Saturday August 30th 2014

How long does Xanax stay in your system?

Xanax doesn’t clear the body as quickly as many other drugs. In fact, Xanax can be detectable in urine for up to 6 weeks in heavy users. Plus, the main ingredient in Xanax (alprazolam) takes a fairly long time to absorb once it’s in the body, so even small doses can be detectable for over a week.

Here, we review Xanax detection methods and detection windows, not only for those who get high on Xanax but for prescription users as well. And we invite your questions about Xanax in the system at the end. If you leave us your questions or comments, we try to respond to all legitimate queries with a personal and prompt reply.

Main Xanax uses

Xanax narcotic drug is used in the treatment of mood disorders. Xanax decreases abnormal excitement in the brain to control panic attacks and anxiety. In situations where someone suffers panic attacks, Xanax is prescribed on an as needed basis.

How do you take Xanax?

Xanax is available in a few different forms, all taken orally. There is a tablet which is ingested, a tablet which dissolves in the mouth, and a liquid form which is swallowed. There’s also an extended-release tablet.

Peak levels and half life of Xanax

Xanax is absorbed quickly in the body and reaches its peak levels in the blood within one or two hours. These plasma blood levels vary depending on the dose taken, but range from 8-37 ng/mL. The half life of Xanax in healthy adults averages 11 hours. In elderly subjects the half life of Xanax is higher, about 16 hours. People with liver disease and who suffer from obesity will both take longer to metabolize the drug.

Xanax drug testing: How long does Xanax stay in the body?

Although Xanax is a short acting benzodiazepine, Xanax stays in the body for a relatively long time, especially when taken in large doses. It usually takes several weeks to clear Xanax from the body completely. Sometimes it can take over a month. The main testing methods for detecting Xanax in the system are via blood, hair and/or urine drug screens.

How long does Xanax stay in blood?

Xanax stays in the blood for several days, given the long half life of the drug. Exactly how long it stays in the blood depends on the dose taken – it may take longer to clear from the blood in someone who’s abusing the drug and taking higher than normal therapeutic doses.

How long does Xanax stay in hair?

Xanax can be detected in hair up to 90 days after the drug was first taken. The accuracy of this test does depend on a few factors, such as the length of the person’s hair at the time of testing, the color of hair, and whether or not hair has been chemically treated.

How long does Xanax stay in urine?

How long Xanax stays in urine depends on the dose of Xanax taken, and if it’s been taken frequently in the past. For example, traces of Xanax can be found in urine for at least a week – sometimes up to six weeks after the medication was last taken. This is why Xanax addicts and abusers will have a harder time clearing this drug from their system, even after stopping.

Xanax and addiction

Xanax is a habit-forming drug that can become addictive. Addicted Xanax bars users will develop a tolerance fairly quickly if they are taking the drug on a daily basis, meaning it will take higher amounts of Xanax to achieve the same results. Even without addiction, someone taking Xanax can also experience withdrawal symptoms when cutting down on doses or stopping Xanax. The main difference between Xanax dependence and Xanax addiction occurs once the drug is out of your body. If you’re addicted to Xanax, you will experience cravings for Xanax even after it is out of your system.

Problems with Xanax?

Xanax does have unpleasant and sometimes dangerous withdrawal effects if you’ve used it long-term. However, there is good news: it’s possible to get off the medication by tapering the dosage. If you want to stop taking Xanax, talk to your doctor about a gradually decreasing your dose to make the transition as easy as possible. And if you think that you have a problem with Xanax, also talk with your doctor. Help is available.

Xanax in your system questions

Do you still have questions about the length of time Xanax stays in your body? Please leave us your questions here. We do our best to respond to all questions quickly and with a personal reply.

Reference Sources: PubMed Health: Alprazolam
Drug Enforcement Administration: Benzodiazepines
elaws: Drug-Free Workplace Advisor

Photo credit: Ben Dodson

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54 Responses to “How long does Xanax stay in your system?
Norm Chalmers
5:25 pm March 15th, 2012

I appreciate this article. It seems like this class of drugs is troublesome to some employees. I take this for prescribed reasons but don’t necessarily want it showing up!

brooke
5:18 am April 9th, 2012

Is Xanax an opiate and will it show up in an 8 panel urine drug screen?

8:11 am April 9th, 2012

Hi Brooke. No, Xanax is not an opiate. Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine.

Various drug screen panels are used to detect common substances, but 8 panel screens can vary by manufacturer. Many 8 panel screens include benzos, but If you can get the series name and number for the specific drug screen, we might be able to tell you for sure. Otherwise, you can call the testing center yourself and ask directly.

krystal
5:46 pm October 3rd, 2012

I took 19 bars from sept 28-oct 2. I have to take a urine test on october 12th. Do you think I will be able to pass it?

1:33 pm October 4th, 2012

Hi krystal. It will be a close call. With a 10 day detection window, short term but intense Xanax use may still be detectable in your system, or it could have already been processed. Please let us know how it goes.

Robs
11:55 pm December 17th, 2012

I took Xanex almost every night in the second half of may, all of June and most of July for sleep. We now have to have a drug test for work, I havent taken anything since the end of july….Will I pass??

neil
3:13 am December 18th, 2012

One of the side effects of xanex if forgetfulness/memory loss. How long after taking a 1mg. xanex nightly for several years will it take to recoup memory? If taken at night, does xanex affect memory/forgetfulless the following day?

Beverley
5:48 am December 26th, 2012

Hi
I was prescribed Xanax initially for panic attacks in a dosage of 0.25 mg. Over the years I take them whenever things are particularly stressful. I take up to four at night to help me sleep. I’m terrified of sleeping pills as I became addicted to them. I am also taking Stilpayne up to six a day for headaches.
I do have an addiction problem and in a state of panic threw them all away. That was yesterday and I’m battling. Is there a more sensible way of tapering down the dose and weaning myself off?
Your help would be greatly appreciated..

10:09 am January 14th, 2013

Hello Neil. Memory loss has been commonly associated WITH THERAPEUTIC USE of Xanax. Benzodiazepines can cause amnesic effects, principally anterograde amnesia, and the magnitude and duration of these effects may vary depending on the patient (eg, age), drug, dosage, and route of administration. Immediate recall usually does not appear to be affected substantially. In other words, while these effects may occur during use of Xanax, memory is usually not affected the next day. More here: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+7207

jacob
4:40 pm February 21st, 2013

I haven’t used Xanax in 50 days and i only took in occasionally. would i be able to pass a hair test right now?

lio
3:12 am March 9th, 2013

i stop xanax 2.5mg after taking it for 3 month when i wanted to be pregnant stop one day before i get pregnant i see xanax in category d is it dangerous for the embrio

6:03 am March 9th, 2013

Hello lio. Please consult with an OB-GYN on your question. This is a question for a medical professional.

Gary
12:12 am April 16th, 2013

I take a 1 mg xanax twice daily. I am on a pain med contract. My physician says the Xanax is not showing up in my urine drug screen. What could be going on? Would a blood test be better?

Nivedita
11:37 pm April 26th, 2013

I know that Xanax is to be strictly avoided during pregnancy. My question is: I took just one tablet of 0.5mg Xanax about 10 days before I underwent an IUI (Intrauterine insemination), mainly to calm myself when I received some very distressing, bad news. Now I am worried if that will harm the fetus if I do become pregnant. I am not able to find an answer to this anywhere on the web. Can you please help?

Stephanie
4:54 am May 7th, 2013

I took about 1.5 mg of Xanax roughly 22 hours ago. I had previously been prescribed this medicine for most of my teen and early 20′s for social anxiety but its been many years since I’ve needed to take it.

I did need to take it this weekend due to several sudden, random panic attacks. I no longer have a prescription for it but my mother does, so she told me to just take hers at my old dose. Then suddenly today I was offered a job. I scheduled the urine test for about 58 hours from now. So around 80 hours between the last dosage and the urine test.

I’m terrified I won’t get this truly great job because my urine will come up dirty over something so stupid. Is this enough time for the medicine to be out of my body? I’m diabetic so I don’t know if I’ll metabolize it faster or slower.

maddy
11:01 pm May 7th, 2013

I used zanax first and last time .25 alprazolam i was having a panic attack and a friend gave it to me . Not knowing I had to submit a urine test 4 days after the fact….. do you think I will come back positive I never did it before? I guess I learned my lesson?!!!

Levi
8:38 pm May 10th, 2013

I took 2 0.5mg Xanax today for the first time in a month and a half. I have a drug test for my suboxone program in 18 days. Will my urine be clean?

patty cox
1:54 am May 13th, 2013

i took 2mg of xanex on sunday for the first time in 8 months i need it out of my system in 48 hours do you think i have a chance of it being out by then? and what can i do to get it out? by the way its a urine test

Levi
12:32 am May 15th, 2013

I found this answer on Erowid. It answered my questions, maybe it will be the answer for yours.

“Most employers do 5 panel drug tests; the few who pay more for additional panels rarely choose Benzodiazepine as one of their additional drugs they want employees to be tested for. Even if they are testing for Benzodiazepines, unless you were taking them frequently, it will not likely register on any drug test.

If you have taken more than a few over a course of days; Detectable in urine: up to 7 days but usually undetectable in less than 3 days

Hair drug test: up to 90 days

Saliva or blood test: up to 6 to 24 hours

If you have been taking xanax every day regularly; possible length of detection times:

Urine: up to 6 weeks

Hair: up to 90 days

Saliva or blood : up to a week

Con
12:11 am June 8th, 2013

I was prescribed 0.25mg of Xanax today. I took one and did not like it. I would rather just have a glass of wine but it says strictly NO ALCOHOL. How long do I have to wait for one .25mg pill to metabolize out of my body so I can have a glass of wine? Im not going to have any tonight since I just took the pill at 1:30 in the afternoon but the info says this can last several weeks in my system.

Tristan
3:46 am June 9th, 2013

If I only took 1 mg of xanax how long will it take to leave my system? Will it take a full six weeks for me to pass a drug test?

5:16 am June 11th, 2013

Hi Tristan. One Xanax, an isolated dose, can take up to a week to clear the system.

George
7:42 pm June 14th, 2013

What does a 190 level of aprazolam in someone’s blood mean? Is this high? How does the level in the blood corrolate to the actual affects on a person? In other words, when someone is really feeling the effects of aprazolam, will that equate to high levels in the blood at that moment? Thanks.

brenda l
6:39 am July 21st, 2013

I took a half Xanax bar how long will it show up in my blood system

joe
12:45 am July 25th, 2013

i took 2 blue xanax about 2 weeks ago will it show in urine test not sure of mg

Derek Cline
11:13 am July 28th, 2013

I want to let everyone, concerned about passing their drug tests, know that the detection times for Alprazolam in your urine is not nearly as long as they claim on here. I was going to write a long explanation but don’t feel like it anymore. So, to make a long story short I have a drug test every Monday, and from Tuesday until Sunday I regularly take Xanax. I stop every Saturday night, give myself a day off, and I pass every Monday test. I know everyone is different in regards to body type, age, and metabolism ect., but I just want my experience to provide a small measure of relief and sense of hope to those who feel defeated.

tammy s
1:07 am September 30th, 2013

I took 2- 5mg xanax at 7 pm on saturday. i have not taken any type of benzo/s for 4 months. what is your professional opinion as to dropping clean on monday at9:30 am? do you have any suggestions on what i could take to ensure a negative result

Jimbo
5:50 am October 26th, 2013

I took 20 1 milligram Xanax in 2 weeks . Have a urine test for pain clinic in 33 days will I pass?

Donna
10:36 pm October 27th, 2013

Yes, 21 days they’re gone; drink the water called smart Water it has electrolytes in it. Good luck, plz let me know…..

Donna
10:38 pm October 27th, 2013

Tammy. S pray, drink water & pray….

Donna
10:41 pm October 27th, 2013

And Derrick it is A small measure; almost Impossible you’re among the few….

Donna
10:42 pm October 27th, 2013

Brenda 1 Benzos 21 days, sine yours was so small drink a lot of smart water, alot it has erctrilites in it. Good luck…

Donna
10:46 pm October 27th, 2013

Nivetia no don’t worry , you re fine. I hope it helped.

misty
10:37 am October 31st, 2013

I took a 1mg Xanax. I haven’t used any benzos for months. How long will it show up in a urine test? I have a test on Monday. I’m working on my anxiety issues and have been doing very well but I had a panic attack that was extreme today

Allie
4:02 am November 18th, 2013

I take Xanax, prescribed by my pain management physician. I take my meds as prescribed, sometimes I forget, Ive never run out of meds at the end of the month, usually have several left over. I don’t take Xanax (.25 mg) all the time but at least every other day. However, the last 2 months, it is not showing up in my urine or bloodwork. I don’t understand why it isn’t showing. Any thoughts

Allie
4:06 am November 18th, 2013

Misty, Do you take Zoloft? I use to take it but not anymore, found out it was giving me Panic Attacks! I have several friends that also suffered from Panic Attacks, when I found out they took Zoloft, I told them to go to their dr. and get off Zoloft. They did and believe it or not, 6 of the 7 have not had any more Panic Attacks. Be Blessed. Hope this helps

D
2:10 am November 22nd, 2013

Is there a difference in how fast the body metabolizes xanax vs xanx xr? I take 1mg xanax xr 3 times dails (twice in the morning, and once as needed), but i feel that it does not even last me 4 hours before my anxiety completely takes it over. Would you reccommend I switch to a higher dosage of the xr or swith to instant release?

Rebecca LT
9:38 pm December 14th, 2013

I have been taking 1 mg of xanax for 20 yrs,,as prescribed by my dr,,,why is it not showing after all these years?

cindy
3:55 pm January 15th, 2014

If ive taken xanax about a week or two before dr visit and toik a high dose day of app will my urine test be positive i need it to be positive

RKR
4:44 pm February 26th, 2014

I had a prescription in the past (years ago ) for Xanex 0.25 there were 50 left in the bottel I remembered from when I used to take it that they didn’t really work all that well to relevie any of my panic attacks so in 2 days I took all 50 of the white 0.25 which worked well with getting rid of the panic attacks however I threw the bottel away and was wondering how long will it take to get out of my system I don’t plan on raising any more becouse they never seemed to work anyway this was just the first time in years that I had took any thing like that so when will it be out of my system since I no longer have proof that it was percsried to me so I need to know when it will be out just incase I have to take a urine test sometime after the 1 st and now no longer have the old bottel that was perscribed to me

yaya
3:50 am February 28th, 2014

hey i took half of a xanax on the 19 of this month and im having a drug hair test on the 4 of this month coming up…is it possible that it wont show on my drug test

Melissa
1:43 am March 14th, 2014

If i took half of a xanax bar on Tuesday and Wednesday of the past three weeks , March 4 & 5, Feb 25 & 26, and Feb 18 & 19 Will I pass a urine test that I had to take for work on March 11th? I do have a prescription, I just don’t really feel like it’s anyone’s concern as things seem to get around at my workplace. Thanks!

Michael
3:49 am March 18th, 2014

I take 1 mg of zanax a day. But when I have my drug test it doesn’t show up. I am in pain management clinic and get tested every month but the zanax never shows up. The doctor says I am not taking it. But I really am. Can someone tell me why it doesn’t show up?

cardell
5:59 am March 25th, 2014

I took 2 xanax almost 2 months ago & I just wanted to know dat I took a hair test & urine test today. Do yall think I will pass both tests?

Worried
9:53 pm May 20th, 2014

I took one xanax today and haven’t had one in years it was .5. How long should it be before it leaves my system for a urine test

Nick
3:02 pm June 8th, 2014

I took 2-1 mg tabs about two weeks ago (today is June 8). I had not used again since last night when I took about 2.5 mg of. Can you please tell me if you think it will be out of my system in 2-2 and a half weeks from now? Your input would greatly be appreciated. Thank you.

-*Nicholi*-

starfish
6:18 pm July 7th, 2014

I have been taking one 0.5mg Xanax for about 2 months. How long will it take to completely leave my system? My last one was 5/6/14 @5pm.

Penny
2:35 am July 22nd, 2014

I took ,25 mg xanax and my urine was tested 12 hrs later for a job. If it is detected in the urine, would it be an acceptable amount?

patricia
9:13 pm July 23rd, 2014

i have a bottle of .25 and I just in the last 5 days have had to take maybe 4. will they show up

Devorah
6:48 pm July 28th, 2014

I want to try to get pregnant but I am worried b/c I will be taking xanax through August 14th. How long does it take to leave my system completely? Will the prolonged use affect the health of my eggs?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
12:25 pm July 29th, 2014

Hi Devorah. It all depends on various factors, such as metabolism, bodily mass, how long, how frequently and what doses you were taking, your age, your current health state, etc. Xanax as you know, works very quickly and it leaves the body very quickly, 7-10 days is a rough estimate, but should be enough.

You should be aware that suddenly discontinuing the Xanax can result in withdrawal symptoms, so it’s a good idea to discuss with your doctor about your decision to stop taking the medicine and taper it down under your doctor’s supervision. Your Gynecologist is probably the best person to advise you on this matter.

Notafrequentuser
2:30 pm August 5th, 2014

I am trying to start a suboxone program, ive been on them through my family soc for years, but over the last two months, i havent had her fill any, as i was trying to taper off and quit, and i need more help and time. My question: i took 2.5 xanax over the course of the last 3 days cause of paniac attacks, i could NOT control, unoercribed, obviously,….. How long do you think i need to wait to join my outpatient rehab to be able to still get my low dose suboxone? Its like this suboxone did this to me, and now i know i need to keep tapering just another couple of months. Plus, the therapy, can always help!
Please help! Im worried! I dont wanna backslide after this long clean!!!!

Missy
4:38 pm August 14th, 2014

If I take two 0.25 xannx how long will it stay in my system I weigh 197lbs I take urine test 1 week

tonya
12:32 am August 22nd, 2014

I was addicted to xanax for 6 yrs took my last xanax may 27 2014 yessss…how long will it take for it to be completely out of my system

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