Vicodin is a brand name drug that contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen. It is a popular pain reliever that can be addictive when abused. Hydrocodone is an opioid narcotic that affects the receptors in the brain and spinal cord to alter how a person perceives pain. It also acts as a depressant, slowing the central nervous system.
It takes the body an average of 3.8 hours for half of a dose to be eliminated from the bloodstream. It can take longer for a heavy user to eliminate the drug from their system. This is why it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and not up the dosage without their approval. Doing so can lead to physical and psychological dependence.
Other factors that can affect how long Vicodin stays in your system include:
The body’s metabolism and cardiovascular system affect how quickly the drug is flushed from the bloodstream. Hydration and exercise can boost these systems. The method of intake also impacts how long the drug remains in the body. If you snort, inject or smoke Vicodin, it can stay in your system for longer than if you swallow it.
Various types of drug tests are available to detect Vicodin traces in the body. Urine testing is a common form of drug testing among addiction treatment centers and employers. It can detect the presence of Vicodin for up to three days after use. Saliva tests can also detect traces of the drug.