How long does Lortab Stay in Your System?


Lortab is a prescription drug which belongs to the opiate analgesic class of medicines. It is used for alleviation of severe pain. It works by acting on the nervous system and the brain and altering its response to pain. This narcotic painkiller is a ‘controlled substance,’ which means that the government controls its consumption and distribution.

Determination of the detectability of Lortab in the body is dependent on varied factors, including the kind of drug test that is used. Some tests may detect it over a short period, while other tests may detect it for as long as 3 months.

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Lortab easily gets detected on an opiate screen or drug test if the drug has been taken in the last 24 hours. After 24 hours, Lortab metabolites in urine and blood are too low for labs to be able to effectively detect it. However, people who consume the drug for ‘getting high’ tend to do so in large amounts. Hence, in such chronic and heavy use cases, the drug can be detected for a longer duration.

Lortab: Usage

Lortab is a medication available in the form of a tablet. It contains OTC pain medication acetaminophen and narcotic painkiller drug hydrocodone, which in turn is made from either of the 2 opium-containing natural narcotic medications, i.e., thebaine or codeine. The drug needs to be consumed orally.

Addicts or Lortab abusers may crush and snort the tablet. Intake of Lortab along with alcohol is not recommended as it is a dangerous combination that can lead to severe complications such as coma or even death.


Lortab: Effects and Uses

Lortab is used for the treatment of moderate to intense pain and sometimes as a cough suppressant. It affects the working of the central nervous system and alters the manner in which the brain and body adjust and respond to pain.

Lortab can cause ‘sensations of euphoria’ as a side effect. Hence, some people use it to get high. It is one of the most popularly abused prescription medicine in the US. When consumed with alcohol, it can cause drowsiness. Other side effects include sedation and sleepiness or somnolence. Lortab abuse can lead to addiction. This is why routine drug tests also test for Lortab presence. Addicted people tend to behave as if they are in pain so as to get a prescription from their doctor.

Drug testing for Lortab

Lortab metabolizes quite rapidly in the body. Hence, in a non-habitual or light user, detection of Lortab is often difficult, 24 hours after last used by a person. However, certain tests like hair sample testing can detect the drug in the system for nearly 90 days after last known use. Urine and blood detection tests for Lortab can find the drug in the system for very short periods after use.

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Normally, Lortab/hydrocodone may stay in the system for one to 7 days. It remains detectible in blood and urine for 3 to 7 days and in saliva for 1 to 4 days, while a hair drug test permits detection for about 3 months.

Lortab: Half-life, Peak levels, and detection

Hydrocodone present in Lortab has a half-life of just below four hours. Its peak level in blood is attained after around one and a half hours. It may however be noted that the Lortab quantity in the body of a person differs as per the quantity of the tablet that is consumed.

  • Lortab detection in blood: Since Lortab has a very short half-life, it will probably not get detected via a blood test after 24 hours have elapsed. Lortab blood testing is generally helpful in DUI cases, in medical emergency situations, and in scenarios where there is a suspicion of the person being under the influence of the drug.
  • Lortab detection in urine: Peak level of Lortab in urine occurs after a duration of 8 hours since last use. The levels then begin to slowly decrease. As per the dosage consumed, the drug can be detected via a urine test for a duration of 6 to 24 hours after last known use.
  • Lortab detection in hair: Hair samples can also be used to detect the presence of Lortab in the system. A hair test can detect the drug for up to 90 days after last known use. However, the test will not show the last usage day of the drug. It may also be noted that such hair tests are very costly; hence, employers may not go for it during the probation or pre-employment periods.

Lortab: Addiction and Problems


Lortab induces physical dependence on the drug, even when it is taken for medical reasons. Patients/users tend to develop a tolerance for the drug, thereby causing them to intake larger dosage progressively. Also, people with physical dependence on the drug cannot abruptly stop its use as it results in adverse physical side effects. It may however be noted that physical dependence on Lortab is not the same as addiction.

As is the case with other opiate medicines, Lortab is also addictive. Addiction refers to the inability to stop Lortab drug use even when it is no longer present in the system. Addicts tend to suffer from craving and mental obsession. Also, heavy and habitual Lortab use can result in severe damage to the liver, including liver failure.

Patients who need to take large doses of Lortab for pain alleviation may consult their doctors for changes in the prescription of dosage or for a different type of pain killer. It is best to seek your doctor’s help in case you have physical dependency on Lortab and wish to quit. There are many medical treatment options as well as support groups that addicts can opt for, for alleviation from narcotics addiction.

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