Wednesday July 30th 2014

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.

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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One Response to “How long does Xanax last?
Jeanna
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.