat depression, which is common for many at the start of recovery. In addition to medications, cognitive behavioral therapy is effective in helping individuals retrain their brains in order to let go of old habits and form healthy new ones. Intensive psychotherapy, counseling, and self help groups are other effective, long term treatments to plan on taking part in after detox.