How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System?

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Oxycodone is an addictive, semi-synthetic opioid that is often prescribed for pain relief. It can be prescribed after a surgical procedure or for chronic pain. Oxycodone is produced from the poppy plant, and the substance was first created in 1916. (1) Brand names for oxycodone include Tylox, Percodan, and OxyContin. (2)

Street names for oxycodone include: (3)

  • Kicker
  • Hillbilly heroin
  • OC
  • Ox
  • Roxy
  • Oxy
  • Perc

Due to its powerful effects, oxycodone is not usually prescribed for extended periods of time. In 2020, there were 142,816,781 prescription opioids that were prescribed throughout the United States. (4). Approximately 8.7 million individuals, ages 12 years and older, reportedly engaged in the misuse of prescription pain relievers in 2021. (5) Oxycodone misuse is not just prevalent among adults, as adolescents have reportedly been engaging in it as well. Approximately 0.7 to 1.9 percent of adolescents engaged in oxycodone misuse within a 12 month period. (6)

If you, or someone you know, are engaging in the misuse of oxycodone, or other prescription medications, Guardian Recovery is here to help. Our evidence-based treatment facilities can aid you, or someone you love, in starting a sober lifestyle. With oxycodone and prescription medication specific detoxification services, we can aid individuals in initiating the first steps of sobriety in a safe environment. Contact us today for more information.

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How Long Does It Take for Oxycodone’s Effects to Work?

Exactly how long it takes for an individual to feel the effects of oxycodone varies amongst individuals. Doctors often prescribe individuals low doses that can be increased, over time, if necessary. Typically, after ingesting oxycodone by mouth, the effects can be felt in 10 to 30 minutes. (7)

Common effects of oxycodone include: (8)

  • Temporary feelings of relaxation
  • Temporary feelings of euphoria
  • Temporary pain relief

Like any medication, oxycodone use can lead to various side effects in addition to how it impacts the body.

The most common adverse effects associated with oxycodone use include: (9)

  • Constipation
  • Physical weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Severe itching
  • Drowsiness

Metabolization & the Half-Life of Oxycodone in the Body

Oxycodone is metabolized by enzymes that are expelled from the body through the kidneys. (10) The half-life of a substance refers to the amount of time that it takes for half of that substance to be expelled from the body. Oxycodone has a half-life of 3.2 hours, meaning that it takes this long for half of the substance to be removed from the body. (11) Extended release formulas have a half-life of 4.5 to 5.6 hours. (12) Since each individual metabolizes substances differently, exact half-lives may vary.

Duration of Oxycodone in the Blood

Oxycodone reaches its peak concentration in the blood approximately 1 to 2 hours after ingestion. (13) Extended release versions of oxycodone can take 3 to 4 hours to reach peak concentrations. Oxycodone fully clears from the bloodstream after 24 hours. (14)

Duration of Oxycodone Presence in Urine

Oxycodone can be detected in the urine for 2 to 4 days after last use. (15)

Length of Time in Hair

Oxycodone can be detected in the hair for months after last use. (16)

Duration in Saliva

Oxycodone can be detected in saliva for 3 to 4 days after last use. (17)

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What Factors Influence the Duration of Oxycodone in Your System?

How long does oxycodone stay in your system? Well, there are several different factors that influence exactly how long oxycodone stays in one’s system.


Those older in age appear to have higher blood concentrations when compared to those who are younger. Individuals 65 years or older have been found to have oxycodone blood concentrations 15 percent higher than those younger than 65. (18)


The OxyContin package insert reports that women were found to have oxycodone blood concentrations 25 percent greater than men. (19) More research is needed in order to understand the exact reason for this increase in women.


Biological and hereditary factors can influence the effects and duration of any substance. Additionally, genetics play a role in the development of oxycodone dependence.


Individuals with poor metabolisms, or higher BMIs, experience longer periods of time of oxycodone staying in their system. This is due to individuals with poor metabolisms having to spend more time processing the substance through the body.


Taking more doses than prescribed can increase the amount of time that it takes for oxycodone to stay in one’s system. Additionally, taking larger doses for extended periods of time can cause the substance to build up in the body.

Kidney & Liver Function

For individuals with liver impairments, the half-life of oxycodone increases by 2.3 hours. (20) Those with kidney impairments have a 1 hour increase in terms of oxycodone half-life. (21)

How Long Does It Take for Oxycodone’s Effects to Wear Off?

It takes multiple half-lives for a substance to fully be removed from the body. Understanding how long it takes for Oxycodone to wear off is heavily based on its half-life. Many physicians may prescribe an individual to ingest one tablet of Oxycodone every 4 to 6 hours. (22) Extended release formulas are usually prescribed and taken every 12 hours. (23) Pain relieving effects often wear off before the substance is fully expelled from the body.

Signs of Oxycodone Dependence

Understanding the signs of oxycodone dependence can help determine if you or someone you love are experiencing it.

Signs of oxycodone dependence or opioid use disorder include:

  • Using larger amounts of oxycodone over time.
  • Using oxycodone longer than intended.
  • Attempting to receive more than one prescription at a time.
  • Stealing oxycodone from friends and/or family.
  • Unsuccessful attempts of cutting back or stopping use.
  • Continuing oxycodone use despite experiencing negative consequences in regards to relational, occupational, and personal domains of life.
  • Engaging in risky or dangerous behavior since beginning oxycodone use.
  • Experiencing changes in eating and sleeping habits.
  • Experiencing a lack of motivation.
  • Neglecting important responsibilities.
  • No longer being interested in activities that you were interested in before beginning oxycodone use.
  • Developing tolerance (needing to consume larger amounts of oxycodone in order to reach the desired effects).
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when oxycodone use is stopped.

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Here at Guardian Recovery, we offer comprehensive treatment plans and psychoeducation for individuals experiencing opioid use disorder, or have prescription medication dependencies. We understand that choosing the right treatment center can be a difficult choice. Our trained team of clinicians and licensed practitioners can help you in reaching your sobriety goals. With different levels of care such as inpatient residentialpartial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient, we are dedicated to providing you with the necessary care to meet your treatment needs. Contact us today to receive a free, no obligation insurance benefits check to help determine if our programs are covered by your insurance plan. Start your recovery and wellness journey today with Guardian Recovery.


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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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