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How Long Does Tramadol Stay in your SystemLast updated: December 10, 2021
Tramadol, also known as Ultram, is an opiate analgesic used for moderate to severe pain in adults. Tramadol can either come in the form of a fast-acting tablet or an extended-release tablet, which is used to treat constant or chronic pain. As an opiate, tramadol works by altering the way your body both feels and reacts to pain. Opiates are a category of narcotic analgesics that aid in pain relief by prohibiting your body’s nervous system from sending pain signals to your brain. Because of its categorization as an opiate, tramadol can be addictive and thus be abused. Here is a simple guide to tell you more about how long tramadol can stay in your system:
How is tramadol tested?
There are several different ways to test your body for tramadol. The most common ways are through blood, urine, hair, saliva and blood tests.
What is the half-life of tramadol (and what does that mean)? The half-life of any drug is what’s used to determine- on average- how long it will take for half of the drug to be cleared from your system. For tramadol, the half-life is 6.3 hours. However, while half of the drug will be out of your system in 6.3 hours, it will likely take longer for the second half of the drug to be out of your system and even longer until it can’t be detected in your body at all. Just because you no longer feel the effects of tramadol doesn’t mean that, if tests were run, it would be fully out of your system. There are several factors that can affect how long a drug will stay in your system. Your weight, size, body fat percentage, food and water consumption, age, basal metabolic rate, form of the medication and so much more can affect how long tramadol stays in your system.
How long does tramadol stay in my blood/urine/hair?
Because of the above-mentioned factors, there is no single definitive answer as to how long tramadol will stay in your system. However, there are averages for how long it can be detected in certain tests. Here are the averages:
Urine: Up to 40 hours
Saliva: Up to 24 hours
Blood: Up to 24 Hours
Hair: Up to 90 days
These averages can also vary depending on how much tramadol was taken and in which form (regular tablet or extended-release tablet).
Does it matter how much I took?
Yes. If you take a higher dose of tramadol in a regular tablet form, you will have more intense effects and it will stay in your system for longer. Additionally, if you take an extended-release tablet, it could stay in your system for longer because the amount of tramadol in the tablet is released into your system slowly rather than all at once.
Can I flush it out or get it out of my system faster? The short answer to this question is: no. You may find loads of tricks online like taking niacin or chugging water before a pee test, but the only tried and true way to get tramadol- or any other drug- out of your system is to wait.
When it comes to opiates, tramadol may not be as strong as oxycontin or oxycodone, but it can still be addictive. Ingesting too much tramadol frequently can be considered opiate abuse and could lead to some serious dangers and consequences. Fortunately, tramadol’s relatively short half-life means that it can be fully out of your system in just over one day, although some tests may be able to detect it for up to three months. It’s very easy to test for tramadol in your system, as there are so many tests that can detect the substance, so for your own safety it’s best to only take the recommended dose of tramadol as prescribed to you by your doctor. If you find that you are noticing patterns of tramadol abuse, seek help immediately.