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How Long Oxycodone Stays In The System?

How Long Oxycodone Stays In The System

Oxycodone is a prescription opioid pain medicine that helps adults with moderate to severe pain. Doctors usually prescribe this medicine after an injury, surgery, or trauma, but this drug can also help ease severe pain, often resulting from medical issues like cancer. This drug is available in both the immediate-release and extended-release formula. The doctor will recommend the type best suited for your condition after a thorough examination.

Oxycodone comes from the poppy plant. Like other opioid substances, it binds to the brain’s mu-opioid receptors to block the body’s pain signals from reaching their destination. Since this medicine directly influences the brian’s functioning, the potential for abuse is high. Due to the possibility of addiction, the DEA classified this medicine as a  schedule 2 controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

If you plan on using this medicine, you should know how long it takes for this drug to work and how long it stays in the system. It is also crucial to understand what you should do when you decide to stop using this drug because abruptly stopping the consumption can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms.

How Fast Oxycodone Starts Working?

Doctors prescribe to take oxycodone orally with food. You can start to feel oxycodone’s effects in 20 to 30 minutes.  However, it takes about one to two hours for this drug to reach peak concentrations in the bloodstream after ingestion. The extended-release form of this drug can even take three to four hours before achieving peak bloodstream concentration.

The amount a person needs to experience the pain-relieving effects varies from person to person. Typically, the doctor prescribes the lowest dose and steadily increases it while observing the progress. Those who have already used opioid medications in the past might have some tolerance to this drug, so they need a higher dose to feel the pain-relieving effects.

When you use oxycodone for an extended period, you will build a tolerance to this medicine. That means you will require a more quantity to get the same effects as before. When the pain does not subside with the usual dosage, your doctor might increase your dose or ask you to try a different pain medicine. Always remember, don’t alter the dosage prescribed by the doctor without consulting them to avoid this drug’s undesirable effects.

How Long did Oxycodone’s Effects Take To Vanish?

The immediate-release form of this oxycodone usually has an average half-life of 3.2 hours, which means it takes an average person 3.2 hours to excrete half of the dose they have ingested.

The extended or controlled-release form of this medicine has an average half-life between 4.5 hours and 5.6 hours. 

Your body takes several half-lives to eliminate the drug from the system. Because each person metabolizes medications differently, the half-life also varies from person to person. For many, this drug will clear the bold in 24 hours after ingestion, but sill remains present in saliva, hair, or urine for much longer.

Though it takes much longer for oxycodone to leave the system, its pain-relieving effects subside rather quickly. Doctors recommend using this medicine at four to six hours interval while you are in pain to get relief.

However, this drug’s extended-release formulation can provide pain relief for much longer, so the doctors prescribe only one pill every 12 hours.

What Factors Influence Oxycodone’s Effects Duration?

Various factors influence the duration for which this medicine’s effects will remain. These factors include:


Older people take more time to clear this drug from their system because this drug’s blood concentration in people over 65 is 15% higher than younger adults.


Various studies show that the blood concentration of oxycodone in women is up to 25% higher than men. That means this medicine lasts longer in females as compared to males.

Liver and kidney health

People with liver disorders take longer to clear the medicine from the body. Studies also show that people with kidney problems experience average oxycodone half-life increased by one hour.

Other medicines you take

Your body clears the oxycodone through a pathway known as P450 3A or CYP3A. If you take medicines that inhibit CYP3A, then it will take longer to eliminate this drug from the system.


Alcohol increases the effects of this medicine. It also causes severe side effects, including fatal overdose.

For how long you were using this drug

If you take this drug for a prolonged time, it will accumulate in fatty tissue, which means the longer you consume it, the more time it takes to get eliminated from the system.

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