Tramadol Drug Test: Does Tramadol Show Up On The Drug Test?

Tramadol Drug Test: Does Tramadol Show Up On The Drug Test?


Yes, Tramadol is detectable through special screening tests for prescription pain medications but cannot be detected on a standard drug testing panel.

You can detect Tramadol in urine for 1 to 4 days, blood for about 12 to 24 hours, saliva for up to 48 hours, and hair for 4 to 6 months after last use.

Tramadol is generally prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. It is considered to be a safe and effective medication when used as directed.

US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified Tramadol as a schedule IV drug, implying it to be a low potential drug for abuse and addiction.

Unfortunately, the pill's physiological effect is numbing, which makes it vulnerable and harmful. Misuse or recreational use may increase the risk of addiction/dependence.

Tramadol has a long list of severe and potentially fatal side effects. It is significant to discuss the side effects with your prescribing physician before starting the medication.

Tramadol is available in two forms – Immediate-Release and Extended-Release capsules and tablets.

Table of Contents:

How Long Does Tramadol Remain In Your System?

Tramadol might stay in your saliva, urine, blood, and hair for different time durations. It may be detected in the hair strands for 4 to 6 months, saliva for up to 48 hours, blood for 12 to 24 hours, and urine for 1 to 4 days after last use.

The liver breaks down the Tramadol generating at least 20 to 25 metabolites during the enzymatic process, and the elimination process occurs. The metabolites are mostly flushed out through the kidneys.

It would take just about two to three hours for the Tramadol to reach its peak after taking it. The drug's half-life is approximately 6.3 hours for a single dose and around 7 hours for multiple doses. Hence, it takes about a day and a half (around 35 hours or five half-lives) for the drug to be eliminated out of the body.

The time duration taken for the Tramadol to be eliminated from the body may vary depending on numerous factors such as age, sex, metabolism, organ function, use of other drugs, medical illnesses, medication dosage, etc.

The kidneys' primary function is to flush out toxins. Abnormal kidney function or kidney disease may also cause severe excretion delays. Furthermore, taking the drug with food reduces its elimination time, and taking it with fluids hastens the body's elimination through urine.

What Type Of Drug Tests Are Used To Detect Tramadol?

Tramadol does not show up on typical drug testing panels. Specific advanced testing methods (tramadol drug test) are employed to screen for prescription pain drugs such as Tramadol. 

Advanced testing methods to screen for Tramadol are:

  • Urine Test:  Urinalysis for Tramadol drug screen necessitates the collection of fresh urine. The specimen will be screened for Tramadol and its metabolites. You should note that an individual who has been taking larger doses of Tramadol for an extended period will have Tramadol detected in the urine twice more than usual.
  • Hair Follicle Test: Hair testing is very accurate in detecting Tramadol and its metabolites. The hair follicles collected for testing must be at least 3 cm long. It is easier to detect the existence of Tramadol if the hair is thicker than usual. The threshold level varies between 0.22 and 1.18 ng/mg. Tramadol drug test through hair screening is the best possible way to detect the metabolites accurately.
  • Saliva Test:  Tramadol may be detected in the saliva for 24 hours following consumption. It will help in determining the existence of tramadol metabolites or Tramadol itself. The saliva test is beneficial in detecting Tramadol within one hour of ingestion.
  • Blood Test:  Tramadol binds to the blood. Since blood absorbs tramadol metabolites faster than other bodily fluids, blood tests are instrumental in detecting Tramadol. Tramadol may be detected in the blood for about 35 hours. The blood test isn't frequently administered since it is invasive and has a short detection window.

Tramadol and its metabolites may trigger a false-positive for drugs such as PCP and BUP. If you are taking a tramadol prescription, it would be wise to inform your testing facility beforehand. However, it comes as a relief that there aren't many substances that may trigger a false positive for Tramadol.

How To Pass A Tramadol Drug Test?

One of the best ways to get Tramadol eliminated from your system is to stop consuming the drug. Each Tramadol drug screen does have its weaknesses that you may avoid and exploit. A Tramadol Drug Test is administered in many ways. Even if you have stopped using Tramadol entirely, it may stay in your system for a while, and you could use different methods to get rid of it quickly. If you want to pass the tramadol drug screen, you should stop taking Tramadol before the test. You may try the detoxification process to taper off Tramadol safely and quickly if possible.

Points to remember to beat the drug test:

  • Total duration and the amount of drug consumed do matter. Drugs taken only once or in small quantities are not as observable as those taken regularly or over a longer period.
  • Metabolism, hydration, and body fat play a role in the excretion of the drug. Slower metabolism, inadequate hydration, and excess body fat may slow down the elimination process making the drug linger longer in the body, resulting in a longer detection period.
  • The rate of metabolism is affected by an individual's health. The metabolism slows down during times of poor health, resulting in a longer detection time. Finally, once a drug's tolerance has been established, it gets metabolized faster, resulting in a shorter detection period.

Final Words

Tramadol is a centrally-acting synthetic opioid used to relieve pain. A medical professional generally prescribes it for moderate to severe pain. Tramadol is safe and effective if taken as directed. If misused, it may increase the risk of addiction and abuse.

It would help if you discussed the side effects of Tramadol with your prescribing physician before starting it. If misused, you must properly taper it off under the guidance of a physician to avoid any untoward side effects or withdrawal symptoms.

If you are expected to take a drug test, you must inform the tester before the drug test since Tramadol may show up as an OPI, leading to unwanted consequences.

Hence, take and stop Tramadol as directed by your physician. Don't ever misuse prescription medications since they could be risky and lead to overdose. There are rehabilitation programs available for severe addicts and abusers.


1. Will Tramadol show up on a Urine Test?

Yes. But a standard 5-panel urine drug test will not show Tramadol or any other prescription drugs. Specific drug testing panels which identify prescription drugs may show up tramadol if they are present above the cut-off levels. 

A 12-panel drug test may help detect tramadol, fentanyl, and other prescription drugs if taken above cut-off levels. But it will not find out the exact amount of drugs taken. Only a confirmation test in the lab will help detect the exact amount of drugs taken.

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