How Long Does Tylenol #3 Stay in Your System?

Detection Timetable Depends on Many Variables

Man taking prescription pills out of medicine cabinet
Tylenol #3 Can Interact With Other Drugs. © Getty Images

The length of time Tylenol #3 is detectable in the body depends on many variables, including which kind drug test is being used.

Tylenol #3 - which is a combination of acetaminophen and codeine - 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 Tylenol #3 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 Tylenol #3 will show up on a drug test.

The following is an estimated range of times, or detection windows, during which Tylenol #3 can be detected by various testing methods:

How Long Does Tylenol #3 Stay in Urine?

Tylenol #3 can be detected in a urine test for up to 8-24 hours.

How Long Does Tylenol #3 Remain in the Blood?

Blood tests for Tylenol #3 can detect the drugs for up to 12 hours

How Long Can Tylenol #3 Be Detected in Saliva?

A saliva test can detect Tylenol #3 for 1-2 days

How Long Does Tylenol #3 Remain in Hair?

Tylenol #3, like many other drugs, can be detected with a hair follicle drug test for up to 90 days.

Other factors that could influence the length of time Tylenol #3 remains in the system would be the frequency of the dosages and the amount of the dosage.

Avoiding a Tylenol #3 Overdose

You need to know how long Tylenol #3 stays in the system to avoid taking too much too quickly and having an accidental overdose. Here are some of the symptoms of an acetaminophen and codeine overdose:

If someone has an overdose on Tylenol #3, seek medical help immediately because this type of overdose can cause death.

Other Risks of Taking Tylenol #3

Tylenol #3 contains codeine which belongs to a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. Because it affects the central nervous system it should not be taken with other drugs that can slow breathing or cause drowsiness. It also can react with other medications and drugs. You should not drink alcohol while taking Tylenol #3.

Codeine can also be habit-forming. Therefore, you should never take a larger dose, take it more often, or for a longer period that prescribed by your healthcare provider.


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.

U.S. National Library of Medicine. "Acetaminophen and codeine overdose." Drugs, Herbs and Supplements. August 2010

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