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What causes pins and needles sensation after Oxycontin withdrawal

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar


Practicing since :2000

Answered : 2679 Questions

Posted on Tue, 5 Aug 2014 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Question: My 81 y/o father had shingles and then a severe case of PHN for several months. He was put on high dose of Gabapentin and Vicodin then Percocet when Vicodin wasn't strong enough and then eventually oxycontin for the severe pain. Before this all happened my father was going to the gym 3 times a week and doing a spin class and a strength training class. He was in incredible shape. While dealing w/ the PHN and on so much medication, he became much more sedentary and since he drinks VERY little water his immune system wasn't working as well as it had been and so he got pneumonia and sepsis which almost killed him. He ended up in the ICU for a week and 1/2 and then a rehab for another couple of weeks to get his strength back after the sepsis and pneumonia took a toll on his body. All the while he's still on the slow release Oxycontin b/c they wanted to wait till he was stronger to go through the w/drawl. He's now drinking much more water and eating better and the nerve pain from PHN is gone. He tapered down on the Oxycontin w/ the usual symptoms sweating diarrhea irritability muscle aches slowly but when he got to 5 mg, he began to experience pins and needles in his feet which is driving him crazy and keeping him up at night. He's a very anxious person so I think he's worried he has diabetes or some other issue but it would be strange that it started at that time for it not to be related to the w/drawal. His last pill was on the 8th of July and although I think it might not be as bad as it was, it's still happening and he's wondering when and if it will subside. I looked up whether that can be a side effect of opiate w/drawal and it seems like it can...not a very common one but one that some individuals report... I'm wondering whether you have any information about the pins and needles feeling being a w/drawal symptom from Oxycontin and if so does it tend to linger... Thanks! (Sorry so long just figured since he's 81 it would be helpful to have a lot of detail and background)
Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar 9 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes it could be withdrawal symptom

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for using health care magic.

I agree with you that his pins and needles sensation can be withdrawal symptoms of oxycontin withdrawal which may last for few weeks. As you know that acute withdrawal symptoms last only from seven to ten days but after there is subtle symptoms which may last for weeks. Personally I never had a patient who had these symptoms beyond 8 weeks but few of the fellow clinicians observed the subtle symptoms lasting upto 12 weeks.

So it can be concluded that he is likely to feel better in period of two to three months as this is the maximum duration of withdrawal symptoms.

'Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions I will be happy to help".

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Follow up: Dr. Ashok Kumar 1 hour later
Thanks so much doctor!! This is very helpful :)

Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar 5 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Thanks for compliment

Detailed Answer:
Welcome back and thanks for your compliment.

"If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer. Wish the good health to you and your family".
Dr Ashok
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D

The User accepted the expert's answer

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