Updated on February 6, 2024
5 min read

How Long Does Oxycontin Stay in Your System?

Key Takeaways

How Long Does Oxycontin Stay in Your System?

Like most drugs, Oxycontin remains in your body for a significant period after your last drug dose. For example:

APPEARS WITHINLEAVES WITHIN
Saliva15-30 minutes35-96 hours or 1-4 days
Blood15-30 minutes25 hours or 1 day
Urine0-2 hours50-96 hours or 3-4 days
Hair5-7 days90+ days

These are estimates of how long the drug takes to move through your system. The actual time it takes for your body to remove the drug varies from person to person based on various factors.

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Factors That Affect How Long Oxycontin Stays in Your System

Several factors affect how long Oxycontin stays in your body. For example:

Age

According to Oxycontin’s manufacturer, the drug affects older people over 65 more than younger adults. This indicates that it remains in your system longer when you’re older. 

Sex

Women, on average, have 25% higher oxycodone concentrations than men. Researchers aren’t sure why this is the case.6 

Liver Health & Function

Your liver metabolizes the drugs that enter your system. Someone with mild to moderate liver impairment experiences Oxycontin blood concentrations about 20% to 50% higher than people with a healthy liver.

Kidney Health & Function

The kidneys also affect how long Oxycontin remains in your system. Like those with an unhealthy liver, people with kidney dysfunction take longer to metabolize the drug. 

In addition to the factors listed above, the following also affect how long it takes for Oxycontin to clear your system:

  • Other medications you’re taking
  • Your metabolism
  • How long you’ve been using Oxycontin
  • Alcohol consumption

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What is Oxycontin?

Oxycontin, also known as oxycodone, is a prescription opioid medication. It’s used to manage ongoing, severe pain. 

When used properly, the drug is effective. However, there is a high risk of addiction

This is partly due to its long-term use for pain. Using the drug for any reason not based on medical advice puts users at risk for various dangerous side effects and addiction.

How Long Does it Take for Oxycontin to Work? 

Most people feel the effects of Oxycontin within 20 to 30 minutes after taking it. It reaches peak concentration within 2 hours. 

There are also two versions of the drug that take up to 4 hours to reach peak concentration: 

  • Extended-release version: Used to relieve severe pain for people who need around-the-clock medication
  • Controlled-release version: Used to relieve moderate to severe persistent pain when other forms of treatment have not been effective

What is the Drug’s Half-Life?

A drug’s half-life is the time it takes your body to eliminate half of the drug. 

The half-life of oxycodone is about 3 hours for the immediate-release formula and about 4.5 hours for other formulas after ingestion. It takes about 22.5 hours for the drug to be eliminated from the blood.

Prescribed Use vs. Other Methods

Misusing Oxycontin can affect how long it remains in your system and how long it takes to work. Other methods of taking Oxycontin include:

  • Snorting
  • Crushing
  • Injecting

Crushing and snorting the controlled-release tablets cause lower and delayed peak blood plasma levels. While blood plasma levels may be lower, the delayed effect may mean that the substance is detectable in the body for longer periods. 

Many people crush or snort Oxycontin because it works faster. According to a doctor’s recommendation, whether or not a person uses Oxycontin also affects how long the drug is detectable in their system. 

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How to Get Oxycontin Out of Your System 

There is nothing you can do to speed up how quickly Oxycontin leaves your body. The only real way to avoid detection when tested for the drug is to stop taking it several days or weeks before the drug test.

If your doctor prescribed Oxycontin, then make sure you speak to your doctor before you stop taking it. Oxycontin has a high risk of physical dependence. In most cases, doctors will gradually taper you off the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

If you experience withdrawal symptoms, seek medical attention. However, you might be able to stop using it without experiencing withdrawal. You can avoid withdrawal if you haven’t been using it for a long time or if you’ve been taking small doses.5

How to Stop Using Oxycontin

Although you can’t speed up the drug’s metabolism, there are ways you can stop. Here are a few things you can do to help you stop using Oxycontin:3

  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Stay hydrated
  • Daily exercise 

It’s important to understand that a medically supervised detox ensures you’re safe during withdrawal. Addiction therapies are also one of the safest ways to detox.5

Symptoms of Oxycontin Addiction

Oxycontin is a highly addictive drug. Symptoms of addiction include:3

  • Using the drug more often or in higher doses than the prescription advises
  • Using the drug without a prescription or after a prescription runs out
  • Failing to stop using the drug even if you want to
  • Focusing on using the drug to the detriment of other aspects of your life
  • Spending a lot of money to get the drug
  • Experiencing cravings for the drug
  • Neglecting responsibilities and previously enjoyed recreational activities to use the drug
  • Continuing to use the drug even after recognizing it’s causing a problem in your life
  • Developing a tolerance for the drug that requires higher doses to achieve the same effect
  • Using the drug for reasons other than pain relief (recreationally)
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the dosage is reduced, or you stop taking it

Side-Effects of Oxycontin Abuse

In addition to the symptoms, people misusing Oxycontin are at risk of the following side effects:3

  • Constipation
  • Sweating
  • Itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Abnormal thoughts and dreams
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Slowed breathing
  • Hallucinations

Summary

Oxycontin or oxycodone is a prescription opioid medication. It’s often used to treat chronic or severe pain.

Oxycontin remains in your body for a significant period after your last drug dose. However, the drug’s detectability duration depends on the test type. 

It can also vary depending on a few factors such as:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Liver health
  • Kidney health
  • Misuse

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Updated on February 6, 2024

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