How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System?

Vicodin contains the opioid hydrocodone, a semi-synthetic drug created from codeine.  After taking Vicodin, its effects can last for several hours. Other factors that may affect detection timeframes include the quantity and frequency of Vicodin usage.

How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System? How long does Vicodin Last?

Vicodin’s effects can be experienced 4-8 hours after taking it. How long does pain relief from Vicodin last? Vicodin can relieve pain for four to six hours. What is the peak time for Vicodin to work? It takes approximately 1.3 hours for the hydrocodone component of Vicodin to reach peak performance.

Vicodin’s active ingredients acetaminophen and hydrocodone work to reduce pain. It’s acetaminophen component will remain in a typical person’s blood for up to three hours and 24 hours in urine. However, impaired liver function can cause the drug to stay in the system longer. Vicodin’s half-life is about four hours, so the drug leaves the body completely after about eight hours.

What is Vicodin?

Vicodin is an opioid-based painkiller used to treat severe forms of pain. And it is usually a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, which are then prescribed to patients. Synthetic opioids like the hydrocodone in Vicodin trigger the same neurons as opiates like heroin. The prescription drug contains different doses of hydrocodone and 300 mg of acetaminophen.

The primary component of Vicodin is hydrocodone, a narcotic analgesic made from codeine. Once ingested, hydrocodone forms connections with opioid receptor-containing cells in the brain and spinal cord. Opioids can block the transmission of pain signals to the brain, altering a person’s emotional responses and experience of pain.

Vicodin has gained popularity lately due to the euphoric effects it produces following its use. Due to Vicodin’s calming and enjoyable side effects, people may become dependent on it, resulting in addiction issues.

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Vicodin Drug Facts


Vicodin is an opioid medicine available only by prescription and used to treat the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe pain. Vicodin may be used alone or in combination with other medications.

  • Vicodin is a combination of opioids and analgesics.
  • Vicodin’s safety and effectiveness in children under two are unknown.


Breathing can be slowed or stopped by hydrocodone. Never take this medication in bigger or longer amounts than recommended. Even in low doses, narcotic painkillers have the potential to develop a dependence. Never give Vicodin to someone else, particularly if they have a history of drug abuse or addiction. The drug should be kept out of the reach of others.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Vicodin if you are allergic to acetaminophen or hydrocodone or have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or other narcotic medications.

How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System?

Vicodin’s effects can generally be felt 4-8 hours after taking it.

Common Side Effects

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Feeling tired
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Headache

Serious Side Effects

  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Nausea
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Tiredness
  • Noisy breathing
  • Sighing
  • Shallow breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing of skin or eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness

Vicodin Abuse Statistics

Up to 131 million Americans were, often unnecessarily, prescribed Vicodin in 2011. More recently, misuse has significantly decreased from 6.9 million U.S. persons to 5.5 million in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Every year, millions of Americans misuse prescription pain relievers, including Vicodin addiction. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 9.7 million people aged 12 or older misused prescription painkillers in 2019. [1]

131 million

Up to 131 million Americans were, often unnecessarily, prescribed Vicodin in 2011.

Source: DEA

5.5 million

In 2018, there were 5.5 million people who experienced Vicodin misuse.

Source: DEA

What is Vicodin Used For?

Vicodin is used to manage moderate to severe pain when constant pain treatment is required for an extended period. Some examples include cancer, severe arthritis, and postoperative pain from surgeries, including dental operations. Although it’s not commonly used today, the hydrocodone component has historically been a potent cough suppressant.

By inhibiting particular nerve cell receptors in the brain, Vicodin reduces the perception or sensation of pain. It is made into tablets and used orally. Sedation, relaxation, a reduction in anxiety, and a pleasant sense of euphoria are additional effects in addition to the treatment of pain. Along with many other adverse side effects, users may experience nausea, constipation, dizziness, blurred vision, and sleepiness.

How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System? Vicodin stays in the system for about 2-4 days when detected using typical drug tests.
How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System? Vicodin stays in the system for about 2-4 days when detected using typical drug tests.

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Vicodin Half Life & How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System

The time it takes for half of a substance to be digested and eliminated from the body is known as the half-life. The typical half-life of hydrocodone, the main opioid component of Vicodin, is around 4 hours. The half-life of acetaminophen ranges from 1.25 to three hours. The drug and its effects will be primarily undetectable in the body after 4-5 Vicodin half life cycles. How long does Vicodin take to work? It takes 20 minutes for Vicodin to start working. After that, Vicodin stays in the body for usually 2-4 days.

Factors That Affect How Long Vicodin Lasts

There are a few things to consider when figuring out how long does Vicodin stay in your system. No single timeframe works for everyone. How long does Vicodin stay in your system after consumption depends on various factors.

How long is hydrocodone in your system? Vicodin stays and continues working for about 4 hours. However, traces of the medication can be found in the hair for months and remain in the body for a couple of days. The precise length of time needed for Vicodin half life to leave the body depends on several variables, including:

  • Age
  • Body weight
  • Body fat percentage
  • Liver condition
  • Total dose consumed
  • Duration of use
  • Presence of other medications

Your Vicodin dosage, the duration of your Vicodin use, and your mode of use are additional essential factors. Generally speaking, a medication will stay in your system longer the longer you take it. Your body will take longer to process Vicodin if you snort, inject, or smoke it than if you swallow it.

For example, Vicodin stays in people’s systems longer the more Vicodin they consume. The accumulation of hydrocodone is the cause. Their amount of hydration also has an impact on the time frame. The harder it is to find the drug in their urine, the more water they consume.

How you stop utilizing the medicine also matters. If you quit abruptly, it will take less time for your body to eliminate Vicodin half life from your system, but it can potentially lead to withdrawal. Its stay in your body will be prolonged if you reduce your dose.

Effects of Vicodin Abuse

No drug is free from dangers and adverse side effects. Individual tolerance varies even when a medication is taken exactly as directed. Generally speaking, doctors only recommend medicines for particular health problems when the advantages outweigh the risks.

Every drug has harmful effects on one’s health, and Vicodin is no exception. Addiction risk and liver damage are the two most evident side effects. Other frequent side effects of Vicodin abuse and addiction, both minor and significant, include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling at ease and composed
  • Lightheadedness
  • Constipation
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Reduction in breathing rate
  • Cramps and aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle ache
  • Depression

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Vicodin Drug Tests. How Long VicodinHow Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System?

Vicodin contains the opioid hydrocodone, a semi-synthetic drug created from codeine. Testing for codeine-based opioids in the urine, hair, saliva, and blood are all ways to check for Vicodin or hydrocodone use. How long does Vicodin stay in your system? Vicodin can, however, be detected for 2-4 days after intake using most drug tests. Vicodin can still be found in some tests 90 days after the last use. The quantity and frequency of Vicodin use are other factors that may impact detection times.

How long does hydrocodone stay in system? The typical Vicodin half life of a dose of hydrocodone is around 4 hours. This indicates that it will require about 4 hours for the average body to flush out half of this amount. Therefore, if a physical addiction has developed, it takes roughly 6–12 hours for Vicodin withdrawal symptoms to appear, and saliva tests can only identify the last traces of Vicodin stays for 12–36 hours after the previous dose. Urine tests are more accurate and can identify the medication for 2-4 days. Blood tests are useless for detecting this drug. In general, these time restrictions are extended for heavy, recurring users.

Vicodin addiction is a very severe issue due to the risks and negative impacts this medication poses. The high acetaminophen concentration in the painkiller makes it difficult on the liver even without an overdose.

Over time, liver damage, like scarring and inflammation, can result, posing a life-threatening medical condition. The slowdowns of the digestive and respiratory systems can also lead to chronic constipation, intestinal damage, and increased susceptibility to lung and respiratory infections.

How Long Does Vicodin Stay in Your Urine? How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System?

One of the most popular types of drug testing is urine testing. How long do hydrocodone stay in your urine? And how long does a Vicodin last? For 2-4 days, hydrocodone, a synthetic opioid derived from codeine, can be found in the urine. The test will show a positive result if codeine is in the urine. The test is negative if no codeine is found. Most urine tests only show a positive detection result, regardless of whether it was amphetamine, barbiturate, benzodiazepine, or opioid.

How long Vicodin stays in your urine depends on a variety of things. The amount of alcohol you consume, your weight, health, gender, kidney function, and other factors will affect how long alcohol may be detected in urine. Although everyone’s time for hydrocodone detection will differ, several fundamental concepts will apply in every case.

Vicodin is detectable in urine up to 72 hours after the last dose. It can be found in the urine of those who use it regularly, but it will be more challenging to find this substance in urine samples from those who use it infrequently or just when they are ill.

It’s crucial to remember that if you use Vicodin, your urine may still contain traces of the drug days after you stop using it. This is because your body has become accustomed to the drug’s presence and is no longer eliminating it in its original form; instead, Vicodin stays in your system but has changed into a new form that can only be detected by a test.

How Long Does Vicodin Stay in Your Saliva? How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System?

Drug detection with saliva tests can happen practically instantly. How long does vicoden stay in your system? When checking for Vicodin, the test can identify hydrocodone for 12-36 hours after usage. A saliva test can identify Vicodin use for around a day and a half.

How Long Does Vicodin Stay in Your Blood? How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System?

Due to its invasive nature and limited detection window, blood testing is regarded as a poor method of detecting drug usage. How long does hydrocodone stay in the system? And how long does hydrocodone stay in bloodstream? Hydrocodone can still be found in the blood for 2-12 hours after use when testing for Vicodin. For a blood test to return a positive result, a person’s blood must be tried within a half-day.

How Long Does Vicodin Stay in Your Hair? How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System?

The least used drug testing technique is hair analysis. However, it has a far longer detection window. How long does a hydrocodone stay in your system? The hydrocodone in Vicodin is frequently detectable in hair samples for up to 90 days. When it comes to hair tests, this three-month timeframe is comparable to the detection window for other substances.

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How long does hydrocodone last in your system? Vicodin stays in the body for 2-4 days using typical drug tests.
How long does hydrocodone last in your system? Vicodin stays in the body for 2-4 days using typical drug tests.

How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System After You Stop Taking It?

There is a half-life for each medication that individuals take. The half-life is the period for a drug’s potency to decrease by half after administration. The length of time varies according to the substances people use and other elements. how long is Vicodin in your system? The typical half life of Vicodin is around 4 hours.

About 6-12 hours after taking their last dose, Vicodin addicts experience withdrawal symptoms. Around the 48- to 72-hour mark, these effects reach their peak. Despite having a short half life Vicodin, it can still be detected in daily drug tests.

How long do hydrocodone stay in your system? For instance, Vicodin can be detected in urine up to 4 days after the last dose. Laboratories can detect residues of it up to 90 days later using a hair test. However, it might take up to 10 days for Vicodin to be detected in a hair test.

A saliva test is one of the simplest ways to determine if someone has used Vicodin. Only traces of the medication can be detected between 12 and 36 hours after consumption. After that, Vicodin is no longer detectable by this test.

Vicodin Overdose

Vicodin can lower the quantity of oxygen that gets to the brain when combined with other substances, like alcohol, increasing the chance of a coma, brain damage, and, worst case, death.

Vicodin has several side effects, making it highly risky to become addicted. People who regularly use the medicine are more prone to respiratory infections and lung issues, in addition to reduced digestive and respiratory system function, which could result in intestinal damage.

Acetaminophen and hydrocodone can also harm the liver and result in inflammation, scarring, and liver damage. The following signs could be present in someone who has taken too much Vicodin:

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Having trouble breathing
  • Stomach aches
  • Fainting
  • Weak or limp muscles
  • Seizures
  • Reduced heart rate

In case of a Vicodin overdose, immediate medical assistance must be sought. Addiction treatment facilities like We Level Up NJ can provide treatment to undo the effects of an overdose if it is discovered in its early stages.

Vicodin Withdrawal Symptoms

The withdrawal symptoms from Vicodin are comparable to those from other drugs and pharmaceuticals like morphine, heroin, or codeine. Vicodin users could continue to suffer signs even after using it for only a few weeks. Vicodin users who used the medication as directed may also experience withdrawal.

When someone becomes dependent on Vicodin and abruptly ceases using a medication, withdrawal symptoms like the ones listed below may appear:

  • Nausea
  • Muscle pain
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea

Additionally, signs of Vicodin withdrawal can be any of the following:

  • Vicodin was taken in excess or for longer than recommended.
  • Vicodin use that you’d like to reduce or stop but cannot do so.
  • taking a long time to get, use, or recover from Vicodin.
  • Vicodin-related desires and cravings.
  • Vicodin use prevents you from performing your duties at work, home, or school.
  • Vicodin usage continues despite its adverse effects on interpersonal connections.
  • Giving up crucial social, professional, or recreational interests as a result of Vicodin.
  • Vicodin abuse, even when it puts your life in peril.
  • requiring more Vicodin to achieve desired results (tolerance).
  • Withdrawal symptoms begin to appear, which can be eased by taking additional Vicodin.

Short-acting opioids like hydrocodone cause symptoms to appear 8-24 hours after the last dose. It is crucial to discuss with a healthcare provider about possible Vicodin addiction to get support for withdrawal symptoms.

Vicodin and Alcohol. How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System?

Opioid prescription medicines should not cause too many intoxication symptoms if taken as directed by a doctor. While opiates can generally make a person drowsy, constantly tired, or constipated. Still, there shouldn’t be many side effects unless the medication is taken in higher than recommended doses or if the prescription needs to be adjusted.

If an individual is prescribed opioid medicines, avoiding alcohol while using this potent analgesic is crucial. This drug interaction can have highly adverse, potentially fatal side effects.

The combination of alcohol and prescription drugs like Vicodin can be harmful. When alcohol and opioids are combined, adverse effects like these may occur:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rate and rhythm
  • Cardiovascular instability
  • Dizziness or loss of coordination
  • Marked disinhibition
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Coma

When people combine alcohol and prescription medications like Vicodin, it can be highly fatal. Due to an upsurge in opioid drug addiction in the US over the past few decades, this form of overdose has become more common. Many people have developed addictions to prescription opioids based on Vicodin, and occasionally those who do so also abuse alcohol. However, even if a person takes their painkillers as directed and consumes a small amount of alcohol, the medications can still amplify one the other’s effects, increasing the risk of dangerous intoxication and overdose.

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Popular How Long Does Vicodin Stay In Your System FAQs

How long does hydrocodone stay in urine? Or how long does Vicodin stay in urine?

Usually, Vicodin stays in urine for up to 12-36 hours.

How long does hydrocodone stay in your system? Or how long does Vicodin stay in system?

Vicodin stays in your system for up to 2-4 days using most drug tests.

How long for Vicodin to work?

It takes 20 minutes for Vicodin to start working. After that, Vicodin stays in the body for usually 2-4 days.

How long does Vicodin stay in the system? And how long does it take hydrocodone to leave your system?

In typical drug tests, Vicodin stays in your system for 2-4 days, but it can be detected for up to 90 days in a hair test.

Vicodin Addiction Treatment

If you think a loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol, you should research the substances and their associated addiction to understand better what your loved one needs. Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle the effects of drug addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, offer compassion and support instead of judgment. Lastly, show your support throughout the entire treatment process.

In addition, prolonged drug use can have severe physical and psychological effects on you, so it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. To better understand how long does Vicodin stay in your system, it is necessary to get medical assistance when needed. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you promptly get through the early stages of drug withdrawal. 

Vicodin Detox

Medical detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated drug detox withdrawal but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete the drug detox.

Cravings are very common during drug detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can give medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient Drug Addiction Rehab

There isn’t one treatment approach or style that will suit everyone. Treatment should speak to the needs of the individual. Inpatient rehab and addiction treatment aren’t just about drug use. the goal is to help the patient stop using drugs and other substances, but drug rehab should also focus on the whole person’s needs.

Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior. When someone or their family is considering different treatment facilities, they should account for the complexity of addiction and the needs of the individual. The objective of attending an inpatient rehab center for addiction treatment is to stop using the drug and re-learn how to live a productive life without it.

Following a full medical detox, most people benefit from inpatient rehab. Inpatient drug rehab can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Patients stay overnight in the rehab facility and participate in intensive treatment programs and therapy. Once someone completes rehab, their addiction treatment team will create an aftercare plan, which may include continuing therapy and participation in a 12-step program like Narcotics Anonymous.


Many rehab programs will also have early morning classes or programs. Group sessions occur during inpatient rehab, as do individual therapy sessions. Family therapy may be part of inpatient rehab when it’s feasible. Alternative forms of therapy may be introduced during inpatient rehab, like a holistic therapy program, yoga for addiction recovery, or an addiction treatment massage therapy.

Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The primary purpose of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Solution-focused therapy is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. Traumatic experiences can often result in mental health disorders and substance abuse. Dual-diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend mainly on the treatment for both diseases done by the same team or provider.

Medication Assisted Treatments (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

Please, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery through our drug addiction treatment program medically. So, reclaim your life, and call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

Drug Rehab Near Me

Drug addiction is a condition that can cause significant health problems, such as an overdose. We Level Up NJ rehab treatment & detox center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from this with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition and clarify issues like drug withdrawal symptoms. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please understand that each call is private and confidential.

Having trouble with drug addiction? Contact We Level Up NJ today so you can get the best treatment possible!
Having trouble with drug addiction? Contact We Level Up NJ today so you can get the best treatment possible! Get the facts on how long does Vicodin stay in your system and get help if you are suffering from substance abuse.
Search Vicodin Drug Rehab / Detox & Mental Health Topics & Resources
  1. Hallare, J; Gerriets, V. “Half Life.” StatPearls, August 23, 2021. Accessed March 17, 2022.
  2. American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). “National Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder.” December 18, 2019. Accessed March 17, 2022.
  3. Gryczynski, J; Schwartz, RP; et al. “Hair Drug Testing Results and Self-reported Drug Use among Primary Care Patients with Moderate-risk Illicit Drug Use.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, May 17, 2014. Accessed March 17, 2022.
  4. ARUP Laboratories. “Drug Plasma Half-Life and Urine Detection Window.” October 2021. Accessed March 17, 2022.