How long does Fentanyl stay in your system?

Effects of fentanyl use, a treatment for severe pain – fentanyl addictions, fentanyl patches, and fentanyl overdose

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid analgesic, dispensed via prescription to treat moderate-to-chronic pain and prevent breakthrough pain.

The most common methods of administration include a prescription opioid in powder form (as a tablet) and a transdermal patch. Fentanyl patches are replaced every 48 hours, as needed to manage pain.

Fentanyl and norfentanyl (a major metabolite of fentanyl) is a drug that is 50-100x more potent than morphine and can be very dangerous with a risk of opioid overdose. Due to its intensity, side effects can include addiction and abuse (more on fentanyl withdrawal symptoms).

Life of fentanyl – drug tests & detection times in your body

Fentanyl can be detected in your system through most standard drug tests (such as urine testing or hair tests). A user can test positive for fentanyl once the drug has been ingested and after the user has stopped taking fentanyl. 

The timeframes in which each test can detect the drug after fentanyl exposure are as follows:

  • Blood: up to 72 hours
  • Saliva: unreliable option
  • Urine: up to 3 days
  • Hair: up to 90 days

Elimination half-life – time in the human body

How long a drug remains active in the system is its half-life, which is half the duration of time the drug is actively working.

Fentanyl has a half-life of 3.5 hours (IV) or up to 3 to 12 hours (transdermal fentanyl patch). This is the amount of time it takes for half a dose of fentanyl to leave your system.

It may take an average of 22 hours to eliminate all of the fentanyl from the system. However, long-term users of the drug who have tested positive for fentanyl may take longer to eliminate this from their system. 

Fentanyl drug testing

Fentanyl drug testing is commonly conducted through blood, hair, and urine tests. Saliva tests have been deemed unreliable as the metabolites are not consistently detected.

The level of exposure, as well as the time the patient has been on fentanyl, may also determine the detection times.

Blood tests

Blood testing can detect fentanyl up to 72 hours following ingestion. 

Saliva tests

Saliva testing is an unreliable option to detect fentanyl and its metabolites, therefore are not recommended. 

Testing hair follicles

Fentanyl can be detected in a hair follicle test up to 90 days following ingestion. 

Urine tests

Fentanyl is detectable in urine for up to 3 days following ingestion. 

Factors that determine how long the synthetic opioid, fentanyl, stays in the system

There are many influences that determine the period that fentanyl remains in a patient’s body. The type of drug test administered, and individual biological factors of the patient are among the following influences: 

  • Age
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Basal metabolic rate
  • Liver and kidney function
  • Body mass index (BMI) & body fat content 
  • Quantity of fentanyl consumed
  • Duration of fentanyl consumption

Health risks of fentanyl 

The potency of fentanyl makes overdose and overdose death the biggest risk factors of the drug. 

Further risks associated with the use of fentanyl include the risk of dependence and drug abuse.

The user may require detox from fentanyl at a suitable treatment facility. 

Fentanyl abuse: addiction treatment for the drug fentanyl

Like other drug addictions and substance abuse, addiction to fentanyl can be treated in a suitable recovery center or drug rehab. Health professionals can suggest addiction treatment options and facilities for addiction recovery. 

Detox programs such as medication-assisted treatment and inpatient rehab are suitable for the following:

  • Drug and alcohol addiction
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Co-occurring disorders (dual diagnosis treatment) 

Drug rehabilitation provides addiction treatment programs and addiction therapies for dual diagnosis should a patient experience co-occurring disorders (e.g. opiate addiction, bipolar disorder). Check if your insurance covers rehab and treatment costs.

Fentanyl addiction treatment through ANR

ANR (Accelerated Neuro Regulation) is an extremely effective opioid addiction treatment. ANR is the only form of medical treatment that works to re-regulate the critical endorphin-receptor imbalance, tackling the root cause of addiction in the brain. Unlike traditional detox treatment, ANR works on a deeper level and targets the physiologic mechanism behind dependency. After treatment with ANR, patients can go back to their daily lives without ongoing pain or the constant fear of relapse.

Find out more about our fentanyl addiction treatment programs.

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