How Long Does Tramadol Stay in Your System?

Asking the question, “How long does tramadol stay in your system?” can help people learn what tramadol is, the effect it can have, and how different screening tests can detect the presence of this pain relieving—but sometimes addictive—drug.

Last Edited:

01/02/2022

Clinically Reviewed:

10/07/2021

Medical Reviewer:

Dr. Tasnova Malek

Doctors prescribe the pain relieving drug, tramadol, for people experiencing moderate to severe pain. This opioid drug is found in generic forms as well as under other brand names such as: Ultram, Ultram ER, ConZip, or combined with acetaminophen (another pain reliever) and known as Ultracet.

While it can be an effective medication, tramadol can be powerful, dangerous, and addictive. The number of people seeking emergency treatment for tramadol-related problems more than tripled in just a few years, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In 2005, there were 6,255 such visits, while in 2011 there were 21,649. Because of such risks, people should know more about it.

How Long Does Tramadol Stay in Your System?

In fact, they might be wondering how long the drug stays in their bodies after they ingest it. Whether they’re using regular types of tramadol or extended-relief versions, such as the brand name Ultram ER, they might want to know how long does tramadol last.

After all, tramadol is a pain killer. People using it might be concerned that the effects of the drug will wear off and their pain will return.

Knowing about tramadol’s half-life can help determine its duration. A half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of a substance to leave the body. For most healthy people who use the prescribed amount of the drug, the tramadol half-life is seven hours, which means the drug stays in the system for about fourteen hours.

How Long Does Tramadol Stay in Your Urine?

To answer the question, “How long does tramadol stay in the system?” it might be useful to explore another question, “How long is tramadol detectable in urine?”

Testing a person’s urine can determine if someone has used tramadol (or other drugs). Known as urinalysis, this screening tool can help determine if people have used substances and their duration of use.

Urinalysis detects the presence of the drug, so tramadol can show up in a drug test. Different tramadol drug tests can detect the presence of tramadol for different lengths of time:

  • Urine: Tests can detect tramadol in urine for one to three days (24 to 72 hours) after a person uses it.
  • Blood: Tests can detect tramadol in the blood for up to two days (48 hours) after a person uses it.
  • Saliva: Tests can detect tramadol in saliva for up to two days (48 hours) after a person uses it.
  • Hair: Tests can detect tramadol in the hair for one to three months (30 to 90 days) after a person uses it.

Tramadol drug test detection time thus depends on the method of screening.

What Happens If Someone Tests Positive for Tramadol?

Does tramadol show up in a drug test? Yes. But if that happens, people have options.

Testing positive for tramadol may indicate that people might be misusing the drug. They might also be experiencing problems with tramadol if they’ve been:

  • Taking larger doses than prescribed.
  • Using it longer than recommended.
  • Obtaining and using tramadol without a doctors’ prescriptions or supervision.

People doing any of these things might be struggling with tramadol abuse or addiction and should consider seeking addiction treatment and other types of assistance.

Sources

  1. samhsa.gov – Emergency Department Visits for Drug Misuse or Abuse Involving the Pain Medication Tramadol
  2. mayocliniclabs.com – Test ID: TRAM (Tramadol and Metabolite, Random, Urine) – Does Kratom Show Up on a Drug Test?

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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