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Took lortab before drug test. Chances of failing the test?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1986
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Yes, I have lortab left from a kidney stone from last September (2012). If I took one on Saturday at 10pm and had a drug test on Tuesday at 9:40am will I fail the drug test? It was one 1 lortab, I did not take anymore, so therefore, I only had 1 in my system. It is not like I have been taken them everyday, just that one. I ran 10 miles the next day, work out everyday at the gym, and drink nothing but water. I have been trying to see if it was still in my system when the drug test was done. I called my pharmacy and they said yes, but I also have looked on the internet and I have found different answers. Some answers have been no, so I am not real sure.
Posted Mon, 20 May 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Nirmala P 2 hours later
Thanks for asking in Healthcare Magic.

Lortab is Hydrocodone. It is an opioid analgesic. It gets converted to many metabolites (break down products) like Hydro morphone and Nor codeine. Both Hydrocodone and its metabolites are effective therapeutically and also can be detected in urine in drug test. Since the metabolites are also opioid substances they cross react and give drug positive results in urine test.

Although the duration of action of Hydrocodone is only 4 to 8 hours and 70% of Hydrocodone is excreted in the first 24 hours, as its elimination half life (the time taken for 50% elimination/ excretion of a drug) is 3.3 to 4.4 hours, it can still be detected along with its metabolites in the urine up to 72 hours. Since you have taken the drug only on saturday 10 pm and your drug test is scheduled to be on tuesday 9.40 am, there is a chance for the test to be positive as 72 hours has not elapsed.

Metabolism is influenced by many factors like genetic factors, race, liver and kidney disease. 7% of caucasians are poor metabolisers. If your liver metabolises the drug poorly (poor metaboliser), then the metabolites of hydrocodone would not form in which case the urine test would be negative.

What you are doing is right. Drinking lot of water will flush out the drug. Vitamin B supplements are supposed to help but it is not proven. We shall hope XXXXXXX that your system flushes out the drug before the drug test.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask for further clarifications, if any. I would be glad to help.
Good Luck.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Took lortab before drug test. Chances of failing the test? 1 hour later
Dr. XXXXXXX Thank you for your answer. I am curious though if 70% of the Hydrocodone was out of my body by Sunday night, then how much would be out by Monday night? When the drug test was done on Tuesday at 9:40 am, it had been about 60 hours since I took it and I only had taken 1 lortab all weekend. I have not taken any in a long time, since my Kidney stones. I drink nothing but water everyday and ran on Sunday and worked out Sunday and Monday and I sweated alot. So, I am wondering if it shows up, do you think it would be a small amount or maybe by chance all the exercise I did and drinking water and sweating, that I might have flushed it all out by the time I had to take the test? I know if it shows up positive, they will do another test to see how much of it is in my system. So, I was just wondering if I might have flushed it all out, or if it might be a very small amount to show up.
Thank You for your help
Answered by Dr. Nirmala P 2 hours later
Welcome back to Health care Magic Forum.

Half life of a drug means the time taken for 50% of the drug to get excreted. And roughly 90% of the drug gets excreted in 4 half lives. But there is also a terminal half life pattern where every drug is excreted a little bit slowly after undergoing a rapid excretion. That prolongs the presence of a drug in the body.

Also, in a clinical urine drug test, even the metabolites level are taken in to account. Every individual will metabolize a drug at different time limits (although those time intervals are minimal between each person). The level of Hydrocodone may be less but its metabolites would still be present.

Since there are no absolute rules about the time limit, we cannot be absolutely sure about an individual's capacity for metabolism and excretion. Some of the metabolites can even be present in body tissues and released slowly.

Definitely your work outs and intake of plenty of water would have helped in flushing out the drug from your system to a greater extent and there is a huge chance that you might have flushed it out although I have no means of giving you an accurate answer as it is impossible to predict. So don't be anxious XXXXXXX

I wish that the drug and its metabolites had been completely flushed out by the time the test was taken. Even if it is still present, I feel it would be only in trace amounts.

Hope I have given a satisfactory reply to your query.
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