How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?

Considered the most popular type of benzodiazepine, Xanax is a prescription anxiety drug that many people use recreationally. Highly addictive, this drug is detectable in a lab test for between one and 90 days. Results are not the same for everyone, and they vary based on the type of test and a range of personal factors.

Keep reading to find out how long Xanax and other benzos stay in your system.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your Urine?

On average, urine tests detect Xanax for about four days after your last dose, but depending on a variety of factors, the drug may be present in your urine for up to a week. If you metabolize medications slowly, expect to test positive for Xanax for an even longer period of time.

As your body clears the drug out of your system, it exits through your urine. Because of that, urine tests tend to be positive for drugs longer than blood or saliva tests.

To estimate how long a drug shows up in urine tests, look at the drug’s half-life. That is the amount of time your body takes to eliminate half the dosage from your system. On average, Xanax has a half-life of 12 hours, but it ranges from nine to 16 hours.

If you have a high metabolism, Xanax may be out of your system in two days, but it usually takes four or more days. As you get older, you eliminate drugs more slowly. For a healthy elder, the half-life of Xanax averages 16 hours. If you have liver disease, the average half-life for Xanax is 19.7 hours.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your Hair?

Drugs linger in your hair. They attach to melatonin, and they are detectable in a lab test for months after the brain effects of the drug have faded.

Most hair tests can find Xanax for up to 90 days after your last dose. But keep in mind these numbers are from tests on head hair. Body hair grows much more slowly, and it may test positive for up to a year

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your Blood?

Blood tests can usually only detect Xanax for 24 hours. Typically, people only use blood tests if they suspect an overdose or want to check for drugs taken very recently.

Most employers doing drug screening do not use blood tests simply because they are less effective at detecting drug use than urine, hair, or even saliva tests. 

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your Saliva?

A saliva screening can detect Xanax for about 2.5 days after the last time taken. Saliva tests aren’t as popular as urine tests, but they are less prone to cheating because the test administrator can stay in the room while collecting the sample.

As technology improves and these tests become less expensive, they may become more popular.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Lab Tests?

On average, lab tests are positive for benzos for the following time periods after you take Xanax: 

  • Blood: 24 hours
  • Urine: Four days
  • Hair: 90 days
  • Saliva: 2.5 days

Xanax clearance times are not the same for everyone. A variety of factors including the following affect how long it lasts in your system:

  • Age — As you get older, your metabolism slows, blood flow to your liver changes, and your body takes longer to process drugs. 
  • Body Fat — If you’re overweight, your body can’t break down Xanax as easily, and the drug tends to collect in your fat cells. 
  • Mass — Although overweight people tend to metabolize drugs slowly, larger people process drugs more quickly than smaller people. For example, if a short, lightweight person and a tall, average weight person take the same dosage of Xanax, the tall, average weight person will generally clear the drug out of their system faster than the smaller person. 
  • Ethnicity — Genetic factors including ethnicity also play a role in how quickly drugs move through your system. For example, people of Asian descent experience a 15 to 25% longer half-life when they take Xanax.
  • Metabolism — The faster your metabolism, the faster you can clear drugs out of your system. Genetics play a big role in metabolism, but activity levels also affect your metabolism. If you are very active, benzos and other drugs clear your system relatively quickly. 
  • Kidney and Liver Function — Your liver filters your blood, while your kidneys remove excess waste. If you have liver disease or other health issues, your body takes longer to clear drugs, and Xanax shows up in your system for longer than average. 
  • Other Drugs — Certain drugs can also impact how long Xanax stays in your system. For example, SSRIs are inhibitors which mean they slow down how your body processes Xanax. In contrast, phenobarbital, St. John’s Wort, and other inducers speed up clearance time for this drug. 
  • Smoking — Some studies indicate that smokers clear Xanax slightly faster than nonsmokers.
  • Alcohol Use — Drinking and taking Xanax is dangerous and potentially even deadly. Additionally, alcohol increases the brain effects of this drug and causes your body to process it more slowly than usual. 
  • Frequency of Use — If you take Xanax for a long duration of time, your body builds up tolerance, and you end up taking a larger dosage of the drug. Larger dosages take longer to clear from your body, and they are detectable in lab tests for longer amounts of time. 

If you are abusing benzos, you need to get help. This drug can be deadly, and due to intense withdrawal symptoms, you should not quit Xanax on your own. You may need to go through detox under the supervision of a medical professional.

To get help with Xanax or other substances, contact Springhill Recovery today. We will help you take control of your life and find the best treatment plan for your needs.


Written by Spring Hill Recovery Editorial Team

© 2024 Spring Hill Recovery | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

Prefer Texting?
We've got you covered.

Receive 24/7 text support right away.
There is no obligation and you can opt out at any time.

Sign up for text support

Receive 24/7 text support right away.
There is no obligation and you can opt out at any time.
Let us walk you through the treatment process. We're here to help.
For 24/7 Treatment Help:
100% Free & Confidential. Call (978) 321-2696
(978) 321-2696