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A mixture of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, Vicodin is generally prescribed to provide immediate relief from pain. If you have undergone a surgery, then your doctor will prescribe Vicodin, along with other medicines, to provide you some relief from the pain that may take place after the surgery. Vicodin is drug which is easily available in any chemist’s store. Vicodin is available in the markets as Tylenol.

Taking Vicodin for prolonged periods of time will make you dependent on hydrocodone, which is one of the constituent elements of Vicodin. If you have had the tendency of taking Vicodin in large doses, then gradually your body will form a dependence on it. In other words, the pain which used to gradually subside with time will not be receded without the intake of Vicodin. The more dependent you are on the drug, the longer will you take to withdraw from it. Your brain has all the possibilities to grow tolerant towards Vicodin, and as a result, it will slowly stop functioning without the drug. Taking Vicodin in excess amounts will take a heavy toll on your liver, much like alcohol. As acetam inophen is also one of the constituent elements of Vicodin, it is known to cause fatal allergic reactions and damage the liver. Due to excessive intake of the drug, without any apparent reason, a time will come when you will no longer be able to do without the drug in your system. And that is when the real problem will start surfacing. You will be forced to quit the drug as it is taking a heavy toll on the liver, and when you stop taking the drug, that is when the onset of withdrawal symptoms will begin.

Withdrawing from Vicodin will not cost you your life. However, that does not mean that the process will be a cake walk. Withdrawing from Vicodin, if you were severely addicted to it, will result in the following physical withdrawal symptoms:

  • Pain in the muscle
  • Excessive sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Fluctuating heart rate
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to regulate proper temperature
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tremors
  • Chills

As mentioned above, withdrawing from any drug after prolonged periods of addiction is an extremely difficult process. It not only affects your physical health but also influences your mental health. Withdrawing from Vicodin comes with the following emotional symptoms of withdrawal:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Hostility
  • Agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Sleeplessness

Though facing these withdrawal symptoms is never a pleasant experience as it affects you and your loved ones, with proper care and optimum medication, the process of withdrawal can be managed smoothly without having to face a lot of complications. The first and foremost thing required is your will power and determination to quit. Once you have done that, a healthy environment around you will help you a lot in recovering.

Withdrawing from Vicodin is unique to each individual. It will vary from person to person. Ideally, the effects of Vicodin stay in your system for about four hours and the drug leaves your bloodstream entirely after about eight hours. However, this is more likely to change from person to person. If you had been taking the drug for quite a long time, then there are chances that the residue of the drug may stay in your system for a longer period of time. As you stop taking the drug abruptly, your body fails to reimburse for the loss of the drug which may make you fall back on the drug again, thereby forming a full-fledged addiction once again. There have been many cases when the patient has faced acute withdrawal symptoms while trying to quit Vicodin abruptly. These symptoms are highly unpredictable and may occur even ages after you have stopped taking the drug. However, while withdrawing, these acute symptoms can be very difficult to deal with. Withdrawing from Vicodin usually will start about six to eight hours after the last dose of the drug. As hydrocodone is a highly addictive substance, withdrawing from that is challenging. The physical symptoms of withdrawal can be dealt with owing to proper care and medications. But it is the psychological and emotional withdrawal symptoms which cause a problem for these may recur years after the patient has quit.

Vicodin Withdrawal

The time required for you to withdraw from Vicodin will depend on the following factors:

  • Duration of drug intake: If you had been addicted to the drug for a long period of time, then you will take considerably long to withdraw from it. It may range from a few weeks to several months. Withdrawal symptoms may also be acute once your brain forms a tolerance towards the drug.
  • Addiction: Addiction indeed is a terrible thing. Prolonged addiction to Vicodin does not leave you with a lot of emotional strength to withdraw from it. As a result, you will suffer physically also while trying to detach yourself from the drug psychologically. Therefore, a lot of determination on your part will be needed to not go back to the drug even when you feel intense craving for it.
  • Dose: Vicodin is prescribed to provide relieve from pain. However, when taken in large amounts the body starts to form a dependence on it. Thus, the withdrawal symptoms get more and more painful if you had been consuming Vicodin in great doses.
  • Quitting the drug abruptly: when you choose to quit the drug abruptly without the aid of any medical professional, then your withdrawal symptoms will last longer and will be more painful.


Abrupt cessation of the drug will only make your detoxification process more and more difficult and challenging. Thus, the most important thing after you have made up your mind to quit is that you consult your doctor immediately and leave yourself under his complete care. Do not take the responsibility of detoxing from the drug in your own hands for that will only worsen the case. Seeking medical help will help you a lot. As insomnia is one of the very painful withdrawal symptoms, your doctor may prescribe you with some mild sleeping pills which will gradually induce sleep. Medications for diarrhea will also be provided by your doctor to fight against diarrhea.

Naloxone is another medicine which will gradually lower your dependence on Vicodin. It will not let the brain respond to any opioid medication. In many cases, overdose of Vicodin can be dealt with by prescribing Naloxone. Naloxone is not addictive at all. Medical detox centers provide the patients with medicines like Buprenorphine and Methadone instead of abruptly quitting the drug. In this way, the brain gets ample amount of time to get accustomed to the absence of Vicodin as it thinks that there is still a supply of the drug because Buprenorphine and Methadone are partial opioids. Thus, following this process of gradually lowering the drug intake makes the withdrawal process a lot easier and less painful and challenging. Once the brain gets accustomed to functioning without the further supply of Vicodin, then the process of detox finishes. Once the physical withdrawal symptoms have been dealt with, the psychological symptoms can be cured with the help of a proper healthy surrounding and constant support and care of the near ones. Yoga and acupuncture may also be helpful in treating symptoms like depression and anxiety.


Detoxing from Vicodin at home may not be an entirely ruled out process, but it will definitely be a long drawn process. If you have not taken Vicodin for a very long period of time, only then will it be considered safe to go through the detoxification process at home. In that case, the worst you may experience is flu, which will be cured in a span of weeks. So, to start the detoxification process at home, take some time off your work and plan the process with your doctor first. Medical help is always recommended. Drinking plenty of water and other fluids will accelerate the detoxification process as water will help you to flush the drug out of your system entirely. Maintaining a healthy diet is also very important. Even though you may not like fruits and vegetables, while detoxing, consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables will help you a lot. Regular exercise and walking will help you ease your muscle pains. Lastly, try to be in regular touch with your doctor who will guide you through how to lower the drug intake and what to do in cases of emergencies. With the undivided and constant support of your family and friends, the detoxification process at home will be a very easy process and you will find yourself getting better in a matter of weeks.


Road to drug and alcohol recovery is easy if you follow our extensive addiction recovery guide.

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