How long does oxycodone stay in your system?

Published: 10/8/19


The effects of oxycodone don’t last longer than a few hours in most cases, but does that mean that the drug is out of your system that quickly? 

Once oxycodone is in your bloodstream, your body starts to filter it out gradually over time. This means after the drug peaks, you’ll start to feel less pain relief, and the other effects (such as euphoria) may lessen, too. 

A peak is when the amount of drug in your bloodstream reaches its highest. The peak usually happens around two hours after you take the drug if it’s a short-acting formula. If it’s a long-acting formula, then it may peak around six hours. 

This can vary depending on other factors, such as the last time you ate or what other medications you’re taking. 

By six hours after taking a 5mg oxycodone dose, pain relief and other effects have usually ended. This can take up to 12 hours for a long-acting 30mg oxycodone dose. 

Even though the pain relief and “high” have ended, oxycodone is still in your system at this point. It may show up in your urine, blood, saliva, or hair on a drug test. 

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your Digestive System?

The amount of time oxycodone spends in your digestive system varies more than how long it spends in other systems, such as your urine or bloodstream. 

It can depend on factors such as: 

  • How long it’s been since you’ve eaten
  • How much water you’re drinking 
  • Whether you’re drinking alcohol or using other drugs 
  • Whether you have digestive diseases that could affect how your body absorbs and processes drugs (such as ulcerative colitis or gastroparesis)

It usually takes your body six to eight hours to move anything you’ve ingested from your stomach and small intestine to the large intestine. Then, the contents of your large colon spends up to 40 hours moving and undergoing digestion before it leaves your body. 

Those are only estimates, but oxycodone could spend up to 48 hours moving through your digestive system. It may be shorter or longer depending on your digestive patterns and bathroom habits. 

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System for a Urine Test?

Urine tests are the most common type of employment and parole drug test. That’s because they’re inexpensive, work fast, and have a wide window of usefulness. 

That means the amount of time that a urine test can detect drug use is longer than the window for blood and saliva tests.

It takes about four to six hours after taking a dose of oxycodone for it to start appearing on a urine test. Then, you could continue testing positive for one to four days after drug use. 

If you use oxycodone heavily or with other opioids, then it’s possible that you could test positive for longer than four days. You can also test positive for longer if you use the long-acting formulation. Some people have reported testing positive on a urine test up to a week after use. 

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System for a Saliva Test?

Saliva tests are less common than urine tests for employment and parole purposes. 

That’s because they’re not useful for very long. A saliva test only detects opioid use for 24 to 48 hours, normally around 36. 

However, a saliva test can show a positive result just hours after you use oxycodone, so some offices still use this kind of test. 

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System for a Hair Test? 

Hair tests can show a positive result for oxycodone beginning 7 to 10 days after you use the drug. That’s because new hair needs time to grow out from your scalp after you’ve used oxycodone and before the drug can be found in your hair. 

Even though it takes so long to start showing a positive result, a hair test can pick up on oxycodone use for up to 90 days after you take the drug. 

That makes hair tests by far the longest-acting test for opioids. 

As with other types of tests, you can test positive for longer than average if you use: 

  • Large doses of oxycodone 
  • Oxycodone often
  • Oxycodone with other opioids

Can You Get a False Positive for Oxycodone?

There are two cases where you can get a false positive for oxycodone use:

  1. You’re using medication-assisted treatment for opioid abuse. This form of treatment uses drugs that block opioid receptors to help prevent withdrawal during detox. Because these drugs block opioid receptors, they almost always trigger a positive result for opioid use. Make sure to mention it to the person giving the test if you’re using this kind of treatment. 

  1. You’ve eaten large amounts of poppy seeds recently. Opioids are drugs that are derived from a chemical found in the opium poppy plant. Eating poppy seeds (e.g. poppy seed bagels or pastries) in large amounts can trigger a false positive. New tests are less sensitive to account for this possibility, so this problem is less common than it was years ago. 

False positives are very rare outside of these two situations. If you get a positive result after abstaining from oxycodone for a long time, it’s more likely that you didn’t abstain long enough to clear your system. 

The longer you abstain from oxycodone, the less likely that you’ll get a positive test result. 

How Do You Detox Faster From Oxycodone? 

You can’t do anything to detox faster from oxycodone. There are factors that affect how fast oxycodone is metabolized in your body, but they aren’t usually factors that you have much control over. 

However, you can detox more comfortably and successfully from the comfort of an inpatient treatment facility. 

Get Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction

If you need help detoxing from opioids such as oxycodone, an opioid treatment center could be the next step that you need. 

Opioid treatment is personalized to your needs and history. The first step is an intake appointment, where you’ll:

  • Review your drug use and medical history
  • Discuss treatment options
  • Talk about what to expect from treatment

Oxycodone Treatment Options

  • Inpatient or outpatient treatment: Inpatient treatment includes intensive monitoring for patients who need more support, while outpatient treatment offers more freedom to patients who are stable. 

  • Individual therapy: Therapy sessions give you an opportunity to cope with your substance use disorder and learn strategies to avoid relapsing. The most common kind is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which teaches you to recognize relapse triggers in your thought patterns. 

  • Group therapy: Support from people who are going through the same experiences can be a valuable part of recovery. Group therapy can mean a 12-step program, family therapy, or a simple support group.

  • Medication-assisted treatment: Chemical dependency can make it difficult to detox. This treatment option uses drugs to lessen withdrawal symptoms and cravings so you can focus on getting better. Some common drugs used include buprenorphine and methadone. 

Sobriety is waiting for you, so what are you waiting for? Call today to schedule your intake appointment and take the first step toward living drug-free! 


  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine: Toxicological testing for opiates <