how long does Xanax stay in your system

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?

Last Updated: Fri, January 19, 2024

Xanax can create a euphoric high when taken in high doses. However, when abused, Xanax has harmful effects on the body. But how long does Xanax stay in your system? 

In this post, we will talk about Xanax and how long does Xanax stay in your system. We will also discuss the factors affecting how long does Xanax stay in your system. 

What Is Xanax? 

Xanax or alprazolam is a type of drug under the class of benzodiazepine. It enhances the activity of particular neurotransmitters of the brain. Xanax can also be used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.

In particular, Xanax helps calm the nerves. It also induces a feeling of relaxation. 

However, it can potentially be abused. It may even lead to dependence or addiction if taken in large doses. Thus, it’s classified as a federally controlled substance.

If you’re taking Xanax, you might be wondering how long does Xanax stay in your system. Several factors might influence how long Xanax can stay in your system. 

Typically, people who regularly take Xanax will build up a tolerance. These people may have to wait longer to feel the sedative effects of Xanax. Also, the sedation effect of Xanax may not feel as strong for them.

How Long Does It Take for Xanax to Work? 

Since Xanax can be orally taken, it’s also easily absorbed into the bloodstream. One reason why Xanax is effective in treating panic is due to its quick peak impact from a single dose. 

Some people start to experience the effects of the drug within five to ten minutes following ingestion. However, for most people, the effects of Xanax will kick in within one hour after getting a dose of the drug.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System? 

Xanax has an elimination half-life of approximately 11 hours on average. This means an average person will take at least 11 hours to eliminate half a dose of Xanax. 

However, the range can span between six and 27 hours. Sometimes, it could be higher, particularly in obese patients.

Here’s how long does Xanax stay in your system based on the drug’s location: 


How long laboratories can detect Xanax in your blood may vary. However, most people may still have about half the dose of Xanax in their blood within a day. 

However, it can also take several days or even longer for the body to eliminate the drug. Even if its anxiety-relief effects had already subsided, it’s still possible for a laboratory to detect Xanax in the blood for up to five days.


Benzodiazepines or Xanax can’t be detected by all drug tests. However, Xanax can still be detected for up to five days using urine drug screens.


A study conducted in 2015 has found that the maximum time Xanax can be detected detectable in a person’s oral fluid was at least 2 and a half days.


Xanax can be detected by laboratories in head hair for up to three months. This is due to the reason that body hair doesn’t typically grow quickly. 

Factors Affecting How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System 

Here are the factors that affect how long does Xanax stay in your system: 

Xanax bar

1.     Amount Taken 

Higher dosages of Xanax will take longer for your body to metabolize. The higher the dose of Xanax, the longer its half-life will be.

2.     Frequency Of Use 

If you regularly take Xanax, a higher concentration of the drug is in your bloodstream. Hence, it will take your body a long time to eliminate the drug. 

3.     Metabolism Speed 

Physically active people have a higher metabolism. Therefore, they’re likely to excrete Xanax faster. 

4.     Height, Weight, and Body Fat Content 

It’s more difficult for your body to break down Xanax when you’re overweight. A high body mass index can also increase the half-life of the drug in the body.

In addition, Xanax can stay in the bloodstream for almost twice as long for people with higher weight, compared to people of normal weight.

5.     Age 

Age also plays a factor in the half-life of Xanax. The average half-life is roughly 11 hours in young and healthy adults. However, it would take a little over 16 hours in healthy, older adults.

6.     Health Of the Liver 

Liver health also plays a role in how long does Xanax stay in your system. People with chronic liver disease likely have a more difficult time breaking down Xanax. This can result in a half-life of nearly 20 hours, compared to a half-life of 11 hours in healthy adults.


Although it’s a prescription drug, Xanax has been associated with addiction.

If you or your loved one is struggling with Xanax abuse, ask for help. With the right treatment plan, sobriety app, and support, you can recover from Xanax addiction.

I Am Sober is a free app that helps you get some control back in your life.

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