IRFANA PARVEEN
By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

13 May 2022
Medically reviewed by
Freny Menezes
Pharm. D
how-long-does-xanax-stay-in-your-system
Table of Contents

In the 1970s, Xanax, a benzodiazepine drug, was first approved for panic disorder. Over the years, it has been recognized as an effective remedy for Anxiety, depression, nausea caused by chemotherapy, and other health problems.

Xanax is a Schedule IV controlled drug, which means it has less potential for abuse. In 2012, 2017, and 2019 people were hospitalized at treatment facilities across the nation, citing benzodiazepines like Xanax as their primary drug of Abuse.

Regular use of benzodiazepines for 6 weeks or more results in dependency for four in every 10 users. Continue reading more about Xanax in the blog below.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is the brand name of Alprazolam. Xanax belongs to a drug class called "Benzodiazepines." Xanax works by enhancing the effects of a particular natural chemical(GABA) in the body which slows the nerve's impulses throughout the body, causing sedation and anti-anxiety effects like calmness and relaxation.

Xanax is not available over the counter Prescription is required to buy Alprazolam online, So make sure You always consult your health care provider before consuming this medication.

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Xanax is used to treat the following conditions-

  • Anxiety
  • Panic disorder
  • Repeated episodes of Anxiety (generalized Anxiety disorder)
  • Anxiety associated with depression

Keep reading further to know how long Xanax stays in the system with the help of several factors. 

How Long Does Xanax Last?

The effect of Xanax lasts for around 8 hours, and the medication is generally dosed three times daily. Xanax extended-release tablets can last 24 hours (1 day) and are dosed once daily.

How Long Does Xanax Stay In Your System?

The half-life is the amount taken to eliminate half of the drug from your System. The short life of Xanax is 6.3 hours, and the average half-life is 11.2 hours. Xanax stays in the system for 1 to 4 days after taking it for the first time, depending on several factors.

Most people feel that the Xanax effect doesn't kick in until 2 hours after taking it. However, the impact of Xanax can last up to 4-8 hours. 

Factors That Can Influence How Long Xanax Stays In Your System

Age-Your age can play a factor in the half-life of Xanax. The average half-life is 11 hours in young and healthy adults. Older people tend to metabolize Xanax slowly as compared to young people. The average half-life is 16 hours in senior adults.

Weight-When you're overweight or heavier(high body fat), it's more difficult for you to break down Xanax for your body, which will enlarge the drug's half-life.

Dosage- The higher the dose you take, the longer its half-life tends to be; for instance, if you took 20mg of Xanax versus 5 mg, the first would remain in your system slightly longer than the second. It takes longer for your System to metabolize higher dosages of Xanax. If the dose of Xanax is more significant, it results in a longer half-life.

Metabolism-The people who are physically active or with higher metabolism activity tend to be able to excrete Xanax faster. Hydration, age, and other health conditions may also affect a person's metabolic rate.

Use of other drugs- Xanax has a high potential for drug interactions, and some interactions may increase how long it stays in the System. Drugs that have been shown to increase the time Xanax stays in your system include ritonavir, cimetidine, and certain antidepressants.

The half-life of Xanax ranges from 6.3 to 26.9 hrs. It takes several half-lives to eliminate a drug within two to four days.
The consistent Abuse of Xanax can cause weight loss and weight gain, depending on the individual.
Daily use of benzodiazepines for six weeks or more will result in dependency for four in every ten users.

We Can Take The Help Of A Drug Test To State How Much Time Xanax Stays In System

Several drug tests can detect Xanax. The drug test detects metabolites(products produced during metabolism). Metabolites are primarily excreted in the urine; some are found in your blood, saliva, and hair follicle.

  • Urine tests are most commonly used as a popular drug test type because they are cost-effective and highly accurate.
  • The metabolite of Xanax is detected in a healthy person's urine for up to 5 days, and it may extend to 7 days if you consume a heavy dose. The time taken may be longer for elderly obese people and those with alcoholic liver disease.
  • Blood tests for benzodiazepine are uncommon and are usually used in medical terms for an emergency. Blood tests have a very short detection(identification) window. A single dose of Xanax can stay in your blood for 5 days. The blood test can only detect if you have taken Xanax in the last 24 hours.
  • Hair tests are usually reserved for the long term. Xanax takes 1 to 7 days to appear in hair after a dose and stays in your hair for up to 3 months(90 days) after your last dose. A laboratory may test positive results for up to 12 months after taking Xanax because body hair doesn't usually increase.
  • Saliva tests have the shortest detection window. Xanax does not stay in saliva for an extended period and disappears in 2.5 days or less. Xanax can be detected in saliva for up to 2.5 days after taking your last dose.

Effects Of Consuming Xanax?

Xanax may show some side effects on your body, depending on dosage and treatment length. The common side effects are temporary and often go away once your body adapts to the mechanism of the drug. Serious side effects are not common; if the symptoms are bothersome and worsen over time, you may need immediate medical help. 

Common Side Effects Severe Side Effects
Drowsiness or unsteadiness Difficulty breathing or trouble breathing
Dizziness or light-headedness Hallucination
Weakness Problems with memory, speech or co-ordination
Dry mouth Seizures
Fatigue Suicidal thoughts

How Long Does Xanax Take To Work?

Xanax is available in tablets, extended-release tablets, and oral solutions. The strength may vary from each other. The drug's peak is when the drug's level is highest in the patient's body.

When you take Xanax, your body starts absorbing it quickly while reaching a peak level in your bloodstream within 1-2 hours, and you will feel less anxious.

Long-acting Xanax extended-release tablets take much longer to reach a peak in your bloodstream, around 10 hours, as it lasts longer in your system.

Xanax Lasts Longer In Such Conditions

The alcoholic liver disease- The liver is essential in breaking down Xanax. Thus, a person whose liver doesn't work well will take longer to break it down. The average half-life of Xanax for alcoholic liver disease is 19.7 hours.

Older people- Xanax lasts longer in older adults because usually, it takes longer to break down Xanax. The average half-life of Xanax in older people is 16.3 hours.

Obesity- Xanax lasts longer in heavier people because obesity makes it hard to break down Xanax. The average half-life of Xanax in obsessed people is 21.8hours.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Xanax is used to treat Anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Xanax is a benzodiazepine that works on GABA neurotransmitters and gives a calming and sedating effect. Xanax reaches its peak concentration level and starts working within 1 to 2 hours. The development of Xanax lasts for around 8 hours, and the average half-life of Xanax is 11.2 hours. Xanax will be eliminated from the body within two to four days.

We can perform several drug tests to detect the presence of Xanax in the body. Several factors, like age, weight, dosage, etc., can be a helping hand in defining the period of Xanax in our body.

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