Thursday November 27th 2014

How long does Lortab stay in your system?

Lortab is most likely to be found on a drug test or opiate screen if you’ve taken Lortab within the last 24 hours. After that, the amounts of Lortab metabolites in blood and urine are low enough that many labs won’t pick up on them. Still, if you get high on Lortabs, Lortab use can be detected. Heavy or chronic use Lortab can be detected for longer periods of time.

Here, we’ll look more at how Lortab is metabolized and how it stays in the body. We also review the detection window for Lortab using different types of drug screens. Finally, we invite your questions about Lortab use at the end.

Main Lortab uses

Lortab uses include treating moderate to severe pain. As an opioid, Lortab works by affecting the central nervous system and changes the way the body and brain respond to pain. As an adverse side effect, Lortab can also cause feelings of euphoria, which is why some people take Lortab to get high. But, abuse of Lortab can result in addiction, which is why it is screened for in routine drug tests.

How do you take Lortab?

Lortab is a tablet containing the narcotic pain medication hydrocodone and the over-the-counter painkiller acetaminophen. Lortab is intended to be taken orally, but some people crush and snort the pill for illicit purposes. Other people may take Lortab in combination with alcohol, which can be extremely dangerous and raises the risk of serious adverse effects, including coma or death.

Peak levels and half life of Lortab

The half life for the hydrocodone in Lortab in the typical adult is just under 4 hours. Hydrocodone reaches its peak level in the blood after about 1.3 hours. However, the amount of Lortab in someone’s system will vary on the amount of the medication taken.

Lortab drug testing: How long does Lortab stay in the body?

Lortab is metabolized fairly quickly in the body. This is why it’s difficult to detect Lortab in someone who isn’t a heavy or habitual user, especially after more than 24 hours. However, some methods of testing such as hair sample drug screens can identify Lortab use for up to 3 months after last dose. Still, the more common blood toxicology or urine drug screens for Lortab have a very short detection period.

How long does Lortab stay in blood?

Because of its short half-life, Lortab is unlikely to be detected in the blood after about 24 hours. A blood test for Lortab would mostly be useful in cases of medical emergency, impaired driving, or any other situation where there’s reason to believe someone is currently under the influence of Lortab.

How long does Lortab stay in hair?

Lortab can also be detected in hair samples. Hair testing can usually detect substance abuse that occurred up to 90 days before, but the test can’t show how long ago the drug was taken. Plus, hair samples for Lortab are relatively expensive, making these tests less likely during pre-employment or probation drug screens.

How long does Lortab stay in urine?

Lortab reaches its peak concentration in urine after about 8 hours. At that point, levels in urine begin to taper off. Depending on the dose taken, Lortab may only be detectable for 6-24 hours after ingestion.

Lortab and addiction

Lortab fosters a physical dependence, even in people who are using it for legitimate medical purposes. This means that Users can develop a tolerance to Lortab, leading them to take Lortab in progressively larger doses. Additionally, if you are physically dependent on Lortab, you cannot stop taking Lortab abruptly without causing physical side effects. But physical dependence does not necessarily indicate addiction.

Like all opiate medications, Lortab is addictive. Lortab addiction occurs when you cannot stop taking Lortab, even if it is no longer in your body. Mental obsession and craving Lortab occur, even in spite of negative life consequences. Lortab addiction is especially risk because Lortab contains acetaminophen. So habitual Lortab abuse can cause serious liver damage or even liver failure.

Problems with Lortab?

If you’re a patient with a Lortab prescription and you’re having to take large doses for pain relief, speak to your doctor about adjusting your dosage or trying a different medication. If you’ve developed a dependence on the drug, but want to quit, your doctor can help you slowly wean yourself from the drug. Or if you think that you’re addicted to narcotics, there are support groups and medical treatments available to help. Again, your family doctor can help refer you to addiction treatment services in your area.

Lortab in your system questions

Do you still have questions about the length of time Lortab stays in your system? Please leave your Lortab questions here. We do our best to answer all legitimate questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Reference Sources: PubMed Health: Hydrocodone
Forensic drug testing for opiates. VI. Urine testing for hydromorphone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone with commercial opiate immunoassays and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
Wisconsin Crime Laboratory System: Toxicology

Photo credit: National Library of Medicine Dream Anatomy database: Children's Art

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26 Responses to “How long does Lortab stay in your system?
perry
4:02 pm July 26th, 2012

for an habitual user that has been addicted for several years, how long will it take to get hydrocodone out of your system for a drug test? Taking 10-12 10/500 mg a day for a year? I know this is bad and I want to detox but I need to know if I have waited too late :(

12:10 am July 31st, 2012

Hi Perry. Thanks for your question. From what I’ve read, it takes about 24 hours for hydrocodone to pass through the system of even chronic users for a urinalysis screen. However, high doses for long periods of time may take a few days or even (cautiously) up to a week to clear the urine.

Does this help?

Kathy Witaschek
6:58 pm September 17th, 2012

Yes I would like to know how long dies it take to not have withdrawal effects from lortab been off it 3 weeks mentally it’s been challenging was not taking large amounts but when on it was feeling U needed more I was taking it for back pain mostly really would like some info in this probably taking it a little over a year didn’t graduate off ut

11:16 am September 22nd, 2012

Hi Kathy. Acute withdrawal from Lortab occurs in the first 7-10 days after cessation of dosing. However, protracted withdrawal symptoms can persist for 3-6 months later. What kinds if side effects from withdrawal are you experiencing?

ryan h
10:08 pm August 19th, 2013

how long will it be detected in a saliva test (lortab 10)?

Tessa
2:14 am December 20th, 2013

I’m a small girl, 130 max, I take 1/2 a 7.5 in the afternoon and the other in the evening and I’ve been doing so for several months now. how long should it take for this to flush from my system?

reba
4:40 pm February 5th, 2014

Ok so I took about 20 mgs of lortabs Saturday …its Wednesday now…is it out of my system? I’m not a very big person..I’m about 5’4 and 160 lbs…I had a drug test today..so I just need to know if I should be worried about failing it. Because even if we have a script where I work I could get suspended for up to 5 days! (Its crazy!!) But Thats how they are! And I have severe back problems too. So can you please help me??? :-) would be really appreciated!

11:24 am February 13th, 2014

Hello Reba. Opioids like hydrocodone (the main ingredient in Lortab) usually leave the system within 2-4 days after last administration. And most employer drug tests do not test for opioids unless they order an “Extended Opioid” class of drug testing.

sara
12:24 pm February 24th, 2014

I have 2 weeks till I deliever my baby and I’ve been eating lortab 10s for back pain. I break them in half and might eat 2 10s a day. I quit yesterday cause I’m scared hosp will drug test. Will it be out of my system and babies? Please don’t judge me!

2:21 pm February 24th, 2014

Hello Sara. It’s possible that you can begin to taper off Lortab, but seek help from your obstetrician! You don’t need to do this alone, and you’ll need guidance about withdrawal for you AND your baby. Or call 1-800-662-HELP and look for a detox clinic in your area that works with pregnant moms.

Brandon
10:57 pm February 27th, 2014

I’ve been taking Lortab 10/500 and switched to Norco 10/325. I had two shoulder surgeries last year and was on this medication for approximately 3 months straight, using it every day, 1 to 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours, sometimes more if needed. My last dose was this past Monday morning. I am now done taking them. I have not been able to sleep the last two nights though. Is this a side effect and how long should it last?? Thanks

10:04 am February 28th, 2014

Hello Brandon. Insomnia can be a side effect of Lortab withdrawal, but should peak 72 hours after last use and resolve within 7-10 days. Have you checked in with your prescribing doctor or reported this symptom yet?

joe
5:43 am March 21st, 2014

I take half of a 7.5 a day for about a week now I took a half this morning and have a urin test tomorrow will that amount be detectable on the test

chris
10:28 pm March 21st, 2014

I’m a paraplegic and I’ve been taking Endone for pain relief…only since about three weeks ago after a fall from my chair…I have been taking no more than 15mg a day over this time sometimes less…2 x 5 mg only in the morning…is it possible that Id be experiencing withdrawal symptoms between taking 10mg in the morning and my next intake the following day…I thought this long gap between doses would be a good thing to maximise the effect I need each morning…?

12:45 pm March 24th, 2014

Hello Chris. I’m not sure. Your question would be best addressed to a pharmacist. In lieu of an in-pharmacy visit, you could schedule a consult via phone to save time and energy. Best to you.

akrana
10:12 pm April 29th, 2014

I took a half of lortab yesterday morning and i have a drug test tomorrow..will ist show up in my urine?

Don
12:22 am August 16th, 2014

I’ve taken 14 hydrocodone 10mg over the past 3 days and have a UA Monday. First time I’ve taken it in over 3 months. Should I be concerned?

Carson
11:18 pm September 4th, 2014

I took one half of a 7.5 tab at 8 P and another one half at 7 P.M then took a drug test at 2 p.m. will l pass?

jack
9:37 pm September 10th, 2014

took 4 vicodins 10mg each after 5 months not taking anything i drank a lot of water day before the test and it gave me about 41 hours the test is sent to the lab and its a dib test i believe how likely is it that ill b positive day before the test i drank about 1 liter of liquid my urine was clear and i took a vitamin b to give it some color and after i peed a little to make sure it was colored and it just looked like the color of the b12

shannon
9:21 pm September 28th, 2014

How long would half of a 7.5 hydrocodone stay in my system. Took it friday 8am it is now Sunday 4:30pm?

ben
8:19 pm September 30th, 2014

I took 3 lortabs Saturday and had a drug test today is that enuff time to get out of my system??

nesha
4:22 pm October 6th, 2014

Want to know how long a loratab stays in your system I took one 7.5 on Friday for toothache that is the only one I have taken will it be in my urine test I take on Tuesday morning.

7:56 am October 9th, 2014

Hello nesha. The answer is no. As we wrote in the article, Lortab may only be detectable in the urine for 6 to 24 hours after ingestion.

ben
5:41 pm October 14th, 2014

Will lortab and heroin show up the same on a urine field test?

nikki
1:02 am November 9th, 2014

Hi I’ve been taking at least five 10mg lortabs Norco or Percocet every day for about 1 1/2 years. How long will it take to get out of my system. I’ve decided to stop. I have a job lined up. I need to know asap

123befree
7:27 pm November 9th, 2014

My friend is pregnant and has a UA in a week. She took 7.5 lortab ‘ will she pass??

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