Monday March 30th 2015

How long does Valium last?

How long does Valium last?

The physiological effects of Valium (diazepam) don’t last long, only about 4-6 hours. However, Valium’s long half life keeps Valium in your system for days after you take it. More here on the duration of action for Valium, effects of getting high off Valium with a section for your questions about diazepam at the end.

Valium effects on the body and brain

Valium is used to treat anxiety and muscle spasms. The main active ingredient in Valium – diazepam – is a benzodiazepine receptor agonist that affects brain systems to produce a drowsy or calming effect, sometimes to the point of inducing sleep. As a central nervous system depressant, the effects of Valium on the body can include:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • lightheadedness
  • unsteady balance

How much Valium is safe for your brain and body? Valium is prescribed in daily doses of 4 to 40 mg taken throughout the day.  Diazepam has a reputation for being incredibly safe.  While its difficult to overdose on Valium alone, dangers of mixing  alcohol with Valium include shallow breathing, unconsciousness, memory problems and impaired coordination.  Plus, when diazepam is taken to try to achieve a euphoric high or for long periods of time, Valium can become addictive.

Valium duration of action

The half-life of Valium is 20 hours, sometimes longer. It reaches peak levels in the blood just 1-1.5 hours after being taken. Despite taking several days to leave the body, the effects wear off within 4-6 hours, so it does need to be taken throughout the day.

Valium time in the body

How long does diazepam stay in your system? Valium (diazepam) can stay in the body for weeks and can be detected for at least 3 weeks in urine. In some users, Valium may take 6 weeks to completely clear from the body.

How long do Valium effects last

The effects of Valium don’t last long. Typically Valium effects will only last about 4-6 hours.

How long does a Valium high last

A Valium high will probably only last about 4 hours, maybe a little longer depending on the dosage of the medication. Some users report that the high lasts longer, with some noticeable effects a day or two later, but this doesn’t seem to be common.

Valium high effects

Valium’s therapeutic effects for anxiety disorders can also have the side effect of causing a high. In fact, some people take Valium for its central nervous system effects, because diazepam slows down brain activity resulting in a drowsy or calming effect. In self-reported examples, people have reported some of these effects when taking Valium to get high:

  1. drowsiness
  2. euphoria
  3. relaxation

However, Valium is addictive, so abusing it to get high does carry risks. A Valium addiction can result in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, uncontrollable cravings for the drug, and compulsive use of the drug despite negative consequences.

How long Valium lasts questions

Do you still have a question about the effects of Valium or its duration of action? Please leave your questions, comments or feedback below. We are happy to try to answer your questions personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: ToxNet: Diazepam
Medline Plus: Diazepam
PubMed Health: Diazepam

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39 Responses to “How long does Valium last?
GWENDA darcy
1:47 pm January 9th, 2013

Hi I hurt my back in oct last year and was given gaberpentine 300 mg 3x per day diazepam 5mg 3 x day oramorph 10 ml 4 x day. Codeine phosph when required and 8 paracetamol and morphine pills. I was on this lot for 6 weeks then suddenly pain went and I just stopped all meds other than paracetamol. I was very unwell for two weeks with gastric flu also I could not get out of bed, I was having very bad thoughts nightmares talking to myself, horrible stomach pains, very very light headed and stretching nausea, hot and cold, pains all over. And totally upset all my stomac acid, pains in liver and kidney, and very sore breast…doc has in the last two weeks put me back on diazepam. 5 mg 2x day for three days then 2.5 for three days, then 1.25 for three days three days ago I stopped completely now feel awful again, very sore breasts and tight chested, bad liver and kidney pains, taking gaviscon in warm water for acid as seem to tolerate it better that way…..very lightheaded confused anxious and crying on spur of moment. I wanted to share this with you all to firstly let you know theses are my symptons I always think its reassuring. To know someone else has same problem and also to ask you all if you have suffered the same, I am due aster by all of this and can’t believe how it has destroyed my head and physical state, lost lots of weight so tired….I am 59 year old lady x

1:32 pm January 10th, 2013

Hi Gwenda. Thanks for your message. I am certain many people can relate to your experience, and feel very disoriented and frustrated after stopping benzodiazepines. It does sound like you are in good medical hands, given the short period your doctor prescribed Valium rather than a long, never-ending prescription. I’d suggest that you seek support from your current doctor and learn about patient support groups or local resources for talk therapy. It can help to talk with someone about what you’re experiencing in your body and to find ways to cope. Make the first steps to seek help for Valium problems and you’ll be surprised by the results.

8:58 pm January 10th, 2013

Hi thank you have been to doctor today as woke feeling worse than ever I seem to wake at 4 in morning wide awake with just sheer terror about anything I have a worry about. Everything totally exaggerated, and all the aches and pains one has at my age previous the the prescribed course of diazepam have come back only again worse than before and persistent ringing in my ears/head… my doctor has prescribed a anti depressant and says the withdrawal effects of diazepam would not last this long ….i felt very silly. She can see how ill I look everyone else can….I am very sensitive to any tablet any way so this lot has truely screwed me up and right now I don’t feel as if I am ever going to normal again….can’t think, keep forgetting things wondering around like I am lost and vacant and the pains are like flu……cannot believe a pill can do this I am trying to work out how long it will last… it 20 hours per tablet it stays in your system. If it is I have months of this to come at my reckoning I hope not as its making me think life is to worth living x

10:59 pm February 26th, 2013

My wife has felt overly sleepy for 4 days after taking 2 valium for an MRI. Is this normal?

1:27 pm February 27th, 2013

Hi Fred. This is a question for a physician or pharmacist. Fatigue or drowsiness can be caused by a number of issues, including low blood pressure. Your wife may need to visit a doctor to learn more.

4:42 am April 3rd, 2013

I’ve been getting a positive for valium for (at least) 3 months. How is that possible? I did not take it every day. I’m 5’3″ and 180lbs. I’m a type 1 diabetic and on several immune suppressors (remicade, methotrexate) and pain mgmt is threating to cut me off because I keep showing up positive. Right now the only pain med I’m on is kadian 20 mg 2x daily. I was on fentanyl, dilaudid and morphine when I took the valium – ~40mg over a few days.



1:56 am April 9th, 2013

I took 2 valiums to sleep how long will they stay in my system

5:20 am April 9th, 2013

Hi Steve. In terms of effect, Valium is dose dependent. Therapeutic doses onset of effects occurs within 30 minutes and significant effects can last for 12-24 hours.

9:00 pm April 12th, 2013

I took about 25mg of Diazepam that was prescribed to wife for a cramp I was having. I didn’t think anything of it when I went to my physical. It turned out I failed the drug test. It was a one time deal, but they want to test me in the next few days so I can come back to work. Is 16 days long enough for Diazepam to get out of my system?

victor valdez
10:01 pm May 22nd, 2013

I would like some information concerning the accumulation of this medication given the half life. For example, a person taking a dose of 5mg four times per day…what is the actual dosage the body is operating on at the 24 hour mark?

6:04 pm June 12th, 2013

How about 5mg of valium, how long does it stay in your system?

2:34 pm December 21st, 2013

Hi there I took one and a half valium 3 weeks ago how long will this stay in your system?? I drink alot of water also work out alot so sweat like hell?? Thanks for your time

8:42 pm January 24th, 2014

Thanks for your excellent articles.
I have been on 15mg (5mg x 3) diazepam daily for about 4 years. My Psychiatrist prescribed it and sertraline 200mg (100mg x2 ) for GADs and major depressive disorder. Recently, both lifestyle and physiological changes (all positive) have occurred that prompted a reduction in my dosages to 10mg (5mg at 8:00am and 2:00pm) and 100mg (8:00am) respectively. Within two days of starting the new dosages I began waking up in the morning with moderately severe aching in my jaws (actually the pain was waking me up two hours earlier than normal). This has continued for the last three mornings with the same intensity. Generally, is this happening due to benzodiazepine withdrawal? I’ve never experienced any jaw pain or aching in my 57 years of life. If this is withdrawal related, how much longer should this occur? Is there any strategy in taking the diazepam at a different time of the day or taking smaller doses more times a day? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

11:20 am January 31st, 2014

Hello Gary. I’d suggest that you record the symptoms (time, date, duration, severity) and take this question to your prescribing doctor or pharmacist. Having a precise outline of what’s happening can really aid you in the diagnosis and treatment of this pain.

7:47 pm February 3rd, 2014

If I took 5 mg of Diazepam 13 hrs ago would it be safe to take a 4 mg Dilaudid.

12:45 pm February 4th, 2014

Hello John. This is a question for a medical professional like a physician or pharmacist. Central nervous system depressants like benzodiazepines and opioids should not be mixed, but you’ll need a medical consult to learn more about metabolic rate, risks, and dangers.

Pasquale Dimango
1:59 am June 5th, 2014

If I take 10 mg of Valium only at night is it safe to driver next day .

2:19 pm June 25th, 2014

I weigh 250lbs how long does a 10mill valium stay in my system? Does it cling to fatty tissue in my body? if I lose weight does the valium leave with the fatty tissue that I am losing or does it hang on to the rest of the fat?

brenda lametta
10:09 pm July 23rd, 2014

If I had an adverse reaction to Valium, now long can it linger for? Also can it trigger a neurological flare up?

7:50 pm August 11th, 2014

I never take benzo’s. Never take anything. But after changing jobs after 15 years because my kids wanted to live in hot California with my ex instead of with me, I took a 10mg valium from mexico that expired in 2008. My new job surprised me ten days later with a drug test immediately rather than the 2 week later start date. I am 210 lbs and 5’5; drink regularly; just started walking 4 times a week for 30-45 mins (about a month ago). I wonder if that valium was out of my system when I took the urine test

11:53 am August 12th, 2014

I have been taking 40mg of diazepam for about 18 months now and only started taking them for the “buzz”, but I now feel so low and very very depressed and even suicidal at times and was just wondering if anyone is in a similar situation and what they have done about it as whenever I try any kind of taper I just can’t do it becauuse I’m scared of the consequences of stoPping as I have read some horror stories of what some people have gone through while trying to give this horrible drug up, any help would be much appreciated.

3:31 pm August 12th, 2014

Hi Bazza. I believe these related articles contain valuable information that you’ll need before and during your Valium withdrawal:

Randy H.
3:59 pm August 25th, 2014

My question is on how long will 2-5 MGs of Vallium stay in your system and show up on a Drug Urine Screening? Here is my question…I have a “very old” prescription that was for 2 -5mgs of Vallium for an MRI….I never took the Valliums because I never had the MRI. This prescription was 14 years old. I took the 2- 5mg pill over a course of 3 days by cutting them in half & taking a half at a time. I had a serious panic attack after some bad news. I have never taken Vallium before nor have I taken it since. I was Urine screened exactly 21 days after taking these Valliums. I was also sick during this time with a bad stomach flu….so you could say I had a good cleans! Does any think these 2 Valliums would have shown up in my urine screening that was 22 days later?

Valuim or Diazepan
9:58 pm August 25th, 2014

I am going to take Valium to relax me while i have a root canel done. it will be 5 MG and I will take it around 9:30 AM because my appt is as 10;30 AM. Will the drug still be in my system the next day or will it be gone by the end of the first day. I need to go back to work the next day.

Thank you Diana Furr

11:48 am September 1st, 2014

Hi Diana. These drugs have a biphasic half-life of about one to three days. This means it may take about a week for it to get out of your system completely. But, the effects aren’t long-lasting and in about 4-6 hour you won’t be feelin any them. So, there shouldn’t be a reason why the Valium will interupt your working plans. But the root canal might! Ask your doctor if it’s best to rest for a day or two.

7:41 pm October 10th, 2014

I find this drug helpful but quite addictive

9:54 pm October 25th, 2014

I think my 1/4 of a 5 mg pill is causing some irritability. Is that one of the side effects?

3:38 pm October 27th, 2014

Hi Charlie. Yes, irritability is a side-effect of Valium. In fact, it’s in the group of most commonly reported side-effects from this medication.

4:05 am November 3rd, 2014

When you have been on valium a long period off time it’s down to 3 a day by the doctor, at the end is it stored in the liver. And if you miss 1 week of med no vilium is their side effects in that week

3:30 pm November 5th, 2014

I have to have bloodwork done. How long does valium stay in blood?

2:44 pm November 10th, 2014

I have to take a test on the 17 urine will valuim be out of my system by then im a hyper person i drink alot of fluilds

2:38 pm November 21st, 2014


3:21 pm November 24th, 2014

Hi Robert. You can taper down the usual doses you take; this will help minimize the withdrawal symptoms. But, most importantly, you need to make up your mind and truly wish to quit. Seek a support group in your area, it can bring significant benefits.

9:44 am January 5th, 2015

doc advised taking extra dose Valium 5 mg but it made me feel very weak and unsteady on my feet. Would have been unable to go out and have husband to look after I am 78 yrs old and having bad panic attacks andanxiety

10:05 am January 7th, 2015

hi i was trying to find out is there a reason after almost 6weeks after i took diazapam it would still be showing up in a urine test im on suboxone now and going to my groups im trying to do right but my doc said if i still have it in my urine when
i come in on the 8th of this month he will take me off the suboxone im 210 ponds dont have any health problems that i know of and i am not real active but mostly active im just wandering if there might be something wrong with me or if it can take longer then 6 weeks to get out of my urine last time i took diazapam was november 28th

2:43 pm January 10th, 2015

I had taken diazepam for last 17 years. 5 x 5mg per day. Last year I ceased usage after attending a Chronic Pain Clinic. It appears that I now have symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy in feet, low legs, hands/fingers, lips/tongue and scalp. Symptoms started while I was reducing the dose. I have had these super-sensitive and prickely pains since July 2014. They have got worse – not better. I only take Panadol Osteo. So it appears to me that my nerves are over active and are most likely responding in a way that has been generated by long term use. Do you know of any other cases similar to this? If so, what support groups are available? How long until this wears off? Thank you, Graham

2:41 pm January 15th, 2015

Hi Annie. You may need another dose adjustment, your mediation shouldn’t cause severe fatigue. Maybe your doctor will need to prescribe another medication for the treatment of your panic attacks and anxiety.

7:27 pm February 12th, 2015

I took around 25/35 d-10 yesterday and now I constantly look like on Hugh on week how long until I feel back to my normal self

9:11 pm March 9th, 2015

Hi my stupid for want of a better word partner said.he took 40 mg of valium 4 days ago his speech and spelling is.still atrocious is this normal or is.he still taking them. He does have a history of drug abuse. I don’t take drugs so.don’t understand the effacts of themost tia

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