Tramadol is a drug exclusively used to treat varying degrees of pain. Doctors prescribe it to treat lingering pains. Psychoactive drugs like Tramadol only maintain their effectiveness as long as their components still exist in the user’s body. Being able to know the length of time the drug stays in the body will help us time and measure the proper amount of drug that we should take.

Another reason it is important to know how long Tramadol stays in the body is that most blood tests can detect the presence of Tramadol molecules in the user’s blood stream. Having remnants of the drug on our body can cause blood examination to yield faulty results.

Estimated Time The Body Excretes Tramadol

For us to fully comprehend how long the drug can stay in our body, we need to first discuss the idea of elimination half-life. The University of Lausanne of Switzerland defines elimination half-life as the “Time it takes for the plasma concentration or the amount of drug in the body to be reduced by 50%.” (1)

The United States Institute of Health places Tramadol’s elimination half-life at around six to seven hours. This means that the amount and effectiveness of the drug to reduce pain drops to half in around six to seven minutes. (2)

By further applying the concept of elimination half-life, it can be determined that detectable traces of Tramadol can linger inside the body for as long as a day and a half. The longest lasting component of Tramadol is its primary metabolite “O-desmethyltramadol”.

This component can stay inside the body for another 7.4 hours after our body has metabolized the other components. Hence, Tramadol can fully exit our body 1.7 days from ingestion. Researchers based these data under controlled environments. The true time at which the drug can stay inside the body can vary according to different variables.

Variables That Affect How Long Tramadol Stays In The Body

Personal Factors

The length of time drugs such as Tramadol stay in our body varies depending on our overall health and physique. Older people whose metabolism has significantly decreased can have higher Tramadol elimination half-life than their younger counterparts.

Our body mass has a two-fold effect on the drug’s persistence. People with higher body mass can eliminate the drug faster from their body, however, they larger people who have had Tramadol addiction have a longer detoxification period since the drug molecules bind to fat stores making accumulation easier.

Many more individual factors can significantly affect the timing of the drug such as genetics, nutrient intake, the status of the kidney and liver, urinary ph, and personal metabolic rates. (3)


Common sense dictates that the quantity of drug a person takes will significantly affect the length of time that drug would stay in the person’s body. A study has shown that people who have overdosed with Tramadol have drug elimination half-life increased to 9.24 hours.

Presence of Other Drugs

People who consume other drugs at the same time as Tramadol can either have a longer or a shorter half-life. This is because some substances can alter the metabolism of the metabolite “O-desmethyltramadol”. One must be cautious when drinking Tramadol alongside other drugs. Doing so could result in unforeseen and dangerous side effects.

Kind of Tramadol Taken

There are two types of Tramadol available in the market, IRs or immediate release Tramadols are excreted faster by the body compared to ERs or Extended release Tramadols.

Detectability Of Tramadol With Drug Tests

Data show that standard drug tests cannot completely detect the drug, however, more complicated and advanced screening methods can definitely detect its presence in the blood stream. Tests to detect Tramadol can either be hair tests, urine tests, saliva tests – or in some cases, blood tests. (4)

The knowledge of the length of time Tramadol stays in our body is very important in situations that we need to have our body chemistry tested. Various factors can determine how long the drug can truly stay inside someone’s body, thus, it is always best to consult your doctor to know more about the topic.


HALF-LIFE. (n.d.). Retrieved July 25, 2017, from University of Lausanne:

How Long Does Tramadol Stay In Your System? (n.d.). Retrieved July 25, 2017, from Mental Health Daily:

TRAMADOL HYDROCHLORIDE. (n.d.). Retrieved July 25, 2017, from National Institute of Health: