Hydrocodone Withdrawal & Detox
Hydrocodone is a prescription opioid pain medication with a potential for misuse and addiction. Withdrawal from hydrocodone can be very uncomfortable, but as this page discusses, medical detox can help people manage their symptoms in early recovery.1,2
Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms
Hydrocodone withdrawal can be significantly unpleasant, with a variety of symptoms that range in severity. Acute opioid withdrawal symptoms are commonly described as flu-like and may include:3
- Dysphoric mood.
- Muscle aches.
- Runny eyes and nose.
- Dilated pupils.
How Long Does Hydrocodone Withdrawal Last?
Hydrocodone withdrawal may vary from person to person, depending on factors such as the degree of physical dependence and immediacy with which the drug is stopped.1
However, for relatively short-acting prescription opioids like hydrocodone, symptoms can begin within 8–24 hours after the last use, peak in severity over the next few days, and will typically resolve within 7–10 days.4
In some cases, relatively less severe opioid withdrawal symptoms may persist for weeks to months and can include:3
- Dysphoria and anhedonia.
Factors that may impact the character and severity of opioid withdrawal include:5
- Overall health.
- Duration of opioid dependence.
- Whether any co-occurring mental health disorders are present.
Medically Supervised Hydrocodone Detox
Medical detox processes may vary but commonly involve three essential components of care:6
- Preparation for entry into comprehensive addiction treatment (rehab).
The process of stabilization during opioid withdrawal often involves the use of various medications. Such pharmacological interventions can help people avoid unnecessary pain and other acute withdrawal symptoms, as the body rids itself of a drug like hydrocodone and adjusts to functioning without it.6
Medications for Opioid Withdrawal
Medications used for opioid withdrawal include:
- Buprenorphine: This medication is a partial opioid agonist and works by producing effects like hydrocodone but at low to moderate doses. Buprenorphine is used in opioid medical detox as well as OUD treatment. It has a lower potential for misuse than other opioids, has been shown to reduce drug cravings, and can be dispensed in physician offices.7,8
- Methadone: This is a full opioid agonist. It is used in medical detox as well as OUD treatment. Methadone is not available at office-based clinics; only facilities that are licensed as Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) can dispense it.4,6,8
Two additional medications used in hydrocodone medical detox fall into a class of drugs that are not opioids but antihypertensive drugs or those that lower blood pressure:
- Clonidine: Clonidine has long been used off-label to manage certain opioid withdrawal symptoms.6
- Lofexidine: Although it’s in the same drug class as clonidine, lofexidine is specifically FDA-approved to manage opioid withdrawal symptoms.5,9
Doctors or medical staff may also administer medications to treat diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, and other symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal.6
Hydrocodone Detox in Florida at Recovery First
If you or a loved one is dealing with physical dependence on hydrocodone or opioid addiction, our Miami metro area inpatient drug and alcohol rehab is here to help.
At Recovery First, we offer various levels of addiction treatment designed to meet the individual needs of each patient, including medical detox, inpatient rehab, and outpatient rehab.
It is never too late to get help. Call us at to start treatment today.
American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.
While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.