The half-life of oxycodone (the time that it takes half the drug to exit a person’s body) can range from 3.5 to 5.5 hours. It can take up to 20 hours before oxycodone is completely out of the body.

Several factors can affect how long oxycodone stays in your system, like liver function, weight and metabolism. These factors contribute to the length of time that oxycodone is detectable by drug tests.

  • Urine test: 3-4 days
  • Hair test: 90 days
  • Blood test: 24 hours
  • Saliva: 4 days

The length of time in which oxycodone stays in your system is slightly less compared to OxyContin (which is the time-release prescription medication name of the drug oxycodone.) Because OxyContin is time-released (compared to immediate-release oxycodone), studies have shown the half-life to be slightly longer.

Article at a Glance:

The length of time that oxycodone stays in a person’s system is affected by many factors. When discussing oxycodone use with your doctor, consider the following:

  • The half-life of oxycodone is between 3.5 and 5.5 hours
  • Oxycodone is usually clear of the body in approximately 20 hours
  • Metabolites of oxycodone remain in the body for up to 90 days
  • Urine, blood and saliva drug tests have smaller windows of detection for oxycodone than hair tests
  • Oxycodone can be detected in blood and saliva tests minutes after the drug is used
  • Individuals with liver diseases or issues may have trouble metabolizing oxycodone
  • Younger people are more likely to metabolize oxycodone faster than seniors

How Long Does Oxycodone Show Up On Drug Tests?

People who utilize oxycodone may wonder how long the drug shows up on drug tests. Because the half-life of oxycodone is only a few hours and the drug may completely leave the system within a day, some people believe that a day after they last took oxycodone they’ll be able to pass an oxycodone drug test. But what determines the length of time that a drug test detects traces of a drug has more to do with the drug’s metabolites (i.e., what the drug metabolizes into), than the drug’s half-life.

So even though oxycodone itself isn’t present in your body, it metabolizes into noroxycodone, noroxycodoloxymorphone, and oxymorphol among others, which can linger after their original forms vanish. The metabolites appear more in certain components of the body than in others, resulting in different trace windows per test type.

How Long Oxycodone Stays In Urine

Urine tests can reveal oxycodone use for approximately three to four days following the latest use. Oxycodone may first show up in urine within a couple of hours following consumption.

How Long Oxycodone Stays In Hair

Oxycodone can be detected in hair for approximately 90 days after the latest use, but it takes approximately one week to appear in a person’s hair following the latest use.

How Long Oxycodone Stays In Blood

Oxycodone use can be detected in the blood for approximately one day (24 hours) after the latest use. The drug is present in the bloodstream within 15 to 30 minutes following the most recent use.

How Long Oxycodone Stays In Saliva

A saliva test can reveal traces of oxycodone for up to four days following the latest use. Oxycodone can be detected in saliva within 15 minutes of the latest use.

Related Topic: How long do opioids stay in your system

What Factors Affect How Long Oxycodone Stays In Your System?

The amount of time it takes for oxycodone to leave the body depends on several factors.

For example, if you’re young and healthy, the way your body absorbs and processes oxycodone is different from how the body of a senior who has poor physical health processes the drug.

Factors in determining how long oxycodone stays in your system include:

Oxycodone and Weight

A person who is obese will likely have oxycodone in their system longer than someone who weighs less will.

Generally, people who are overweight process drugs slower than people who weigh less because overweight people tend to have slower metabolic rates. Obese individuals often suffer from chronic pain due to various physical conditions that develop due to their weight gain. Opioids may already be utilized to treat some of those painful issues. If so, their body may be partially used to the presence of opioids when oxycodone is used, thus more opioids may be needed due to the individual’s opioid tolerance.

Age and Organ Function Affect Oxycodone Processing

Most opioids come with a warning for individuals with liver conditions. Liver enzymes help to metabolize oxycodone, so if liver problems are present it may take the body longer to excrete the drug. Specific enzymes in the liver helps metabolize oxycodone, so people with higher stores of these enzymes can eliminate oxycodone from their system faster.

Usually, younger people have higher metabolic rates, which can impact the elimination of oxycodone. Older people generally aren’t able to excrete drugs as quickly as younger people, possibly due to reduced liver function, as well as the potential for other health problems that can slow down metabolism.

How Long Oxycodone Lasts by MG

It’s best for individuals to consult with their primary care provider to determine how long certain doses of oxycodone will last in their system. Because of the many factors that contribute to how long oxycodone stays in your system, doctors can check your prescription with any pre-existing factors like liver health and age to be as accurate as possible.

For example, OxyContin, a brand name of Oxycodone, comes in 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg and 80 mg tablets. The dosage amount being prescribed can also play a role in how long OxyContin stays in your system. A doctor can help patients determine which amount is right for them and help patients determine how long the drug remains in their system.

What Is the Half-Life of Oxycodone?

The half-life of oxycodone refers to the amount of time it takes half the drug to be eliminated from your body. The oxycodone half-life is anywhere from 3.5 to 5.5 hours. The half-life for OxyContin, the time-release version of oxycodone, is about an hour longer, averaging between 4.5 to 6.5 hours half-life. 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 the features of the drug but also the 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. Bodyweight 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.

Getting Help

Oxycodone is addictive and prescribed usage can lead to addiction. If left untreated, oxycodone addiction can result in overdose and death. People with chronic pain issues may be tempted to take more oxycodone than their doctor prescribes them, or take their prescription at an accelerated rate to self-medicate.

Professional addiction treatment centers like The Recovery Village allow people to address their addiction by detoxing in safe, supportive environments. Trained teams of medical professionals help patients detox from drugs and support them through the withdrawal process. Once withdrawal symptoms clear up, patients can then work toward building a healthier, sober future in recovery.

If you or a loved one live with an addiction to oxycodone, contact The Recovery Village today. Call and speak to a representative to learn how individualized treatment programs address addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders.

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Editor – Megan Hull
Megan Hull is a content specialist who edits, writes and ideates content to help people find recovery. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Christina Caplinger, RPh
Christina Caplinger is a licensed pharmacist in both Colorado and Idaho and is also a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist. Read more

RX List. “OxyContin.” February 25, 2019. Accessed March 29, 2019.

Raman, R. “Why Your Metabolism Slows Down With Age.” Healthline, September 24, 2017. Accessed March 29, 2019.

National Institutes of Health. “Oxycodone.” October 30, 2018. Accessed March 29, 2019.

Smith, H. “Opioid Metabolism.” Mayo Clinic Proc., July 2009. Accessed March 29, 2019.

Okifuji, A., Hare, B. “The Association Between Chronic Pain and Obesity.” J Pain Res., July 14, 2015. Accessed March 29, 2019.

PharmGKB. “Oxymorphone / Noroxycodone.” Accessed March 29, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.