Oxycodone is an opiate pain reliever used to treat everything from moderate-to-severe pain from injuries, trauma, major surgeries, and cancer. As you may know, it’s also a popular street drug. Regardless of why people use this opiate pain reliever, the question remains the same: how long does oxycodone stay in your system?
Standard drug tests can only detect oxycodone in users’ systems for approximately one day. However, it can still be seen using other drug screening tools, such as hair tests, as long as three months after users take their last doses. It can also be detected in urine and saliva samples for up to four days, depending on the dose and frequency of use.
Oxycodone comes in several forms, including extended-release versions and formulations that include other painkillers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen. No matter the form of oxycodone you’ve taken, you still need to be careful if you have a drug test coming up.
How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your Body?
The effects of oxycodone can be felt in just 20 to 30 minutes when taken orally. They typically peak between one to two hours after ingestion for regular formulations and three to four hours after ingestion for extended or controlled-release formulas. Depending on the formulation, users will experience the effects of oxycodone between 4 and 12 hours after they take it. Still, the drug will continue to be present in their systems for much longer.
The half-life of immediate-release oxycodone is around 3.2 hours, which means it takes 3.2 hours for the average consumer’s body to eliminate half the dose. For controlled-release formulations, the half-life is approximately 4.5 hours while extended-release oxycodone is about 5.6 hours.
As with all drugs, it takes between five and nine half-lives’ worth of time for user’s bodies to eliminate the substance from their systems altogether. Half-lives vary from person to person, so there’s no way to give a hard-and-fast answer to how long the drug will stay in your system, but for most people, it will fully clear the blood within one day.
Don’t get too excited yet. The fact that your body can cleanse itself of oxycodone in about 24 hours doesn’t mean you’ll be all set if you abstain from taking it for one day before your drug test. While the substance will no longer be present in your blood, it could still be detected in your urine, saliva, or hair.
Will Oxycodone Show up on a Drug Test?
Oxycodone is classified as a Schedule C-II controlled substance by the DEA. Drugs in this category have a high potential for abuse and severe psychological or physical dependence, so they’re highly regulated. Just about any drug screening will include testing for oxycodone, and unless users detox before their tests, even a single instance of use could still show up.
The length of time users need to detox varies depending on various factors, but the most predictable of them is the type of test being administered such as the following:
Like other controlled substances, oxycodone shows up on hair tests for much longer than blood, saliva, or urine tests. It can take up to 90 days of abstinence to test negative on a hair test after chronic use. Purchasing products like specialized detox shampoos can help, but they don’t offer a guarantee that you’ll test negative.
Saliva tests are much less sensitive than hair tests, but they’re more sensitive than blood tests. You can expect oxycodone use to show up on a saliva test for around four days following your last dose.
Blood tests are suitable for detecting current oxycodone use, but they fall short when it comes to testing for one-time use. As long as you haven’t taken any oxycodone in the 24 hours leading up to your blood test, you should be fine.
Urine tests are comparable to saliva tests when it comes to sensitivity. They can detect oxycodone use for up to four days following your last dose.
Factors That Determine How Long Oxycodone Stays in Your System
Part of the reason half-lives are given as averages rather than exact numbers is that each consumer’s body takes a different amount of time to clear oxycodone from their system. Several factors influence how long it takes for the effects of oxycodone to wear off and how long it takes to clear users’ systems entirely.
These factors include, but are not limited to:
- Age: As people age, it takes their bodies longer to process drugs, including oxycodone. In this case, the blood concentrations of people over 65 are consistently around 15% higher than those of younger peers who have taken the same doses. That means it also takes longer for older people to clear oxycodone from their systems.
- Gender: Researchers don’t know why, but oxycodone concentrations in healthy female subjects are consistently higher than male subjects. It can thus take longer for women to clear oxycodone from their systems than men.
- Chronic use: Those who take oxycodone, either with or without a prescription, for extended periods will require a longer detox period to eliminate it from their bodies entirely. That’s because oxycodone can accumulate in fatty tissue and be released back into the bloodstream over time as the fat gets burned.
- Liver and kidney function: Consumers with liver dysfunction should add 2.3 hours to the average half-life of oxycodone when estimating how long it will take them to test clean. Those with kidney dysfunction should add an hour to the average half-life.
- Other medications. Since oxycodone is cleared from the body through the cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) pathway, drugs that inhibit CYP3A4 can increase the length of time it takes to break down this drug. Drugs that induce CYP3A have the opposite effect.
How to Quickly Cleanse Your System of Oxycodone
If you know you have a urine or saliva test coming up, it’s best to start detoxing a week in advance to be safe. This is especially true for chronic users. Those who don’t have a full week to detox will be happy to know that they can take a few simple steps to speed up the process.
Here are five ways to quickly cleanse your system:
- Drinking plenty of water to dilute drug concentrations in urine
- Getting plenty of physical activity up until the day of the test
- Stopping physical activity on the day of the test to avoid releasing oxycodone stored in fat cells
- Eating a healthy diet to boost the body’s metabolism
- Using detox teas designed to boost kidney and liver function
If you need to pass the test and not positive, you’ve given your body enough time to eliminate the oxycodone from your system; you could also try a detox drink. These specialized products don’t clear the drugs from your system. They just mask them temporarily so you can pass your test; therefore, take them a few hours in advance for optimal results.
Using Synthetic Urine to Pass an Oxycodone Drug Test
Unlike detox drinks, which don’t always work, high-quality synthetic urine is a sure way to beat a drug test. As long as consumers purchase products from reputable vendors, prepare them properly before use, and deliver them discreetly into their sample cups, synthetic urine will pass muster on all but the most rigorous laboratory exams.
Synthetic urine works so well because it is designed to mimic the properties of real, natural urine. It has the same color, pH, chemical composition, and even odor. Just make sure the synthetic urine you choose comes from a quality vendor and contains all the chemicals typically found in healthy natural urine, such as creatine, urea, uric acid, and the other biological markers used to indicate a sample is genuine. To end, as long as you heat synthetic urine to the correct temperature before using it and ensure that it isn’t expired, you should test negative.