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How Long Does it Take for Xanax to Leave Your System?

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The amount of time that Xanax stays in your body will depend on a variety of factors, including the dosage, and the person’s age and metabolism. Let’s take a look at what other factors consider when evaluating how long it takes for Xanax to leave your system.

Xanax prescription

What is Xanax?

Xanax (also known as alprazolam), is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It is part of the Benzodiazepine family and works by increasing the effects of the neurotransmitter, GABA, which reduces anxiety and produces a sense of calm.

Xanax is a central nervous system depressant that decreases nerve activity in the brain, and the dosage strengths range from 0.25 mg to 2 mg.

How Xanax Affects the Body

Although Xanax can be helpful for reducing stress and anxiety, it is often accompanied by unpleasant side effects, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased heart rate or blood pressure

How Long Do the Effects of Xanax Last?

Xanax usually starts to kick in after 30 minutes, and its effects peak 1-2 hours after being taken. 

The effects of Xanax last for several hours, depending on the dosage and the individual’s metabolism. 

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?

How long Xanax stays in your system will depend on a variety of factors, but the average half-life of Xanax is approximately 11.2 hours in healthy adults. This means that the body removes half of the drug in that time span.

taking Xanax

Xanax can be detected in urine, blood, and saliva up to a certain amount of time.


A single dose of Xanax can be detected in urine for up to 4 days. For heavy users, Xanax could be detected in urine for a week or more. The number of days Xanax can be detected in a urine test varies depending on the individual, frequency of use, and dosage.


Xanax can stay in your bloodstream for several days, but can only be detected for around 24 hours after the last dosage.


Xanax can be detectable in saliva for up to two and a half days after the last dosage.

How is Xanax Metabolized? 

Xanax enters the bloodstream and travels to various parts of the body after administration. It is metabolized in the liver, specifically by the liver enzyme CYP3A4.

The two breakdown products of Xanax produced by CYP3A4 are 4-hydroxyalprazolam and a-hydroxyalprazolam, both of which are less effective than the original medication. The three substances are then eliminated by the body through urine.

What Affects How Long Xanax Stays in Your System?

There are several factors that will affect how long Xanax stays in your system, including the following.

Metabolism: Xanax is metabolized by the liver and excreted by the kidneys, so individual differences in metabolism can affect how quickly the drug is eliminated from the body.

Dosage: The more Xanax you take, the longer it will stay in your system. 

Age: Seniors take longer to metabolize Xanax. The average half-life of Xanax in seniors is around 16 hours.

Liver function: Since the liver is responsible for metabolizing Xanax, having a dysfunctional liver can mean a slower metabolization rate. 

Mixing Xanax: Mixing Xanax with other medications or other substances, such as alcohol, can affect the amount of time it takes to fully metabolize. 

Tips for Getting Xanax Out of Your System Naturally

There’s no way to force Xanax out of your system, but there are a few precautions to take if you are concerned about how long Xanax stays in your system.

  • Stay hydrated, and avoid alcohol & caffeine, which will dehydrate you.
  • Exercise, which increases metabolism and blood flow.
  • Eat healthy foods that boost detoxification processes.
  • Take supplements that support gut health and digestive function, such as probiotics or enzymes.

It’s important to note that if you are dependent on Xanax, or have been taking it for an extended period of time, it is not safe to abruptly stop taking Xanax. Be sure to speak to a medical professional before quitting Xanax. 

How Addictive is Xanax?

Xanax is extremely addictive when used long-term. Tolerance to Xanax can build up quickly, which can lead to a person taking more than the prescribed dose in order to feel the desired effects. This can lead to physical dependence on the drug, making it difficult to stop taking it.

anxious man

Xanax dependence can occur in as little as three weeks of taking the medication. Most people who take Xanax will experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop, even if they haven’t been taking it for very long. 

For some people, it may be a slow process that develops over time as they continue to take the medication for an extended period of time. For others, addiction may occur more quickly, particularly if the drug is misused or taken in large doses.

Signs of Xanax Abuse 

Xanax abuse is common among Xanax users, and it’s important to be aware of the potential signs. 

Some signs of Xanax abuse include:

  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Aggressive or violent behavior
  • Tolerance and withdrawal symptoms

How Does Xanax Interact With Alcohol?

Alcohol and Xanax are both central nervous system depressants that produce sedative effects. When combined, alcohol and Xanax may cause greater drowsiness and reduced cognitive function.

This combination can cause dangerously low respiratory rates. Xanax and alcohol should never be mixed. You should wait until almost all of the Xanax has left your body before drinking alcohol. With an average half-life of 11.2 hours, it could take a few days for Xanax to be completely cleared from your body. 

Mixing Xanax and alcohol can also increase the risk of addiction to both substances. 

Detox From Xanax Safely

If you are dependent on Xanax, it can be painful and dangerous to withdraw from. Seizures, extreme confusion and disorientation, and even death may occur when Xanax is abruptly stopped. This is why you should never try to stop taking Xanax abruptly or without a doctor’s supervision.

It’s important to go through the detox process in a medically supervised facility to ensure your safety in order to make sure that there is no risk associated with discontinuing Xanax. 

Contact our addiction recovery staff today to learn more about how we can help.