How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?

Xanax can be detected in the saliva and blood for up to 2 1/2 days after last use, in urine for up to five days and in hair for up to three months. Peak levels are found in the blood within one to two hours of ingestion.
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Xanax, the brand name for alprazolam, is a prescription benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. The drug affects the central nervous system by slowing brain activity, causing people to feel relaxed. But it can also lead to confusion, memory problems or Xanax addiction.

Because Xanax is an intermediate-acting benzodiazepine, its effects do not occur as quickly as short-acting benzos such as Dalmane. It also means the effects do not last as long as those of long-acting benzos such as Valium.

Alprazolam has an average half-life of about 11 hours in healthy adults, according to the Food and Drug Administration. A drug’s half-life is the time it takes for half of the substance’s concentration to leave the body.

However, Xanax remains in some parts of the body longer than in others. The substance is detectable in the blood, urine, oral fluid and hair, but the time it takes to leave each area depends on a variety of factors.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your Urine?

The body breaks down alprazolam into a metabolite called α-hydroxyalprazolam. Xanax and certain other benzodiazepines may not be detectable with common urine tests, but the tests can detect when its metabolites are present.

According to Mayo Medical Laboratories, 100 nanograms per milliliter of α-hydroxyalprazolam can linger in urine for up to five days. This is the same duration as that of other intermediate-acting benzos, such as Ativan and Klonopin.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your Blood?

Blood tests for Xanax use have a shorter detection window than that of urine tests. Alprazolam has an average plasma elimination half-life of 11.2 hours, which means the drug remains detectable in the blood for 56 hours, or nearly 2 1/2 days, after last use.

Plasma exams are more invasive than urine tests because they involve drawing blood from the body. But blood tests may be required under certain circumstances. For example, a person is more likely to need a blood test than a urine test when hospitalized for an overdose.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your Saliva?

According to a 2015 report published in the journal Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, an alprazolam concentration of one nanogram per milliliter can be found in saliva for up to 2 1/2 days. However, participants in the study had a history of heavy drug use, which may have distorted the results.

Oral fluid testing is usually more reliable than urine or hair exams for identifying recent drug use. It typically requires a small saliva sample to be collected under direct supervision. This reduces the likelihood of tampering.

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your Hair?

Evidence of Xanax use can be detected in the hair about one to seven days after last use, according to United States Drug Testing Laboratories. Because hair exams can provide a three-month history of drug use, they are often used to analyze long-term drug or alcohol use.

The process involves examining a 1.5-inch sample of hair strands that is extracted from the scalp. But an equal amount of body hair can be used if scalp hair is not available.

Factors That Influence Detection Times

People do not metabolize Xanax at the same rate. A number of factors affect the time it takes for alprazolam to leave your body, including the amount of the drug taken, the frequency of use and your overall health.


Taking Xanax regularly can influence how long it stays in your system. For example, the drug will remain in the body of a person who uses the medication several times a week longer than someone who seldom uses it.

Frequency of Use

Taking Xanax regularly can influence how long it stays in your system. For example, the drug will remain in the body of a person who uses the medication several times a week longer than someone who seldom uses it

Physiological Makeup

A person’s physical makeup includes height, weight, body fat percentage, age and fitness habits. These factors also affect the way alprazolam is metabolized in your body and the time it takes for the drug to leave your system.

How to Get Xanax Out of Your System

Many companies claim to have products that can flush drugs such as Xanax from the body quickly. Some products are sold to the public as masking agents that can hide evidence of drug use from a urine test.

But most of these products are very costly and do not work. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, toxicology exams can detect alprazolam in the body even if the substance is successfully masked. When a test detects a masking agent, the person may be asked to take another test. A sample containing a masking agent may also result in a failed drug test.

The best way to get Xanax out of the body is to wait for it to clear from your system. If you are struggling with alprazolam addiction, consider contacting a treatment center. At rehab, you can receive evidence-based treatment that aims to help you recover from substance abuse problems.

Medical Disclaimer: aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

Matt Gonzales
Content Writer,
Matt Gonzales is a writer and researcher for He graduated with a degree in journalism from East Carolina University and began his professional writing career in 2011. Matt covers the latest drug trends and shares inspirational stories of people who have overcome addiction. Certified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in health literacy, Matt leverages his experience in addiction research to provide hope to those struggling with substance use disorders.

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