How long does it take for Oxycodone to work?

How long does it take for Oxycodone to work

Oxycodone is a pain relieving medication sometimes also called as narcotic. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain. There are several questions which will be answered in this article like how long does it take for Oxycodone to work, its side effects, its chemical composition etc.

It is an opioid found in Persian poppy and is semi synthetic in nature. It is a very efficient and powerful drug generally prescribed to patients to control pain after surgeries. It was developed in 1917 in Germany.

Oxycodone has qualities which are very similar to morphine but the uniqueness of this drug is that allows the patients or the person in pain to feel relieved throughout the day and here it differs from morphine as it is a day long, time released drug.

The name oxycodone is generic in nature and this drug is prescribed by doctors but also misused and illicitly used nationwide. It is produced in two different ways which are tablets that contain only oxycodone and the other is in which the oxycodone is mixed with acetaminophen.

The most popular brands for this are Oxycontin, Roxicodone, Percodan, and Tylox. When it is misused it the form which contains only oxycodone and not the mixed version. This prescribes pain reliever drug is the number one cause of drug overdose nationwide. It is misused and abused all over.

The effect of this drug gives a pleasant experience to the person consuming it reducing anxiety. Considering the experience one has with the drug it becomes addictive in nature, the person consuming the drug either crushes the pills in order to snort it or directly injects it into the blood.

Oxycodone comes in the category of schedule || controlled substance which has strong potential for abuse and addiction but with proper legitimate medical use it can be both and Analgesic and antitussive.

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It can be given intramuscularly, intravenously, subcutaneously and rectally. It has been used clinically for formulation in combination with other analgesics, and then in 1995, a slow release formula was introduced which could be used for patients to control moderate to severe pain. It is part of the chemical class of phenanthrenes.

Further, is it classified as an opioid agonist. It creates an effect by stimulating the opioid receptors with both affinity and efficacy. Affinity means a measure of the strength of the interaction between the ligand and the receptor and efficacy denoting measure of the strength of effect from bonding to the receptor.

The opioid receptors can be found in both the central nervous system as well as peripheral tissues. These opioid receptors are stimulated by endogenous peptides.

How long does it take for the Oxycodone to kick in?

It’s seen that the Oxycodone takes much longer to start working to relieve the pain than the Percocet. But then one also notices that it is not the same for everyone as to how long does it last.

Just like each type of drug has its own affect each takes a different time to function and take a toll on the body, even drugs of the same type can function differently on different individuals.

What exactly is drug half life?

The time the drug takes to leave a person’s body depends upon the drugs half -life or to put it in simple words drug’s half- life means the amount of time it takes for the liver and kidneys to break down and filter half of the amount of the drug in one’s bloodstream.

This means that if the halftime of a particular drug is taken as one hour then after the respective times has passed you would have half the amount drug in your blood compared to the amount you took initially.

After two hours a person will have quarter of the drug left, in three hours 1/8 of it. It is considered that for a drug to clear your system five half life is required when one will have only 3% of the drug left in the body. Every drug has their own half life ranging anywhere from seconds to even days


The detection includes the test which is being conducted on the person to see the sample of it in the body. In some tests this drug can be detected for a short time but there are tests in which it can be detected and is visible for up to 3 months.

Apart from this, the test conducted is not the only criteria to see the visibility of the oxycodone it depends and differs from each individual’s metabolism, age, body mass, hydration level, health conditions and also the amount of physical activity performed by that individual.

If a person’s metabolism is fast, then the detection will be for a shorter period of time. Even when the bodies hydration level is good then the body throws it out from the body in the form of urine.

Most of the drugs are metabolized in the liver and studies have shown that norooxycodone is the most abundantly metabolite after administration of Oxycodone to human subjects. This metabolite occurs by the oxidation of Oxycodone via N-demethylation of it by the enzyme CYP2D6 and this amounts to 13% of oxycodone oxidation in the liver.

There are different detection windows through which oxycodone can be visible. Allowing Elisa principles Screening of multiple drugs from a single sample is beneficial to increase the test result output.

A biochip array with discrete test regions corresponding to immunoessays is present which is reported to detect not only Oxycodone and norooxycodone but also different types of opioid and opiate like ketamine and LSD.


  • It can be detected in the urine for almost 3-4 days.
  • Here the detection ranges for up to 24 hours.
  • The oxycodone is present in the saliva for up to 1 to 4 days.
  • In this case the drug is present in the hair follicle and can be detected for almost 90 days.

People today become confused and is not able to differentiate between the drugs oxycodone and hydrocodone. They might sound similar but they have very different characteristics:

Oxycodone is more potent and comes in a single or combination form whereas hydrocodone comes only in combination form.

Oxycodone has a higher abuse potential compared to the hydrocodone. The prescription for getting the oxycodone drug must be provided in the hardcopy to the pharmacy but a fax or a phone is sufficient to get the hydrocodone.

The hydrocodone is used for minor to moderate pain but oxycodone is five times more effective in suppressing the pain whereas hydrocodone is commonly a cough suppressant, oxycodone being the pain reliever.

But inspite of the benefit oxycodone has been illicitly abused for the past 20-3 years and the number continues to grow. This drug has more first time abusers than marijuana and cocaine and is used in several countries in the United States.

The drug abuse warning network widely known as DAWN released in one of the statistics that the related hospital visits from 5211 visits per year have staggered to 10825 visits per year and this continues to grow in number.

How far can a drug test look back?

An orally consumed drug as in when drinking alcohol or swallowing it in the form of pill then it will pass thorough the liver, as the body toxin filters the body is protected from any number of dangerous chemicals that might be present in the food or anything that we consume.

Different enzymes such as p450 and monoamime oxidase help to break down the drugs into compounds which are harmless for the kidneys and subsequently cleanse from the bloodstream.

In some cases, the consumed drug is not an active compound but becomes active once it passes for the first time through the liver.

In some cases the liver directly removes the drugs from the bloodstream instead of metabolizing them, and excretes them in bile and this exits the body through the digestive tract.

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Though mostly the drug exits the body through the kidneys and in this case the toxin is removed from the blood as urine.

However, if a person is dehydrated the kidneys tends to function less efficiently because the kidney functioning properly kicks in only when the body is fully hydrated and lastly the trace amounts can leave the through sweat, saliva and even through the air we exhale


It is metabolized by cytochrome enzyme system in the liver. To metabolize this drug there are multiple metabolic pathways is to reduce oxymorphone or oxycodone which are subsequently glucoronidates.


It is primarily eliminated from the body via the kidneys through urine and when it is lesser extent it is eliminated through sweat.

The Danger of oxycodone overdose must be known and for long it stays in the system. The reason for this is that if the previous dosage taken to relieve the pain is not worn off and you take more of this drug in the body the risk of overdose is increased as the previous opioid is not out of the system. The halftime of the oxycodone and the time release version of it is released, it is 3.2 hours and for the latter it is approximately 4.5 hours.

The addiction of oxycodone produces a heroine like high and is highly addictive. To determine how long does oxycodone stay in the system a study was conducted on two groups of people, and 12 healthy drug free people were taken. While the other group was given a single 20mg dose of oxycodone while the other group was given each of single two tablets dose of 10mg hydrocodone with 325mg acetaminophen.

Then they measured the detection time over a 50 hour period through blood and saliva. The result showed the presence of both oxycodone and hydrocodone in the blood and saliva within 15-30 minutes and positive in urine 0-2 hours.

These drugs were out of the detection range from the blood in under 25 hours. For the same, it took around 35 to 50 hours in the saliva. The urine stood the longest at 50 hours.

Though these time frames given cannot be guaranteed as a parameter for how long the drug is going to be out of the system. The only way to confirm is to go through the tests. The high one experiences due to the drug is not the same for everybody, it fluctuates on what exactly you took.

If you take Oxycodone the high can last up to 12 hours but a person can re-dose it a couple of times, and stay high all day long. Apart from the high that one experiences due to this drug, there are side effects which take a toll on the person’s health.

The common oxycodone side effects include headache, dizziness, drowsiness and tired feeling.

The less common symptoms include:
1. Anxiety
2. Abnormal dreams
3. Hiccups
4. Burning feeling in the chest and stomach
5. False or unusual sense of well-being

The major side effects experienced while taking oxycodone which requires quick medical attention includes:
1. Chills
2. Old sweats
3. Confusion
4. Fever
5. Twitching
6. Difficulty in breathing
7. Faintness

The rare side effects one faces while taking oxycodone includes:

1. Bloating or swelling of the face, hands, lower legs or feet
2. Blood in the urine
3. Cough
4. Decrease in the urine volume
5. Painful urination
6. Difficulty with swallowing
7. Dribbling
8. Feeling of warmth or heat
9. Itching
10. Rashes
11. Cramps
12. Dry mouth

The above mentioned symptoms are due to the drug being taken to cure the pain. Now we will talk about the symptoms one experiences when they overdose on this drug.

Oxycodone Symptoms of overdose:

1. Severe sleepiness
2. No muscle movement
3. Irregular heartbeat
4. Constricted or small pupil
5. Extreme drowsiness
6. Decrease in responsiveness
Minor side effects of the overdose:
1. Difficultly in having a bowel movement
2. Loss of strength
3. Relaxed feeling
4. Unusual drowsiness
The more common ones include:
1. Incidence not known
2. Blurred vision
3. Choking
4. Diarrhea
5. Clay colored stool
6. Gagging
7. Pale or blue lips and nails
8. Yellow eyes
9. Unconsciousness
10. Unpleasant breath or odor

The rare symptoms while taking the drug includes:

1. Irregular menstrual cycles
2. Unpleasant tastes
3. Bloated awful feeling
4. Change in walking and balance
5. Decrease interest in sexual intercourse
6. Depersonalization
7. Depression
8. Difficulty with speaking
9. Excessive muscle tone
10. Feeling of constant movement
11. Feeling of unreality
12. Throbbing
13. Inability to have or keep an erection
14. Loss of memory
15. Hearing loss
16. Hyperventilation
17. Sensation of spinning
18. Scaly skin
19. Red swollen skin
20. Neck pain
21. Paranoia
22. Rapidly changing mood
23. Runny nose
24. Sense of detachment from self or from one’s own body
25. Passing of gas
26. Increased cough
27. Hoarseness
28. Irritability
Oxycodone :- LEGAL STATUS

General: Oxycodone is subject to international convention on narcotic drugs and also national laws that tend to differ by country.

It was included in 1931 by the “single convention on narcotic drugs of League of Nations included this drug and then came the 1961 “single convention on narcotic drugs of the United Nations replacing the previous convention putting Oxycodone in schedule | . The schedule | drugs subject to restrictions confining it medical and scientific purposes.


It is included in schedule 8 of the Australian standard for the uniform scheduling of drugs and poisons.

This indicates that it is a controlled drug whose availability is subject to restrictions on manufacture, Supply, distribution so that the misuse and illicit consumption can be controlled.


The drug is in appendix ||| of the narcotics act. In Germany the law allows only the dentists and physicians to prescribe this drug and the federal government regulates the prescriptions.


Here oxycodone is regulated on the part | of the schedule | of Hong Kong’s chapter 34 of dangerous drug ordinances.


It is a restricted drug in Japan and the import and export of it are designated to organizations which have prior permission to do the a very high-profile case and American was arrested for importing oxycodone who claimed that he was unaware of the law prevailing in Japan regarding this drug.


They have listed it in CLASS A drug in the miss use of drugs act Singapore. This means that any offense regarding the same would be subject to severe punishment and an unauthorized manufacture of the drug attracts a 10-year imprisonment and 5 strokes of the cane and a maximum sentence of life or 30 years and 15 strokes of the cane.


Categorized under class A of the misuse of drugs act. class A drugs are considered to be the most harmful among all and position of this drug without a legit prescription amounts to a seven-year jail and unliquidated fine or both and dealing of the drug illegally can be subjected to a life imprisonment unlimited fine or both.

But there are certain exemptions which are given as per the miss use of drugs regulation 2001 act which puts this drug on the schedule.

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Purdue pharma in August 2010 reformulated the Oxycodone line and marketed it as OxyContin using a polymer making it extremely difficult to crush or dissolve the pills in water.

Pfizer manufacturers made a preparation of this oxycodone marketed it as I OXECTA, which contains inactive ingredients and mainly referred to as tamper resistant Aversion technology.

This new formulation makes it practically impossible for the drug to be crushed, chewed or injected because of its changed Chemical composition.


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