How Long Does Vicodin Stay in Your System?

Effects of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, the active ingredients  in Vicodin used for chronic pain

Vicodin is a prescription medication dispensed to treat moderate-to-severe pain. Vicodin 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.

Vicodin contains the over-the-counter medication acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, as well as the opioid painkiller hydrocodone. 

The hydrocodone component is an opioid narcotic, synthesized from codeine, which is derived from the opium poppy and has the potential for abuse and addiction. Users taking Vicodin to relieve pain for an extended time, or individuals who have a Vicodin addiction, may experience withdrawal symptoms once usage is discontinued.

Learn more about withdrawal from Vicodin.

How Long Does Vicodin Stay in Your System

Vicodin drug tests 

Drug tests can detect Vicodin following consumption of the pain reliever and after the user is no longer feeling the effects. The type of drug test used is often to detect Vicodin’s ingredient: hydrocodone.

The detection window for testing results is as follows:

  • Blood: up to 24 hours
  • Saliva: up to 2 days
  • Urine: up to 4 days
  • Hair follicles: up to 90 days

Vicodin’s half-life

Half-life of a drug is the amount of time it takes for the drug’s active substances to be reduced by 50%. A dose of hydrocodone has a half-life of approximately 4 hours, whereas the acetaminophen component has an average of 1-3 hours. 

The average half-life of Vicodin is 3.8 hours, which is the amount of time it takes for half a dose of Vicodin to leave one’s system. It will take an average of 19 hours to eliminate all of the Vicodin from the system. However, this can take longer for those who are long-term users of the drug.

Drug testing detection windows in the body

Blood, urine, hair, and saliva are all test methods that could be used when detecting the presence of hydrocodone in Vicodin in a person’s system. The most common drug test used to detect Vicodin is the urine test. The level of exposure, as well as the length of time the patient has been taking Vicodin (or a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone), may also determine the detection times.

Blood testing

Blood testing can detect Vicodin up to 24 hours following ingestion.

Saliva testing

Saliva tests can detect Vicodin up to 2 days following ingestion.

Hair testing

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

Urine testing

Vicodin is detectable through urine testing for up to 4 days following ingestion.

Factors that determine how long Vicodin (acetaminophen and hydrocodone) stays in the metabolism 

There are many influences that affect how long Vicodin remains in an individual’s body, and these vary from person to person. Users who have an opiate addiction or are taking hydrocodone in other forms may take longer to remove the substance from their system. If someone has been abusing Vicodin by taking heavy doses for an extended period of time, it will accumulate in the fatty tissue, where it will be stored for several days.

The following factors may influence how long Vicodin stays in the system:

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

Risks of Vicodin: addiction to prescribed opioids such as hydrocodone, opioid withdrawal, and overdose

Like other pain medications and prescription opioids, there is a risk of substance abuse, opiate withdrawal, and, if left untreated, possibly even a Vicodin overdose. Acetaminophen and long-term hydrocodone use increases the risk of liver damage and may result in acute liver failure. Detox programs and Vicodin drug addiction treatment can be facilitated at a suitable drug rehab center.

Addiction recovery: treatment care programs and opioid detox

Medical professionals or your healthcare provider can suggest addiction treatment options and facilities encouraging relapse prevention. Addiction treatment centers offer medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment options such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT), inpatient rehab, and intensive outpatient programs.

Dual diagnosis treatment programs include the following:

  • Drug and alcohol addiction
  • Benzodiazepines detox
  • Opiate addiction treatment

Check if your insurance covers addiction treatment program costs for Vicodin abuse.

Vicodin withdrawal & addiction treatment through ANR

Accelerated Neuro Regulation (ANR) 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 physiological 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 Vicodin addiction treatment programs.

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