Oxycodone is a potent opioid drug available by prescription in the U.S. for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. When someone takes oxycodone, it acts on the central nervous system, which is a universal characteristic of opioids. This means oxycodone binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system, altering how the person perceives pain.
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When people take oxycodone for a period of time, they often develop tolerance and dependence, so if they were to stop using it suddenly, they would experience withdrawal. This can be minimized by doctors prescribing a plan for weaning off oxycodone gradually rather than stopping suddenly.
The oxycodone half-life is anywhere from 3.5 to 5.5 hours. This means that, on average, the medication will usually be eliminated from the body within 20 hours.
However, with opioids like oxycodone, there are often lingering metabolites that may be present and detectable in your system for longer.
The half-life of oxycodone and how long it takes to be fully eliminated from the body are based not only on features of the drug but also characteristics of the individual taking it. For example, the functionality of the kidneys and liver can play a role because oxycodone is metabolized there. Younger people tend to metabolize oxycodone more quickly. Body weight and fat content can make a difference as well.
Other individual features that can determine oxycodone half-life may include metabolic rate, the pH of urine and how often a person takes it. If you take oxycodone frequently, it may take longer for it to be eliminated because it builds up in your body.
As far as drug tests go, in a urine test, oxycodone may show up as “positive” right after or it may take as long as two hours after taking a dose for it to appear. Oxycodone can show up in a blood test within about 15 minutes, and will often no longer show up in a day. A saliva test can show oxycodone within 15 minutes of taking it.
To summarize, the half-life of oxycodone is 3.5 to 5.5 hours on average, and it takes around 20 hours for the average person to fully eliminate it, although this is dependent on many factors.
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