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Prescription Drug Detection Times

How Long Do Prescription Drugs Stay In Your System?

Article Contents

Over 100 million Americans use prescription drugs. These substances sometimes appear on drug tests ordered by courts or employers. The most popular drug tests are urine tests, blood tests, saliva tests, and hair follicle tests.

If you’re wondering whether your prescription drugs will show up on your test results, learn about drug detection times.

How Long Do Prescription Drugs Stay In Your System?

It’s difficult to determine exactly how long drugs can stay in your system and appear on drug tests. The answer depends on various factors, including:

  • the type of drug
  • the type of drug testing used
  • the length of time you’ve been using the drug
  • how frequently you use the drug
  • the dose you use
  • the drug’s half-life, which is the amount of time it takes for half of a drug and its metabolites (byproducts) to leave your system 
  • when your last use of the drug was
  • age, as younger people tend to metabolize (process) drugs more quickly than older people
  • body fat percentage, as people with high body fat percentages tend to metabolize drugs more slowly
  • hydration levels, as drinking too much or too little water can skew urine test results 

Prescription Drug Detection Times

Although detection times vary, researchers have estimated general detection windows for some of the most popular prescription drugs. 

Antidepressants

Healthcare providers use antidepressants to treat depression and other mental health conditions, such as social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Popular antidepressants include:

  • Cymbalta (duloxetine), which can generally be detected for up to 5 days on a urine test, up to 3 days on a blood test, up to 3 days on a saliva test, and up to 30 days on a hair test
  • Wellbutrin (bupropion), which can generally be detected for up to 5 days on a urine test, up to 4 days on a blood test, up to 3 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days a hair test
  • trazodone, which can generally be detected for up to 5 days on a urine test, up to 3 days on a blood test, up to 3 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test

Barbiturates

Barbiturates are sometimes used to treat headaches, seizures, anxiety, and insomnia (trouble sleeping). Examples include Amytal (amobarbital), Seconal (secobarbital), and Nembutal (pentobarbital). 

Most barbiturates can be detected for up to 6 weeks on a urine test, up to 3 days on a blood test, up to 3 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test.

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines can treat anxiety, seizures, and insomnia. The most frequently prescribed benzodiazepines include:

  • Ativan (lorazepam), which can generally be detected for up to 6 days on a urine test, up to 3 days on a blood test, up to 8 hours on a saliva test, and up to 30 days on a hair test
  • Klonopin (clonazepam), which can generally be detected for up to 4 weeks on a urine test, up to 1 week on a blood test, up to 6 days on a saliva test, and up to 28 days on a hair test
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide), which can generally be detected for up to 6 weeks on a urine test, up to 2 days on a blood test, up to 10 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test 
  • Valium (diazepam), which can generally be detected for up to 6 weeks on a urine test, up to 2 days on a blood test, up to 10 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test 
  • Xanax (alprazolam), which can generally be detected for up to 4 days on a urine test, up to 1 day on a blood test, up to 2 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test

To learn more, read How Long Do Benzodiazepines Stay In Your System?

Opioids

Also called opiates, opioids are pain relief medications. Many people who take them develop opioid addiction. Popular opioids include:

  • codeine, which can generally be detected for up to 3 days on a urine test, up to 1 day on a blood test, up to 4 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test
  • fentanyl, which can generally be detected for up to 3 days on a urine test, up to 2 days on a blood test, and up to 90 days on a hair test (it can’t be detected on saliva tests)
  • hydrocodone, which can generally be detected for up to 4 days on a urine test, up to 1 day on a blood test, up to 2 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test
  • methadone, which can generally be detected for up to 12 days on a urine test, up to 1 day on a blood test, up to 10 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test
  • morphine, which can generally be detected for up to 3 days on a urine test, up to 3 days on a blood test, up to 3 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test
  • oxycodone, which can generally be detected for up to 4 days on a urine test, up to 1 day on a blood test, up to 4 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test
  • tramadol, which can generally be detected for up to 3 days on a urine test, up to 2 days on a blood test, up to 2 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test
  • Percocet, which can generally be detected for up to 3 days on a urine test, up to 1 day on a blood test, up to 2 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test
  • Suboxone, which can generally be detected for up to 14 days on a urine test, up to 4 day on a blood test, up to 5 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test

Stimulants

Prescription stimulants boost energy, attention, and alertness. They can treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (excessive sleepiness).

Most prescription stimulants belong to a drug class called amphetamines. Common amphetamines include:

  • Adderall (dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine), which can generally be detected for up to 3 days on a urine test, up to 2 days on a blood test, up to 2 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test
  • Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate), which can generally be detected for up to 4 days on a urine test, up to 8 hours on a blood test, up to 2 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test
  • Desoxyn (methamphetamine), which can generally be detected for up to 4 days on a urine test, up to 3 days on a blood test, up to 4 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test


Another popular prescription stimulant is Ritalin (methylphenidate). This drug can generally be detected for up to 2 days on a urine test, up to 12 hours on a blood test, up to 2 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test.

Other Medications

Other popular prescription drugs that may appear on drug tests include:

  • Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine), a muscle relaxant that can generally be detected for up to 8 days on a urine test, up to 3 days on a blood test, up to 2 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test
  • Lyrica (pregabalin), a nerve pain medication that can generally be detected for up to 3 days on a urine test, up to 2 days on a blood test, up to 4 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test
  • Neurontin (gabapentin), a nerve pain medication that can generally be detected for up to 3 days on a urine test, up to 7 hours on a blood test, and up to 90 days on a hair test (it can’t be detected on saliva tests)
  • lisinopril, a blood pressure medication that can generally be detected for up to 2 days on a urine test, up to 3 days on a blood test, up to 3 days on a saliva test, and up to 90 days on a hair test

If you or a loved one struggles with drug use, please contact a Recovering Champions specialist to learn about our substance abuse and drug addiction treatment services, which include medical detox, therapy, and support groups.

Written by Recovering Champions Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.

National Center for Biotechnology Information - Half Life
National Institute on Drug Abuse - Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
National Public Radio - Federal Survey Finds 119 Million Americans Use Prescription Drugs

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