How long does OxyContin last?

OxyContin lasts for 12 hours and is an extended release medication containing oxycodone that’s only taken twice a day. Learn more about OxyContin dosing, duration of action and effects here.

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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.

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
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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