When it comes to pain relief, Oxycodone is one of the proven medicines you can use. However, the addictive nature and the possible side effects of this medication can be a big botheration for the user.
So, it is worth learning ‘how long does oxycodone stay in your system’, which includes urine, blood, saliva, and hair.
For how long does oxycodone last in your body depends on several factors like the user’s age, sex, health condition, dosage, and frequency of the drug used.
The oxycodone drug test is necessary to assess the presence of this medicine in your urine, blood, saliva, and hair.
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is an opioid medication that is used for pain relief.
This drug relieves pain by interrupting the central nervous system that receives pain signals. The influence of this medication prevents your body from sending pain signals to the brain.
Unfortunately, Oxycodone has a high risk of dependency and addiction. This medicine is classified as a Schedule II drug that is highly susceptible to drug abuse.
Oxycodone is usually prescribed for relieving pain caused by trauma, injury, cancer, or major surgery.
Hydrocodone is the nearest substitute for Oxycodone. Both are strong prescription opioid (narcotic) pain relievers similar to fentanyl, methadone, and morphine.
Oxycodone can be taken alone or paired with paracetamol/ acetaminophen (such as Percocet, Roxicet, Oxycet, Vicodin, Lortab, Norco). This combination is recommended for treating moderately severe pain, fever, and inflammation.
Oxycodone is derived from the poppy plant. It binds to the mu-opioid receptors and blocks the feeling of pain.
How long does it take Oxycodone to work?
The analgesic effect of oxycodone and the time required for it to work can vary from person to person.
For first-time users, lower doses are given initially. Then the doses may be gradually increased until satisfactory relief from pain is achieved.
For patients with a previous history of opioid usage, a higher dose of oxycodone may be required for pain relief.
Oxycodone is administered in oral pill form and should be taken just before or after the meal.
Generally, the patients begin to experience pain relief within 20 to 30 minutes after having it. This opioid reaches its peak concentration in the bloodstream between 1 to 2 hours after consuming it. Extended or controlled release formulations may take up to 4 hours to reach their peak concentration in the bloodstream.
Patients using oxycodone for a long period can develop tolerance to this drug. After a few months of regular use, it may take a longer time to experience pain relief after having the regular dose. In such a situation, the doctor may recommend the patient to increase the dose or use a different type of pain relief medicine.
You should never take a larger dose of oxycodone on your own without the recommendation of your doctor.
How Long Does Oxycodone Last?
It is not safe to have pain relief medicines in high doses. You should not take another dose of this medicine when the effect of the previous dose still lasts.
So, you may be wondering how long the effects of Oxycodone last in your body.
In case, if you are planning to quit using the medicine, it should be done at a slow pace. Abruptly quitting the use of an opioid can cause withdrawal symptoms.
For most people, the feeling of pain relief from oxycodone stops long before the residues of this medication clear off the body. For this reason, your doctor may ask you to have one dose of oxycodone every four to six hours when you have continuous pain.
So, the pain-relieving effect of oxycodone lasts about 6 hours. The effect of a single dose of an extended-release formulation of this drug may last up to 12 hours.
Half-Life of Oxycodone
The half-life of a drug is the period required for the concentration or the amount of drug in the body to be reduced by one-half.
Oxycodone has an average half-life of 3.2 hours, while the half-life for the extended time-released version (OxyContin) is about 4.5 hours.
However, the half-life of the drug can vary from person to person depending on various individual factors.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the half-life of oxycodone can vary between 3 hours to 5.5 hours.
It means that in less than 5 hours nearly half of the last dose of this medicine will be cleared out of your body.
At this rate, a potentially effective portion of the drug will be fully cleared out of the body in 20 hours approximately.
How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System?
You can approximately find out for how long Oxycodone stays in your system from its half-life.
The half-life of this opioid is about 3.2 hours. It is the average time taken by your body to eliminate one-half of the medicine. Controlled/extended-release formulation of the Oxycodone may take up to 5.6 hours to reach a half-life portion.
It will take several half-lives for this opioid to get fully eliminated from your system. As the initial half-life of Oxycodone is 3.2 hours, it will take approximately 24 hours for this medicine to entirely clear off your system.
However, the metabolites of oxycodone will continue to stay in your system for a much longer time.
Various Oxycodone drug tests can trace the presence of the metabolites of this drug in blood, urine, saliva, and hair.
Drug Testing for Oxycodone
Drug testing utilizes discreet and non-invasive methods to detect the existence of the drug’s metabolites in your system. It involves an examination of samples collected from the patient like blood, urine, saliva, and hair.
Different drug testing methods have different testing windows for detecting the drug in your body.
How long does Oxycodone stay in your urine?
Generally, a urine test is the most reliable method to detect short-term drug abuse profiling with a detection window ranging from 4 hours to 8 days.
A urine sample collected from you is analyzed to detect the traces of the drug.
Anecdotal evidence from studies says that oxycodone can stay in your urine between 3 to 4 days after you had the last dose of this medication.
If you have been using this drug regularly for a long period or in high doses, the metabolites of it may be detectable in the urine for up to 8 days.
Within 4 hours after you had the last dose, oxycodone is traceable in your urine.
How long does Oxycodone stay in your blood?
A blood drug test involves technical analysis of the blood sample. Usually, the blood is extracted from a vein on the back of your palm or the inner area of the arm with a needle.
Unlike urine analysis, the blood test detects only the presence of the parent drug. It is difficult to detect the inactive metabolites of a drug in the blood. For this reason, a blood test provides only a short window for detecting drugs.
Oxycodone stays in your blood for about 24 hours only. It is detectable in the blood after 15 minutes of having the last dose of this medicine.
How long does Oxycodone stay in your saliva?
An oral fluid test offers a short-term window for drug detection. Saliva testing is the easiest and reliable method to detect the presence of the parent drug and its metabolites in your body.
A high concentration of oxycodone can be detected in saliva for 24 hours. Its metabolites can be detected in saliva for up to 4 days.
Usually, within 15 minutes after the oral ingestion of the drug, it is detectable in saliva.
How long does Oxycodone stay in your hair?
A hair drug test, also known as a ‘hair follicle drug test’, screen for the presence of drugs or narcotics used by a person.
It is done by collecting a few hair samples and analyzing them for finding any traces of a drug last consumed.
Usually, the metabolites of ]opioid drugs are detectable in a hair follicle test up to 90 days after taking the last dose of the drug.
So, the metabolites of oxycodone stay in your hair for up to 90 days.
The speed at which oxycodone clears your body depends on a few factors pertaining to each user. They include:
According to anecdotal records available from studies, the concentration of oxycodone in healthy females is 25 percent higher than in males. There is no scientific explanation for why do the properties of Oxycontin, oxycodone, or Xtampza ER get a higher concentration in women.
Studies suggest that older adults take a longer time to clear oxycodone from their system in comparison to healthy young adults. Persons above 50 years usually have up to 15 percent higher concentrations of this drug than younger adults.
People who suffer from kidney disorders will take a much longer time to clear opioids like oxycodone, Oxycontin, and others from their system.
Healthy liver function
Opioid drugs are mostly metabolized by the liver. People who have liver dysfunction take a much longer time to reach the half-life cycle of oxycodone. An average increase of 2.3 hours can take to reach a half-life point of drug concentration due to liver dysfunction.
Lack of certain essential enzymes in the liver also can delay the metabolization of opioids.
Frequency and duration of usage
When a person consumes oxycodone regularly for a long period, a substantial amount of metabolites of this drug get accumulated in fatty tissues. For this reason, the metabolites of the drug stay in the body for a longer period in the system.
Alcohol consumption increases the effects and retention of oxycodone. For alcoholic persons, a much longer time is required for clearing the drug out of the system.
Interaction with other medications
Opioid medicines like oxycodone are cleared from the body through cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) pathways. But other drugs can inhibit or block CYP3A4 pathways. This delays the clearance of opioids from your system.
Some of the common medications that can inhibit cytochrome P450 3A are macrolide antibiotics, azole antifungal medicines, and others. Drugs like rifampin that induce CYP3A can also reduce the effect of oxycodone.
The speed of absorption and elimination of a drug depends on your basal metabolic rate. If you have a healthy metabolic rate, your system will metabolize and excrete oxycodone and other drugs quickly.
Oxycodone is mostly eliminated from the body via renal functions. So, your urinary pH level can have a significant impact on the excretion process. If you have a high alkaline content in your urine, it will take a much longer time for the removal of oxycodone.
The Bottom Line
The pain relief effect of a single dose of oxycodone lasts for 4 to 6 hours.
Controlled or extended-release formulations of this drug can last up to 12 hours.
For how long oxycodone stays in your body depends on several individual factors like age, gender, liver function, kidney function, and others.
The metabolites of oxycodone can be detected in urine and saliva for up to 4 days. It may not be traceable in the blood after 24 hours from the last dose. In hair follicles, the metabolites of opioids may stay up to 90 days.