How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in The System?

Last Updated: June 24, 2020

Authored by Roger Weiss, MD

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Oxycodone obtained from thebaine belongs to the opioid family being semisynthetic. People use the drug for relieving pains as an opioid substance which occurs in the famous Persian poppy. Oxycodone has grown in popularity, especially for its use as a painkiller.
How long does oxycodone stay in body system? In most instances it’s connected to the frequency of intake, hydration level, body mass and weight, and height. Other factors that go a significant way in determining how long oxycodone stays in body is how well kidney and livers are working, how acidic or alkaline urine is and other others.

Factors That Influence the Duration of Oxycodone Presence in System

The amount of time oxycodone is going to stay in  system depends on many factors. One major determinant of the length of residence of oxycodone is metabolic rate. If the subject’s body processes materials fast, then oxycodone is sure to leave  body in shorter time relatively. Other determinants could be their body mass, the hydration level of the individual. Let us take an extensive look at these factors determining the length of time oxycodone stays in a body.
How long oxycodone stays in system is also connected to the functionality of liver. There are a selected group of enzymes in the liver with enhanced capacity to remove oxycodone from the system. The amount of protiens in a person’s liver contributes to how long oxycodone will stay. In most normal circumstances, the amount of this enzyme in body depends on age, as younger people have an increased amount of this enzyme particularly.

Aside from this, age has a significant role to play. Elderly patients will not be able to excrete drugs at the pace of a younger person. It is understandable as being advanced in age could weaken the effectiveness of kidney or liver. Overall, this would eventually slow down metabolic process.
The weight and body mass is also important. Fatty tissues have an increased probability of retaining chemicals when measured against lean muscles, which is why carrying more fat may translate into the slower passage of this drug. The more hydrated a person is, the bigger the chances that oxycodone will clear quickly.
oxycodone pills
Another contributor is urinary pH. So, when there is more alkalinity in urine, it becomes more likely that oxycodone will remain in body before it clears.
Lastly, one important factor that essentially dictates how long oxycodone stays in system is the regularity of ingestion. Certainly, if the person has been taking it for a while, there is the possibility that it could accumulate in some parts of their system. Also, if one had taken it in a high quantity, the drug could take a longer time to leave the body.

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in System?

There are a variety of tests to confirm the presence oxycodone in system. Now all these tests have their various duration (after ingestion) where they would pick out oxycodone if it so exists in body. Let us look deeper into this.

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Blood?

The blood will test positive for oxycodone 24 hours after one has taken it in. Such blood tests for oxycodone and its metabolites come in useful during tests for abuse of the drug, even up to clarifying poison claims in a death investigation.

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Hair?

Although a single human hair strand may not tell sufficiently about whether there is oxycodone in system, hair goes a long way in proffering information on how much of the drug taken in the previous 90 days.

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Urine?

One major passage medium for oxycodone (and its metabolites) out of the system is through urine and sweat. In the case where kidney has issues, we should be expecting a lot of oxycodone in system. Fundamentally, oxycodone could stay in urine for about 3-4 days after ingestion.

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay In Saliva Or Sweat?

The saliva test is one quick test to check for the presence of oxycodone in system. Oxycodone shouldn’t stay more than 4 days in  saliva.

How is Oxycodone Metabolized?

Oxycodone is used most often as a pain reliever. Here’s how oxycodone works: after administration, it goes on to disrupt the transmission of pain signals through central nervous system. With this in place, when an individual now ingests Oxycodone, their system functionality loses the capacity to transmit that pain signal to the brain.
Urine has a principal role to play in the metabolism and ejection of oxycodone. Metabolism of this substance takes place majorly in urine as conjugated metabolites and as unconjugated metabolites. The time it will take oxycodone to metabolize to 50% or even less at somewhere around 4 hrs. 30 minutes. When someone takes oxycodone, it is metabolized into noroxycodone. This metabolite circulates the body after the oxycodone is oxidized by the enzyme CYP3A4/5 in the process of N-demethylation.

The Duration of Oxycodone Effects

The peak level is when the effects of oxycodone are at their highest level. Still, the peak level of oxycodone varies among individuals especially in correspondence with their body weight, height and a little bit related to gender. If taken in a concentration of oxycodone of 0,28mg/kg, the effects of this administration should peak somewhere around 55 minutes. About 5 hours later, the effects of this administration should have considerably reduced.

Page Sources

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  2. Byung‐Moon Choi, Yong‐Hun Lee, Sang‐Mee An, Soo‐Han Lee, Eun‐Kyung Lee, Gyu‐Jeong Noh. Population pharmacokinetics and analgesic potency of oxycodone. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2017 Feb; 83(2): 314–325.
  3. Bernhard Scheidel, Martina A. Maritz, Yves J. Gschwind, Kerstin Steigerwald, Volker Guth, Peter Kovacs, Helene Rey. Bioavailability of oxycodone after administration of a new prolonged-release once-daily tablet formulation in healthy subjects, in comparison to an established twice-daily tablet. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Nov; 55(11): 881–890.

Published on: June 9th, 2017

Updated on: June 24th, 2020

About Author

Roger Weiss, MD

Dr. Roger Weiss is a practicing mental health specialist at the hospital. Dr. Weiss combines his clinical practice and medical writing career since 2009. Apart from these activities, Dr. Weiss also delivers lectures for youth, former addicts, and everyone interested in topics such as substance abuse and treatment.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.


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