How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System?

Get Help Now

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System (2)

Opioids are a class of drugs that are used to treat moderate to severe pain. While they provide pain-relieving benefits, using them long-term can also lead to addiction. Unfortunately, opioid addiction puts you at a significant risk of experiencing a life-threatening overdose.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), opioids were responsible for 80,411 overdose deaths in 2021.

One of the most addictive opioid drugs is oxycodone. Doctors prescribe it to patients experiencing severe pain after an injury or for pain relief from conditions like cancer. Because of its soothing and euphoric effects, many people abuse oxycodone.

Oxycodone stays in your system for up to 15 hours. However, oxycodone is detectable by drug tests for a longer period. For example, drug tests can find oxycodone in urine for 2 to 4 days after your last dose.

How Long Do the Effects of Oxycodone Last?

The exact length of time that the effects of oxycodone last depends on how you abuse it. Most people prescribed opioids like oxycodone will swallow the pill. However, people who misuse it might snort, smoke, or inject it. Swallowing oxycodone causes a longer-lasting high while injecting it causes more intense and short-lived effects.

Additionally, how long the effects last will vary depending on whether the oxycodone is immediate or extended-release. Most people who use extended-release oxycodone are receiving a prescription from their doctor to treat chronic pain.

The common side effects of oxycodone include:

  • Relief from pain
  • Cough suppression
  • A rush of euphoria
  • Drowsiness or sedation
  • Small, pinpointed pupils
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Itchy skin
  • Slowed breathing and heart rate

When you swallow an oxycodone pill, the effects will begin within 30 minutes. You might continue to experience effects for up to 6 hours. People who abuse oxycodone regularly might only experience effects for 3 hours.

Snorting and injecting oxycodone will cause almost instantaneous effects. However, the effects will be short-lived. This causes people to misuse large amounts of oxycodone at once, increasing the risk of an overdose.

What is the Half-Life of Oxycodone?

The half-life of a drug describes how long it takes for half of the substance to be eliminated from the body. Typically, it takes about 4 to 5 half-lives for any drug to be cleared from your system.

The half-life of oxycodone is 3 hours. This means it can take up to 15 hours for your system to eliminate oxycodone.

It is important to note that the exact amount of time oxycodone stays in your system depends on a variety of factors, including the speed of your metabolism.

How Long Can Drug Tests Detect Oxycodone?

While oxycodone is usually out of your system after 15 hours, it leaves behind metabolites in certain areas of your body. These metabolites are what drug tests look for to determine if you’ve abused oxycodone.

The amount of time a drug test can detect oxycodone depends on the type of test being used. For example, urine tests have a longer detection window than saliva tests.


Urine tests are the most commonly used drug tests. People prefer them because they are cheap and minimally invasive. These tests can find oxycodone in your urine for up to 4 days after your last dose.

If you have only used oxycodone once, it might not be detectable in urine after 24 hours. However, those who regularly abuse oxycodone will test positive for up to 4 days.


Saliva tests are not used often because they offer a short detection window. That being said, law enforcement might use them to determine if you are under the influence during a traffic stop. Saliva tests can usually only detect oxycodone for 1 to 2 after your last dose.


Blood tests are usually used in hospital settings to determine if oxycodone is contributing to your symptoms. They are not preferred for pre-employment drug screening because they are invasive. Typically, blood tests can detect oxycodone in your system for up to 24 hours after your last dose.


Hair tests are not used often because they can be expensive to evaluate in a lab. However, high-security clearance jobs might use them because of their long detection window. Hair follicle drug tests can find oxycodone and other prescription drugs in your system for up to 90 days after you last used it.

Factors that Affect How Long Oxycodone Stays in Your System

The length of time that oxycodone stays in your body depends on a variety of factors. For example, your metabolism can affect how long it stays in your system. Similar to how our body processes food, a person with a slow metabolism will test positive for oxycodone longer than others.

Additional factors that affect how long oxycodone stays in your system include:

  • Dosage and frequency of use
  • Age and weight
  • Overall health
  • Speed of your metabolism
  • Length of oxycodone use
  • Hydration and nutrition status
  • The health of your liver and kidneys
  • Whether you mixed oxycodone with other substances like alcohol

Get Connected to Detox for Oxycodone Addiction

If you or a loved one struggles with oxycodone abuse, you will develop withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. Thankfully, medical detox centers can help you overcome withdrawal safely and comfortably.

At Archstone Behavioral Health, we believe in discreet and comfortable detox services for all. That is why we offer our clients exclusive access to medical detox services at our private facility.

Contact us today to learn more about detox for oxycodone addiction.