Are there medications that can help when detoxing from hydrocodone? Yes, there are absolutely a number of medications that will render hydrocodone detox quite comfortable. As a general rule, hydrocodone detox, along with that of other opioids, is not physically dangerous. It can make you feel horrible, but it won’t hurt you physically in most cases. There are some exceptions. For example, someone with a severe seizure disorder or some types of heart disease may not be able to safely withdraw from opioids without direct medical supervision. For most people, though, there are three basic choices:
- MAT. medically-assisted treatment, with certain other opioids
- Non-opioid MAT
- Cold turkey
MAT typically refers to detox with assistance from the synthetic opioid buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone and Subutex. MAT sometimes also includes another synthetic opioid called methadone, but for hydrocodone withdrawal, methadone would typically not be necessary. However, not everyone responds well to buprenorphine.
.A small percentage of people addicted to opioids will not get sufficient relief from it and may require methadone or other medications. Hydrocodone Withdrawal MAT is designed to ease hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms, such as:
- Painful stomach cramps
- Restless leg syndrome
- Anxiety and extreme feelings of weakness
- Feeling hot and cold
- Cold sweats
- Sneezing and other allergy-like symptoms
- Bone and muscle aches
Opioid withdrawal is painful, nasty and miserable. It’s much bigger and stronger than you are. It keeps people addicted through fear. There is not one single opioid addict on the planet who isn’t terribly afraid of withdrawal. It strikes fear in the very heart of every one of them. If you’re addicted to hydrocodone and also fear withdrawal, you’re not alone by any means. Although the worst of the withdrawal symptoms tend to abate after a week to ten days, they can persist for weeks and even months. PAWS, or Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, is a litany of stubborn symptoms, such as lethargy and insomnia, that can linger for up to a year after the initial withdrawal timeline has ended.
What is Hydrocodone?
It’s a semi-synthetic analgesic and antitussive, which is the medical term for a cough suppressant. Like most opioids, although not all, hydrocodone is an excellent antitussive and is included in many prescription cough and cold preparations along with at least one non-narcotic ingredient. This is often an antihistamine like chlorpheniramine, a decongestant like phenylephrine or guaifenesin, an expectorant. Expectorants help to loosen and thin secretions in the lungs, making them easier to cough up. Hydrocodone is also an excellent analgesic or pain killer at least six times stronger than codeine. Although it’s made from thebaine, a compound naturally found in the opium poppy, like oxycodone is, hydrocodone is considerably weaker than its oxycodone chemical cousin in both strength and scope.
Oxycodone is at least two to three times stronger than hydrocodone and is a far superior analgesic, but it has little antitussive effect. Medications for Hydrocodone Withdrawal Hydrocodone is a relatively weak opioid that is often easier to withdraw from than stronger opioids, namely its powerful cousin oxycodone and other opioids, such as oxymorphone or Opana and the various forms of the notorious, synthetic fentanyl. Suboxone is typically used for hydrocodone withdrawal. It works by stimulating the same brain opioid receptors that hydrocodone does, easing discomfort and suppressing drug cravings.
Suboxone works well for most people withdrawing from hydrocodone. For those who may prefer to avoid opioids for withdrawal altogether, there are a number of other medications effective for hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms:
- Clonidine to reduce the brain’s response to the sudden absence of opioids
- Muscle relaxants
- Loperamide for diarrhea
- Medication for nausea
- Benzodiazepines for insomnia and anxiety
- Strong NSAIDS like celecoxib or meloxicam for pain
These medications can keep you quite comfortable during hydrocodone withdrawal. If any detox medication isn’t helping you enough or is causing troublesome side effects, speak up to detox center staff. They can always adjust your medications. There are always options. Cold turkey opioid withdrawal is not necessary or recommended. Although it’s an option, it has no medical advantage and will likely result in needless suffering through terrible withdrawal symptoms for no good reason or benefit. Hope for the Future There is always hope. If you find yourself entangled with hydrocodone addiction, you’re not alone by any means. There’s a way out. Just call our group of professional drug counselors at 833-497-3812 anytime. We’ll speak to you confidentially, determine your needs and preferences, and then we will refer you to the perfect substance abuse rehab facility for you.