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How long does OxyContin last?

OxyContin (main ingredient oxycodone) effects usually occur within 15-30 minutes of taking OxyContin and can last for up to 12 hours. Because OxyContin used for round-the-clock pain relief has been formulated to slowly release a continuous supply of oxycodone to the system, OxyContin shouldn’t be taken more than twice a day. More here on the effects of Oxys, including what happens when you get high on OxyContin, and a section for your questions about OxyContin at the end.

OxyContin effects on the body and brain

How does OxyContin affect the brain and body?  OxyContin is an opioid painkiller that helps manage moderate and severe pain around the clock. Oxycodone, the main ingredient in OxyContin, is a pure opioid agonist analgesic. Oxycodone acts by binding to receptors found on the surfaces of certain cells, mostly in the brain. As oxycodone interacts with specific opioid receptors in the central nervous system both analgesic and euphoric effect occur. The feeling of intense well being that occurs when you take OxyContin is why after long-term use or abuse, OxyContin can become addictive, and why you must have a prescription for OxyContin to use it legally in the U.S.

Because OxyContin depresses the central nervous system, it can cause a variety of side effects, including:

  • drowsiness
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of consciousness
  • difficulty with coordination
  • impaired breathing
  • nausea and vomiting
  • slowed heart rate

OxyContin duration of action

OxyContin generally takes action within 20 minutes, providing quick pain relief, OxyContin’s main ingredient, oxycodone has a short half-life – only about 3.2 hours, so the medication is formulated to slowly release a continuous supply of oxycodone into the blood. While other form of oxycodone only last about 6 hours, OxyContin remains active for 12 hours at a time.

OxyContin time in the body

Traces of oxycodone will remain in the blood for at least a couple of days after the last OxyContin pill, due to the slow release of the drug in the body. In fact, oxycodone can show up on urine screens for around 2 days after the last dose of OxyContin was taken. Hair samples may still retain traces of OxyContin 3 months or more after your last dose.

How long do OxyContin effects last

OxyContin’s effects last 12 hours. How much OxyContin to overdose? It depends on your opiate tolerance.  But to avoid overdose, OxyContin should never be taken more frequently than once every 12 hours.

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How long does a OxyContin high last

While OxyContin helps relieve pain around the clock, the high from abusing it won’t last a full 12 hours. If it’s being crushed and snorted, the high won’t last very long – typically only the 6 hours it takes for oxycodone to leave the body. If it’s abused by ingesting the pills, the high will last longer, around 8 hours. However, snorting OxyContin or taking it in large amounts to get high is incredibly dangerous because it’s so easy to overdose on this medication. OxyContin is not safe to take except under a doctor’s direction for a specific medical condition.

OxyContin high effects

One reason that OxyContin is so frequently abused is the euphoric high it can create. Users of OxyContin have reported the following effects:

  • relaxation, stress relief
  • feelings of numbness
  • lightheadedness
  • sense of well-being

Keep in mind that taking OxyContin to get high does carry a number of risks, including addiction, withdrawal symptoms, and overdose. If you have any questions about OxyContin use or abuse, feel free to ask them below.

How long OxyContin lasts questions

Do you still have questions about how long OxyContin lasts? Please leave your questions below and we will try to answer all your OxyContin questions personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: Toxnet: Oxycodone
PubMed: The controversy surrounding OxyContin Abuse: issues and solutions

DOJ Drug Alert: Generic OxyContin Emerges as New Threat

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26 Responses to “How long does OxyContin last?
trashy
11:59 am November 14th, 2013

Just wondering, if I crushed a 20mg oxycontin, how long after can I take another 20mg without overdosing?

12:24 pm November 14th, 2013

Hello trashy. For harm reduction, I’d recommend these articles for more information:

http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/how-much-oxycontin-is-too-much/
http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/can-you-overdose-od-on-oxycontin/

Additionally, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for medical advice related to possible overdose.

Hannah
4:57 pm April 11th, 2014

My girlfriend is addicted to oxycotin and has had multiple nights staying up, puking everywhere, getting angry at me when I try to help or stop her, and can’t stop taking it. I have no idea how she gets them but I’ve done all I know to keep her away from it but she always seems to get it. Is there any ways that I can help her with her addiction or anything? I don’t know what else to do.

11:34 am April 14th, 2014

Hello Hannah. Look into Narc-Anon and get help and support for yourself. You may need to address enabling behavior, or possible co-dependence. Have you thought about staging an intervention? It sounds like the situation has gotten pretty bad.

20yrsofpain
11:18 pm May 20th, 2014

Hi all. Have had nine botched back surgeries, fibro and several auto immunine illneses. Have been on oxy in all forms for years. Insurance changes recently are forcing many of us to chose opana. I declined and am back on oxycontin 40 mg twice a day. By hour 9, i am miserable. My pain is bad and almost feel like pre withdrawal. What have some of you been prescribed for breakthru pain? Thx, all

Keisha
11:19 pm November 17th, 2014

Hello, I was wondering how long Oxycontin stay in your system if you need to take a urine test.
Thanks

10:28 am November 18th, 2014

Hi Keisha. Determining exactly how long oxycodone is detectable in the urine depends on many variables, including which kind drug test is being used. But, 3-4 days after the last dose was administered is a generally safe time-range.

wanda
3:18 pm December 31st, 2014

I would like to know… If I take 40 mg of oxycontin.. Howbmany mg I’m getting per hour? Just confuse how the pill work by mg…like example how many of oxycodone by mg I’m getting from the er? Thanks I really appreciated your answer… I’m new n I don’t know how many mg I’m getting by minutes or hours…thanks a lot…happy new years to everyone’s.

3:33 pm January 14th, 2015

Hello Wanda. Speak with your pharmacist for precise information about extended release medications; you’ll need an expert opinion/input about metabolism in order to understand the medication further.

Zulu
4:24 am April 26th, 2015

Oxy’s have changed my life and made me a better person :)

Wendy
1:54 am April 30th, 2015

severe knee pain and as a total knee replacement was to be done and cancer was discoveredso I can’t have it . I have increased the oxicodine to 100mg and I still have pain . Is this to much.
Thank-you

meg
9:29 pm September 8th, 2015

I took a roxy 96 hours ago.will it show up on a lab test

Neli
3:01 pm October 20th, 2015

I was use to taking 5 pill a day of oxycodone 10 325 now i take 3 or4 but insted of feeling better my body hurst a lot and my stomach head well everithing is it better to stop it for the cold turky days as they are called i whant to stop my doctor wont prescrived them to me no more and i am running out and to be onest i dont like the feeling after the effect is gone cause i get shivery please help. To continue I want to know what I can do with myself as I am getting depressed!!!!!

6:58 pm November 9th, 2015

Hi Neli. What were you taking the OxyContin for? Mention to your doctor that you want proper detox and withdrawal treatment and care after you are out of your medication. You don’t have to suffer and s/he should not be forcing you to go cold turkey.

Glenn
9:51 am December 13th, 2015

For the past 4 months I have been taking a single 20mg tablet every 24 hours to help me sleep due to arthritic hip pain. What bothers me is an empty feeling in my upper and lower body, and drowsiness that kicks in after lunch time the day after I take it. If I didn’t use OxyContin one night would the drowsiness disappear as quickly or does it stick around for a few days? Also, is the empty feeling a withdrawal symptom, even though I seem to be taking much less than others who have these problems?

bennett
1:05 pm February 29th, 2016

I was wondering i have been on oxy for yrs for pain and it does the job as i have to work , i have not changed to the dose nor has the doctor asked if i need to . My question is if i had a drug test at work would it show up as i am on a small dose and could i lose my job over it ?

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
2:03 pm March 11th, 2016

Hi, Bennett. OxyContin is a narcotic and will show up on standard 5 panel drug tests. You may read more here:
http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/does-oxycontin-show-up-on-drug-tests/

Glenn
2:09 pm March 12th, 2016

Typically, what are the withdrawal symptoms after taking OxyContin? I only take 1 x 20mg tablet each night to help me sleep as I have an arthritic hip that has to be replaced, and the pain is fairly severe, so cannot get much sleep without it.
Through the majority of the next day, I have an empty feeling in my stomach, don’t feel like eating anything, and feel anxious. What really bothers me about taking this stuff is that when I get drowsy, I can’t avoid dropping off, even in important meetings but, if I lay down when I get drowsy, I never sleep, not even for a minute.

Cathy
12:32 am March 16th, 2016

I’ve been taking 10mg Percocet 5 times a day due to continuous pain from shingles. I’ve asked to reduce my meds so I’ve been given 15 mg OxyContin twice daily. My question is, is this going to give me relief so I can continue to work? My dr says this way I’ll be taking less meds a day. Thank you.

michelle
1:14 am March 19th, 2016

hi, i had major hand surgery after a machinery acident. iv’e been on oxycodone for 15, 4 months, and 10’s for a year previously. my question is why would my pain managment dr only give me 10 mg oxycontin, with my regular meds for breakthrough pain??? my regular 15’s aren’t enough for post op. why is she giving me such a lower dose than my regular mrds? i’m scared to death when the numbness wears off my pain will be out of control, please answer asap…thanks so much
ps… my regular dose is 4 15mg oxycodone daily, why so low of a dose for post op pain???

12:15 pm March 23rd, 2016

Hi Glenn. The most frequently reported side effects of Oxycontin use include GI discomfort (constipation, nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, and vomiting), sleepiness, dizziness, itching, headache, dry mouth, sweating, and lowered ability to feel pain. I believe that the medication is causing the symptoms that you describe. I’d advise you to speak with your doctor and tell him/her about these effects. You may need to have your dose adjusted to your needs.

12:58 pm March 23rd, 2016

Hi Cathy. If you were taking it 5 times daily, now that your doctor has decreased the overall daily dose and frequency of administration, I am afraid it may not provide the required level of pain relief. The reason why it may not work is due to physical tolerance – this means that your body has gotten used to the 5 x 10mg Percocet and a lower dose won’t work now. Over time, your level of tolerance is expected to drop, but speak with your doctor in case you need more pills for better pain management.

Barry
2:52 pm April 11th, 2016

Oxycontin 40mg DO NOT LAST 12 HOURS maybe for some people but not for my pain from 6 failed lower back operations damage nerve scar tissue on nerve 5 deterioration disc upper back 3 severe multiple bone spurs and 2 bulging disc in my neck and I’m on 15mg oxycodone for break through pain

Tom
11:58 pm April 26th, 2016

I stopped my oxycontin 60mg twice a day for three days. Personal. I started back again today tuesday. I have a urine test friday I take 60 mg am and pm. I take 1 friday morning before test. Will I have enough blood level of oxycontin in my urine?

Robert
3:13 am June 18th, 2016

It only takes 3days to build up a tolerance to oxy’s and the withdrawal is a bitch think a long time before taking them i have been through it and it ain’t fun

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
5:20 pm June 21st, 2016

Thanks for sharing Robert. Hope now you’re fine.

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