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Vicodin Withdrawal

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Vicodin is an opiate-based prescription pain killer, a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Vicodin works by dulling the pain receptors emanating from the brain and spine. It is most commonly used as a pain reliever after surgery or due to serious injury.

It is an extremely effective pain reliever when used according to its prescription, however it does hold a high rate of dependency especially when used for more than 4-5 days. Just like with other narcotic medications, people using Vicodin for pain relief  can develop a tolerance rather quickly, requiring larger doses to achieve its desired effects. When abruptly stopping the use of Vicodin they may experience serious withdrawal symptoms, most commonly including fatigue, restlessness, anxiety and irritability as the body learns to function without this substance.

Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms

When using a narcotic medication over a long period of time the body will become accustomed to functioning with this drug within the system. While most medications like Vicodin are not meant to be used for more than 5 days as there is an increased risk of tolerance and dependency. When it is used for a prolonged period of time it often leads to substance abuse, with a high risk of developing an addiction. If the body becomes dependent or addicted to Vicodin, when stopping its use you will experience a wide array of withdrawal symptoms as the body begins to adjust to not having the substance present any longer.

Common Psychological Symptoms of Vicodin Withdrawal Include:

  • Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Easily Agitated
  • Strong cravings for the drug

Common Physical Symptoms of Vicodin Withdrawal Include:

  • Fatique
  • Headache
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Jerking of the limbs or restless leg syndrome
  • Sweating
  • Dilated pupils
  • Yawning
  • Diarrhea
  • Goose bumps
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

How Long do Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

Within 24 to 72 hours from the last use of Vicodin you will begin to experience symptoms of withdrawal. The first few days of withdrawal will be the most uncomfortable as they body is adjusting to not having the substance in the system. The severity and length of time the withdrawal period will last is determined by the length of the Vicodin use and the strength of the dose. Vicodin withdrawal has been known to last for weeks since its last use in those with a severe addiction.

Dealing with Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms

It is never advised to stop taking Vicodin suddenly when using the medication over a long period of time. This can only increase the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms as the body adjusts to not having the drug in its system. Before stopping its use speak to your doctor to determine the safest way for you to stop its use. Typically your doctor will help you to go through a dosage reduction process where your gradually weened off the medication until your body is no longer dependent and can function without it.

Depending on the severity of your addiction to Vicodin, your doctor may advise you to undergo an medical detoxification program. This will allow you to be taken off the medication and supervised by medical professionals to ensure your comfort and safety. You will undergo therapy as well to help you understand the cause of your addiction, find other treatment options for you and to help you developing the tools you will need to overcome cravings to abuse the drug again.

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