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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  1. I am looking at helping those who are addicted to Oxycontin & was wondering if you require help from someone like me who was addicted to 1500mgs per day of Oxycontin through my Dr for 9years. I have been totally free now since August 2016, though it has been a struggle, I’ve remained totally clean.
    Many thanks

  2. Ok guys, I recently had a massive chunk of concrete come thru the windshield as I was driving across a local freeway (high rates of speed 75mph+-) which I was directly transported to the E.R. for medical attention, I required immediate emergency facial reconstruction surgery to correct 95% bone breakage in my face, after surgery and a few days in the hospital I was sent home with 7.5/325 Norco liquid for pain, my problem and question is up until the auto accident I was already taking 20mg ox 2-4x daily for a broken L3-L5 vertibre and a shattered left arm acquired during a roofing fall some 10+years ago and even after telling the doctors and surgeons that they will not prescribe me anything stronger,and since I’ve been taking the 20mg ox for so long the liquid is nearly useless. At one point I was even told by the doctor that they don’t want me taking the Norco liquid but only for breakthru pain again I tried telling him it didn’t do anything for the pain all he said was I should try children’s over the counter Motrin for the pain and only use the Norco liquid for breakthru I nearly broke down as my cries have fallen apon deaf ears and the doctor doesn’t give a shit about me being the least bit comfortable during all this trauma he just doesn’t want to write me any kinda narcotic pain relief even tho I desperately need some if I’m gonna get any kind of relief from the pain. I’m absolutely blown away, I’m miserable every day from all of the pain and the doctor I have to see for all the reconstruction that’s needed won’t help. I’m at a loss I nearly killed myself from the intense all consuming pain. I don’t know what to do and I’m only 4 days out of near total facial reconstruction surgery, my jaws are wired shut, my eye socket was crushed into my sinuses, literally 95% of the bones in my face destroyed. Dont know what to do or where to turn when my doctor won’t even help me!

  3. I want to get help getting off ocicodone but am scared l know they have harm reduction I refuse to get on methadone or Suboxone these are high drugs also I have been on methadone test flight and they are just other drugs and Kaiser Hospital because of a DUI I. Know about. Suboxone methadone etc.. I am desperate my tolerance as raised. I worked in the field due to an accident they put me on fetenal patches because I had 2 major hip replacement etc..l feel l need to be admitted in to hopitial and get medical detox. Thank you

  4. Is it possible for me to develop worse pàin in my legs spine after being on 40 mg time released for 4 yrs. BURNING? In Legs already addicted. 0

    1. Hi Joanne. Have you run some test to see where the pain is coming from? Also, consult with your doctor about your issues.

  5. If I fell asleep right after taking my last dose 60 mg. Oc does it slow down the release of the meds? Because I’m sleeping?

  6. Hey I just was wondering about the OxyContin the Opie and the o n brands question mark your post is a little outdated I am wondering if you can still get the OC brand in the states because I’m in Australia and we can only get the other newgrounds would I find don’t seem to work as well at all then the original is there anything I can do to get the OC brand or ask my doctor for something to replace them instead to relieve me from my pain. I have been suffering for over 10 years and had multiple severe back operations and you and need the medicinejust with cope day 2 day life?? Thank u

  7. I’m on 80mg CR X2 per day, and plus 20mg CR for break through pain. Which I tend to take 3 of daily.
    Would I DO if iIincrease my dose up to 4 times a day for both?
    And it’s all for serious pain from car accident back and spinal Injuries plus iIsuffer fibromyalgia and polycystic kidney disease
    Ps. I’ve been on oxycodone for 2 years, and began with 10,15,20&so on… As my pain wasn’t being covered due to my body’s increasing tolerance. I suffer no *high*effects tho, never have, don’t want too, pain management is all I’m interested in. I have a young child iIneed to care for. I cannot bend let alone walk without medication. I live in Australia.

    1. Hi Lillypad. I suggest that you speak with your doctor about any changes you want to make concerning OxyContin dosage.

  8. My 13 yr old son took one pill of oxycontin 12 hours ago. He has never taken it before and he is unsure of the dose because his friend gave it to him. I have only just found out. Is there any chance that 12 hours after taking it he may still have an overdose reaction or is the drug out of his system by now. I am very worried.

  9. Hello, I’ve been on10mg Oxycontin ER for 13 days. I have nausea, I’m vomiting and lost 7 pounds. I was on Oxycodone prior, and going back on that. How long do these symptoms last? I’m so sick feeling. I also don’t like the waves of dizziness I get when the medication “releases” into the body. I have to hang onto my railing leaving my building where I live in fear of falling. I’ve left a message for my doctor, waiting to hear back. Thank you for anything you can tell me about this med.

  10. This reply is to “20yrsofPain” who advised all the commenters to learn grammar, etc. From what I could decipher in the sentences, 20yrsofPain needs to take a look at her or his own writing. The sentences didn’t even make sense! Shaking my head!!

  11. You know some of you on here seriously need to get help because your grammar and lack is sense is so sad, that Oxy
    Isn’t gonna help you. Get straight before you of and learn something

  12. I don’t crush, snort or shoot up oxy. I was over prescribed the drug years ago after 9 back ops. After titering myself down with a doctor’s help to two, I get little relief. I ran into reps for the drug years ago and they said they knew it didn’t last 12 hrs. But all of this is moot because the drug has been so abused that the DEA is taking us all off of it with the next 12 months, my doctor told me after returning from a major hearing in DC. Unless you are terminal you won’t be getting Oxy. Oh btw, thx guys, who never needed it. She basically told me since I live in a state where pot isn’t legal for pain, that she is advising her serious patients like me to move to a pot legal state. So how long it matters is irrelevant and incorrect because the insurance and drug companies are moving us to pot.

  13. I have just taken 12 X 5mg OxyContin known as (Endone) here in Australia & frankly feel Very Very Little effects.Honestly u get more of a buzz from Nurofen + tablets that contain Codine.I’ll try to snort some next time to get into the blood or stick a needleless syringe up my arse with crushed Oxy & water & see how that delivery system works.Any tips on smoking it?Never tried it but I heard it’s a good Head Buzz for a hour or two.Might mix 10 X 50mg of Tramadol a hour before hand in the future also,see what type of buzz that brings on.Any tips for a Good Legal High will be greatly appreciatedAlso has anyone tried Oxy with Xanax or Diazapan??Im thinking that would be nice with around 15 – 20 mg Benzo + the Cxy.Will have to wait a few weeks before my next Oxy script so my Dr doesn’t get suspicious & give the previous mentioned mixed a blast.Also has anyone had experence with Stilnox Sleeping tablets mixed with Red Bull or other high energy drinks?Im told u get to see some COOL STUFF while experincing very moderate halucations.Ok stay safe always & ALWAYS have a trusted friend by ur side while trying different mixes & dosages,Cheers & Enjoy the wonders of Medication!!.

  14. I have a question I have been on OXY er for 10 yrs. I have a rare muscle disease 200 of us soldier’s got it. I was taking norco 10 for it. Well I had a heart attack and thus stupid heart doctor said he wanted me to take oxy. He said it was a lot safer wow if I knew what I know now about how addictive they are I would have broke his jaw. OK to get to my question. I am taking myself off of them . I was taking 130 mg 3 x a day . Well I have managed to get down to 10mg 3x day now and boy was this painful. I did it in a month and a half. My doc was amazed and said I went way to quick but I’m sick of the up and downs. I now AM going to have to go to a OXY IR. I have seen different things on how long the it last. I am trying to figure out how many a day to tell my doc to give.i have been through a lot of withdrawals so far but I think dropping from 20 to 10 was the worst and I want to take maybe a month or so to drop down to zero and free. What have you heard about time span on the IR. Thank you for any help with this.

  15. Hi there. I usually take 5 x 10mg oxis a day to deal with not only migraines but intense fybromyalgia. The pain is unbearable and I don’t want to increase the amount I take due to a fear of having to take more as my body becomes tolerant to the drug. My doctor has now put me on 20mg slow release oxicontin….and one 10mg immediate release if required. I’m just wondering how long after swallowing a 20mg slow release pill does it take to begin removing the pain of either migraine or fybromyalgia.

  16. I took one dose of Oxycodone/APAP, 5/325M, for pain after hand surgery. I have terrible nausea and vomiting from narcotics. I put the scopolomine patch on to avoid the nausea and vomiting from using Oxycodone. I am not going to need to take another Oycodone pill. If I take the patch off too soon I will start with nausea and vomiting. I want to know how long the Oxycodone will stay in my body so I can safely remove the patch without consequences.

    1. Hi Alexandria. Usually, oxycodone can be detected up to four (4) days after administration. However, all depends of various factors such as metabolism, dosage, body weight, period of use, etc.

  17. 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

  18. 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?

  19. 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

  20. 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???

  21. 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.

    1. 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.

  22. 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.

    1. 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.

  23. 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 ?

  24. 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?

  25. 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!!!!!

    1. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

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