Oxycodone is a narcotic painkiller analgesic that is prescribed by doctors for alleviation and treatment of moderate to intense pain, and often after serious injuries or major surgeries.
Similar to morphine, oxycodone is available as concentrated solution, liquid solution, capsule, tablet, and oral extended-release tablets. Use and dosage of each of these forms are advised by the doctor.Oxycodone is highly addictive and hence physicians usually begin with low dosage prescriptions and gradually increase the drug dosage if the pain persists or is not brought under control. Intake of oxycodone over some time may result in the body developing tolerance to the drug, meaning that increased dosage is successively needed for the required effect of pain alleviation.
As oxycodone produces a heroin-like ‘trip’ or ‘high,’ people also tend to abuse it. Intake of oxycodone in excess to the dosage prescribed or more frequently than prescribed, injecting or snorting its powder, and intake of crushed pills can be defined as oxycodone abuse.
Even though oxycodone has medical benefits, it use can result in side effects such as vomiting, nausea, dizziness, and lowered heartbeat. Use of oxycodone for prolonged periods or oxycodone abuse can also result in serious withdrawal symptoms marked by abnormal body functions. For all the reasons stated above, oxycodone should only be used under the strict instructions and guidance of a doctor.
How long does oxycodone stay in your system?
Oxycodone peak levels tend to differ from one person to another and is dependent on variables like history of drug abuse, age, body weight, and gender to an extent. Usually, when a 0.28 mg/kg of a regular release tablet is ingested orally, then the peak levels are reached in about an hour. In this case, the half-life of oxycodone is around 5 hours.
Drug testing for oxycodone: As oxycodone is a synthetic medication, special drug tests known as ‘extended opioids’ are used for detecting the presence of the drug in the system. Depending on the type of test specimen, such tests can find the concentration of oxycodone for nearly 4 days after initial use.Oxycodone drug detection time tends to vary in the range of some hours to even some months. It is dependent on varied factors such as dosage, i.e., the frequency and amount of drug ingested; the type of drug test conducted; the duration for which the drug is used; and the metabolic rate of the patient, i.e., the elderly feature lower metabolic rates and will thus have oxycodone in the system for a longer period.
- Oxycodone urine drug test:The metabolites of oxycodone and the drug itself are removed from the system mainly via urine. A urine test will detect the drug for 3 to 4 days after last use. However, in heavy users, it can remain detectible from anywhere between 6 to 14 days. People with renal impairment may suffer from buildup of oxycodone in the system.
- Oxycodone blood drug test: In normal users, oxycodone remains detectible in blood for not more than 24 hours after last use. However, it can be detected in blood for 3 to 5 days in people who use it frequently or ingest high dosage. Measurement of oxycodone and its main metabolites in blood is done so as to verify abuse and clearance status; find the causes of death; or confirm a case of poisoning.
- Oxycodone saliva/sweat drug test: It is often used as a spot check quick drug test due to its non-invasive nature. Oxycodone may remain detectible in a saliva sample for 1 to 4 days after last use.
- Oxycodone hair follicle drug test: It is the most sensitive drug test that can detect oxycodone use for up to 90 days since last use. It may not be provide information about the current existence of oxycodone in the system, but can definitely offer evidence about the time of last use and the precise quantity of drug consumed for nearly 3 months after last oxycodone use.
- It may be noted that extended-release oxycodone pills may remain detectible in the system for longer periods of time as compared to the timeframes listed above. This is because the main ingredient in such pills is slowly secreted into the body over a period of time.
Oxycodone withdrawal duration and symptoms
Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can be quite distressing. It can cause hyperactivity and other anomalies of the central nervous systems.
The withdrawal typically starts with anxiety and is followed by runny nose, elevated breathing rate, sweating, stomach cramping, and tearing. Other symptoms include yawning, restlessness, goose bumps, sneezing, irritability, insomnia, anorexia, dilated pupils, diarrhea, vomiting, hypertension, nausea, rapid heartbeat, muscle pain and spasm, and bone pain.
The withdrawal symptoms typically peak in 48 to 72 hours after last use.Physical symptoms usually disappear in about a week, but psychological addiction to the drug may take much longer to abate.
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