How Long Does Norco Stay In Your System?

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on December 23, 2022

How long Norco stays in your system depends on many different factors like metabolism, age, and dosage. There are several drug tests that screen for Norco, including blood, urine, and saliva tests, and they can detect the drug from one to three days after last use.

Norco is the brand name for the hydrocodone-acetaminophen combination medication that’s typically used as an analgesic for pain relief as well as treatment for moderate to severe pain. 

It works by binding to opioid receptors and blocking pain signals from the brain and spinal cord. This drug combination is also prescribed under the names Lortab, Lorcet, and Vicodin.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies Norco as a Schedule II controlled substance, which means it has a high potential for abuse and can lead to dependence and addiction.

The length of time this prescription opioid stays in your system depends on a number of factors including dosage, age and weight, and frequency of use.

Drug Tests & Detection Times For Norco

There are a number of tests that are used to detect Norco in your system. They include urine, blood, hair, and saliva tests. 

Each test has a different detection time, and some can detect the drug for longer periods of time than others.

How Long Does Norco Stay In Your Urine?

Norco can be detected in urine for up to three days after your last dose. A urine test is one of the least invasive tests, which is one reason why it’s used quite often.

How Long Does Norco Stay In Your Saliva?

A saliva test can detect Norco for up to two days after last use. This form of drug test is more likely to be used by law enforcement than a detox or rehab program. 

The metabolites of hydrocodone specifically can be detected in the saliva from anywhere between 12-36 hours.

How Long Does Norco Stay In Your Blood?

The pain reliever can also be detected with a blood test, but the detection time is much lower than others at only 24 hours after the last dose. This test is very accurate, but it’s invasive and costly so it’s not used often.

How Long Does Norco Stay In Your Hair?

Norco can be detected in hair for up to 90 days. For the test, you must provide a 1.5-inch hair sample that includes the hair follicle. 

This test is not invasive and is very effective. However, it can be costly and is only likely used to look at past drug use.

Norco Half-Life

The amount of time Norco stays in your system differs from person to person. However, Norco has a half-life of about four hours, which means it should take about 8 hours for a dose of the drug to be completely eliminated from the body. 

In practice, the prescription drug is likely flushed from the body in about 24 hours after the last dose. Yet, the drug can be detected in the body even longer with the use of drug tests. 

When a dose of Norco is in your system, you may experience a variety of side effects including:

  • dizziness
  • sedation
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • drowsiness

When Does Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen Take Effect?

Because Norco consists of two different drugs, those drugs take different times before they go into effect at peak concentration. 

Acetaminophen, an over-the-counter pain reliever, goes into effect relatively quickly at around 10-30 minutes after ingestion. The effects of hydrocodone likely take about 30-60 minutes before they are felt.

The overall effects of Norco tend to last about 4-8 hours but that can differ from person to person.

Hydrocodone Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one lives with hydrocodone addiction, our substance abuse treatment center in Ohio is here for you. Opioid abuse is dangerous, and there were over 400 opioid-related overdoses in Ohio in 2020.

At Ohio Recovery Center, we offer a wide range of addiction treatment options including: 

For more information, please call our helpline today.

  1. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Hydrocodone Combination Products
  2. National Library of Medicine: StatPearls — Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen
  3. Ohio Department of Health — 2020 Ohio Drug Overdose Data: General Findings

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

Prefer Texting?
We've got you covered.

Receive 24/7 text support right away.
There is no obligation and you can opt out at any time.

Sign up for text support

Receive 24/7 text support right away.
There is no obligation and you can opt out at any time.
Let us walk you through the treatment process. We're here to help.
For 24/7 Treatment Help:
100% Free & Confidential. Call (419) 904-4158
(419) 904-4158