How Long Does Exalgo (Hydromorphone) Stay In Your System?

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Exalgo is a brand-name drug, available only by prescription. The generic, active ingredient in Exalgo is hydromorphone, which is an opioid pain medication. Exalgo is intended only to be used as a pain reliever in people with chronic, around-the-clock severe pain. When someone is prescribed Exalgo, they should already be opioid tolerant. Tolerance is necessary because Exalgo can cause fatal respiratory depression in someone who doesn’t already use opioid. Exalgo is a controlled-release version of hydromorphone, so concentrations of the opioid medication are steadily released into the system of the patient. As with any opioid, there is a risk of misuse and addiction with Exalgo, especially when it’s diverted from medical use. Someone prescribed Exalgo would take it every 24 hours, at the same time every day. Rather than trying to make up for a missed dose, patients should wait until it’s time for their next one to avoid an overdose.

How Long Does Exalgo (Hydromorphone) Stay In Your System?
Exalgo is a Schedule II controlled substance, like most other opioid pain medications. A Schedule II drug is one that’s highly regulated regarding how it’s prescribed and used in the U.S. According to the DEA, hydromorphone has a high potential for misuse and severe physical and psychological addiction. It’s not only dangerous to use a potent opioid-like Exalgo without a prescription, but it’s also illegal.

Exalgo is specifically a controlled-release version of hydromorphone. Hydromorphone is also known as dihydromorphine, and it’s available in the brand-name drug Dilaudid. Hydromorphone is frequently used in hospital and clinical settings and is intravenously injected. Opioids are a highly misused class of drugs in general, and there’s been a huge amount of focus on how to curb the epidemic of addiction and overdoses related to these drugs. Opioids include prescription drugs like Exalgo and Dilaudid as well as OxyContin and Vicodin. Other opioids with medical applications are codeine and morphine. Heroin is an illicit opioid, and fentanyl is a powerful opioid responsible for many overdose deaths each year.

How Long Does Exalgo (Hydromorphone) Stay In Your System?
Hydromorphone is the active ingredient in Exalgo. When someone takes Exalgo as directed, they receive a constant amount of hydromorphone throughout a 24-hour period. As with other opioids, hydromorphone binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system, changing the way pain is sensed. When hydromorphone binds to opioid receptors, it also slows down central nervous system functions including respiration. Side effects of Exalgo can include nausea, vomiting, constipation, drowsiness and dizziness. If someone has pain requiring Exalgo and they use it as prescribed, they’re not likely to feel any sense of euphoria. However, when Exalgo is misused, there may be a sense of euphoria or pleasant relaxation that patients may find desirable.
The half-life of any drug is the time it takes the concentration in the body to be reduced by one-half. Understanding the half-life of Exalgo can be helpful to avoid overdose, to follow prescribing instructions and to have a general understanding of how long it will stay in the system. The average half-life of Exalgo is around 11 hours. It usually takes five half-lives for a drug to leave the system of a patient entirely. This means it would take, on average, around 55 hours for Exalgo to leave the system completely.

The 11-hour half-life estimation for Exalgo is average. It doesn’t mean that the half-life of the drug is always 11 hours in every patient. There are factors that influence how long Exalgo stays in your system. These factors can include:

  • People with faster metabolisms tend to excrete drugs more quickly
  • Older people may eliminate drugs from their system more slowly than younger people
  • Certain health conditions and chronic diseases can cause drugs to be removed from the system more slowly
  • People with hepatic impairment may eliminate drugs more slowly
  • Well-hydrated individuals will often see faster drug elimination times
  • Physical activity can speed up how long it takes a drug to leave the system of a patient

Drug screenings may occur by assessing someone’s urine, hair follicles or their blood. A hair follicle test tends to have the longest detection time of any type of drug test. A blood test will usually have the shortest detection window. The active ingredient in Exalgo, hydromorphone, can show up in a urine test for three to four days, or maybe longer. Hydromorphone might show up in a blood test for around 24 hours, or possibly longer. In a hair test, hydromorphone might be detected for up to 90 days after someone last used it.

The Recovery Village bases our addiction treatment programs on proven evidence, an individualized approach and compassion. Contact us to learn more.

How Long Does Exalgo (Hydromorphone) Stay In Your System?
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