How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System?

Last updated: January 10, 2019

Oxycodone pills

Oxycodone, also known as Oxy, is an opioid analgesic used for severe pain that needs to be treated over a long period of time. It is typically prescribed by doctors when someone is in moderate to severe pain after a trauma or surgery. Oxycodone, which can be taken in capsule, tablet, liquid, or repository forms and acts as a depressant in your body. Made from the poppy plant, oxycodone prevents the body from feeling any pain by attaching itself to the mu opioid receptor. People oftentimes use oxycodone because it floods the body with dopamine, which results in feelings of lightness, carefreeness, and euphoria. However, oxycodone can be extremely dangerous and is oftentimes abused. Due to the powerful nature of oxycodone, it cannot be mixed with other drugs and is easy to overdose with. Here is a bit of information about how long oxycodone stays in your system, as well as how to recover from an addiction:

How is oxycodone tested?

Oxycodone can be tested in a variety of ways. As with most mainstream drugs blood, urine, saliva, and hair tests are all common ways to test for oxycodone. The most common testing methods for oxycodone are blood and urine tests.

How long does oxycodone stay in my system?

While there are guidelines to how long oxycodone can be detected in your system using different tests, there are a myriad of factors that determine how long oxycodone stays in your system. These include: the amount you took, age, gender, liver and kidney function, whether you consumed alcohol, whether you took other medications or drugs, and how long you’ve been taking oxycodone. For example, those over 65 years of age have 15% higher concentrations of oxycodone in their systems and women tend to have 25% high concentrations of the drug in their system than men. Additionally, the speed of one’s metabolism plays a huge role in how long oxycodone stays in the system. The body breaks oxycodone down in the liver into several substances called noroxycodone, oxymorphone, and noroxymorphone, which are then passed through the kidneys as sweat or urine. The faster your metabolism, the faster the drug will exit your system. With that being said, here are the guidelines for how long oxycodone stays in the system:

  • Blood: 24 hours
  • Urine: 3-4 days
  • Saliva: 1-4 days
  • Hair: 90 days

Does it matter how much I took (how many mg)?

Yes, absolutely. The amount of oxycodone that you took will affect both how long you feel the effects of the drug and for how long it can be detected in your system. The more oxycodone you took, the longer it will remain in your system. However, it’s important to take note of the other factors that contribute to how long oxycodone can stay in your system- namely age and gender. While the amount of oxycodone consumed matters, it won’t have a massive bearing on the test results. For example, if you took quite a bit of oxycodone 180 days ago, it still won’t show up on a hair test. However, it could easily affect a blood, urine, or saliva test- as well as how long you will be feeling the symptoms.

What is the half-life (and what does that mean)?

The half-life of a drug explains how long it takes for half of the drug to be cleared from your system. It’s important to know the half-life of different drugs and medications because they can give you an idea of how long you might feel the effects. The half-life of pure oxycodone is quite short- 3.2 hours. However, if oxycodone is mixed with other drugs or is in the extended-release OxyContin form, it can take upwards of 4.5 hours. While the half-life may be 3.2 hours for pure oxycodone, that doesn’t mean that 100% of the drug will be out of your system in 6.4 hours. The first half of the drug exits from your system much faster than the second half. It typically takes between 4-5 half-lives for the drug to be entirely out of your system. However, the drug can still be detected using certain testing methods like hair follicles.

Can I flush it out or get it out of my system faster?

If you want to find a trick to get oxycodone out of your system fast to pass a drug test, you’re going to be quite disappointed. Unfortunately, the only way to get oxycodone out of your system is to wait. As with many other popular drugs, there are many myths online about how drinking excess amounts of water or purging will get drugs out of your system faster. However, no method has been proven to be effective. Instead of trying a bunch of home remedies, it’s best to just wait it out. If you are concerned about feeling the “high” of oxycodone for too long, remember to take the half-life into consideration. As scary as it may feel in the moment, you won’t be on a “high” for days.

At the end of the day, oxycodone is a very dangerous drug with a high potential to be abused. Oxycodone is addictive in nature, but the feelings of elation one feels while on the drug make it that much harder to give up. Many people who form oxycodone addictions initially get the substance legally and for a viable reason, such as an injury- but then they get hooked. While some doctors still prescribe oxycodone to treat pain, many doctors are becoming increasingly aware of the rates at which this drug is abused- and they are acting accordingly. If you or someone that you know has been abusing oxycodone, don’t hesitate to reach out. While it is a serious addiction, it is possible to recover.

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