How Long Does Vicodin Stay in Your System?

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Vicodin is a prescription opioid drug used to relieve severe to moderate pain. A combination of hydrocodone (opioid pain relief) and acetaminophen (non-opioid pain relief), Vicodin is an effective yet potentially dangerous and addictive painkiller. Vicodin addiction can cause liver damage, as well as negatively interact with other medications. It is considered a Schedule II Drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration [1]

Although the effects of Vicodin will only last between four to eight hours, Vicodin can generally stay in your system for up to four days after the last use. Furthermore, how long Vicodin stays in your urine will differ from how long Vicodin stays in your blood. Avenues Recovery discusses various drug tests for Vicodin and the time taken for traces of Vicodin to be detected.

Determining the Half-Life of Vicodin

In order to determine how long Vicodin stays in your system, we must first know the half-life of Vicodin. A drug’s half-life is the amount of time it takes for the drug’s concentration to reduce to half of its original strength. The main ingredient of vicodin, hydrocodone, has a half-life of 3.8 hours, which means that half of one dose will be eliminated within four hours. It takes around four ”half-lives” to fully clear the drug from the body.

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Vicodin On Drug Tests 

Someone taking a prescription for Vicodin may wonder how long the drug will stay in their system and what drug testing may reveal. Depending on the method of testing, hydrocodone can be detected up to four days after the last dose was taken. In general, blood and urine tests are the most common forms of drug testing. Since everyone has their own physical makeup, different factors will affect exactly how long Vicodin will stay in their system and for how long it will show up on drug tests.


How Long Does Vicodin Stay in Your Blood?

Vicodin will stay in your blood for up to a day. A blood test is not the best indicator of how long Vicodin lasts, as hydrocodone leaves the blood very quickly. There are other ways to test for Vicodin on drug tests besides a blood test.


How Long Does Vicodin Stay in Your Urine?

Traces of Vicodin may linger in urine for up to four days after the last dose was taken. Urine testing is a common way to detect Vicodin on a drug test as it is accurate, efficient, and affordable.


How Long Does Vicodin Stay in Your System for a Hair Follicle Test?

Due to hair’s slow growth rate, any substance can be detected in hair follicles for up to 90 days after use, although it may not be detectable immediately after drug use. Hair follicle tests are by far the most informative and incorruptible, but it is not a common form of testing.

Chart: How Long Does Vicodin Stay in Your System

Test Type Detection Time Period
Blood Up to 24 Hours
Saliva 12 - 36 Hours
Urine Up to 4 Days
Hair Up to 90 Days

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Factors That Affect How Long Vicodin Will Last

Factors that affect the absorption of Vicodin include dosage amount, age, genetics, and overall health, among other things. How the following factors will affect Vicodin’s time in the body, is explained below: 

  • Dosage – Prescriptions vary in strength and form. A higher dosage or an extended-release form of Vicodin will take longer to clear out of the system.
  • Frequency – Long-term users will take longer to rid their system of traces of hydrocodone. Drugs taken consistently over an extended amount of time will lead to higher concentrations in the body.
  • Metabolism – Those with faster metabolisms will metabolize and flush out the substance sooner.
  • Body Mass/Body Fat Content – Since hydrocodone can be stored in fatty tissue, those with a higher body mass will absorb more hydrocodone and therefore take longer to fully eliminate the drug from their bodies.


Vicodin Addiction Withdrawal

Addiction withdrawal can be both dangerous and painful. If you have taken a hydrocodone prescription for less than two weeks, you should be able to stop as soon as your medication is finished. However, if you have been on hydrocodone for a longer amount of time, it’s best to contact your doctor to plan a tapering schedule together in order to prevent prescription drug abuse. Your doctor will explore how to taper off your medication at the right pace, and explain and assist you with any withdrawal symptoms that may occur. He may recommend drug detox treatment if the case is severe.

Vicodin Addiction Treatment at Avenues Recovery

Vicodin addiction does not have to take over your life. Although recovery from addiction can be challenging, it is well worth it. At Avenues Recovery, we offer a variety of treatment programs and resources to help you achieve long-term recovery from any kind of addiction. Our team of admissions specialists is ready to help you start on your journey to recovery. Contact us today!



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