How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System?

How long does hydrocodone stay in your system? Discover relevant information about hydrocodone here.

Hydrocodone Fundamentals

This article discusses the half-life, overdose symptoms, drug tests, addiction, and side effects of hydrocodone.
How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System?


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What Is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is an opioid medication that helps alleviate moderate or chronic pain. Once hydrocodone enters the body, it activates the mu-opioid receptor to counter pain sensations. Following a serious injury or significant surgery, hydrocodone may be administered to treat the pain. Notably, it also helps with cancer pain or arthritis.

This medication is usually combined with another medication—popularly ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These combos are popularly branded as:
Additionally, there are extended-release (ER) adaptations, such as:

How Long Does Hydrocodone Take to Work?

Doses of hydrocodone consist of 5 mg, 7.5 mg, and 10 mg; however, the amount prescribed typically does not affect the time it takes to work. On average, hydrocodone takes no more than one hour to work—even a 10 mg hydrocodone dose reaches peak condition within 1.3 hours. 1

Nonetheless, the time may vary from person to person for several reasons, including tolerance, genetics, and age. So, one should consult with a medical professional who may prescribe the appropriate dosage increase or switch.

What Does Hydrocodone Look Like?

Hydrocodone tablets are oval or circular with drug dosage and strength inscriptions.

Does Hydrocodone Get You High?

Yes, hydrocodone can get you high, but often due to misuse or overdose—a common opioid issue in the U.S.
Naturally, the dose does not stop the pain but increases a person’s pain tolerance by altering the sensation. So, when used appropriately and in normal proportion, hydrocodone does not get people high.
Nonetheless, misusing or overdosing on hydrocodone would trigger dopamine retention in the brain, causing sporadic euphoria, then afterward fatigue. One of the best ways to avoid getting high or developing hydrocodone addiction is to consult and adhere to the doctor’s prescriptions.

What is the Opioid Addiction Crisis

In 2019, studies found that 10.1 million people misused prescription opioids and 1.6 million people had an opioid use disorder. As a result, professionals have coined the term ‘Opioid Addiction Crisis.’ With that, it is important to recognize the risks and symptoms of opioid addiction, allowing for treatment opportunities to thrive 2

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System?

The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, such as the dose, recurrent dose intake, age, and other biological factors. The details are explained below: 3

What is the Definition of Half-Life?

Half-life is terminology for the average duration it would take half of a drug consumed to leave the body. Notably, hydrocodone’s half-life is not fixed, as it varies between people’s different metabolism structures.

What Is the Half-Life of Hydrocodone?

On average, hydrocodone half-life is roughly 3.8 hours in healthy adults. However, it may still be detectable in the urine, saliva, or hair days later.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System for a Urine Drug Test?

Although the immediate effects of pain relief usually wear off following five to six hours, hydrocodone can still be detected in a person’s urine for as long as four days, even after the expiration of hydrocodone’s half-life.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your Hair?

Hydrocodone can stay in your hair for up to three months after the last dose intake. Notably, this ranks among some of the long-term effects of hydrocodone.

How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your Saliva?

Hydrocodone detection time in the saliva ranges from twelve to thirty-six hours.

Factors That Affect How Long Hydrocodone Stays in Your System

There are several relevant factors affecting how long hydrocodone stays in your system. Some of them include:


Of course, hydrocodone dosage would naturally determine how long it stays in your system. The higher the dosage, the longer the metabolism and the longer it takes to leave the body.


The individual’s age also affects hydrocodone expiration in the body. Due to healthier body systems, younger people process hydrocodone faster than adults.


The CYP450 and UDP-glucuronosyltransferases are the two enzyme classes that metabolize hydrocodone in the human body. As a result, the quantity and quality of these enzymes vary between individuals based on their genes.

Frequency of Use

The result is similar to dosage and recurrent hydrocodone intake. However, someone who has been taking the substance for months would process the drug differently from someone who only started a few days ago.

Other Factors

Other factors include medical history, combining hydrocodone with alcohol, and additional medications.

Common Side Effects of Hydrocodone

Some common hydrocodone side effects include: 4
A common condition among those who misuse opioids like hydrocodone is narcotic bowel syndrome, which causes bowel function anomalies that may lead to constipation, nausea, and bloating. In addition, sniffing hydrocodone causes loss of smell and nosebleeds.
hydrocodone drug test

Dangerous Interactions

Combining hydrocodone and alcohol is a dangerous activity that could increase the risks of severe side effects or fatal overdose. Alcohol synthesizes the effects of hydrocodone, making it more difficult to metabolize.

It is important to know that patients should always notify their doctor if they are taking other medications.
The following medications should not be combined with hydrocodone, as they may cause severe side effects:

Is Overdosing on Hydrocodone a Risk?

Yes, you can overdose on hydrocodone, so you should never consume more than your prescription. If you have doubts about your dose being effective, consult your doctor immediately.

Hydrocodone is addictive and prone to misuse or abuse. Thus, all patients must adhere to the doctor’s prescription.
Notable symptoms of hydrocodone overdose include:

Treatment for Hydrocodone Addiction in Los Angeles, CA

Hydrocodone abuse can lead to hydrocodone addiction, overdose, and other physical health and mental risks. It can also disrupt daily aspects of people’s lives, including personal and work relationships. However, substance addiction does not have to maintain control over you or your loved one’s life. Treatment options are available; we are here to help you regain control over your life and discover health and wellness once again.

Hydrocodone Detox at Concise Recovery

We provide hydrocodone detox at Concise Recovery. Detox involves eliminating the body of a substance, usually causing withdrawal symptoms that range from mild to severe. Our highly qualified medical staff ensures each patient is comfortable and safe during this process.

Get Help Today at Concise Recovery

If you or someone you know has issues with hydrocodone, Concise Recovery offers a comprehensive hydrocodone addiction treatment that will lead to a healthy and substance-free future.

If you have any questions about our opiate addiction treatment programs in Los Angeles, California, do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with Concise Recovery today.