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Hydrocodone Withdrawal Timeline, Symptoms, and Detox Treatment

hydrocodone withdrawal timeline symptoms

Hydrocodone is a prescription opioid medication that is prescribed to treat the symptoms of pain. While hydrocodone is effective in reducing the symptoms of pain, it is not recommended for long-term use because it can be habit-forming and highly addictive.

Unfortunately, prescription opioid abuse is relatively common in the United States. According to the CDC, An average of 44 people died each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids, totaling more than 16,000 deaths in 2020.[1]

When you become addicted to hydrocodone, your body begins to rely on the substance to function properly. This is known as physical dependence and is what causes you to experience withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop taking the drug. If you or a loved one abuse hydrocodone, being aware of the withdrawal timeline and how it is treated can motivate you to seek the help you need.

Symptoms of Hydrocodone Withdrawal

One of the telltale signs of prescription opioid addiction is experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when you stop taking the opioid you are addicted to. If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal if you stop taking the medication, you should consider attending a medical detox program. These symptoms can become uncomfortable, painful, and even dangerous without medical assistance.

The common symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal include:[2]

  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Teary eyes
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive yawning
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Cravings for hydrocodone
  • Depression
  • Stomach cramping
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills

The Hydrocodone Withdrawal Timeline

Before choosing to attend a prescription opioid detox program, you may be wondering how long withdrawal will last. While there is a general withdrawal timeline that most people follow, certain factors may affect how long your symptoms last. For example, the dosage, frequency of use, your overall health, and whether you were abusing other substances may play a role in how long hydrocodone withdrawal lasts.

An estimated timeline for hydrocodone withdrawal is as follows:

6 to 12 Hours

Most people begin experiencing the initial symptoms of hydrocodone withdrawal 6 to 12 hours after their last dosage. The early symptoms of withdrawal are usually mild. During this stage of detox, you may experience body aches, nausea, stomach cramps, and excessive sweating.

3 to 5 Days

Your symptoms of withdrawal will peak in intensity between the 3rd and 5th day of detox. During the peak stage of hydrocodone withdrawal, you may experience diarrhea, shaking, vomiting, body aches, and other flu-like symptoms.

6+ Days

By the 6th day of withdrawal, your symptoms should begin to subside. While the physical symptoms of withdrawal are usually gone, you can continue to experience psychological effects like depression, anxiety, insomnia, and intense cravings for hydrocodone. Because these psychological symptoms can be extremely distressing, receiving support from a medical detox center is of the utmost importance.

Variables That Affect the Hydrocodone Withdrawal Timeline

How long hydrocodone withdrawal lasts may vary from one person to another based on certain patterns of drug use and health, for example:

  • The longer you have used hydrocodone and the higher doses you take, the longer your withdrawal symptoms will last
  • Having gone through opioid withdrawal in the past may increase the severity of symptoms
  • Age, weight, gender, and body fat composition may influence the withdrawal timeline
  • Hydrocodone is processed by your liver, so impaired liver function may result in a longer withdrawal period

Since hydrocodone withdrawal can be unpredictable, the best choice to make is to detox under medical supervision.

hydrocodone withdrawal timeline symptoms and detox treatment

Get The Care You Need and Deserve

Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

What to Expect at a Hydrocodone Detox Center

Opioid detox centers will provide you with treatments and medications to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal and prevent you from experiencing cravings. Medical care is especially important during opioid withdrawal because symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting can lead to severe dehydration. Additionally, the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal often cause individuals to relapse when they attempt to detox at home.

With that being said, you should always receive support from a detox facility while you are going through hydrocodone withdrawal. During detox, you will be prescribed medications like methadone or buprenorphine, which target the opioid receptors in your brain to soothe symptoms of withdrawal without causing an intoxicating effect. Over time, you will be slowly tapered off of these medications, ensuring that you do not experience severe symptoms or cravings.

In addition to tapering medications, you will be monitored consistently to ensure medical stability and overall health. Nurses will check your vitals routinely, which allows them to catch any medical issues before they become an emergency.

Detox also includes 24/7 psychiatric support, as withdrawal symptoms may include feelings of depression, anxiety, mood swings, and insomnia. You will have access to licensed mental health providers like therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists. You can attend therapy, and group counseling and receive psychiatric medications to manage any severe symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Once you have completed the detoxification process, you can move on to additional recovery programs like inpatient or outpatient treatment. Your detox treatment team will help you create an individualized treatment plan that will help you determine which type of program will best suit your needs and goals for recovery.

Find Help for Hydrocodone Abuse and Addiction Today

If you or a loved one suffer from a hydrocodone addiction, it is important to remember that recovery is possible. While attempting to stop using opioids at home can be dangerous, professional detox programs can help you comfortably and safely overcome an addiction to hydrocodone.

At Woburn Wellness, we believe in using a combination of evidence-based and holistic addiction treatment methods to ensure every patient recovers in a way that works for them. Before starting our hydrocodone addiction treatment program, we’ll make sure you have access to safe and supportive detox treatment.

To learn more about our substance abuse treatment programs, contact Woburn Wellness today.


Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC
Clinical Director

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