How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System Urine

Xanax in Your Urine

Determining the question just how long does Xanax stay in your system, urine, blood and hair is based on 9 variables. That is why it is virtually impossible to answer absolutely.

According to Wikipedia:

  • Xanax (Alprazolam) is the most prescribed and misused benzodiazepine in the US

Xanax is a fast acting benzodiazepine and the effects set in almost immediately after ingestion and peek 1 to 2 hours after ingestion. It does this by depressing the central nervous system (CNS). Xanax is very effective at calming the nerves if taken at standard doses.Xanax modulates the neurotransmission of Gama Amino Butyric Acid (GABA) specifically at GABA-A receptors. Doctors prescribe Xanax primarily for;

  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sleep disorders

How Long Does Xanax Stay In Your System?

How Long Does Xanax Stay In Your System Urine

Alpazolam, better known as Xanax is a drug categorized as a benzodiazepine. Due to the high abuse rates in the USA, tests have been created to detect the drug in body fluids and tissue.

The amount of time a person’s body takes to metabolize and clear Xanax from the body is influenced by a number of factors. Determining how long Xanax stays in your system urine, hair, and blood depends on several key factors. It will be primarily based on:

  • Amount of Xanax consumed recently
  • Food eaten during that period
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Gender
  • Other variables
  • Genetics
  • Liver

The Half-Life of Xanax

It is important to know the half-life for testing purposes because Xanax in blood plasma is how they test whether it’s in the body, or not.

  • On average, for a healthy person, the half-life of Xanax is 9 to 16 hours. That means half of the Xanax is eliminated during this period

Older adults are not able to excrete the drug as fast because of the altered blood flow and the deterioration of internal functions as a result of aging. Therefore the older you are the longer it takes to clear Xanax from the body.

For individuals with impaired kidney or liver functions, they retain the drug for a longer period. Body size also influences the rate at which the body excretes Xanax. The larger the individual the smaller the amount of drug in proportion to their body size hence it is easier to clear.

  • For the average person, it will take approximately 4 days for an average dose of Xanax to be completely removed from their system.

Taking Other Drugs Impacts Metabolization

Taking other drugs, whether prescription or illicit, can alter the rate of the body to effectively metabolize Xanax. These drugs can either be inhibitors or inducers of the enzymatic function of the CYP3A4 which is in the liver.

Inhibitor drugs inhibit this enzymatic function and prolong the excretion of the drug. Such drugs include Cimetidine and Ketoconazole. Inducers such as Nafcilin, on the other hand, enhance the CYP3A4 ability to break down the Xanax hence increases the average clearance rates from 0.9ml/min/kg up to 2.13ml/min/kg.


Xanax dosages are between 0.25 mg. to 4 mg. Doctors try and prescribe the minimum effective dosage to their patients.

  • Individuals taking smaller dosage will metabolize and excrete the drug from their system much faster than those taking a dosage higher

Frequency of Use

Since the effects of Xanax clear rapidly, users tend to use more of the drug and build a tolerance over time.

Frequent users or long-term users build up a tolerance rapidly and also accumulate the drug to a greater extent in their bodies, hence taking them longer to metabolize and excrete the drug as compared to infrequent users.

According to research 16 million Americans aged 12 and above have used Xanax for recreational purposes at least once. These statistics indicate that Xanax is one of the most addictive and  commonly abused legal drugs out there.

Effects of Xanax

The effects of Xanax, however, wear off quickly and the user needs to take more to continue feeling the effects.

After 2 or 3 weeks the user starts experiencing physical dependence and tolerance. It can, however, be very addictive if taken in high doses or if it is crushed and snorted since it creates a euphoria or Xanax high.

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