Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How Lengthy Do Rx Drugs Remain In Your Body

Prescription Drug Use

Prescription drugs are prescribed by your doctor for a variety of illnesses or conditions. Some prescription drugs will stay in your system longer than others, and depending on the type of drug you have been prescribed, it may show up as a narcotic on a drug test. Many opiates are prescribed for pain relief, and these drugs tend to stay in your system much longer than other prescription drugs. However, many drugs will only stay in your body for three to five days. Steroid drugs, such as prednisone for asthma attacks or other allergic reactions, can stay in your system for up to seven to 10 days.

You should always take the prescription drugs as instructed by your doctor. Taking too much or too little of any drug can change the effects the drug has on your system, and may have side effects.

How Long Do Prescription Drugs Stay In Your Body?

Most prescription drugs will only stay in your system for 12 to 24 hours. However, some pain relief drugs that contain opiates, such as Percocet or Vicodin, will stay in your system longer and will show up on tests for illicit drugs. These types of drugs typically stay in your system for three to five days, depending on the amount of the drug you took and for how long you were taking it.

All medications have a half-life as well. A half-life is determined by how long it takes for a drug to be eliminated from the blood stream by one half its strength. Factors that determine this are: how long you have taken the drug, how much of a drug you have taken (the dosage) and how long it takes that particular drug to move through your body.

Some prescription drugs have longer half-lives than others, and most drugs are eliminated from the body within 5 to 6 half lives. If a drug has a half-life of two hours (meaning that it will take 2 hours for half of its strength to be lost), it will typically take 10 to 12 hours for it to be cleared from your body. Your physician should be able to tell you how long a prescription drug will stay in your system, but you can also see the Resources for a link to search for various drug half-lives.

Another factor that may influence how long the prescription drug stays in your system is how it was administered. If it was swallowed, typically it will leave your system in eight to 24 hours for one dose, depending on the type of drug. If the prescription was administered topically, it will typically leave in less than 12 hours for one dose. If the prescription for one dose was administered by IV, the drug will typically stay in your blood stream much longer--sometimes for up to a week, again depending on the type of drug and how many times it was administered.

Effects of Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs, like all drugs, should be administered with caution. Taking too much of a prescription drug can alter the effectiveness of the drug, and also make the drug stay in your system much longer. The amount of time any drug will stay in your system varies based on a variety of conditions, but if you are concerned about taking a drug test for work or school or other reason, you should be sure to show that you have a doctor's prescription for any drug you are taking.

Taking any prescription drug can have side effects. For instance, taking some pain medications may alter your ability to drive or operate machinery. In addition, sleeping pills should only be taken when you know you can get a full night's rest.

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