How Long Does Methadone Stay In Your System? In Urine, Blood

How Long Does Methodone Stay In Your SystemOpioids use disorders and addiction is a severe problem that affects the health conditions of several million people across the globe.

In 2015, an estimated 2.4 million people in the United States had opioid use disorder problems which include prescription opioids and other illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine, opium and many more.

Approximately half-a-million clients across the globe are currently receiving Methadone in opioid treatment programs. 

Individuals involving in Methadone addiction and abuse are also increasing at an alarming rate.

It is worth learning ‘how long does Methadone stay in your system’ especially if you are a user of this opioid medication or drug abuse rehabilitation personnel. 

It is possible to identify the presence of Methadone in your system through testing blood, urine, saliva, and hair for drugs.

What Is Methadone?

Methadone is an opioid prescription medication. In the US, it is available under different brand names such as Diskets Dispersible, Dolophine, Methadone HCl Intensol, or Methadone.

This opioid drug comes in tablets, injection or white crystalline powder forms.

Methadone is a narcotic analgesic, synthetic, and opioid drug. It is usually prescribed by doctors for pain, especially cancer and neuropathic pain.

In the United States, this opioid drug was first used in 1960 as a maintenance treatment for drug addiction.

According to a report published by Evidence-Based Practice in Palliative Medicine, ‘Methadone is a μ-opioid agonist, which means that it activates μ-opioid (morphine-preferring) receptors in the nerve cells.’

The Substance Abuse And Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) suggests that Methadone help in changing how the brain and nervous system respond to pain.  It is beneficial for reducing or eliminating the painful symptoms of opiate withdrawal.

Methadone blocks the euphoric effects of opiate drugs such as codeine, morphine or heroin. It is also useful for managing the withdrawal symptoms of semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone.

It lessens the painful symptoms of opiate withdrawal and blocks the euphoric effects of opiate drugs such as heroin, morphine, and codeine, as well as semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone.

How Long Does Methadone Stay In Your System?

Methadone can stay in your system for several days after you stop the use of this drug.

On average, Methadone is expected to stay in your body 8 to 59 hours depending on the frequency and dosage of the drug used.

According to some of the drug testing reports, Methadone can stay in the body between 44 hours to 13.5 days after you had the last dose of this drug.

Half-Life and Peak-Levels of Methadone

Methadone reaches the peak level of plasma concentration 4 hours after ingesting the drug. 

If you are using this drug through oral ingestion, then it takes at least 30 minutes to detect the drug in the plasma.

When the drug reaches the peak level of plasma concentration it produces the fullest effect on the body.

The half-life of a drug is the period required for the concentration or amount of drug in the body to be reduced by one-half.

The half-life time of Methadone ranges between 8 hours and 59 hours.  On average, the half-life of Methadone is pitched at 24 hours.

The half-life of the drug can vary from person to person depending on the dosage, frequency, and extended-release nature of the tablet. 

Initially, the liver breaks down the opioid drugs into metabolites. A significant portion of these metabolites is then eliminated via urine through the functions of the kidney.

A minor portion of the metabolites of the drug will be eliminated from the body via breath, sweat, breast milk or saliva.

Presence of Methadone metabolites in the body can be detected by testing urine, blood, saliva or hair samples.

How Long Does Methadone Stay In Your Urine?

A urine test is the most reliable and easy drug testing method to identify the Methadone presence in your system. It is both non-invasive and easy to perform.

In urine test, the detection window for Methadone lasts 6 to 12 days.

The metabolites of Methadone become detectable in urine within an hour of ingestion. The detection period for metabolites of drugs in the urine varies depending on many factors.

How Long Does Methadone Stay In Your Blood?

If are using Methadone orally, it becomes detectable in the blood within half-an-hour. 

This drug reaches to its peak level of plasma concentration within 4 hours after ingesting it.

According to verified facts from the past, Methadone in the blood can be detected up to 2.5 days. However, for a person using this drug in a higher dose and frequently might show up the drug in the blood between 3 to 6 days.  

Knowing ‘how long does Methadone stay in the blood’ is very useful for persons working at rehabilitation centers. They can easily identify those who abuse or addicted Methadone by testing the patient’s blood.

How long does Methadone Stay in Saliva?

Presence of Methadone metabolites in saliva tends to correlate with its level in the blood.

After ingesting Methadone, within 30 minutes, it will be detectable in saliva.

Normally, this drug can be traced up to 60 hours in saliva after the last dose you have. However, chronic users of Methadone, the saliva test can turn positive for the drug up to a week.

How Long Does Methadone Stay In Your Hair?

Liver breaks down Methadone into metabolites (EDDP) and most of it will be excreted out of the body through urine.

Some portions of the metabolites of this drug carried by the capillaries get bound up in hair follicles. The metabolites of this drug can be traced in your hair only after a week of using this medication.

As a person uses this regularly for a considerable amount of time, more and more metabolites get accumulated in hair. 

Normally, the metabolites of Methadone can be traced in the hair of the user up to 90 days. 

Factors Influencing the Metabolization Methadone

As we try to discover ‘for how long time Methadone stays in your body,’ it is important to learn about the factors that speed up or slow down the Metabolization of drugs. 

When two people take the same dosage of Methadone at the same time, both of them may have different time duration for eliminating the drug out their system.

Factors that determine how long methadone stays in the system are:

Age: Healthy and young people would get rid of the drug from their body faster than the older ones.  It is because the young people have high metabolic rate and healthy functioning of liver and kidney.

Body Weight: Usually, healthy individuals with high body mass get rid of the drug faster from their system.

Genetic Traits: Health conditions and metabolic functions of the body are closely related to genetic factors. Presence of certain genes helps to enhance the production of certain enzymes involved in the metabolism of drugs like Methadone.

Healthy Liver: The liver metabolizes Methadone. Persons with healthy liver function can synthesize and eliminate the drug faster from their system.

Metabolic Rate: People with high metabolic rate have the advantage of faster Metabolization and elimination of drugs from their body.  Healthy diets and active lifestyle help in increasing the metabolic rate of the body.

Dosage and Frequency: Using Methadone for a long period or high doses make the drug to get stored in fat cells and hair follicles. Taking high doses of the drug may go beyond the capacity of the liver to metabolize the drug faster. This can lead to Methadone staying in your system for a longer time.

How Does Your Body Absorb and Distribute Methadone?

The length of time a drug stays in your body is highly dependent on the speed at which the drug is absorbed and distributed by the body.

If you are ingesting Methadone in tablet form, a strong concentration of the drug can be detected in your blood within 30 minutes to one hour. The gastrointestinal tract quickly absorbs and digests the drug and transfers the properties of it into your bloodstream.

Methadone injection has a higher absorption rate. It is detectable in blood within 20 minutes after you have the Methadone injection.

Methadone Metabolism

Methadone is soluble lipid drug. It can penetrate into the phospholipid layers of the cells and tissues throughout the body.

Liver metabolizes this drug into two metabolites major 2-ethylidene-1.5-dimethyl-3.3diphenylpyrrolidine (EDDP) and 2-ethyl-5-methyl-3, 3-diphenyl-1-pyrroline (EMDP).  Methadol and Normethadol are two other minor metabolites separated by the liver from this drug.

The liver also extracts the inactive metabolites from this drug such as EMPD and EDDP which are soon excreted through bile and renal functions of the body.

According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the metabolites of Methadone enter into the systemic circulation, and some portion of them can remain lodged in the body for several weeks. 

How Is Methadone Excreted From Your System?

Over 90 percent of the metabolites from this drug is excreted via urine.  The rest is expelled out the body through bile, sweat, and feces.

A little amount of metabolites also get lodged in hair, and they disappear after a few months as the hair grow longer or falls off.

The portion of the drug that is not metabolized also leaves the body via urine.

The half-life of Methadone varies between 8 to 59 hours. On average, 33.5 hours after using the drug half of this opioid medication will get excreted from the body.

In a normally healthy person, it takes about 8 days for the drug to get fully eliminated from the body.

How To Get Rid Of Methadone From The System Fast?

After you have stopped using the drug, gradually the body eliminates the residues of the drug from your system.

However, the metabolites of the drug staying in the body are partially responsible for causing Methadone withdrawal symptoms and cravings for this drug. So, it is necessary to get the drug out of the system, especially for those undergoing treatment for Methadone addiction and disorders.

Reducing body fats by engaging in fat-burning exercises and eating diets that burn body fat can expedite the elimination of the drug from your system.

Adopt a lifestyle which involves active exercises and healthy diets. A healthy lifestyle improves your metabolic rate and helps in faster elimination of drugs from your body.

Drinking more water and liquid foods maximize renal functions and increase the frequency of urination.

You can also try out supplements that are exclusively formulated for opioid detox and clearance from the body.

Enhanced function for kidney and liver reduces the duration of Methadone staying in your system.

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  1. Sarah Cummings July 13, 2018

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