How Long Does Propoxyphene Stay In Your System?

On a urine drug screen, propoxyphene (brand names Darvon/Darvocet) can be detected in your system for up to 2 days after last use.

The amount of time the prescription drug propoxyphene stays in your system depends on the type of drug screen performed. 

For instance, the drug detection times for propoxyphene are up to two days for urine drug testing and up to 90 days for a hair test. Blood tests are less reliable and not normally used.

To detect propoxyphene and other opioids, employers or drug treatment providers may use 5-panel drug tests as well as 10 panel drug tests. The 5-panel test is a basic immunoassay, or an initial drug test, while the 10-panel test is more comprehensive.

Propoxyphene Drug Tests & Detection Times

A drug test may need to be performed if substance abuse is suspected. There are a number of drug screen tests which can be administered to determine if a person has propoxyphene in their system.

The metabolism of each individual person may affect the detection time, sometimes resulting in false positives or false negatives.


Propoxyphene can be detected in urine samples for up to 2 days after last use. A person required to perform a urine test may have a quick turn-around for results due to the fast nature of testing the sample.


Saliva tests are simple and can determine if certain metabolites from opioid drugs are found in the oral fluid.

The concentration of the drug present in saliva can depend on the manner in which propoxyphene was taken. Concentrations of the drug can be found in the saliva within minutes and up to 48 hours after use.


Blood tests are not typically used to determine if drugs are in the body’s system. However, those who may require emergency treatment at a hospital or emergency room may have their blood drawn to determine the number of drugs in the system.

If the drug has been taken recently, the propoxyphene blood test may report as positive. Otherwise, propoxyphene may not show up in the blood during a blood test.


With hair tests, Propoxyphene can be detected for up to 90 days in hair follicles. For this reason, hair testing can detect long-term drug abuse. However, the test results may take a longer time to determine if drugs are present than a more simple test such as a saliva or urine test.

Propoxyphene Half-Life

Propoxyphene has a half-life of 8 to 24 hours. Half-life is the time it takes for the drug to decrease to half of the original starting dose.

Those who abuse propoxyphene may underestimate the time the drug remains in the system, which can lead to health problems like overdose if a large dose is taken.

About Propoxyphene

Propoxyphene belongs to a class of drugs known as opiates or opioids and is a Schedule IV controlled substance. This means it has the potential for abuse and some may suffer from dependency after a prolonged period of time.

Due to the abnormalities in heart rhythm which occurred in a number of patients prescribed propoxyphene, the drug was removed from the market in 2010. However, some may choose to participate in substance abuse with propoxyphene.

This can lead to a number of serious health issues due to how the drug affects the central nervous system (CNS). Those who abuse the drug may suffer from severe constipation, withdrawal symptoms, or a potential overdose.

If you or a loved one live with opioid addiction, contact us today to learn how we can help.

  1. Food and Drug Administration
  2. Food and Drug Administration
  3. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 14, 2023

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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