How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System?

Hydrocodone stays in your system for a long time after you take the drug. Drug tests detect hydrocodone for different amounts of time depending on the type of test and your personal factors. Drug tests screen the following for traces of hydrocodone:

  • Urine
  • Blood
  • Saliva
  • Hair

Keep reading to find out how long hydrocodone lasts.  

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your Urine?

Urine tests are one of the most common types of drug tests. If you take hydrocodone, the drug will show up in urine tests for up to four days. At this point, you cannot feel the brain effects of this drug. But it is still detectable.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your Hair?

Drugs stay in your hair for longer amounts of time than other parts of your body. A hair test can detect hydrocodone for up to 90 days. The drug sticks to the melatonin in your hair. 

To get to your hair, the drug needs to travel through your bloodstream and into your hair follicles. This process takes a while. As a result, hair tests may be negative if you have just taken the drug. Hydrocodone takes about two weeks to show up in your hair.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your Blood?

Lab tests can find hydrocodone in your blood for up to 24 hours. This drug peaks in your blood after about an hour. After a day, you should no longer have hydrocodone in your blood. 

The type of hydrocodone you take can also affect how long the drug stays in your system. If combined with acetaminophen or ibuprofen, hydrocodone has the following brand names:

  • Vicodin
  • Lortab
  • Lorcet
  • Norco

In most cases, your body processes these drugs at the same speed. But there are also extended release forms of hydrocodone. Extended release versions include Hysingla ER and Zohydro ER. If you take extended release hydrocodone, the drug will be detectable in your body for longer

In addition, the drug may take longer to show up in certain drug tests. That is due to the fact that the drug gets released slowly into your system.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your Saliva?

Saliva tests can detect hydrocodone for between 12 and 36 hours. Also called an oral fluid test, a saliva test uses a swab to absorb some of your saliva. Then, the test looks for traces of the drug in your saliva. These tests also make sure the saliva is from a human to ensure that no one is cheating on the test. 

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Lab Tests?

Hydrocodone is detectable in lab tests for the following amounts of time:

  • Saliva — Up to 12 to 36 hours
  • Blood — Up to 24 hours
  • Urine — Up to four days
  • Hair — Up to 90 days

However, lab tests are not the same for everyone. Hydrocodone stays in your system for different amounts of time depending on the following factors:

  • Metabolism — Everyone has a different metabolic rate. People with fast metabolism process drugs more quickly than other people. If your metabolism is slow, drugs stay in your system longer.  
  • Age — As you get older, you tend to metabolize drugs more slowly. In addition, hydrocodone requires a certain enzyme for processing. As you get older, you have less of this enzyme in your body. 
  •  Gender — Women process drugs faster than men. Hydrocondone moves through their systems 20 to 30% faster than men. 
  • Health Conditions — Health conditions affect how your body processes drugs. For example, if you have liver issues, your body processes drugs more slowly.
  • Hydration Levels — If you are dehydrated, you are more likely to test positive for hydrocodone for a longer amount of time. Hydration affects urine tests the most. When you’re dehydrated, your urine is more concentrated.
  • Amount of Fatty Tissue — Drugs stay in your fatty tissues. If you have a lot of fat, you will probably test positive for hydrocodone for longer than the average person. 
  • Weight — If you weigh more, you may need to take larger doses of hydrocodone to feel the effects of the drug. People with high weights process drugs faster. 
  • Frequency of Use — When you use hydrocodone a lot, the drug builds up in your system. Drug tests may detect hydrocodone for longer amounts of time for frequent users. 
  • Tolerance — However, as you develop a tolerance for a drug, your body metabolizes it faster. The duration of time you take hydrocodone can also affect test results. 
  • Dose — Larger doses stay in your system for longer. 
  • Urine Acidity Levels — High levels of acidity in your urine affect urine tests. If your urine is acidic, the detection time is shorter.  
  • Medications — Some medications affect how long hydrocodone stays in your system. If you take medication that slows production of the enzyme your body uses to process opioids, hydrocodone stays in your system longer. 
  • Genetics — Your personal genetics also influence how long your body takes to clear drugs.

Every day in the United States, 130 people die from taking opiods. This includes prescription drugs like hydrocodone. If you are taking hydrocodone, you can get help. Contact us today to learn about treatment options. Get help before it’s too late. 


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