How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System?

how long does hydrocodone stay in your system

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System? is a critical question for both medical professionals and patients, given the drug’s potential for misuse and the serious consequences that can arise from it. Hydrocodone is an opioid analgesic commonly prescribed for pain relief and cough suppression. It is available under various brand names such as Vicodin, Norco, and Lortab, which are combinations of hydrocodone and acetaminophen.
How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System

Detection Time in Various Tests

Test Type Detection Time
Blood Up to 24 hours
Urine 1–4 days
Saliva 12–36 hours
Hair Up to 90 days

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Factors Affecting Hydrocodone Retention


The dosage of hydrocodone prescribed can significantly influence how long the drug stays in your system. Higher doses generally take longer to metabolize and eliminate.


Your genetic makeup can also play a role. The body uses enzymes like CYP450 and UDP-glucuronosyltransferases to metabolize hydrocodone. The effectiveness of these enzymes can vary from person to person due to genetic factors.

Long-term Use

For those who have been using hydrocodone for an extended period, the drug is likely to stay in their system for a longer time compared to short-term users.

Frequency of Intake

Hydrocodone is available in different formulations, including 12-hour and 24-hour extended-release capsules. The body takes longer to eliminate the 24-hour tablet.

For more information, you can watch this YouTube video.

Risks and Precautions

Long-term use of hydrocodone can lead to a range of health issues, including dependency and liver damage due to the acetaminophen component. Therefore, it’s crucial to follow the doctor’s instructions and report any side effects.

For more details, you can check out this article.

Additional Resources

For those interested in learning more about hydrocodone and its effects, the following resources can be helpful:

How Hydrocodone Works in the Body

Hydrocodone works by binding to mu-opioid receptors in the central nervous system, altering the individual’s emotional response to pain and producing analgesia. When used to treat cough, it acts directly on the brain’s cough center in the medulla oblongata.

For a deeper understanding, you can watch this YouTube video.

Onset and Duration of Effects

How Long Does It Take for Hydrocodone to Kick In?

Hydrocodone starts to work quickly, with peak effects for the short-acting version occurring about an hour and a half after ingestion. For cough treatment, peak effects are reached in about 3.5 hours.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Last?

The short-acting forms last around four to six hours, while the longer-acting forms can last 12 hours or more. For more insights, you can check out this article.

For additional information, you may find this YouTube video useful.

Factors Influencing Hydrocodone’s Duration in the Body

Factor Influence on Duration
Dosage form Longer-acting forms last longer
Drug interactions Some medications may interfere with liver enzymes
Age Effects can last longer in the elderly
Liver and kidney health A healthy liver and kidneys can break down hydrocodone quicker

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Hydrocodone and Drug Testing

Hydrocodone can be detected in various tests, each with different detection times:

  • Urine: Up to three days
  • Blood: Up to 8.8 hours
  • Hair: Up to 90 days
  • Saliva: Up to two days

For more details, you can watch this YouTube video.

How to Get Hydrocodone Out of Your System

Once hydrocodone is ingested, speeding up its elimination from the body is not possible. The liver needs to process the drug, which can take days in some cases. If you’re concerned about a drug test, this could be a red flag for a developing struggle with the medication.

For more information, you can read this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Hydrocodone Cause Addiction?

Yes, hydrocodone has a high potential for misuse and addiction. If you’re struggling with hydrocodone addiction, medical detox followed by inpatient or outpatient rehab may be beneficial.

What Are the Side Effects of Hydrocodone?

Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, slow breathing, slow heartbeat, confusion, dry mouth, and blurred vision.

How Does Hydrocodone Interact with Other Drugs?

Hydrocodone is mainly broken down by liver enzymes CYP3A4 and CYP2D6. Some medications may interfere with these enzymes, affecting how long hydrocodone lasts in your system.

For more details, you can check out this article.


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