How Long Does Tramadol Stay In Your System?

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on February 21, 2023

Tramadol is an opioid medication that stays in a person’s system for about a day. However, tramadol can be detected on a urine drug test for up to four days after last use.

Tramadol (found under the brand name Ultram or Conzip) is a synthetic opioid analgesic used for chronic pain management. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the central nervous system, releasing serotonin and norepinephrine, and changing how the brain reacts to severe pain.

Tramadol can remain in your system for up to 24 hours but can be detected on a test for up to 90 days. How long the prescription drug actually stays in your system depends on a number of factors like weight, metabolism, and frequency of tramadol use.

Tramadol Drug Tests & Detection Times

Tramadol or its metabolites can be detected by numerous drug screenings. However, it’s likely only detected on an advanced screening or when tramadol is specifically screened for. 

The drug tests that could be used to look for tramadol and their corresponding detection windows include:

How Long Does Tramadol Stay In Your Urine Drug Test?

Tramadol can be detected in urine for 24-96 hours. This test is very common and the results come back in about 1-3 days on average.

How Long Does Tramadol Stay In Your Blood?

Tramadol has a detection window of 12 to 24 hours in the blood.

How Long Does Tramadol Stay In Your Saliva?

Tramadol can be detected in the saliva for up to 2 days after your last dose. This test is not commonly used to detect opioid drugs.

How Long Does Tramadol Stay In Your Hair?

Hair follicles can hold tramadol for the longest period of time with a detection window of 4-6 months. But this kind of test is very expensive and not used as often as urine drug tests.

Factors Affecting The Length Of Time Tramadol Stays In Your System

Many factors can change how long tramadol stays in your system and how long it’s able to be detected using drug tests:

  • liver function: reduced liver function or liver damage can increase the amount of time it takes for your body to get rid of tramadol
  • age: if you’re over 75, it may take your body longer to get rid of the pain medication
  • body mass: because tramadol is stored in the body’s fatty tissues, those who have a higher body mass index can store the drug in their system for longer periods of time 
  • metabolic rate: this is how quickly your body can break down the drug and its metabolites
  • dose: higher doses of tramadol tend to stay in the system longer than lower ones
  • frequency of use: if you take more than one dose at a time or take tramadol on a regular basis, it can stay in your system for a longer period of time

Tramadol Half-Life

How long Tramadol stays in your system differs from person to person, but the length of time it stays in the body can be estimated based on the half-life of the drug.

The half-life of tramadol is about 5 to 6.3 hours. This is the amount of time it takes for half the dose of the medication to leave your system. Since it can take up to five half-lives to fully clear the system of a whole dose, it can take about 30+ hours for tramadol to exit the body.

If you’ve built up a physical dependence on tramadol and then it leaves your system, tramadol withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur. These side effects can include anxiety, insomnia, cravings, runny nose, chills, body aches, and nausea.

Why Drug Test For Tramadol?

Healthcare providers may request a blood test for tramadol to determine what the best options are when prescribing a new medication. They may also order a drug screen if someone is unable to tell them what medications they take.

Law enforcement may also request a drug test that includes opioids like tramadol to see if drugs were involved in a car accident or a crime.

If you’re dealing with a tramadol addiction, an addiction specialist may also ask for a drug test to see whether you’re sticking to your substance abuse treatment plan or not.

Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one live with opiate/opioid addiction, inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment programs can help.

At Ohio Recovery Center, we offer a variety of treatment options including medical detox, inpatient care, medication-assisted treatment, and aftercare support.

To learn more about how we address tramadol abuse and addiction, please contact us today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) — Tramadol
  2. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Tramadol

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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