How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System?

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on January 3, 2023

Vicodin stays in a person’s system for about 20 hours after the last dose. Drug testing from addiction centers or healthcare providers can detect Vicodin use for an average of 1 to 3 days after last use.

How long Vicodin lasts in your system depends on factors such as frequent substance use, preexisting health conditions, and body mass.

Vicodin is a brand name prescription opioid drug that can be prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain, including chronic pain. Hydrocodone and acetaminophen are the main ingredients of Vicodin. Both active ingredients can be detected on a drug screening.

Vicodin may be a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States with a high potential for drug abuse. Employers, law enforcement, and substance abuse treatment centers may test you for either licit or illicit opioid use.

Drug Testing Methods For Vicodin Detection

Drug testing methods use a patient’s urine, saliva, blood, or hair to detect recent opiate use in a patient. These methods detect traces of the drug through either unchanged hydrocodone or its main metabolite, norhydrocodone.

A positive result for hydrocodone or norhydrocodone may be indicative of recent Vicodin, Norco, or Lortab use. These prescription drugs all contain hydrocodone.

How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your Urine?

Urine tests can detect Vicodin use for up to 3 days after the last dose. Urine tests can be a common form of drug testing among addiction treatment facilities and employers.

How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your Saliva?

Saliva tests can detect Vicodin use for about 1 day after the last dose. This form of drug testing can be non-invasive and accurate. Proper saliva testing procedures may involve avoiding eating or drinking for a period of time before the test.

How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your Blood?

Blood tests can detect Vicodin use for about 20 hours after the last dose. The accuracy of blood tests can be offset by their invasive nature. This form of drug testing may be reserved for patients showing signs of drug overdose, Vicodin addiction, or Vicodin withdrawal symptoms.

How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your Hair?

Hair tests can detect Vicodin use for about 90 days after the last dose. Hair follicle tests can have a longer detection window than other forms of drug testing, as Vicodin can reach hair follicles through the bloodstream and stay there as the hair grows out.

Vicodin Half-Life

Half-life is the length of time it takes for a drug to decrease to half its peak concentration. After 5 half-life cycles, most substances are virtually eliminated from the bloodstream. 

Factors such as frequent drug use, preexisting liver damage, and body fat content can affect the amount of time hydrocodone and acetaminophen stay in your system.

The average half-life of Vicodin can be about 4 hours. After about 20 hours, hydrocodone is virtually eliminated from your bloodstream. You may feel the side effects of Vicodin, such as pain relief, sedation, impairment, and constipation, until the drug leaves your system.

The average half-life of acetaminophen can be about 2 hours. After about 8 hours, acetaminophen is virtually eliminated from your bloodstream. For each dose of Vicodin you take, the effects of hydrocodone may last longer than those of acetaminophen.

Ohio Recovery Center

A positive drug test for Vicodin use may indicate recent trends of substance abuse. 

Contact Ohio Recovery Center for inpatient opioid addiction treatment services such as drug detox, medication-assisted treatment, mental health services, and dual diagnosis treatment for you and your loved ones.

  1. ARUP Laboratories — DRUG PLASMA HALF-LIFE AND URINE DETECTION WINDOW | SEPTEMBER 2022 https://www.aruplab.com/files/resources/pain-management/DrugAnalytesPlasmaUrine.pdf
  2. Food and Drug Administration — Vicodin https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2006/088058s027lbl.pdf
  3. National Library of Medicine: StatPearls — Clinical Drug Testing https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557523/

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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