How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay In The System?

Addiction Resource > Addictive Substances: The Anatomy of Drug Addiction > Hydrocodone Addiction and Treatment > How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay In The System?

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay In The System?

As the half-life of the drug is 3.3-4.1 hours, one might need between 18.15 and 22.55 hours to get clean from hydrocodone. Although 24 hours is enough for hydrocodone to leave the body, one of its metabolites – norhydrocodone, has a half-life of around eight hours, which means that the user will need at least two days to get clean.

Can hydrocodone be detected by standard 5-panel drug screens?

Many users claim that standard 5-panel drug tests can’t detect hydrocodone only because the drug doesn’t break down to morphine. However, many tests are designed to detect hydrocodone. Blood tests can find the drug up to 24 hours, urine tests – up to 2-4 days, swab test – up to 12-36 hours, and hair tests – up to 90 days.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System?

Hydrocodone is a powerful opioid. Its half-life ranges between 3 and 4 hours, which means that one would need around 18-22 hours to get clean from the drug.

Although the drug will be out of the body within 24 hours, note that it might take up to two days for some of its metabolites to leave the system.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your Blood?

Hydrocodone reaches plasma peak levels within 1.3 hours. Blood tests can detect the drug up to 24 hours after intake.

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How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your Urine?

Peak concentrations in the urine occur within 8 hours. urinalysis can detect the drug up to 2-4 days after ingestion.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your Saliva?

Our body is a unique system with billions of interconnected particles. Therefore, hydrocodone can be found in one’s saliva as well – with detection times of 12-36 hours.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your Sweat?

Not surprisingly, hydrocodone can also be found in sweat but so far, the detection times are unknown.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay In Your Hair?

Like most drugs, hair tests can detect hydrocodone up to 90 days.

Factors That Affect Hydrocodone’s Peak, Duration & Elimination

Various factors affect the peak of Hydrocodone, its duration, and elimination:

  • Dosage
  • Route of administration
  • History of abuse
  • Polydrug abuse
  • Genetics
  • Body mass
  • Age
  • Overall health
  • Liver and renal complications
  • Lifestyle (meals rich in carbohydrates can delay the elimination of the drug, while acidic environments can accelerate the process)

Remember that each case is individual.

How is Hydrocodone Metabolized?

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay In The System?

The gastrointestinal tract absorbs hydrocodone. Like many other substances, the drug undergoes hepatic metabolism. To be more precise, the CYP450 isoenzymes take an active part in the metabolic process.

After O-demethylation, Hydrocodone breaks down to hydromorphone. For comparison, the other main metabolite norhydrocodone is a result of oxidation (N-demethylation). Note that the half-life of norhydrocodone is around eight hours, while the half-life of hydromorphone is only 2.3 hours. Also, we should mention that females have higher norhydrocodone levels, and males – higher hydromorphone levels.

The drug excretes through urine with many other metabolites: dihydrocodeine, isodihydrocodeine, isodihydromorphone, etc.

Hydrocodone & Drug Tests

As Hydrocodone is an opioid derived from codeine, the drug can be detected by various drug tests. Note that the drug doesn’t metabolize into morphine so standard 5-panel drug screens can’t be used to check for hydrocodone.

  • Blood tests: Blood tests are not so popular due to their short window of detection, which is up to 24 hours. However, they can be used in emergencies, accidents, and overdose cases.
  • Swab tests: Swab tests are not as invasive as blood tests and they can detect the drug for up to 12-36 hours after intake.
  • Urine tests: Urinalysis is the preferred method when it comes to detection of hydrocodone. As some metabolites have long half-lives, urine tests can detect the drug for up to 2-4 days.

Data shows that codeine ingestion can lead to an elimination of hydrocodone, which can be detected via urinalysis.

  • Hair tests: Hair tests, in general, have longer windows of detection (up to three months).

To sum up, you might need 1-5 days to clean your system from hydrocodone, but still, tests can detect the drug for up to few months.

Do not be ashamed if you test positive. You’re not alone. Hydrocodone is the most prescribed medication in the U.S.

If you’re struggling with hydrocodone addiction, we can help you find the best rehab near you.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay In The System?

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