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  • Xanax (generic name alprazolam) stays in your system for about 56 hours after the last dose. This time can vary depending on various factors.

    Xanax is a benzodiazepine that causes central nervous system (CNS) depression while it’s in your bloodstream. It can treat anxiety disorders and panic disorders. Many factors can affect how long Xanax stays in your system.

    Xanax Half-Life

    The half-life of a drug is the amount of time it takes for the medication to go from peak concentration levels to half that amount. Xanax is a short-acting drug which reaches peak concentration in one to two hours. 

    After this time, you can expect to feel Xanax’s strongest effects of sedation, as well as possible side effects like drowsiness, irritability, and joint pain.

    The average half-life of Xanax is about 11.2 hours. After five half-life cycles, most drugs are almost completely eliminated from the body. This means that, on average, Xanax leaves the body after about 56 hours or approximately two-and-a-half days

    Reported half-life times have varied greatly, ranging between six to 27 hours in healthy adults. This means that Xanax can stay in your system for anywhere between one to five days

    Factors That Affect Elimination Time

    Many factors, such as diet, body weight, the dose of Xanax taken, and tolerance to the drug can affect detection times.

    Xanax Detection Times & Drug Testing

    Drug tests can tell whether you have taken Xanax long after the last dose. Common drug screenings may not test for benzos, and tests specifically designed for this type of drug are often needed.

    Drug tests try to detect metabolites, which are unique versions of substances that are left behind in the body. α-hydroxyalprazolam is the unique metabolite for alprazolam. Detection times for all of these tests can vary, depending on how long the drug stays in your system.

    Blood Detection Times

    Xanax can stay in your body for up to five days, which is the same length of time it can be picked up by a blood test.

    Urine Detection Times

    Urine tests are a common way to check for benzodiazepine use. A urine test can detect alprazolam for about five days after the last dose.

    Saliva Detection Times

    Saliva tests for detecting benzodiazepines are less common than other methods. However, some studies have shown that alprazolam can be found in saliva for about two-and-a-half days after the last dose. 

    Hair Detection Times

    Hair tests can detect substances for up to 90 days after the last dose. You may need to find a hair follicle test that specifically looks for benzodiazepines.

    Xanax Detection Time Differences

    Xanax has different half-life and elimination times compared to other brand name benzodiazepines (Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan). 

    Its long-lasting effects can be habit-forming to some people. Although many drug tests do not account for benzodiazepines, the ones that do can detect Xanax and its metabolites for days after last use.

    To learn more about the effects of Xanax use and potential treatment programs, talk to your healthcare professional or contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2023 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Mayo Clinic Laboratories - Drug Testing: Benzodiazepines - Mayo Clinic Laboratories
    National Drug Screening, Inc. - Hair Follicle Drug Test - Everything You Need to Know
    U.S. Food and Drug Administration - XANAX Label - FDA
    U.S. National Library of Medicine - Alprazolam | C17H13CIN4 - PubChem
    U.S. National Library of Medicine - Detection Times of Diazepam, Clonazepam, and Alprazolam in Oral Fluid Collected From Patients Admitted to Detoxification, After High and Repeated Drug Intake
    U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Alprazolam

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on June 30, 2022
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