Tracking How Long Dilaudid Stays in the Body (Blood, Urine, Hair)

Medically Reviewed

Dilaudid is normally detected in the blood for about 12 hours after use. It can be detected on a urine-based drug test for about a week. A hair follicle test will detect it up to 90 days after use.

Dilaudid Basics

Dilaudid (a brand name version of hydromorphone) is an acute pain medication. It’s an opioid, which is a derivative of morphine.

Used to treat moderate-to-severe pain conditions (and sometimes prescribed off-label for cough repression), Dilaudid is also widely used as an illicit drug, known on the street market as D, smack, and dillies.

Like all opioids, Dilaudid is highly addictive and very dangerous to mix with other substances. Users can quickly develop a tolerance to the drug and experience withdrawal symptoms when they abstain from it.

Whether an individual is a regular user of Dilaudid, has taken it as prescribed, or tried the drug recreationally, they may want to know exactly how long the drug will stay in their system and whether or not the Dilaudid will make them fail a drug test.

What’s the Half-Life of Dilaudid?

A medication’s half-life is defined by how long it takes for half of the dose to be metabolized — how long it takes for the medication to be half gone.

Medication with a shorter half-life may be more prone to abuse, as it may offer more intense effects that the user will feel diminishing more quickly. A drug with a short half-life will also likely result in stronger withdrawal symptoms.

The half-life of a drug will also depend on a number of factors that include the user’s age, body weight, liver health, metabolism, genetics, and specific health issues.

Generally, the half-life of Dilaudid when injected intravenously is 2.3 hours.

When taken orally, in pill or tablet form, Dilaudid’s half-life is about four hours.

When injected in an intramuscular manner, the half-life is about three hours. Taken rectally, the half-life of Dilaudid is about four to five hours.

How Long Does It Take To Detox From Dilaudid?

An individual will begin to feel the effects of Dilaudid about 15 minutes after injecting it in an intramuscular manner and about 30 minutes after taking it orally in pill or tablet form.

The effects of Dilaudid will begin to diminish within hours. The analgesic (painkilling) effect, for example, may last for over four hours.

Even after the effects of Dilaudid have passed, however, the drug may remain present in the body for several days (or about two to three days when injected intravenously).

Medical professionals advise first-time users of Dilaudid to avoid driving and operating any machinery for two days until they are more familiar with the effects of the drug on their system.

Excretion of Dilaudid is mainly through urine. It is important to note that urinating more (by drinking excessive water) will not speed up the detox process. In fact,  it may be dangerous to do so. Ultimately, the liver and kidneys must process the drug and detoxify it from the body.

If an individual has been prescribed Dilaudid and is undergoing a drug test, they should inform the test administrator about this use even If they have finished the prescription already. They should also inform the administrator about any medications they’ve taken. Some medications, like certain antidepressants, can result in false positives on drug tests.

Dilaudid will test positively as an opioid in field drug tests.

How Long Does Dilaudid Stay In Blood?

Generally, Dilaudid will remain in the blood for 12 hours or less.

How Long Does Dilaudid Stay In Urine?

Dilaudid stays in the urine for several days —usually from five to eight days. Some factors can affect this. For example, the presence of Dilaudid and other drugs may linger longer in alkaline urine as opposed to more acidic or pH-balanced urine. Many factors can cause someone to have more alkaline urine, including a bacterial infection or a diet rich in vegetables and fiber.

Individuals should be advised not to tamper with their urine’s pH level in an effort to pass a drug test. The administrators look at unusual urine pH levels as a warning sign of someone trying to “cheat” a drug test.

How Long Does Dilaudid Stay In Hair?

Hair follicle drug tests are the most accurate and have the longest range of drug detection. Everything from alcohol to heroin will remain evident in hair follicles for months.

Dilaudid is no exception. Like most other substances, it can be detected on a hair follicle drug test for up to 90 days following use.

A Positive Test Result

Dilaudid is a highly potent painkiller that will test positive as an opioid on drug tests. Although the body detoxifies the drug from the blood rather quickly — generally, within 12 hours or less — the substance will remain in the body for several days.

In order to avoid any problems, an individual who has been prescribed Dilaudid in the past should inform anyone administrating a drug test about this use.

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