Oxycodone Side Effects

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Oxycodone is a potent Schedule II opioid medication prescribed for the treatment of severe pain.

In addition to the intended effects of oxycodone, the prescription medication may also trigger undesired outcomes. While not all of these side effects always manifest, medical intervention may be necessary if they do.

Long term side effects of oxycodone may include oxycodone addiction (opioid use disorder) and oxycodone overdose.

Side Effects of Oxycodone

Every type of opioid, including oxycodone, can give rise to side effects, including potentially life-threatening breathing issues. The chances of encountering such effects are increased in the following scenarios:

  • When first commencing oxycodone usage
  • Following a dosage escalation
  • Among the elderly
  • In individuals with pre-existing lung conditions

What are the side effects of oxycodone, then? Oxycodone side effects resemble those associated with other opioids and typically include:

  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Appetite loss 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Oxycodone side effects long term often include physiological dependence, a condition characterized by the presentation of withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from oxycodone, a powerful opioid painkiller, can be a challenging and uncomfortable experience. As the body becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug, sudden cessation or a reduction in dosage can lead to a range of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can vary in intensity and duration, depending on factors such as usage history, dose, and duration of use.

Common oxycodone withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Flu-like symptoms: Individuals undergoing oxycodone withdrawal may experience symptoms similar to the flu – fever, sweating, and body aches, for instance.
  • Gastrointestinal distress: Stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea are common symptoms during opioid withdrawal.
  • Muscle and joint pain: Muscle and bone pain are often reported, leading to discomfort throughout the body.
  • Restlessness and irritability: Feelings of restlessness, irritability, and agitation are common as the body adjusts to the absence of oxycodone.
  • Insomnia: Many people detoxing from opioids experience difficulty sleeping and disrupted sleep patterns during the withdrawal process.
  • Anxiety and depression: Psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression, and mood swings can emerge or worsen during withdrawal.
  • Increased heart rate: Heart rate may increase, triggering palpitations or discomfort.
  • Yawning and runny nose: Frequent yawning and a runny nose are often observed during the opioid and opiate withdrawal process.
  • Pupil dilation: Pupils may become larger than usual, a condition clinically described as mydriasis (dilated pupils).
  • Cravings: Strong cravings for oxycodone can present a significant challenge during withdrawal and may contribute to relapse.

Withdrawing from opioids like oxycodone can be physically and emotionally draining. Seeking medical supervision and professional guidance during withdrawal will ensure safety and minimize discomfort. Medical professionals can provide support through various methods, including tapering schedules, medications, and psychological counseling.

Additionally, support from friends, family, and addiction support groups can play a crucial role in helping individuals successfully navigate the oxycodone withdrawal process and move toward recovery.

woman hugs her knees representing what is oxycodone


What is oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a Schedule II opioid painkiller (narcotic analgesic).

What is oxycodone used for?

Oxycodone is used to manage moderate to severe pain.

How long does oxycodone stay in your system?

Oxycodone typically stays in your system for 1 to 3 days, but this may vary according to factors like dosage, duration of use, and metabolism.

Treatment for Oxycodone Withdrawal

Treatment for oxycodone withdrawal typically involves a combination of medical care, psychological support, and lifestyle adjustments to manage the physical and emotional challenges associated with discontinuing the drug. The goal of withdrawal treatment is to ease discomfort, prevent severe complications, and facilitate a smoother transition toward sobriety.

Individualized treatment plans

Each person’s experience with oxycodone withdrawal is unique. Healthcare providers develop personalized treatment plans that consider factors such as:

  • Medical history
  • Substance use patterns
  • Co-occurring mental health conditions
  • Underlying physical conditions

Medical supervision

Withdrawal from opioids can be demanding and may lead to complications, some of which can be fatal. Undergoing withdrawal with medical supervision can ensure safety and appropriate management of symptoms. Healthcare professionals can monitor vital signs, provide necessary medications, and address any medical concerns that may arise.


Gradually reducing the dose of oxycodone under medical guidance, also known as tapering, is a common approach to minimize the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Tapering allows the body to adjust to decreasing amounts of the drug over time, reducing the shock of sudden cessation.

MAT (medication-assisted treatment)

MAT involves the use of specific medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings. FDA-approved medications like buprenorphine or methadone may be prescribed under medical supervision to help manage the discomfort of withdrawal and reduce the risk of relapse.

Psychological support

Withdrawal can be emotionally challenging, leading to anxiety, depression, and other psychological symptoms. Psychological counseling, therapy, or support groups can provide individuals with coping strategies, emotional support, and tools to manage cravings and triggers.

Lifestyle changes

Proper nutrition and hydration during withdrawal support the body’s healing process. Adequate intake of fluids, vitamins, and minerals can help restore physical well-being. Rest and sleep are important for physical recovery during withdrawal. Healthcare professionals may offer guidance on improving sleep patterns and managing insomnia.

Holistic approaches

Complementary therapies like yoga, acupuncture, mindfulness, and meditation techniques can contribute to overall well-being and help manage withdrawal symptoms.

Remember that seeking professional help and support is crucial when discontinuing oxycodone. Attempting to quit cold turkey without proper medical guidance can lead to severe health risks and complications. Healthcare professionals, addiction specialists, and mental health experts can provide the necessary guidance, care, and resources to help individuals successfully navigate oxycodone withdrawal and move towards recovery.

a group of people representing oxycodone addiction treatment

Get Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers

At Ohio Recovery Centers, we treat all types of drug addiction, including oxycodone addiction.

Our outpatient programs provide the most flexible and affordable pathway to ongoing recovery from opioid use disorder. If you feel that a traditional outpatient program lacks the support and structure you need, choose an IOP (intensive outpatient program) at our Cincinnati, Ohio rehab.

All treatment programs blend pharmacological, holistic, and behavioral therapies for a whole-body approach to healing from opioid addiction. All treatment programs incorporate a robust aftercare component to maximize your chance of sustained recovery. Call admissions at 877-679-2132 when you are ready to move beyond oxycodone addiction.

Table of Contents

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn