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How Long Does Tramadol Stay in Your System?

Prescription opioids have benefited millions of people throughout the world, especially when they have experienced moderate to severe physical pain. These medications, such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl, are effective in dulling pain that stems from surgical procedures, major injuries, and even pain associated with terminal illnesses like cancer. When they are used as prescribed, they can help people overcome physical distress, keep them comfortable, and increase their quality of life. But, for those who abuse prescription opioids outside of a doctor’s recommendations, they can be life-shattering. 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that approximately 2 million Americans are currently addicted to prescription opioids. Stemming from the incessant marketing ploys conducted by pharmaceutical companies like Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson to push prescription opioids on the public, the level of opioid abuse in the United States has reached epidemic proportions. Now, medications that were once viewed as being useful to help those in severe physical pain have led to an opioid addiction crisis, with more and more people getting hooked on prescription opioids and then transitioning to heroin when they can no longer afford Rx costs. Of the prescription opioids that are abused by the public, tramadol is one of them.

What is Tramadol? 

is an opioid-based prescription painkiller that is weaker in potency than other more common prescription opioids (e.g. OxyContin, Percocet). While it is not as powerful as other prescription painkillers, it can still be abused and people can still develop an addiction to it. 

When abused, tramadol produces similar effects to that of other prescription opioids, including an overall sense of relaxation, euphoria, and detachment. Those addicted solely to tramadol are more likely to consume a lot of it at one time in order to increase the effects of their high. Unfortunately, when too much tramadol is taken at once, it puts a person at risk for suffering serious consequences such as seizures, respiratory depression, and overdose — all of which can be fatal. It is not uncommon for tramadol users to combine this medication with other substances such as alcohol or more potent opioids. When this is the case, however, the risk level associated with tramadol use increases significantly. 

Even though tramadol is not one of the most powerful prescription opioids available, it is still an opioid. This means that it can remain in the system for certain periods of time, potentially increasing the risk for negative physical and psychological side effects. 

How Long Does Tramadol Stay in Your System?

Tramadol does not leave the system once the high wears off. Instead, it remains in the system and can even be detected for months, depending on the testing method. Even if you have not just abused tramadol, it can still can be identified in your body in within the following time frames:

  • Blood – 48 hours
  • Saliva – 48 hours 
  • Urine – 72 hours
  • Hair – 90 days 

Every substance has a half-life, which is the time it takes for half of the consumed dose to leave the body. When it comes to tramadol, it can take up to four full days for it to leave the body. It can, however, remain in the hair follicles for upwards of 90 days. Even though tramadol can still be detected through the hair three months after last use, it has no bearing on the function of your body or mind. 

Influencing Factors 

There are a handful of influencing factors that affect how long tramadol stays in your system. The above listed information refers to the general periods of time in which this medication can be detected, however not everyone is the same. Some factors to consider when attempting to determine how quickly tramadol will leave your system include the following:

  • Age — The older you are, the slower your body metabolizes medications. This means that tramadol can stay in your system longer than 72 hours, as your body needs extra time to break it down. 
  • Amount — As with any prescription medication, the more tramadol you use, the longer it will stay in your system. This is because the body has to work extra hard and for longer to fully metabolize the amount of tramadol you have consumed.
  • Frequency of use — When tramadol is taken frequently, it builds up in the system. Regularly consuming this medication increases the amount that your body needs to process prior to fully clearing it from your system. 

Because it is a less potent opioid, tramadol can clear from the system fairy quickly in comparison to other opioids. However, it is important to consider the factors that can impact the length of time it takes for this specific prescription painkiller to clear your body. This information can be helpful when you are considering detoxing from tramadol, as tramadol detox can be made more complex when more of the substance is consumed. 

Tramadol Detox

Attempting to end any type of opioid abuse can be difficult and often requires professional detox services. If you are looking to end your tramadol addiction, enrolling in a detox program can help make this part of your recovery much easier. 

Since tramadol is an opioid, there are medications that have been developed to help ease powerful withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Depending on the severity of your tramadol addiction, you may be prescribed a medication like methadone or buprenorphine to help safely bring you from the first hours of detox straight through to to the end of the process. Both of these medications have proven to be highly effective in treating opioid dependence, as they work to interact with opioid receptors in ways that minimize distress while preventing a mind-altering high to develop.

Attempting to detox independently from a prescription drug like tramadol can be a huge challenge, even though it is not nearly one of the most potent opioids on the market. This prescription medication can create physical and psychological dependence that can be hard to break, especially when withdrawal symptoms and cravings begin kicking in. If you are ready to clear tramadol from your system, seek professional help by contacting a detox center now.