How Long Does Hydrocodone Stay in Your System?

Hydrocodone is a prescription medication used to treat moderate-to-severe pain. Hydrocodone is intended to be taken every six hours as needed to manage pain. Hydrocodone can remain active in the bloodstream for up to 12 hours, and it often takes about 24 hours to fully process out of the body. Often combined with acetaminophen, Hydrocodone has excellent pain-relieving properties but also has potential for abuse and dependency (more on Hydrocodone withdrawal).

Hydrocodone’s Half Life

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. Hydrocodone has a half-life of 3.5 hours, meaning this is the amount of time it takes for half a dose of Hydrocodone to leave one’s system. It will take an average of 19 hours to eliminate all of the Hydrocodone from the system. However, this can take longer for those who are long term users of the drug.

How long does Hydrocodone stay in your system?

  • Blood: Up to 24 hours
  • Saliva: Up to two days
  • Urine: Up to four days
  • Hair: Up to 90 days

Factors That Determine How Long Hydrocodone Stays in the System

Several things determine how much Hydrocodone is in a person’s system at any given time, such age, height, weight, and body mass index (BMI). The amount of the drug taken, as well as the duration also play a significant role.


In conclusion, the length that Hydrocodone remains in someone’s system depends on several different factors, including the type of drug test administered and individual biological factors of the patient. Different drug tests will provide different time frames. The dosage, as well as the length of time the patient has been on the drug also determines how long the drug remains in the system, among other factors.