Xanax half life: how long does Xanax stay in your system

Xanax can stay in your system for months, depending on frequency of use. Xanax half life is defined by the amount of time it takes for 1/2 the drug to leave the body. But when is Xanax drug testing safe? And what are the signs of Xanax addiction? We explore here.

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Reviewed by: Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D.

How do you take Xanax?

Doctors generally prescribe Xanax in tablet form in doses of bewteen 0.25-2 mg. Total daily dosage of Xanax is somewhere between 0.5-6 mg. This is because medical experts recognize that it is best to prescribe the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time in order to minimize drug dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

Xanax half life: how long does Xanax stay in your system

On average, experts define the half life of Xanax at 12 hours. But Xanax half-life can be anywhere from 6-20 hours. Xanax (the brand name for alprazolam) is a short – intermediate acting benzodiazepine, which means that you can feel the effects of Xanax quickly as they peak 1-2 hours after taking it. However, the effects of Xanax but do not last very long, about 6-12 hours.

Drug testing for Xanax

At the moment, the standard screening procedure for benzodiazepines is unable to distinguish between different kinds of benzodiazepines. At the minimum, it is best to wait for one day before drug testing for Xanax to make sure it is out of your body. But, depending on frequency and length of use, you might want to wait for 3 days before drug testing (for an infrequent user) up to 4-6 weeks for a chronic user before testing for Xanax.

Xanax addiction

The benzodiazepines most likely to be abused are those that are rapidly absorbed such as alprazolam (Xanax). If you think that you might be in trouble…consider seeking help! See what it’s like to seek help from tranquilizer addiction treatment programs and how you can choose the best treatment type, duration, and therapies for you.

If you comment here or leave us an email, we’ll respond via post or video! Let us know if you’re having trouble with Xanax. You are not alone.

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.
Medical Reviewers
Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. is a general surgeon practicing women's focused medici...

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a licensed medical professional.

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