How long does OxyContin stay in your system?
OxyContin is a sustained, controlled-release formulation of oxycodone. OxyContin is designed to provide delivery of oxycodone over 12 hours (OxyContin vs oxycodone) and can be detected in urine 1-3 days after you take it. Do the extended release formula affect its elimination time? And how are drug tests designed to detect OxyContin in the body? More on the peak levels, half life, and detection times for OxyContin below.
How do you take OxyContin?
OxyContin is prescribed in doses of 10-80 mg daily, and is to be taken orally as a tablet. People who abuse OxyContin cut, break, chew, crush, or dissolve OxyContin. But this type of use leads to rapid immediate release of oxycodone in the body and can lead to overdose or death.
What is OxyContin used for?
OxyContin is used in the management of moderate to severe CHRONIC pain. OxyContin provides continuous, around-the-clock pain relief and can be used for an extended period of time. However, OxyContin is NOT USED on an as needed basis or immediately following surgery.
Peak levels and half life of OxyContin
The effects of OxyContin start one hour after administration and last for 12 hours in the controlled release formula. Peak plasma concentrations of OxyContin vary by dosage, but are reached between 4-5.5 hours after taking the medicine. Stable plasma levels are reached within 24 hours. The half life of OxyContin (extended release oxycodone) is 4.5 hours compared to 3.2 hours for immediate release oxycodone.
OxyContin drug testing
Typically, drug screens for OxyContin are urine based. And initial screening drug test uses an immunoassay method to identify the presence of oxycodone. Then, a second confirmatory test is required unless a positive result has been expected or drug use is disclosed. Confirmatory drug tests use gas chromatography/mass spectrometry or liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (GC/MS or LC/MS/MS) to verify a presumptive positive result. The recommended cutoff level for oxycodone is 100 ng/mL, below the standard opioid assay cutoff level of 300 ng/ml.
How long does OxyContin stay in the body?
The oxycodone contained in OxyContin can be detected in urine for 1-3 days. Oxycodone is metabolized to oxymorphone, so these may both be present in the urine of oxycodone users.
OxyContin and addiction
The main ingredient in OxyContin, oxycodone, is an opioid agonist and a Schedule II controlled substance with a relatively high abuse liability. The most recent formulation of OxyContin was designed for use in moderate to severe pain of prolonged duration. Physical dependence and tolerance are expected in people who take OxyContin for long term pain. But when does dependence become addiction? And are addiction OxyContin statistics higher than other prescription drugs?
The potency of OxyContin is about equal to morphine. People who take OxyContin to get high, for the euphoric effects, are most likely to become addicted to OxyContin. Anyone who takes OxyContin in ways other that prescribed (cut, broken, chewed, crushed, or dissolved) or without a prescription is at risk of becoming addicted to the drug.
Problems with OxyContin?
If you think that you have problems with OxyContin, you probably do. Help is available and treating OxyContin addiction may be one of the most important decisions of your life. Please leave us your questions, comments or experience with OxyContin below. We are happy to respond to all queries with a personal reply.
Reference sources: PubChem oxycodone substance summary
NCJRS Abstract on Street Drugs: A Drug Identification Guide
Interagency Guideline on Opioid Dosing for Chronic Non-cancer Pain (CNCP)
Daily Med drug info on OxyContin tablets
Comparison of an automated and point-of-care immunoassay to GC-MS for urine oxycodone testing in the clinical laboratory