How Long Does OxyContin Last

How Long Does OxyContin Last?

Oxycodone is the main ingredient in OxyContin which is used for pain relief, formulated to release in a slow, continuous supply. Find out how long OxyContin lasts in the system and the effects it has on the brain and body in the process.


The effects of OxyContin are usually felt within 15-30 minutes of taking the drug and can last up to 12 hours. The brain and body are both affected by the drug, which is an opioid painkiller which helps manage moderate and severe pain. Oxycodone acts by binding receptors found on the surface of certain cells, mainly in the brain. As the drug interacts with specific opioid receptors, both analgesic and euphoric effects occur. The feeling of intense well being which occurs is the reason why long-term use or abuse can occur. OxyContin may become addictive which is why a prescription is needed to take the drug legally within the United States.

Side Effects

There are some side effects to taking OxyContin. Some of the following may occur:

  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty with coordination
  • Impaired breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slowed heart rate

Duration of Action

OxyContin takes action in the body within 20 minutes, providing fast-acting pain relief. The medication is formulated to release slowly in a continuous supply of oxycodone. OxyContin remains active in the system for 12 hours at a time. Traces of the drug may remain in the blood for at least a couple of days after the last pill, due to the slow release. Oxycodone can show up on urine screens for around 2 days following the last dose of OxyContin. Hair samples may still retain traces of the drug for 3 months or more following the last dose.

Oxy High

While the drug provides pain relief, the high achieved from abusing OxyContin will not last a full 12 hours. If the drug is crushed and snorted, the high will only last about 6 hours. If a person ingests the pills, the high lasts a little longer. Snorting OxyContin or taking it in larger doses is incredibly dangerous because it is easy to overdose on the drug when not taken as prescribed. Some of the effects of an OxyContin high may include:

  • Relaxation
  • Stress relief
  • Feelings of numbness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sense of well-being

If you or a loved one struggle with OxyContin or other prescription drug use, it may be time to get help. Recovery programs are available to help you become healthy and well without illicit  use of prescription drugs. Call The Villa to find out how we can support your journey to recovery.