How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System?

Written by Abby Doty

& Medically Reviewed by Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD

Medically Reviewed

Up to Date

This article was reviewed by a medical professional to guarantee the delivery of accurate and up-to- date information. View our research policy.

Editorial Policy

Last Updated - 08/29/2023

View our editorial policy
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available. Speak with a Recovery Advocate by calling (719) 602-0914 now.

Updated 08/29/2023

The length of time oxycodone stays in your system varies from person to person based on individual factors. There are a few reasons to wonder how long oxycodone stays in your system. One of the common reasons is due to safety: if a dose is taken before a previous dose has fully left the system, there is an increased potential for an overdose to occur. Another reason is that people are getting ready for a drug screening and wondering if the tests detect previously consumed oxycodone.

How Does Oxycodone Work?

Oxycodone affects the brain and central nervous system. When someone takes oxycodone, it activates opioid receptors in the central nervous system. This process changes how the brain senses and emotionally responds to pain. Oxycodone causes a slow down of the central nervous system, which controls important functions including heart rate and breathing. If someone uses a dose of oxycodone that’s more than their central nervous system can handle, the slowdown effect may lead to an overdose or death.

When someone takes oxycodone, it increases the levels of dopamine in the brain. The dopamine boost from oxycodone is one reason it’s addictive. Dopamine can create pleasurable feelings or a euphoric high, which can trigger the brain’s reward cycle and lead to addiction.

What is the Half-Life of Oxycodone?

The half-life of a drug refers to how long it takes a dose to reduce by half in the bloodstream. After one half-life, the concentration of a drug will be half the original dose. So, what’s the half-life of oxycodone? The half-life of oxycodone is on average around 3.5 to 5.5 hours. It takes several half-lives for a drug to be fully eliminated from the system. Within 20 hours, an average person’s body may have no oxycodone left in it.

However, oxycodone leaves behind metabolites that linger after the drug leaves the system. Some drug tests can detect metabolites, so the use of oxycodone may be detectable for longer than 20 hours.

Speed of Metabolism

The speed of metabolism for oxycodone depends on factors like an individual’s metabolism, overall health, and kidney and liver function can play a role in the metabolism rate.

How is oxycodone metabolized? When someone takes a dose of oxycodone, the liver breaks it into noroxycodone, noroxymorphone and oxymorphone. Then these substances are excreted via the kidneysthrough urine. Some oxycodone excreates through sweat.

So based on the half-life and the speed of metabolism for oxycodone, how long can it show up in a drug screening? In a urine test oxycodone may be detectable for three to four days after use. In a blood test, detection times may be up to 24 hours, and in a saliva test, detection times usually range from one to four days.

Get Help for Oxycodone Addiction

Are you struggling with an oxycodone addiction? If so, you aren’t alone. While the drug can feel like it’s taking over your life, addiction treatment can help you attain a healthier future. Contact The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake, and speak to a representative about how treatment plans cater to each patient’s individual needs.


American Society of Addiction Medicine. “National Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder“>National[…] Use Disorder.” December 18, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2023.

Hallare, Jericho & Gerriets, Valerie. “Half Life“>Half Life.” StatPearls, June 23, 2022. Accessed June 25, 2023.

Gryczynski, Jan, et al. “Hair Drug Testing Results and Self-reported Drug Use among Primary Care Patients with Moderate-risk Illicit Drug Use“>Hair Dru[…]icit Drug Use.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, May 17, 2014. Accessed June 25, 2023.

LabCorp. “Drug Test Summary for Urine Oral Fluid and Hair“>Drug Tes[…]luid and Hair.” Accessed June 25, 2023.

ARUP Laboratories. “Drug Plasma Half-Life and Urine Detection Window“>Drug Pla[…]ection Window.” September 2022. Accessed June 25, 2023.

ARUP Laboratories. “Therapeutic Drug Monitoring“>Therapeu[…]ug Monitoring.” February 2023. Accessed June 25, 2023.

Verstraete, Alain G. & Mukhdomi, Taif. “Clinical Drug Testing “>Clinical[…]Drug Testing .” StatPearls, April 23, 2023. Accessed June 25, 2023. “Oxycodone Monograph for Professionals“>Oxycodon[…]Professionals.” April 19, 2023. Accessed June 25, 2023.


Get your life back

Recovery is possible. Begin your journey today

Call Us Now Admissions Check Insurance

What To Expect

When you call our team, you will speak to a Recovery Advocate who will answer any questions and perform a pre-assessment to determine your eligibility for treatment. If eligible, we will create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. If The Recovery Village is not the right fit for you or your loved one, we will help refer you to a facility that is. All calls are 100% free and confidential.

All calls are 100% free and confidential.