How Long Does Codeine Stay in Your System?

Detection Timetable Depends on Many Variables

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Determining exactly how long codeine is detectable in the body depends on many variables, including which kind drug test is being used. Codeine - also known as Tylenol with Codeine, Empirin with Codeine, Robitussin A-C, Fiorinal with Codeine, Tylenol #3, Codate, Codephos Syrup - can be detected for a shorter time with some tests, but can be "visible" for up to three months in other tests.

The timetable for detecting codeine in the system is also dependent upon each individual's metabolism, body mass, age, hydration level, physical activity, health conditions and other factors, making it almost impossible to determine an exact time codeine will show up on a drug test.

The following is an estimated range of times, or detection windows, during which codeine can be detected by various testing methods:

How Long Does Codeine Show Up in Urine?

Codeine is detectable in a urine test for 2-4 days.

How Long Does Codeine Stay in the Blood?

A blood test will detect codeine for up to 12 hours.

How Long Will Codeine Show Up in a Saliva Test?

A saliva test will detect codeine from 1-4 days.

How Long Does Codeine Remain in Hair?

Codeine, like many other drugs, can be detected with a hair follicle drug test for up to 90 days.

How Is Codeine Absorbed by the Body?

Codeine is mostly absorbed into the tissues of the body. Only about 7-25% of the drug binds to plasma proteins, so most of it is found in the tissues of the body.

How Is Codeine Eliminated From the Body?

About 90% of the drug is eliminated by the kidneys in urine. With a half-life of only 3 hours, 50% of the dosage taken would be eliminated from the body within three hours.

However, the remaining dose would not be eliminated for 7 to 10 hours.


Always Test Clean. "What Are Drug Detection Times?" Drug Test Facts Accessed June 2015American Association for Clinical Chemistry "Drugs of Abuse Testing." Lab Tests Online. Revised 2 January 2013. "Pharmacology." Accessed July 2015

LabCorp, Inc. "Drugs of Abuse Reference Guide." Accessed March 2013.

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