Withdrawals from Oxycodone

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 8/12/2008 9:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I am new and found your site, thank god. I have been on Percocet 7.5/325 for about 6 months, after being on vicodin for a year. I had my neck fused 3 years ago, and have bouts of chronic pain. I have noticed that I also have side effects from the oxy. They occured when I was on them for a few months immediately following my surgery. I have arthritis like symptoms in my hands, and severe tingling in my arms and hands. Also numbing of my finger tips. I have had MRI's done and it is not being caused by pinched nerves in the spine. It is bad enough that I want off of the Oxy. My neck pain seems to have lessened, and the side effects are way bad. I plan to manage my pain with physical therapy at home, so I am starting the withdrawals. My first attempt was cold turkey, and that lasted about 8 hours. My legs were driving me crazy. I only can describe it as very restless, and painful. I decided to try tapering off and went to fast. I was taking 3 tablets 2x a day, and went to 2 tabs 2x a day. That lasted 1 day. To fast. So last week I figured I would go 2 1/2 tabs 2x a day. Did great for 5 days, then today I went to 2 1/4 tabs 2x a day. I noticed some flu like symptoms, weak, sleepy. But thank goodness no RLS so far. I am very scared of this process, because of the withdrawals, not being rid of this addiction, and its side effects. I am relieved to read the other posts and see that I am not alone in the symptoms. I know there are those who have taken way more mg a day than I have, but I am just as addicted to them, physically. The one thing that infuriates me is, my doctor of 15 years said over and over, that I would not get addicted at the dosage I was taking. I know better. I will do this on my own, slowly tapering down, and then gone for good!
I am just wondering if anyone out there has had side effects in their arms or legs, with weakness or tingling, while taking the Oxy, not withdrawing? This has happened twice to me now, and I don't know if it is just me or what.
God Bless all of you who are trying to quit the oxy, and good luck.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 8/12/2008 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   

The only truly safe and effective way to withdraw from medication is under the guidance and care of your doctor. Also, I want to clarify something... There is a very big difference between dependence and addiction. PaLady posted a really good article about this several pages back that you could search for. That said, if you no longer need this medication for pain, you are absolutely right to stop taking it! BUT...you should talk to your doctor about it so he can help you. He could help you to develop a taper schedule and also perhaps prescribe smaller dose pills or even some other short term medications to ease the withdrawal symptoms.

The symptoms you are talking about, though, don't sound to me like symptoms that could be side effects of percocet. I am not a doctor, but that just doesn't make sense. I also didn't think MRIs could definitively diagnose nerve impingement but again, I am not a doctor. One thing that you said concerned me a bit... You say you are angry with your doctor for prescribing this med and saying you wouldn't get addicted, but then you said you are taking three 7.5 mg pills at a time. That sounds unusual. This medication is usually prescribed as 1-2 tablets at a time. If you are not taking this medication as it is prescribed, then you cannot blame the doctor for the consequences of that behavior.

Go see your doctor. Let him help you. That the safest thing to do.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 8/12/2008 10:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the reply ryand. The dose I was taking was for sure discussed with my dr. She said as long as I was not taking more than 8 pills a day, I could take them 2 1/2 - 3x a day, or 3 - 2x a day. I kind of got my self into that by upping my dose, when I was really hurting, to 2 1/2 pills - 2x a day, then of course that quit working and I went to 3. Well I also noticed the increase in the arm and hand issues, with the increase. I just feel that I don't need them as much as I did, and when I do have pain in the future I hope to manage it without meds. (opiates anyways). Maybe it is wishful thinking, but I hope Ibuprofin (sp?) and excersize will help. Do you really think I need to see my dr if I am doing ok, so far?
I thought I would go very, very slowly. If I have to many problems, then call her for help. I have a rx of xanax, to use as needed. I was thinking when I get down to 1 pill or so, I would ask her for a few vicodin, to finish the tapering off. I will just play it by ear, and monitor how I am feeling, and if I need to go to her, I will.
Thanks, and God Bless.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 8/12/2008 10:50 PM (GMT -6)   

I am glad to hear your doctor was aware of the dose you were taking. It still seems strange that you had the hand and arm symptoms - I just never heard anyone say that before related to this med. But maybe someone else will be along here soon who might have had something like that happen.

My main reason for suggesting you see the doc was so that she is aware of what's going on and so that you don't let yourself get too sick.

I bumped up the dependence article in case you are interested in reading it, too. I wish you the best!

Post Edited (ryand) : 8/13/2008 4:54:17 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted Yesterday 12:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Mrspile:

Welcome to the HW forum. I do have to agree with Ry's early advice, though. I think you should be withdrawing from these meds under your doc's supervision. You mention oxy- do you mean the percocet (oxycodone) or do you mean oxycontin? I was a little confused as to whether you may be taking both. But since percocet is a shorter acting med, the 3 tabs may have helped you develop tolerance faster. You may need a different pain management strategy, with a longer acting med. and shorter acting onese for BT pain. But if you're trying to withdraw from all of it, it's still good to have your physician involved. If it doesn't work out, and you do need pain meds (opiates) then your doc's not going to know what's been going on with you, and not have a clear record of your responses and symptoms. It's hard enough findind a doc to prescribe, and that may just stop that doc from prescribing for you in the future. The xanax is also addictive, even though it's not a opiate, and if you are any any difficulties with tolerance you may end up taking more xanax over time.

I'd encourage you to read the article Ry mentionedm, too, just to give you more info. As far as the symptoms in your arms and hands, it sounds like a neurologist needs to assess what's going on. It could be coming from nerves that are impinged in areas other than the spine - such as carpel tunnel.

Good luck!

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 18
   Posted Yesterday 10:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I have given it a lot of thought, and decided to inform my dr today that I am tapering down. I took a xanax to sleep and had a great night, but I hate how they make me feel in the morning, almost like a hangover. I definately won't be taking them any longer than I have to. I am feeling pretty lousy this morning. Just took my 2 1/4 pills (percocet) for the first of my 2 doses today. I usually try to wait till around 10am or later since I only take 2 doses a day, but I feel to bad this morning. I know about 3pm I will be sick, and have to hold off on the second dose till about 5pm. That helps me make it through the night. I know I have not been taking near as many pills as some of you, but the end result of physical addiction is still the same. I appreciate this forum being here, as I go through this difficult process. You all are so helpful, and knowledgeable on this matter, and I thank you for being here to help me.
PAlady, I am on Percocet this time. 3 years ago I was bumped up the ladder of progression, to Oxycontin. I was only on it for a few months, but the symptoms of the arm and hand tingling was far worse, including my legs. I got to where I had to use the electric carts in the grocery stores, because my legs were so weak. My husband was so scared for me, because he said I was having bad breathing problems in my sleep. He say I was only taking about 8 to 10 breaths a minute at times. Oxycontin was not something I wanted to continue taking, so I had a very easy time, (probably due to the short duration) tapering off. As soon as I got off all meds, I mean within days, my arms, hands, and legs were all back to normal. My neuro surgeon tested me for carpal tunnel, then, and told me it was in my head. THAT made me furious. My reg dr was sure it was a rare side effect. We both were concerned when I went to her a year and a half ago and needed pain relief, again. I thought if I just stayed on the vicodin, maybe the limb problems wouldn't re-appear. (hoping) I took them for a year, and as I had to increase, to keep pain controlled, the arm tingling and arthritis like stiffness started showing up. It was not so bad, that I could not live with it. Then 6 months ago I had to go to Percocet, and the "side effects" got more intense. As my dosage increases so do the problems in my arms. Thank goodness , this time my legs are not involved. I believe that was because of the Oxycontin, since it is so much more powerful. I am only 47 and I know that chronic pain will be something I have to deal with for the rest of my life. I just hope to find a different way to manage it. After reading some of the other posts on here, I am very aware that I am not in the same catagory as many here. My pain flares up for a period of a month or 2 then can hide for short periods, just depending on my physical activity. I am a very active person, and it is so hard to slow down, and take it easy, but that is a lot better than being dependent on Oxy.
Thanks again to you all for the support you have here for all who are going down this very complicated road of life.
God Bless You all, have a good day.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted Yesterday 11:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mrs. Pile,
I have the same issue when I'm withdrawing from actiq. I went to see my doc last night & we've decided to cut down my dose. I've done this before, so I know it's tough, but we'll both make it through this & will be better off for it (well, that's what I have to tell myself, at least :).

My PM wrote me for Catapres patch. That's helped a ton in the past with the feeling like I have to constantly be moving my arms & legs. It also helps with sleep. It's on-label for high blood pressure (which I definitely don't have), but it helps a lot with the twichiness & feeling like I have to move all the time. For me, it has been a better option than benzos because with them I would always wake up feeling like I have a hang-over and if I took it in the day I would get feeling all angry. The only side effect to Catapres is that it makes me feel a little sluggish & if I take anything higher than the lowest dose then I get a little dizzy. Other than that, I think it's pretty good. If you do decide to try it, put it on 24 hours before your next dose reduction. It does take a day or so to get into your system.

Best wishes,

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted Yesterday 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I went off Oxycontin by myself. I went to a pain doctor who neglected to look at
my MRI's, etc. I have learned to walk straight and tall. (Practice) I dress up for
the occasion of the doctor visit. Based on these outward signs of health, he decided
to take me off Oxycontin and put me on Accupuncture. OMG!!!
Accupuncture made my back and arms feel like raw hamburger meat. Terrible.
The withdrawels were awful. I don't remember them clearly -- it was 3 1/2 years
ago. My pharmacists pulled me through. I did it though. I lived. My husband was
really scared. Doctors need to be involved in going off Opiods but sometimes they
are not there for you. Mine wasn't. He'd been my good friend for years. He just
got scared. California is a scary place for docs. I understand.

Osteoarthritis all levels of spine right down to Coccyx
Myofascial Pain
Bulging Discs
Spinal Stenosis
Chronic Constipation (Take meds that solve that problem. : ) )
Carpel Tunel Syndrome
Prolapsed Bowel and Bladder (Doesn't cause much problem)
Attention Deficit Disorder
Depression and Anxiety

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/19/2008 12:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Pretty new my self to this site. I have had 5 years of hell ,only this year did we figuer out what my pain for so long was . Two surgerys in 6 month time,only at 6 weeks recovery as of yesterday for my secound surg. I started comeing off three days ago . I was on oxycodine for 6 months and went to 7.5 hydrocodine befor this last surg . 3 years of pain meds and my withdraw is not nice sigh . I am at my 3 day today of w/d. I have for the last year been taking 3 to 4 pills aday .Now takeing half at ,am half at 4 pm ,and a hole at bed . I have the RLS pretty bad arg i cant stand it at night ,and have not had much sleep because of it . I have the dizzyness and fog in my head , pain was pretty bad yesterday but i know its because was day two of comeing down . I came across all your posts and it made me feel like i can do this ! and not do it alone . My docters said they would tell me when i can start to come off, but for now stay were i am at on pain meds. But if i felt i could try to come off>>> go for it , so i am .I want to because i am tired of my family makeing me feel like i am some junkie :( , also dealing with the pharmicists . Always makeing rude remarks to me :( SUCH AS ...your not better yet ! everytime i drop my script off , One asked me if i was dieing :( . All of you have made my day today . I thank you all for being truthful and makeing at least me feel i am not the only one siting here in the problem that i did'nt ask for . Thanks for makeing me feel it can be done , and there are outhers that feel same as you on every lvl . Thank you so much ,and i wish all of you luck on this path ,because you made to day possible for me .
Send a hug to each of you :)
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