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How long does Xanax last?

How long does Xanax last?

The effects of Xanax (alprazolam) don’t last long – about 4 hours. This is why Xanax is not always the drug of choice for treating chronic anxiety disorders. More here on Xanax’s duration of action, as well as effects on the body. We invite your questions about Xanax at the end.

Xanax effects on the body and brain

Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Xanax is a central nervous system depressant and works as a benzodiazepine. But how does Xanax work in the body and brain?

Benzodiazepines are thought to exert their effects by binding at stereospecific receptors at several sites within the central nervous system. Their exact mechanism of action is unknown. Clinically, all benzodiazepines cause a dose-related central nervous system depressant activity varying from mild impairment of task performance to hypnosis.

Xanax effects on the body can include:

  • dizziness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • irritability
  • joint pain
  • nausea
  • talkativeness

Xanax duration of action

The half-life of Xanax is a lengthy 11 hours. Xanax reaches peak levels in the blood within 2 hours. However, despite taking several days to leave the body, the effects of Xanax tend to wear off after about 4 hours, so it may need to be taken several times throughout the day.

Xanax time in the body

How long Xanax stays in the body is rather long, relative to other drugs.  For example, other drug metabolize and leave the blood within a few hours; Xanax leaves the blood after several days. Furthermore, Xanax is detectable in urine for at least a week after last dose. With chronic or heavy use, Xanax can still be detected a month and a half after the last dose taken.

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How long do Xanax effects last

The effects of Xanax don’t last long. Typically Xanax effects will only last about 4 hours. This is why it’s not always the drug of choice for treating chronic anxiety disorders.

How long does a Xanax high last

Self-reported accounts give the length of an Xanax high as about 4-5 hours. This is about the same length of time for its therapeutic effects.

Xanax high effects

Taking Xanax to get high can occur, but getting high on Xanax is rather rare.  People take Xanax to get high and report feeling calm and sleepy with less tension than before. However, these drowsy, relaxed feelings tend to go away as the body becomes drug-tolerant. In fact, when taken to try to achieve a euphoric high or for long periods of time, Xanax can become addictive.

How long Xanax lasts questions

Do you still have questions about how long Xanax lasts? Please leave your questions, comments and experiences below. We will do our best to respond to you ASAP, or to refer you to someone who can help.

Reference Sources: The Partnership for a Drug Free America: Getting High on Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs Is Dangerous
PubMed Health: Alprazolam
Drug Enforcement Administration: Benzodiazepines
elaws – Drug-Free Workplace Advisor

Photo credit: indrarado

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23 Responses to “How long does Xanax last?
5:25 am January 21st, 2014

I was hospitalized for pancreatitis for a week. I received only fluids for the first few days. This cleaned out my whole system. I have been taking .05 mg of Xanax 3 x daily for 6 years. I take it for panic/anxiety. Can it be possible that they wiped out a good amount of the drug in my system because now I am having panic and an elevated heart rate. I had to start taking another pill to try to curb the anxiety attacks that are coming on even though I am taking my meds at the same rate as before my hospitalization. I think that the ‘stored’ amount in my system has been wiped out? Have you ever heard of this? Thank you in advance for your time.

Cara Provost
4:31 pm November 21st, 2014

I have been diagnosed with PTSS for several years now, my husband literally put a gun to his head and i had to watch him blow the back of his head off so my doctor has always ranked me on a scale 1-10 im a definite 10+, i am currently perscribed 3 of the 1 mg xanax a day but considering that i have been taking that amount for so long as we all know our tolerance gets higher and higher, so i have recently been getting extras from a friend and now im a little worried because my doctor does check my levels to see how much xanax i have taken threwout the month, i have an appointment in about 12 days, what can i do to get my levels back down to where they are suppose to be?? I am currently trying to wean myself back down to my normal amount but im not sure if it will be down by the time i have to go back to see him, can anyone tell me how i can get my levels down or how long will it take for them to drop if i do start taking my normal dose, thanks in advance!!! Cara P.

12:59 am February 1st, 2015

My son has taken 22 mgs in three days how long will the high last and the urge for more?

12:22 pm February 2nd, 2015

Hi Donna. That’s a lot of Xanax and you should take your son to the doctor’s. On the long run, he can benefit from an addiction counsellor or sessions with a psychologist.

9:23 pm February 19th, 2015

Donna you’re a mom, and talking about your son being high on a drug witch withdrawals can kill you! GET YOUR SH*T TOGETHER FOR F*CKS SAKE AND HELP HIM!

1:17 pm April 1st, 2015

My Mother is taking .5 Xanax each night at 7:30 to sleep and she just recently had a stroke , the rehab wants her off of it because they believe it is impeding her progress she is 86 yrs. old. Do u think the Xanax is to much in her system

5:23 pm April 27th, 2015

Donna, he’ll be fine. I’ve Taken far more with out a tollerence. Although watch him a little closer for the signs of abuse. Lethargy, memory loss, ect. Nick is obviously a douche and doesn’t have children if his own or at least doesnt live in an urban area, because I find these extremely easy to find and they are cheap.

12:59 pm May 8th, 2015

Hi Terry. Doses of a medication work differently in different people. If you are doubting the decision of the doctors in the clinic, you can ask for a second opinion. If they are suggesting she stops taking the Xanax, I believe there is a genuine medical reason for it.

5:53 pm May 8th, 2015

I had to do a swab test but I haven’t took my xanax for few day well it show up

5:56 pm May 10th, 2015

What if you took a xanax pill but dont like the effect will a glass of milk stop the high or what can u do to stop the high

Captain Nemo
4:04 am May 13th, 2015

You might mention what the concentration of xanax is in the blood after 1 half-life; 2 half lives ,etc. A graph would be nice.

7:23 pm May 13th, 2015

I have been taken Xanax to sleep, 0.5 mg, but it does not work any more than 3-4 hours. Is it OK to take another 0.5 mg in the middle of the night? I don’t take it during the day, only at night.

1:09 pm May 14th, 2015

Hi Captain Nemo. I believe you can find the specific information you are interested in our article about How long does Xanax stay in your system – Xanax half-life

5:37 pm June 12th, 2015

In the article you stated “The effects of Xanax don’t last long – about 4 hours. This is why Xanax is not always the drug of choice for treating chronic anxiety disorders.”
What IS the drug of choice then? One that lasts longer than only 4 hours … Thanks!

6:07 am June 15th, 2015

My bf started taking xanax about 4 days ago he can’t really talk like slurred words and forgetful hes also off balance and tired I’m worried about him can anybody tell me if this is normal or should i take him to the er BTW they gave him this med because he has schizophrenia so to calm down nervousness

6:53 pm June 18th, 2015

Hi Toni. Xanax is a benzodiazepine drug, and besides benzodiazepine medications, doctors also prescribe antidepressants and beta-blockers in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Xanax is a short acting drug. If you are looking for more long-acting benzodiazepines the list includes, Librax (half-life 30-100h), Valium (half-life 20-100h), Tranxene T-Tab (half-life 20-100h), and others.

11:02 pm August 6th, 2015

Hi there, I am a very nervous flyer and I took .25mg of xanax bout two hours before the flight. Then of course not thinking i was working I got drunk on beer during the flight. After the 8 hour flight a lay over of two hoirs I took another .25mg and again on the plane had lots of beers until we landed.
Now 2 full days later I feel terrible, chest pains, insomina, stomach cramps etc.
Question is when will this pain stop ?
I m sure the alcohol and the xanax has left my system by now.
When will I return to normal ?
No chance of dying now as when I read some of the questions and replies it scares me.
Never Ever again will I mix the two.
Thanks J

5:44 pm August 29th, 2015

Thank you! This really helped.

5:55 pm August 29th, 2015

John, I was on 32 mgs of xan and i was drinking too . When ur on xanax and u brink alcohol it extremely enhances the effect s of the xanax.I need up crashing into a burger king and don’t remember any of it yet alone the rest of the week basically so my advice to u would be do either/or not both

Amanda g
12:49 pm September 22nd, 2015

I got diagnosed with post partum depression after I had my baby girl in march and I also developed my dr. Prescribed me .25mg but that doesn’t do anything. I have a high tolerance so she gve me 1mg but that doesn’t help me either. I still hve episodes in public places. Should I ask top up it? I wanna be able to enjoy going out in public wit my kids who are 10,9,6 and 6 months. What should I do? ?
Needing help…

1:56 am September 30th, 2015

very nervous giving a speech at my hall of fame induction before 400 people this thursday. Will and how will .25 Xanax help me or will I feel too high or drowsy during my speech. Is there any help for speech anxiety??? Ron

5:43 am October 19th, 2015

my son passed away very recently. His Xanax level was 0.03 mg/ml. This doesn’t look high and there was no alcohol in his system. Does it seem high to you.

5:40 pm November 9th, 2015

Hi Rox. I am very sorry for your loss! I believe these are the results of a toxicology report and I also think it would be better to ask the professionals at the laboratory whether this was the cause of death or something else.

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