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How Long Does Xanax (Alprazolam) Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Xanax (Alprazolam) Stay in Your System?

Xanax is most commonly used prescription medicine for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia. The fact that it is prescribed by the doctors is misleading for some people since they tend to believe that it may not have any significant harmful effects on the user. Reality is exactly opposite to it. Even the people who use it for therapeutic purposes are at a risk of becoming addicted to it. Xanax is a fast acting drug with small half life. It means that it produces its effects rapidly and is removed from the system just as fast. The effects of the drug start to appear right after taking it and reach to their peak levels after one to two hours. It is important to determine the effects, dosage, detox process and the time period the drug lasts in the body to facilitate the process of speedy recovery.

How long does Xanax stay in the body?

The levels of the drug in the blood depend upon the amount of the drug taken. The average half life of the drug in adults is about 12 hours however it may range between 9-16 hours for different individuals. It means that the drug is reduced to half the amount originally taken after 9-16 hours of the usage. As a person ages, the half life of the drug increases and the effects produced by it also get more severe. Other than this there are a number of factors that may influence the time drug stays in the system of the user such as:

  • Height and weight of the user:
    The overall body mass of a person has a significant role in determining the time Xanax stays in the system for. Greater the mass of the body, the more area is available for the drug to diffuse. The body mass is also important to determine the dose that should be prescribed to a patient. It takes less time for larger individuals to get Xanax out of their system. Smaller people tend to test positive for the drug for relatively longer periods of time.
  • Age of the user:
    Age of the user influences the time taken by the drug to exit the body. As a person ages, the body systems and metabolism wear out so they cannot work as efficiently as they do in a young person. For elderly people, the half life of Xanax may reach up to 16 hours. This is the reason doctors prescribe it in small amounts to elderly patients. The risk of Xanax overdose also increases with age.
  • The amount taken by the user:
    The more amount of the drug is taken by the user, the longer it takes for the body to remove it. When taken in larger amounts, it takes much longer for the metabolic system of the body to clear it out.
  • The time drug was taken for:
    Some user may retain the drug in their body for much longer periods of time than the others. It is because when the usage is prolonged, it becomes a part of fat cells of the body. So when the drug is quit, body not only has to remove it from the blood but also from the fat cells. The process can be significantly long.
  • Efficiency of the user’s metabolic system:
    How fast the metabolism of a person works is very important in this regard. Metabolic system is the mechanism of the body by which it breaks down substances entering it either to generate energy or to detoxify the body. People with an active lifestyle such as those who regularly exercise tend to have a faster metabolic system. So as a result, Xanax is removed from the system of an active person much faster than a person with slow metabolism.
  • Genetic disposition of the person:
    Genetics play an important role when it comes to how a certain drug affects a person and for how long it stays in their system. For some people it takes much lower doses of the drug to produce its effects. Likewise, some people are more likely to retain it in their systems than the others.
  • Overall health of the user:
    The physical and mental health of the patient is important in the process of withdrawal and recovery. A person with sound body is likely to get rid of the menace relatively easily. There are certain organs in the body that work to detoxify the system such as liver and kidneys. If these organs are intact and function as they should, body will be detoxified more rapidly. This is the reason the diet and health of the person should be given due importance during the process of treatment.

Even though Xanax is a short acting drug, it may take relatively long for the body to completely remove it especially, when it is taken for long periods of time. It can take several weeks and even a month for the body to completely detoxify it.

How Xanax is detected in the body of the user?

A number of tests can be carried out to determine if Xanax exists in the body of the user or not. The tests approved by FDA to detect Xanax in the system include:

  • Urine Test
  • Blood Test
  • Saliva Test
  • Hair Follicle Test

These tests can be helpful to detect Xanax in the system at different times along the line. Also, these tests differ in their sensitivity and how long after they can be used to detect Xanax. Hair follicle test is used when the user is to be tested for the drug after several days of last usage. It is possible to detect Xanax by testing hair follicles up to 3 months of last drug intake.

Xanax

How long does Xanax stay in the blood and saliva?

Drug and saliva test are effective only for short period of time after the last drug dosage. Xanax may last in blood for up to several days depending upon its half life in that certain user and the amount of it taken by the user. Users are more likely to retain it for longer periods of time when it is taken in more than prescribed amounts and for prolonged periods of time. However, for most of the users, blood test is effective up to 1-2 days while the saliva test can be effective up to 3 days.

How long does Xanax stay in the urine?

The time Xanax stays in the urine depends upon its amount taken and the time it was taken for. For some users, it may be excreted in the urine for as long as six weeks after the last usage. However, for most users it is excreted in the urine for at least a week. It shows the fact that it is quite a long process to completely detoxify the drug. Urine test is a more accurate test for Xanax detection. Also, it can be used for longer periods of time. It is easier to perform and is cost effective so it is most frequently performed.

How long does Xanax stay in the hair?

Although the half-life of Xanax is short, it can be detected in a person’s hair and/or hair follicle for as long as 3 months but more typically 1 month after the last time it was taken. Hair follicle test can be effective for the longest periods of time. Some users may test positive even after three months of the last drug use but most of the times, it works up to one month. The drug tends to accumulate in the hair follicles over time that can be used to test the drug. However, it takes some time for the drug to build up in the follicles so if follicles are tested right after the drug usage, the test may come false negative. It is more accurate in long term users. Other factors that may affect the accuracy of the test are length of the hair, time of the test and whether or not the hair was chemically treated.
These tests can be helpful to determine if a loved one is abusing Xanax. It is important to provide the treatment as soon as possible to evade long term damages produced by the drug.