If you are in an immediate emergency, call 911. If you are looking for more information on substance abuse treatment and it is not a medical emergency, call our 24/7 Hydrocodone Helpline at 833-662-1020.

Hydrocodone is the most commonly prescribed opioid in the United States and represents almost 11% of all opioids prescribed in Florida. Hydrocodone is an effective pain reliever, but its use is also associated with significant risks. As a Schedule II controlled substance, hydrocodone carries a high risk of abuse, addiction and dependence. 

People with a hydrocodone dependence may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop or try to detox off the substance. Thankfully, a medical detox can make the process as safe and comfortable as possible before continuing with long-term recovery.

Hydrocodone Withdrawal

When you take hydrocodone regularly, your body begins to expect the drug and doesn’t function regularly without it. This is referred to as physical dependence, and most people with a hydrocodone addiction are also physically dependent. When you are physically dependent on a substance, you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the substance suddenly or lower its dosage. These symptoms can be highly uncomfortable and challenging to overcome without help.

Hydrocodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms vary based on the person, but symptoms may be more severe for someone who has been using hydrocodone for a long time or regularly in large doses. Some common hydrocodone withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sleep disturbances and insomnia
  • Shaking
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Cravings for hydrocodone
  • Goosebumps

Symptoms can be psychological as well as physical, and psychological symptoms can last longer than the physical withdrawal symptoms. For example, depression is a common hydrocodone withdrawal symptom. It can also be difficult for a person to feel pleasure as they experience opioid withdrawal due to the way these substances affect the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.

Hydrocodone Withdrawal Timeline

The hydrocodone withdrawal symptom timeline can vary based on whether you’re taking a short-acting hydrocodone product like Lortab or Vicodin or a long-acting product like Hysingla ER or Zohydro ER. However, there is a general withdrawal symptom timeline::

  • Phase 1: Symptoms begin. This can occur within 12 hours of the most recent short-acting hydrocodone dose or within the first 24 hours if you take long-acting hydrocodone.
  • Phase 2: Symptoms are at their peak severity. This occurs within one to two days for short-acting hydrocodone products, and can vary for long-acting products.
  • Phase 3: Symptoms subside. This occurs within three to five days for short-acting hydrocodone and within 10 days for long-acting hydrocodone.
  • Phase 4: Some symptoms linger. Symptoms like insomnia, depression and anxiety can last for weeks to months after quitting hydrocodone, but they will resolve with time.
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Hydrocodone Detox

For people who are struggling with hydrocodone dependence, the fear of withdrawal can often be a deterrent to receiving treatment. The best option to manage withdrawal safely is a medical hydrocodone detox. During medical detox, patients have access to around-the-clock medical care and treatment, with supervision by professionals to ensure safety. 

Patients in a medical hydrocodone detox may also be able to receive prescription medications for any physical or mental symptoms they’re experiencing, as medically appropriate. Unlike other substance classes, several opioids are FDA-approved for use during detox:

  • Methadone: Methadone is a long-acting opioid. It is considered the gold standard for treating withdrawal symptoms and preventing cravings while also preventing a euphoric high from opioids.
  • Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine is an opioid alternative to methadone. It is often used in combination with naloxone as an abuse deterrent, so the medication cannot be diverted and injected.
  • Lofexidine: This medication is FDA-approved to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms and is an alternative for those who may not be able to take methadone or buprenorphine.

How Long Does It Take to Detox from Hydrocodone?

Although recovery is a lifelong process, the detox process itself often concludes when withdrawal symptoms stop, usually within a week of the last hydrocodone dose. Medical detox can help ease you through withdrawal, but this is only the first step of recovery. Nothing but time and patience can expedite the healing process as your body recovers from hydrocodone. Data show that at least 90 days of rehab should occur to give you the best chance of long-term recovery.

Hydrocodone Detox Center in Orlando

The medical detox program at the Orlando Recovery Center is designed to help you overcome your hydrocodone use disorder in an environment that supports healing. Our 93-bed facility on the banks of Lake Ellenor outside downtown Orlando is fully licensed in Florida and accredited by The Joint Commission. We are staffed with experts in hydrocodone addiction treatment, including doctors, nurses, dietitians and therapists. Our detox services are integrated with rehab so there are no gaps in care when transitioning from detox to the rest of treatment.

If you or a loved one struggles with hydrocodone, help is here. Contact the Orlando Recovery Center today and learn how we can help you quit hydrocodone.

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Editor – Erica Weiman
Erica Weiman graduated from Pace University in 2014 with a master's in Publishing and has been writing and editing ever since. Read more
Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more

American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). “National Practice Guideline for the Trea[…] 2020 Focused Update.” December 18, 2019. Accessed January 30, 2022.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: […]uide (Third Edition).” January 2018. Accessed January 30, 2022.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). “Protracted Withdrawal.” Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory: News for the Treatment Field, July 2010. Accessed January 30, 2022.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). “Controlled Substances.” November 18, 2021. Accessed January 30, 2022.

Florida Department of Health. “Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Fiscal Year 2020-2021.” Division of Medical Quality Assurance. Accessed January 30, 2022.

ClinCalc. “Acetaminophen; Hydrocodone Drug Usage St[…]tates, 2013 – 2019.” Accessed January 30, 2022.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.