Tramadol Detection Timelines [INFOGRAPHIC]

Exact information about how long does tramadol show up on drug tests. View this infographic to be more prepared on your next drug test.

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ARTICLE OVERVIEW: This graphic presents the detection windows for tramadol in your saliva, urine, blood, and hair. Plus, we explain which factors can influence how long the drug stays in your system, and why you may get drug tested in the first place.


Tramadol Detection Timelines [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Drug Basics

Drug Name: Tramadol (Ultram)
Drug Class: Analgesic / Opiate
Street Names: Ultras, Chill pills, OxyContin Lite

Tramadol (brand name ‘Ultram’) is an opioid medication used to treat severe to moderate pain, but it is also used in treating obsessive compulsive disorders, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. It is considered drug with a low addiction potential. However, there is growing evidence that people can become dependent to tramadol. In fact, tramadol is scheduled as controlled substance IV under the Controlled Substance Act by DEA.

Moreover, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported that in 2012, from 26 to 36 million people had problems with painkillers across the world. In 2016,  the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) found that 2 million Americans were currently dealing with painkiller addiction including tramadol and its products. Additionally, the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported  that 1.5 million people misused tramadol in the past year.

So, if you’re facing a tramadol drug problem…you are not alone!

Why Drug Testing?

Why do people get tested for tramadol use in the first place?

If you have been using tramadol under doctor’s orders, you may be subject to a therapeutic drug screen. Also, some individuals get tested because they need clearence before employment, while others may be court ordered for legal reasons.

Detection Periods

Tramadol does not show up on most standard drug tests, but it will show up on toxicology screening as a specific opioid prescription. This test is known as “extended” drug panel test.

How long does tramadol stay in your system? The length of time tramadol stays in your system mostly depends on a few factors. We list those in the next section. But the length of time it takes to be detected will depend upon what type of drug test is used. Different drug test have different detection windows. The tramadol drug test detection windows are as follows:

Urine: You can expect tramadol to show up on urinalysis for about 40 hours after the last time you use it.
Hair: Hair tests detect drug presence for quite a long period of time and require only 1.5 inch of hair sample to determine drug presence. These types of tests show tramadol presence up to 90 days after the last intake.
Saliva: Tramadol can be detected in saliva tests detect up to 24 hours after the last use.
Blood: The tramadol detection period for a blood test is around 1 day, or 24 hours after last use.

NOTE HERE: Drug detection times in urine, blood, and saliva are an average and can vary greatly by individual. The information in this infographic should be used as a general guideline only.

Influence Factors

Each of us metabolize tramadol differently. So, the total amount of time tramadol stays in your body depends upon the following factors that are individual and unique to you:

1. Frequency and dosage. How much tramadol you took, and how frequently you use it have very significant role in the detection rates. Single time use, or small portion doses may not have the same detection window as long-term use.

2. The levels of your physical activity. Usually, people who are not physically active have a high percentage of body fat. These tramadol users have a longer detection window due to the increased amount of excess metabolites stored in the fat cells.

3. Metabolic rate speed. A slow body metabolism is prone to a longer detection period, and tramadol may leave the system slowly compared to standard cases. Metabolims is highly individual.

4. Urine pH. Urine pH has a great impact on the drug detection window. A highly acidic urine results in a shorter detection time.

5. Your age. As a general rule, the metabolism functions decrease and become less effective with age. This means that a younger body will eliminate tramadol faster than an older one.

6. Body mass index.  Metabolism slows down with increased body mass. This results in a longer detection period when you have a higher body mass index.

7. Overall health condition. The decrease in efficiency of metabolic processes results in deterioration of your health. Furthermore, poor h might contribute to longer detection time.

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Your Questions

Did we answer the basic questions on tramadol drug testing? For more information, download our FREE e-book The Definitive Guide To Drug Testing.

And, if you still have questions about tramadol detection period, feel free to post them in the comments section below. We try to to answer all legitimate inquiries personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: NCBI: Laboratory Testing for Prescription Opioids
NCBI: Opioid Metabolism
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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