How long does Xanax stay in your system?

Xanax can stay in your system for weeks, sometimes over a month. More information on the half life of Xanax, as well as blood and urine detection times, here.

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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.

If you feel that you or a loved one need help quitting use, seeking professional help from Xanax addiction treatment programs can make all the difference from continuing to spiral down with addiction or building a new, positive life in recovery.

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
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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