How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System?
Whether you’ve been prescribed oxycodone for the first time or are worried about an upcoming drug test, you might be wondering how long oxycodone stays in your system. This information is also used by medical professionals to help them determine what medical attention is needed to treat you for opioid dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and addiction to prescription opioids.
There are several different types of drug tests that can detect oxycodone, including urinalysis, hair follicle, blood, and saliva tests. Each test has a different detection window and requires a certain amount of metabolites to be present in the system in order to detect a substance. On the other hand, factors like length and frequency of drug use can also impact the length of time oxycodone stays in the system and is detected in drug screenings.
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is an opioid medication that comes in the form of a liquid, tablet, or capsule and is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Popular brand-name formulations of oxycodone are Percocet, OxyContin, Roxicodone, and Roxicet. As a Schedule II controlled substance, the drug has a high potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction. It also carries a high risk of overdose when abused.
Some people take oxycodone as prescribed by their doctor for pain relief, while others abuse the substance because they are looking to get high or are addicted to opiates. Even though the effects of oxycodone wear off several hours after use, the drug’s metabolites can remain in a person’s system for much longer, even after the euphoric effects wear off. In order to use the medication safely or to understand how long it can be detected in a drug screening, it’s important to know how long oxycodone stays in your system.
When someone takes oxycodone, the body breaks the substance down into noroxycodone, noroxymorphone, and oxymorphone. These substances are then excreted by the kidneys and into the urine. The drug can be detected in urine, hair follicle, blood concentrations, and saliva tests in both medical and home-testing environments for different amounts of time.
Oxycodone has a half-life of between 3.2-4.5 hours depending on whether a person has taken the rapid-release or extended-release version of the drug. It typically takes several half-lives to fully eliminate a drug from a person’s body. In addition, everyone metabolizes oxycodone differently depending on their age, weight, genetics, history of substance use, and other health issues.
Factors That Dictate How Long Oxycodone Stays in Your System
Oxycodone is typically detected in the blood for about one day, however, other types of drug tests like urine analysis or saliva tests may detect this substance for up to three months after use.
While different types of drug tests will detect oxycodone in your system for varying lengths of time, there are several other factors that determine how long the substance shows up on drug tests. These include:
- The length of time you have been using oxycodone or other opiates – if you are a long term user who has been using and addicted to opiates for several years, your body will take longer to flush the substance from your body compared to someone who has only been using oxycodone for two weeks. In other words, the more oxycodone metabolites there are in our system, the longer the drug will be detected on drug screenings. The longer you abuse oxycodone, the longer it will stay in your system.
- How much oxycodone you take each time you use the drug – just like people who use drugs longer will take longer to detox, people who use larger doses of oxycodone will require more time for the substance to leave their system. Conversely, someone who has only taken oxycodone once may be able to pass a drug test in just a couple of days because they have very few opioid metabolites in their system.
- Function and health of the liver and kidneys – Since the liver and kidneys work together to eliminate substances and toxins from the body, people with poor liver or kidney function may take longer to process oxycodone and other opiates.
- Age and sex – In general younger adults are thought to have faster metabolisms than older adults, and this is evident in drug testing. Oxycodone may stay in an older person’s system longer than a younger person. Similarly, studies have found that blood plasma concentrations of oxycodone tend to be higher in men than in women.
Detecting Oxycodone in Urine, Hair, Blood, and Saliva
Since there are several different factors that determine how long oxycodone stays in your system, it’s difficult to say exactly how long the substance is detected on a drug test. In addition, each type of drug screening has a different detection window, so while you may be able to pass one type of test, you may fail another.
- Hair follicle tests: traces of oxycodone can be detected in the hair follicle for up to 90 days after the last dose.
- Blood tests: blood tests are the least likely to detect oxycodone because they can only detect the drug for up to 24 hours after use.
- Saliva tests: saliva tests can detect oxycodone metabolites for up to 4 days after the last use.
- Urine tests: Urinalysis is the most common type of drug test that may detect oxycodone in the system for up to 4 days.
In the end, there are a lot of variables that go into how long oxycodone is detected on drug tests. That being said, if you’re concerned about passing a drug test because you’ve been abusing oxycodone or addicted to opiates, it might be time to consider getting help from a professional drug rehab center.
Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction
At PAX Memphis Recovery Center, our compassionate and experienced therapists and medical staff are prepared with the resources and tools you need to overcome oxycodone addiction. Put a life of drug abuse, lying to friends and family, and panicking to pass drug tests in the past. Pick up the phone and call today to learn more about our addiction treatment programs.
Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.