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What is the Timeline for Codeine Withdrawal?

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The timeline for codeine withdrawal is from 7 days to 6 months after the last dose of codeine. Codeine withdrawal is dangerous and needs to be monitored by health professionals.

What is Codeine?

Codeine is an opioid analgesic. That means it is a drug that is related to compounds found in the opium poppy and is used to help control severe levels of pain. Codeine is a component of different cough syrups and some pain-relieving medications. These include promethazine with codeine. 

Codeine is often combined with other substances like aspirin or acetaminophen to help control mild or moderate forms of pain. Still, it can be used alone and in higher doses to help manage chronic pain that is difficult to treat in other ways. 

In addition to controlling pain in those who need it, codeine also gives users that don’t need it a euphoric feeling. This is due to how the medication interacts with opioid receptors. The euphoric feeling accompanying illicit use is one of the primary drivers behind the cycle of use and the eventual dependence and addiction.

Statistics on Codeine Addiction

There is the temptation to use codeine for more extended periods or in more significant amounts than prescribed because it produces a feeling of relaxation and euphoria. However, this can lead to dependence and addiction, which can cause various problems for the individual.

Frequent use of codeine causes the body to become chemically dependent on the drug and, over time, drug dependence. Quitting the drug disrupts the body’s normal functioning, causing a wide range of symptoms.

These severe withdrawal symptoms result from the physical dependence that builds over time. This is why it is so challenging to break an addiction to codeine without professional opioid addiction help. 

What is Codeine Withdrawal?

Codeine withdrawal and the codeine withdrawal symptoms indicate that the opioid detox and withdrawal process has begun. In most cases, withdrawal symptoms usually start about 8–24 hours after the last dose. However, depending on various factors, the symptoms can appear much sooner.

The opioid withdrawal symptoms themselves result from the dependence built in the body of the individual using codeine. When the individual uses the drug, it binds with opioid receptors and causes the release of dopamine in the user. This neurotransmitter is one of the most powerful “feel good” chemicals that your body makes. It provides a powerful reward for using opioids. 

When using opioids over a long period, substances like codeine will become less effective for the individual taking them. This is known as tolerance. Tolerance is a sign that the individual’s body is getting used to constant exposure to codeine. This continuous exposure also builds dependence. This is where the individual’s body now depends on the substance to some degree to operate relatively normally.

When the substance, in this case, codeine, is taken away, it sends the body into shock. The body needs to learn how to function without codeine in the system. This causes physical and psychological symptoms often encountered during the detox and acute withdrawal stage.

What is the Timeline for Codeine Withdrawal?

One of the first things people with a codeine addiction wonder when looking into treatment is how long the detox lasts. It can be different for everyone, but in most cases, the individual will go through most of the physical symptoms and discomfort in 7-10 days. 

The first 48 hours after the last dose fades will often be the most challenging, with physical symptoms peaking around day 2 or 3 before beginning to fade. Those who were heavier users or used for more extended periods may find that their symptoms peak close to day four or even five. This first build-up and peaking of symptoms will primarily be muscle, joint, and bone aches, tremors or shakiness, nausea, and flu-like symptoms such as fever, sweating, and runny nose.

For those with mild to moderate addictions, days 3-5 will see many symptoms begin to subside. The aches and discomfort will largely recede, but the individual will be left with other symptoms like insomnia, depression, loss of appetite, and loss of motivation. There may also be a headache and feelings of anxiety and irritability during this time.

By day 5 or 6, those with mild to moderate addictions should be “over the hump” and feeling a significant improvement over how they felt 2-3 days prior. Symptoms like cravings, emotional instability, fatigue, and restlessness will often continue through this stage. Those with heavy or long-term addictions may have an extended battle with post-acute withdrawal syndrome, which is common in recovering opioid addicts.

Is it Safe to Withdrawal from Codeine at Home?

Many people are struggling with codeine addiction. They wonder if detoxing at home and withdrawing without professional help is safe. Sometimes this is because they aren’t aware that their treatment may be eligible for insurance coverage. Sometimes it’s just out of misplaced embarrassment or shame. No matter the reason, detoxing alone is never a good idea without professional medical help.

A long list of potential medical complications could pop up during your detox and acute withdrawal stage. Those complications can create a serious medical emergency if you are not cared for by medical professionals. 

When you partner with an expert local treatment center like Agape, however, you’ll have round-the-clock medical supervision and some of the most luxurious treatment accommodations in the state. This can help make your detox and withdrawal stage as safe as possible while making it as comfortable as possible, contributing to a stronger and more resilient recovery. 

How to Find Recovery from Codeine Addiction

If you or someone you care about is living with opioid addiction, getting help is the most important thing. It can mean the difference between life and death. Reach out today to get more information on starting on the road to recovery.


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