How Long Does Methadone Stay in Your System?

Detection Timetable Depends on Many Variables

Man Looking in Medicine Cabinet
Taking Methadone With Other Drugs Is Dangerous. © Getty Images

Estimating how long methadone is detectable in the body depends on several factors, including which kind drug test is being used. Methadone - also known as Westadone, Dolophine, Methadose - 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 methadone 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 methadone will show up on a drug test.

How long methadone has been used, the frequency of use and the dosage can also be factors in how long it might be detectable in drug testing.

Methadone Drug Tests Timetable

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

How Long Does Methadone Stay in Urine?

Methadone can be detected in a urine test for up to 6-12 days

How Long Does Methadone Remain in the Blood?

Blood tests for Methadone can detect the drugs for up to 24 hours

How Long Can Methadone Be Detected in Saliva?

A saliva test can detect Methadone for 1-10 days

How Long Does Methadone Remain in Hair?

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

Avoiding a Methadone Overdose

Methadone is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics and was originally used for pain relief. Now, it is more widely known for treating people who were addicted to opiate drugs by producing similar effects and managing withdrawal symptoms in people who have stopped using.

The risk of overdose on Methadone is so great, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a Health Advisory in 2006 that warned patients to take the medication only as prescribed.

Because Methadone remains in the system long after it stops relieving pain, patients are tempted to take more of the medication too soon and risk overdose.

Here are the symptoms of a Methadone overdose:

Call 9-1-1 immediately if you suspect someone is suffering from a Methadone overdose. If caught early enough the overdose might be reversed with a treatment of Narcan.

Other Dangers of Too Much Methadone

Because methadone is a central nervous system depressant it should not be taken with alcohol and certain other drugs, such as:

  • Antidepressants
  • Other narcotic pain medications
  • Medications for anxiety, nausea, or mental illness
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Sedatives
  • Sleeping pills
  • Tranquilizers.

Taking methadone while using any street drugs can also increase the chance of experiencing serious, life-threatening side-effects, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


Always Test Clean. "What Are Drug Detection Times?" Drug Test Facts Accessed December 2015

American Association for Clinical Chemistry "Drugs of Abuse Testing." Lab Tests Online. Revised 2 January 2013.

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

OHS Health & Safety Services. "How long do drugs stay in your system?." Accessed March 2013.

National Institue on Drug Abuse. "Methadone." Drugs, Herbs and Supplements August 2014

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