Vicodin Withdrawal – Symptoms, Timeline & Treatment

What is Vicodin withdrawal?

Vicodin is an opioid medication composed of the semi-synthetic drug hydrocodone as well as acetaminophen. It is used predominantly as a moderate to severe pain reliever. Due to its euphoric effects and ability to dull the perception of pain, it has highly addictive properties and the potential for abuse.

Over an extended period of use, users may build up a tolerance to the drug, whereby they feel that they need more to achieve the same pain relief or euphoric effects they had felt when they first took it. If the user gives in to these urges and begins to abuse the drug by increasing the dose and/or frequency with which they take it, they will likely develop a physical dependence. When prescription drug abuse and dependence happens, the patient will begin to use the drug until they try to stop taking it cold turkey. At this point, they may begin to feel a host of negative side effects known as withdrawal.

These symptoms are often what lead people to continue taking the drug, as they feel that they can’t cope with the pain and discomfort of withdrawal. This is often when people realize that they may be addicted or have a dependence on Vicodin due to their opioid abuse. The best thing to do in this situation is to consult with a physician or medical provider that will give medical advice so that the user can safely stop taking the drug under medical supervision and clinical care. Some people choose to try a traditional rehab center.

Vicodin and opioid drug withdrawal symptoms

The withdrawal process for Vicodin is much the same as other opioid drugs. Common symptoms of use include:

  • Psychological symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety, depression, and confusion.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Dehydration.
  • Severe stomach issues such as stomach cramping, appetite suppression, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Shivering or shaking.
  • Muscle aches and pain such as abdominal cramping.
  • Changes in sleeping patterns, exhaustion, or excessive yawning.
  • Runny nose, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms.

In some cases, withdrawal can be deadly. If you think you or someone you know is experiencing potentially life-threatening effects of withdrawal, request immediate emergency care.

Vicodin withdrawal and clinical care process – long-term symptoms and the road to recovery

Withdrawal from Vicodin and the detox process typically lasts little more than a week. However, the recovery time is affected by a host of factors that concern the patient’s physical and psychological circumstances, as well as the nature of their Vicodin use and the method of rehab/detoxification treatment (if any). The ANR rehab method has emerged as the fastest addiction treatment, including other withdrawal detox treatments, with patients experiencing recovery in a very short amount of time (typically just a few days).

Other factors that can influence the Vicodin withdrawal recovery time include:

  • The method used to take the drug (pill/tablet, intravenous injection, snorting, etc.)
  • If the drug was taken with alcohol or other drugs.
  • The length of time the user had been taking the substance and their level of dependence.
  • The dose of the drug the user had been taking.

Vicodin Withdrawal Timeline

Days 1-2

Because it is a short-acting opioid, the first Vicodin withdrawal symptoms start to appear relatively quickly. Patients can expect to feel muscle aches, pains, cramps, chills, poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Days 3-4

This is the point at which most patients will begin to experience acute withdrawal. This is where symptoms are at their worst. They might include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, agitation, and intense cravings for Vicodin.

Days 5-6

At this point, the severity of the withdrawal symptoms begins to diminish, though patients may still experience withdrawal cravings, difficulty sleeping, sweats/chills, and depression.

Days 7+

Most physical symptoms of withdrawal should subside at this stage, however, for many, this can be the most difficult stage of withdrawal. At this point, the patient is left to reflect on their behavior and actions that they conducted while they were using Vicodin, or while they were in the height of withdrawal. The burden of this guilt and regret can be extremely challenging to overcome and often cause severe anxiety, depression, or act to exacerbate existing mental illness. Since many use opioid drugs to overcome psychological pain in the first place, this is the point where the risk of relapse becomes very high. The person in recovery must be given appropriate supervision and professional assistance such as cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling, or other long-term treatments to overcome this stage.

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome – opioid withdrawal symptoms, causes, and relapse potential

While the timeline for withdrawal will last around a week in most cases, some people will experience what is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), which can last multiple years, in some cases. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms include attention deficit, sleeping problems, indifference, lethargy, mood swings, and mental illness such as depression or bipolar disorder. PAWS can also have physical symptoms, though these are less common. PAWS can be eliminated over an extended period of time as the patient learns to deal with the symptoms on their road to recovery. However, it is best to consult medical professionals who can provide clinical care to aid in the road to recovery.

Rapid Detox for Opioid Addiction 

Advanced rapid detox from Vicodin is an anesthesia-assisted medical treatment that eliminates Vicodin from the body within a matter of days. Typically, this is achieved with the help of opioid antagonist drugs, such as naloxone. Although rapid detox under sedation can help you handle Vicodin withdrawal symptoms more easily, this treatment is outdated by today’s standards.

Despite its cost, which might go up to $24,000, rapid detox simply isn’t effective in terms of long-term recovery, as it doesn’t treat the root cause of Vicodin addiction – the brain imbalances. Moreover, since it doesn’t eliminate cravings but only reduces opioid tolerance, this treatment can be outright dangerous and potentially fatal, leading to relapse, overdose, and even death. 

ANR Opioid Treatment – Treating Vicodin Dependency with ANR 

Accelerated Neuro-Regulation (ANR) is the most innovative and the only opioid dependency treatment that brings the endorphin-receptor imbalance back to normal levels. 

While rapid detox focuses on counteracting the effects of withdrawal, the ANR treatment attacks the problem at its core by targeting the physiologic mechanism behind Vicodin dependency. 

The process of ANR treatment involves heavy sedation and the initiation of Vicodin withdrawal. While most other opioid dependency treatments stop here, ANR goes a step further, restoring your opioid and endorphin-receptor systems to their original state before addiction.

As a result, ANR detox allows you to recover from Vicodin dependency in a matter of days and return to your daily life without fear of further symptoms or the risk of relapse!

For your convenience, you can find ANR centers around the world, including:

  • DeSoto Memorial Hospital, Arcadia, Florida
  • ANR Europe Thun, Switzerland
  • New Vision University Hospital, Tbilisi, Georgia

Ready to take the first step toward an opioid-free life? Contact us today for a free consultation!


Yes, Vicodin is a prescription opioid medication that can lead to addiction and opiate withdrawal. Similar to other opioid pain medications or sleeping pills, if one becomes addicted to Vicodin and can no longer acquire it legally, they will often turn to dangerous illicit street drugs to get their fix. Opioid street drugs are often laced with fentanyl, which can cause overdose symptoms or overdose deaths, even if taken in minute quantities.

In most cases, the time it takes for a user to experience symptoms of withdrawal is 8-12 hours after their last dose. The most severe symptoms of withdrawal can be experienced between 3-4 days after the last dose.

Typically, withdrawal symptoms will last little more than a week. However, some people can experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome which can last weeks, months, or even years. The length of withdrawal can often depend on the individual themselves and the nature of their drug use, but it can also be influenced by the method of treatment they use. The recovery period lasts only a few days at an ANR treatment center.

Mixing alcohol and opioid pain medication like Vicodin can be extremely dangerous. Not only can mixing drugs and alcohol cause alcohol addiction and co-occurring substance use disorders, but it can also have dire effects on a person’s health, causing physical issues such as liver failure/damage, respiratory depression, and in some cases, death.

Yes, Vicodin is a prescription painkiller and opioid medication that is frequently prescribed by physicians throughout the US to treat both chronic and acute pain. Its application can range from easing severe joint pain to relief from common symptoms of diseases (such as pain associated with cancer).

At the ANR Clinic, we offer an opioid addiction treatment program. ANR (Accelerated Neuro Regulation) is an extremely effective treatment that treats addiction by restoring the endorphin-receptor balance back to regular levels. It is a much faster addiction treatment than other programs such as inpatient rehab, residential treatment programs, intensive outpatient rehab, and even medically assisted treatments using medicine like methadone.

There are many signs that you can look out for to help identify opioid use disorder and addiction to Vicodin. See here to learn more about the signs of Vicodin addiction.

Taking Vicodin is completely legal if prescribed by doctors. However, it is illegal to acquire or take without a prescription.

Vicodin is known to have negative effects on mental health or pre-existing mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

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