OverviewDosageSide EffectsInteractionsHalf-Life

Tramadol hydrochloride is currently the 32nd most commonly prescribed drug in the United States. In 2020 alone, there are so far over 21,096,312 prescriptions. Considering how popular this drug is right now, it pays to know a little bit more about this medication before putting it into your body. That being said, just how long does tramadol stay in your system?

How long does tramadol stay in your system?

How long tramadol stays in your system and how long tramadol can be detected in your system for the following time frames:

– Your blood for 12-24 hours.

Your saliva for up to 48 hours.

– Your urine for 1-4 days after last use.

– Your hair for 4-6 months.

Can you fail a drug test if you take tramadol? Potentially, with the different types of drug tests and drug screening that are testing for tramadol in the body.

How long does Tramadol stay in your system in terms of urine? Urine tramadol tests are quite common, and certain tests can detect tramadol (Ultram, specifically) roughly 1 to 4 days after last use.

There are also several other drug tests that used for tramadol detection including hair tests, blood tests, and saliva tests. The time it takes where the drug tramadol is detectable in the body in drug screenings like blood tests, urine tests, and a hair test may stay in the body longer depending on the person.

Tramadol Half-Life

The FDA states the following information regarding tramadol half-life:

Mean effective half-life: 6 to 7 hours

Time to steady-state: 2 days following 4 doses/day

Mean accumulation ratio: 2.39 (C τ,ss/Cτ) to 2.55 (AUCτ,ss/AUCτ)

Terminal phase half-life: 5 to 7 hours, up to nearly 9 hours following multiple doses

Tramadol has an oral bioavailability of roughly 70% after the first dose, which increases up to 90% or even 100% following subsequent doses; this bioavailability is the same for both immediate-release and sustained-release capsules. However, the sustained-release capsules of tramadol release over a greater period of time. Do not crush or chew sustained-release medications, unless directed by a physician. The body quickly absorbs tramadol, and eventually excretes it primarily through urine as an unchanged drug (roughly 30% of the dose) and as metabolites (60%), according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

What is the half-life of tramadol?

Biological half-life refers to how long it takes for the concentration of something to decrease by half. In this context, this term in relation to tramadol is how long it takes the body to eliminate half the concentration of tramadol after your last dose. This also helps determine the amount of time it takes that tramadol use can be detected after last use and can affect how long tramadol will stay in the body.

The half-life of tramadol is approximately 6 hours.

It’s important to note that it takes more than two half-lives for the body to completely clear tramadol. Furthermore, because the body excretes the majority (90%) of this drug via urine, those with decreased liver and/or kidney functions may notice that it takes longer for the body to eliminate tramadol and the time period that tramadol can be detected differs.

What are the side effects of tramadol?

When taking any drug, it’s important to be aware of the possible side effects that can come with having your system consist of tramadol. Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain and chronic pain. If you still experience the same level of severe pain as before taking tramadol, be sure to consult a healthcare professional, as they might increase your dosage of the tramadol drug. The following are side effects of tramadol that many people face:

  • Dizziness/Vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Somnolence (excessive sleepiness)
  • Vomiting
  • Pruritus (itchy skin)
  • CNS Stimulation
  • Asthenia (lack of energy/physical weakness)
  • Sweating
  • Dyspepsia (increased indigestion)
  • Dry Mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Hindered Organ Function

If you experience any of these side effects while taking tramadol, speak to your healthcare provider, as they might have you stop taking the drug and prescribe you a more fitting one for your needs without the long term side effects. If you experience extreme, life-threatening reactions during the time you take the drug, stop taking the drug and seek medical help as soon as possible.

How long does it take for tramadol to wear off?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the dosage of tramadol and how quick-acting the formula is. For example, a single quick-release 100mg oral dose will provide pain relief for roughly a 4 to 6 hour time period. By contrast, an extended-release oral dose of tramadol can provide pain relief for about 12 to 24 hours for a person’s system tramadol is in. The amount of time tramadol remains in the body and how long tramadol is detectable can take longer depending on the person. So, how long does tramadol stay in your system?

Physicians may alter tramadol dosage in older patients, due to the potential affect higher doses can have on renal (kidney) and/or heptic (live) impairment.

When taking tramadol, it’s important to keep in mind that tramadol abuse can lead to tramadol addiction, making it important that you stick to your prescribed dose when taking it and avoid habit-forming with the tramadol drug in your body. Substance abuse of the prescription opioid tramadol may have detrimental effects on the body, especially when experiencing withdrawal symptoms during treatment.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.


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