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How Long Does Fentanyl Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay in your System?

Fentanyl is a very potent and addicting drug that's fatal at high doses. It's up to a hundred times more effective and dangerous than most painkillers and is causing a worldwide health crisis.

Before consuming fentanyl, it's vital that you understand how your body processes this drug. Knowing this will improve your intake control, prevent an overdose, and maybe save a life.

Let’s first understand what fentanyl is. Then we will dive deeper to better answer the question: How long does fentanyl stay in your system?

What is Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a type of synthetic opioid analgesic mainly used as a painkiller. It’s used in medical settings as a way to alleviate cancer patients or chronic pain sufferers.

Fentanyl works similarly to morphine in that it binds itself to the brain's opioid receptors to remove the sensation of pain. However, it's much more potent than other opioids – up to 50 – 100 times more effective. In accepted doses, it can give exceptional pain relief in just a matter of minutes.

Unfortunately, this also makes fentanyl highly addictive and more susceptible to abuse. Overdose is highly fatal, especially since a small dose increase can have a tremendous impact. In the United States alone, it has led to 28,000 deaths in 2017.

There’s also the rise in synthetic fentanyl. This poses even more health risks because most are unregulated, are laced with illegal chemicals, or are dangerously potent.

The most common way to introduce fentanyl into the system is through an injection. Commercially available fentanyl is also available as patches, nasal sprays, or ingestible tablets.

Factors That Affect How Long Fentanyl Stays in your System

To determine how much of the opioid is in your system, first look at the dosage over time. The higher the amount, the longer fentanyl lasts in your body.

Aside from this, how long fentanyl will stay in your system depends on several other factors, as well.

One factor is age; fentanyl shows up on a drug test for a longer period of time among older people, especially if additional medications are present, which can make processing fentanyl take much longer. 

The manner in which fentanyl is consumed will also help determine how long it stays in the body. Injecting straight into the bloodstream will produce a higher concentration. Patches, on the other hand, will have a slower rate of absorption, depending on the thickness of the area where the patch is located. 

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay in your System?

While the effects of fentanyl come quickly for some people, the substance generally stays in your body for far longer. Fentanyl shows up on drug tests for hours and even days after it was last used.

Fentanyl can be detected by any of the following tests:

  • Urine
  • Fentanyl can be detected in urine, so much so, that it is the standard and most effective way to detect the drug. Fentanyl stays in your urine for up to 24 – 72 hours from the last time you used it. How long fentanyl stays in urine can also be influenced by several health conditions, such as the health and function of the kidneys and liver.

  • Blood
  • Blood tests can detect the presence of fentanyl up to 48 hours from last use. It’s the next common method of standard fentanyl drug testing.

  • Hair
  • Hair has one of the most extended detection times for fentanyl, lasting as long as three months in hair samples. However, this test is not as common as the two previous test types.

    How to Safely Flush Fentanyl out of the Body

    Once fentanyl is in your system, there’s little you can do to flush it out. It is best to wait for your body to remove the substance naturally.

    Common advice, like drinking excessive amounts of water or exercising, will not aid in flushing the drug from your body; those are only myths. Following that advice is not recommended since fentanyl can still present itself in drug tests. 

    One way to cope with fentanyl overdose is by taking naloxone. This is a nasal spray that, contrary to what most people think, doesn’t actually remove the substance from your body. Instead, it works by blocking the brain’s opioid receptors, preventing the fentanyl from binding to them. You avoid the symptoms, but the drug is still in your system.

    Naloxone is an effective treatment, but it’s the equivalent of quitting fentanyl cold turkey. Therefore, it can lead to unpleasant and sudden withdrawals if heavy amounts of the drug remain in your system.

    Countrywide Testing

    Countrywide Testing's fentanyl drug test kits are an effective way of measuring fentanyl levels in your body. It's professional-grade and readily available on our website. Shop now and get free shipping for orders beyond $75.

    If you feel like you’re prone to a serious health risk because of a fentanyl overdose, please seek medical help immediately.