How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System?


The half-life of oxycodone, or the time that it takes for half of the drug to exit your body, can range from 3 ½ to 7 hours. It can take up to 24 hours before the drug is completely out of your system.

However, there are several factors that can affect how long the drug remains in your body, like height, weight and food consumption.

  • Saliva: Oxycodone can be detected in your saliva within 15 to 30 minutes of use and can be detected for up to 4 days.
  • Blood: Oxycodone can be detected within 15 to 30 minutes of use and can be detected for about one day.
  • Urine: Oxycodone can be detected in your urine within 2 hours of use and can be detected for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • Hair: Oxycodone can be detected in hair follicles 5 to 7 days after dosage and can be detected for up to 90 days.

Oxycodone is a powerful narcotic prescription medication that is intended to treat short-term pain, often caused by either surgery or a serious injury. It can also be used to treat chronic or long-term pain resulting from injuries as well as illnesses and conditions like cancer or arthritis. Oxycodone can be taken alone, or it can be paired with something else like acetaminophen.

Oxycodone works by interrupting central nervous system pain signals. It works in the body to block pain signals to the brain. Primarily used to treat moderate to severe pain, patients usually take oxycodone around the clock for a set period until their care provider tells them to stop.

As a Schedule II drug, oxycodone has a high risk of addiction and dependency, which is why it’s important for people to take it for only as long as it is prescribed.

Oxycodone is available as the brand name OxyContin, which is an extended-release tablet. Some of the side effects of oxycodone use can include nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, itching, and in severe cases, rapid heartbeat, confusion, and painful urination.

Immediate-release oxycodone, like the kind included in Percocet usually has a half-life of about 3 to almost 4  hours extended-release oxycodone (OxyContin) has a half-life of around 4.5 hours. This means that for the average person who takes immediate-release oxycodone, it will take up to 24 hours for the oxycodone to be completely cleared out of the system.

In addition to the drug itself being present, there may be metabolites present in your system that would affect how long it takes for it to clear, so those substances might be detectable for up to two days. The exact amount of time it would take for oxycodone to leave your system depends on several variables.

For example, if you’re well-hydrated and have just eaten before you take a dose of oxycodone, there can be an impact on absorption of the drug, as well as how quickly it’s metabolized and excreted.

Liver enzymes help to metabolize oxycodone, while the kidneys are involved with the elimination of the drug, so if you have problems with kidney or liver function, it may take your body longer to excrete the drug.

Additional relevant factors to determine how long oxycodone stays in your system include:

  • Specific enzymes in the liver help metabolize oxycodone, so people with higher stores of these enzymes may be able to eliminate oxycodone from their system faster. Usually, younger people have higher levels of particular enzymes that impact the elimination of oxycodone.
  • Age is important when looking at how long oxycodone and other drugs stay in the system. Older people generally aren’t able to excrete drugs as quickly as younger people, primarily because of reduced kidney and liver function, as well as the potential for other health problems that can slow down metabolism.
  • Body weight and fat, as well as height, can play a role. Higher the doses of oxycodone relative to height and weight can stay in the body longer. Also, the more body fat you have, the faster you’re likely to excrete it.
  • Your basal metabolic rate can determine how quickly you metabolize and ultimately excrete oxycodone and other drugs. The higher your metabolic rate, the faster your body can break down and get rid of substances including oxycodone.
  • Most of the oxycodone is eliminated from the body through urine, so your urinary pH can be important in the excretion process. With more alkaline urine, oxycodone will be eliminated more slowly.
  • If you’re someone who takes oxycodone frequently, it may take your body longer to clear it from your system. If you’re someone who takes it regularly or you’ve taken it for an extended period, you start to accumulate it in areas of your body, which makes it more difficult for it to be entirely out of your system.
Oxycodone: How Long Does Oxycodone Stay In Your System?
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