How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System?

Detection Timetable Depends on Many Variables

Blood Test Vial
Different Tests Used to Detect Drugs. © Getty Images

Determining exactly how long oxycodone is detectable in the body depends on many variables, including which kind drug test is being used. Oxycodone - also known as Percodan, Percocet, Tylox, OxyContin, Roxicodone, Roxicet, Endocet, Oxies, O.C., hillbilly heroin - 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 oxycodone 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 oxycodone will show up on a drug test.

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

How Long Does Oxycodone Show Up in Urine?

Oxycodone is detectable in a urine test for 3-4 days.

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in the Blood?

A blood test will detect Oxycodone for up to 24 hours.

How Long Will Oxycodone Show Up in a Saliva Test?

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

How Long Does Oxycodone Remain in Hair?

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

How Is Oxycodone Metabolized?

Oxycodone is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 enzyme system in the liver. Oxycodone is extensively metabolized by multiple metabolic pathways to produce noroxycodone, oxymorphone and noroxymorphone, which are subsequently glucuronidated.

How Is Oxycodone Eliminated From the Body?

Oxycodone is primarily eliminated from the body via the kidneys through urine and to a lesser extent sweat.

The half-life of oxycodone is about 3.2 hours, while the half-life for the time-released version (OxyContin) is about 4.5 hours.

Danger of Oxycodone Overdose

Knowing how long Oxycodone remains in your system is important because of the threat of overdose. If you take more of the drug to relieve pain after the effects of your last dose wore off, but before the opioid is out of your system, you increase the risk of an overdose.

Even when take the recommended dose of Oxycodone, you can experience side effects such as confusion, drowsiness, constipation, and nausea. If you take too much Oxycodone the side effects can become very serious.

Here are some possible side effects of an overdose of Oxycodone:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Spasms of the stomach or intestinal tract
  • Vomiting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Weak pulse
  • Coma
  • Drowsiness
  • Possible seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Slow breathing that requires more effort
  • Shallow breathing
  • No breathing
  • Bluish-colored fingernails and lips

If someone does overdose on Oxycodone call 9-1-1 or the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222).

Risk of Oxycodone Addiction

Oxycodone can be habit-forming, so it is important that you not take more of it, or take it more often, or take it in a different manner than prescribed by your healthcare provider. The addictive properties of Oxycodone is another reason to know exactly how long in remains in your body.

You could be especially at risk for becoming dependent on Oxycodone if you have family members with alcohol use disorders, who have ever used illicit drugs, or have ever misused prescription drugs.

If you have such a family history, you need to inform your healthcare provider and make sure you only use Oxycodone as directed.

Sources:

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.

Smith, HS "Opioid Metabolism." Mayo Clinic Proceedings July 2009

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