Hydrocodone Withdrawal

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Symptoms of Hydrocodone Withdrawal
  3. Stages of Hydrocodone Withdrawal
  4. Hydrocodone Withdrawal Treatment


Hydrocodone is a medication that easily connects to the brain and spinal cords. It attached to something referred to as opioid receptors. Hydrocodone acetaminophen, when used in the right order, can help a person deal with severe pains.​​​1   Let’s review the hydrocodone withdrawal process.

Causes of Hydrocodone Withdrawal

Though when used correctly, the hydrocodone could be pretty significant. When abused it can create dependence, where the body becomes used to the presence of the substance and reacts negatively when it isn’t taken.   This means that the brain and body have integrated the drug into their regular workings. The moment use stops, then the hydrocodone withdrawal sets in.

Symptoms of Hydrocodone Withdrawal

Note, both hydrocodone and oxycodone have similar symptoms as they are both opioids. They can both treat pain but in an actual debate between the hydrocodone vs. oxycodone. Hydrocodone can cause constipation while the oxycodone doesn’t.   However, the Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms appear just after one’s last intake. the symptoms include:  
  • Running nose
  • Muscle pain and aches
  • Intense sweating
  • Unusual chills
  • Constant vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Constant mood swings
  • Feelings of depression
  • Intense headaches
  • Fatigue and constant dizziness
  • Drug cravings to soothe the pain

Hydrocodone Withdrawal Timeline

The hydrocodone withdrawal timeline could vary from one person to another. The intensity of the consumption could answer the question of how long does hydrocodone stay in your system.   But several factors could determine the hydrocodone withdrawal timeline, such as:  
  • History of trauma
  • Re-occurring mental condition
  • Environmental factors
  • Biological factors

Stages of Hydrocodone Withdrawal

Three stages of hydrocodone withdrawal occur during the hydrocodone withdrawal timeline.  

Stage 1

The hydrocodone withdrawal kicks in within the first 6 to 12 hours after the last intake and can last the next two days. It’s common at this stage to experience both physical and psychological symptoms.   Early withdrawal symptoms include:  
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Incessant sweating
  • Muscle pain and aches
  • Bone and joint pains
  • A faster heartbeat
  • A running nose
  • Tears in the eyes
  • Constant fever
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure/li>
  • Body fever

Stage 2

This second stage of hydrocodone withdrawal lasts until 72 hours after the last intake of the medication. This is where the hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms peaks and extend up until the next five days.   The significant symptoms at this stage look like the flu and cause dehydration and lost appetite. It’s important to keep a level of nutrition and hydration to stay strengthened during this stage.   It would be best to take in more of softer foods and supplements as solids and other liquids may be challenging to eat. Some of the hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms at this stage are:  
  • Constant vomiting and nausea
  • Cramps in the stomach
  • Goosebumps
  • Consistent chills
  • Signs of depression
  • Intense drug cravings

Stage 3

This is the late withdrawal stage, and most of the symptoms are beginning to subside already. But the person in hydrocodone withdrawal should still be cautious of some hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms.   While the chills, fever nausea and all may have disappeared, the following symptoms might still linger:  
  • Drug cravings
  • Lack of sleep
  • Restlessness
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Feelings of depression
  The length of these symptoms may differ based on the person.

Possible Treatment

A long-term Hydrocodone withdrawal treatment would depend on the level of dependence. Since it is a disorder, the first step is detox, but that's just one in the roadmap to recovery.   Treatment is most effective with the help of both medication and therapy. Vivitrol injection once every month may be prescribed.   When it comes to therapy, there are several options:  
  • Going to addiction treatment centers
  • Health clinics in the community
  • Residential programs
  With the mix of this, recovery from withdrawal and hydrocodone use disorder is possible.


  1. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=b165dffd-1550-4d8d-a8ea-fe83512c34e6

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