How Long Does Oxycodone Take To Work

How Long Does Oxycodone Take To Work

Oxycodone (Oxycontin®), an opioid typically prescribed for pain management, is incredibly popular in the United States. Tennessee is no exception with an estimated 4,715,782 painkiller prescriptions dispensed in 2021. If you’ve recently undergone surgery, are managing an injury, or you’re living with chronic pain, you may have been given a prescription for oxycodone. Taking a new medication isn’t always easy, and you may have some questions.

At ReVIDA® Recovery, our knowledge is extensive when it comes to oxycodone because we help others reclaim their lives from opioid use disorders. Let’s talk about how long oxycodone takes to work, how it’s taken, and how it will impact your body.

What is Oxycodone?

While the main purpose of this medication is pain management, oxycodone is often misused for its pleasurable side effects. Some use it as a way to self-medicate from mental conditions such as bipolar and anxiety, while others use it as a way to escape the pain of everyday life. It has become so popular that people will also use it recreationally or for “fun”.

This medication carries with it the risk of addiction for anyone who uses it – even those who use it under a doctor’s care. There are many reasons for this, but arguably one of the largest reasons is its interaction with dopamine, a powerful “feel-good” neurotransmitter that’s responsible for sending messages between the nerve cells in the brain and body.

When oxycodone is used regularly, it can make it harder for the brain to regulate dopamine on its own. This causes people to feel as if they need the medication to feel any kind of pleasure. Withdrawal symptoms are also common with oxycodone, which increases the risk of addiction. Oftentimes, when withdrawal symptoms begin, people feel like the only way to find relief is by taking more oxycodone. It can become a vicious and unhealthy cycle.

For many, oxycodone can be a wonderful and effective medication. It works to not only relieve pain but accelerate the healing process. Many who use this medication stop using it with no problems, while others may form a dependency that can lead to oxycodone addiction. We don’t want you to worry if you’ve been prescribed this medication by your doctor – it’s considered safe when taken as directed.

Oxycodone also goes by the following brand names:

  • Oxycontin
  • Endocodone
  • Percolone
  • Roxicodone
  • Oxyfast
  • Percocet
  • OxyIR

How is Oxycodone Taken?

Oxycodone comes in two tablet forms via prescription: immediate-release and extended-release pills. Those who are misusing this medication and acquiring it illegally may crush and snort the pills. Some will go as far as to inject it. Snorting and injecting this medication creates an immediate “high” or rush of endorphins, but it comes with a risk – those who choose to consume opioids in this fashion have increased chances of overdose, nerve damage, and more. It is never safe to use this medication outside of a clinician’s care.

How Does Oxycodone Work?

Opioids like oxycodone are painkillers. They work by attaching to our body’s opioid receptors, which are responsible for regulating pain, sleep, relaxation, and even mood. When oxycodone is taken, opioid receptors stop electric pulses from traveling through the nerve cells, thereby removing uncomfortable responses to stimuli like pain.

Opioids are also classified as depressants, which means they impact the nervous system by slowing it down. If oxycodone is mixed with another depressant, like alcohol or benzodiazepines, breathing problems and overdoses are possible.

How Long Does Oxycodone Take to Work?

Oxycodone can start to kick in within minutes or hours after each dose. The time frame looks different when comparing extended-release and immediate-release tablets.

Extended-release pills (Oxycontin®) are often prescribed for those who are managing chronic pain. They’re designed to provide steady, semi-long-term pain relief. After the dose is swallowed, it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours before its effects are felt, but the pain relief can last for days. The effects of extended-release tablets usually peak between 15-30 hours.

Immediate-release tablets of oxycodone (Roxicodone® or Percolone®) are also available, and they take as little as 15 minutes to kick in. These are typically prescribed for the treatment of acute or temporary pain. They may work quickly, but their effects wear off quickly as well. An immediate-release dose can offer pain relief for up to 6 hours max.

There are other factors to consider when thinking about how long it takes oxycodone to work. What you’ve eaten, whether or not you’re mixing it with other substances like alcohol, and any other medications you’re currently taking can all impact how quickly you’ll feel its effects. If you take a dose on an empty stomach, for example, it may hit your bloodstream faster than if you just had a large meal. Taking substances like alcohol alongside oxycodone is incredibly dangerous, but if both are taken, the effects of each will be felt more intensely.

How Long Until Oxycodone is Out of the Bloodstream?

For the immediate-release tablets, it takes about 6 hours for oxycodone to reach its half-life (the time it takes for half of the substance to leave your bloodstream). This means if someone were to test your blood, they’d only be able to detect oxycodone for 12 hours. Don’t be deceived by that – it actually stays in your system for much longer. Oxycodone can be found in urine for 24-72 hours, saliva for up to 5 days, and hair follicles for up to 90 days. Chances are, you’ll stop feeling its effects near the time it reaches its half-life, so after 6 hours.

Getting Oxycodone Addiction Treatment

At ReVIDA® Recovery, we have seen firsthand how effective, evidence-based treatment can be in eliminating opioid use disorder (OUD). It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been taking oxycodone or how impossible it feels to stop right now – recovery is always possible. Let’s talk about some of the treatment options we offer here that could be right for you.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

While you’re here for MAT, you’ll be closely monitored by a compassionate and knowledgeable staff. Medications are available that can help in alleviating withdrawal symptoms and guiding you safely into recovery. You’ll also have access to resources that can help you on your journey moving forward, including individual counseling, group counseling, and support groups. In an MAT program, we use medications alongside traditional therapy to guide you away from opioids and into a healthy life of recovery.

You’ll also have the option to move forward with our outpatient treatment program. If a higher level of care is warranted, we will provide referrals for a local inpatient or residential treatment program. Your clinician will go over all of your options to set you up for success.

Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is a safe and evidence-based way to treat OUD. At ReVIDA® Recovery, we support the use of buprenorphine (Suboxone®) because it has been proven to reduce cravings while working to prevent relapse. In order to receive buprenorphine (Suboxone®) treatment, you will have to be opioid-free for 24 hours.

Outpatient Rehab Services

We believe that both individual and group therapy are critical components in the treatment of OUD – especially if you’re looking for long-term recovery. This is a safe and supportive space where you will learn how to manage your triggers and create healthy coping mechanisms. Our behavioral healthcare team is composed of licensed therapists, certified counselors, care coordinators, and peer recovery specialists who are standing by and ready to help. If we can treat your addiction where it started, at its roots, your chance of recovery is greater than if we were to simply treat your withdrawal symptoms.

At ReVIDA® Recovery, we’re standing by to help you reclaim your life from oxycodone. Recovery is possible, and you can start your journey to wellness whenever you’re ready. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call us today at 423-631-0432.

How Long Does Suboxone® Block Opiates

Frequently Asked Questions

Does taking oxycodone make you sleepy?

Taking oxycodone can make you sleepy, especially if you’re taking it for the first time or if you’re taking it on an empty stomach.

How does oxycodone take the pain away?

Opioids like oxycodone are painkillers. They work by attaching to our body’s opioid receptors, which are responsible for regulating pain, sleep, relaxation, and even mood. When oxycodone is taken, opioid receptors stop electric pulses from traveling through the nerve cells, thereby removing uncomfortable responses to stimuli like pain.