What is Vicodin Detox Like?

Vicodin detox is your safest bet when trying to get clean

If you or someone you know has been taking Vicodin for a period of time for non-medical uses, it’s likely that when usage stops you’ll experience a range of Vicodin withdrawal symptoms. The Vicodin detox process is very similar to withdrawing from most other opiate drugs, including heroin or oxycodone. Vicodin is the trade name for a painkiller medication formulated from a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. When used exactly as directed, Vicodin is an effective pain reliever, but it can be habit forming. A person who has developed a physical dependency on the medication may experience a range of Vicodin withdrawal symptoms.

Vicodin Detox Timeline

The actual time is takes to complete the Vicodin detox process will vary, depending on a range of factors. The length of time the person has been using, the dosage being taken, the severity of the addiction, and whether the person is using any other drugs at the same time can all play a part in the severity of symptoms and time it takes to complete withdrawal from Vicodin.

Vicodin detox can be further complicated by the fact that the medication contains acetaminophen, which can cause liver damage and even produce allergic reactions in some people.

For most people, symptoms associated with Vicodin detox can begin within hours of taking the last dose and tend to reach peak intensity within 2 to 3 days. The worst of any physical symptoms of withdrawal from Vicodin should ease within a week. However, some of the psychological symptoms can last for weeks or even months in some cases.

Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms

While the actual effects and severity will vary between different people, some of the more common Vicodin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Intense cravings to take Vicodin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Flulike symptoms (e.g. runny nose, fever, chills)
  • Excessive heavy sweating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Muscle aches and bone/joint pains
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Mood swings, irritability and agitation
  • Decreased appetite
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbances
  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Depression

Reducing Symptoms of Vicodin Detox

A person trying to quit Vicodin use at home may attempt to stop taking the drug by going ‘cold turkey’. Quitting any type of addictive drug suddenly after extended use can cause horrible withdrawal symptoms.

By comparison, a person seeking to get clean and stay sober for good should seek treatment in a medically-assisted Vicodin detox program. Drug rehab facilities use specific prescription medications that help to reduce the severity of any symptoms associated with withdrawal from Vicodin.

The objective of treatment medications is to replace the drug of addiction under careful medical supervision. The Vicodin detox process is then managed over a period of time so the person doesn’t experience many of the more unpleasant physical or psychological symptoms of withdrawal at all.

Over a period of time, the medications used in the medically-assisted Vicodin detox process are tapered down, until eventually the person is free from both drugs. It’s important to note that detox is only the first stage of the addiction recovery process and works only to eliminate the effects of the drug from the body.

On its own, detox does nothing to treat the underlying psychological triggers behind self-destructive behaviors associated with substance abuse. In order to get clean and stay sober for good, the right combination of rehab therapies and treatments is needed.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.