How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?

Xanax is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Knowing how long Xanax stays in your system is important for addiction treatment and drug tests. 

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?

Table of Contents

What is Xanax?

Xanax (alprazolam) is a medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax affects the central nervous system in a way that produces a calming effect. It works by amplifying the effects of a natural chemical in the body called GABA.1 Although it is a useful medication for anxiety, it can also be addictive. If you are recovering from addiction or thinking about how the drug is detected in drug tests, you may be wondering how long Xanax in your system will last. 

Drug Class

Xanax is part of the benzodiazepines drug class. Benzodiazepine drugs work by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.

Xanax is used to treat severe symptoms of anxiety when other medication options have not been effective. It is only recommended that this drug is taken for a short period because it has the potential to lead to addiction. 

Street Names for Xanax

Some people may abuse Xanax recreationally because it produces pleasurable euphoric effects when taken in large doses. When people misuse the drug this way, it may be bought and sold under various street names. Common Xanax street names include:2

  • Bars
  • Bicycle parts
  • Footballs
  • Handlebars
  • School bus
  • White boys
  • White girls
  • Yellow boys
  • Z-bars 

Generic Names

Xanax is the well-known brand name of the generic drug alprazolam. When someone refers to Xanax or alprazolam, they are essentially talking about the same drug with alprazolam being the generic version. 

How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System and Drug Tests?

Xanax in Urine

A urine test is the most common method used to detect Xanax in a drug test. This drug is detectable in a urine test for up to four days. The number of days Xanax is detectable in a urine test may vary depending on the individual, frequency of use, and the dosage that was taken. 

Xanax in Hair

If you are trying to detect Xanax in a drug test, the hair test will give you the longest amount of time to still be able to detect the drug in your system. Xanax will be detectable in a hair test for up to ninety days. 

Xanax in Blood

You will have the shortest amount of time to detect Xanax in a blood drug test. The substance can be detected in the blood for up to twenty-four hours. 

Xanax in Saliva

Detecting Xanax in a drug test through saliva can be an effective method. It can be detected in a saliva test for up to two and a half days.3  

False Positives

When testing for this substance in a drug test, some drugs can trigger a false positive. The URMC states that the following drugs can lead to a false positive for Xanax in a drug test.4

  • Etodolac (Lodine)
  • Fenoprofen (Nalfon)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Oxaprozin (Daypro)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Tolmetin (Tolectin) 

How Does Your Body Process Xanax?

When Xanax is taken, it is metabolized in the liver. If someone has liver problems, it can cause their body to process the drug slower.

Half-Life of Xanax

Studies show that the half-life of Xanax ranges from six to almost twenty-seven hours. It generally takes multiple half-lives before a drug is fully eliminated from the body’s system. Typically, Xanax will stay in your system between two to four days after taking it. 

Factors That Affect How Long Xanax Stays in Your System

Several factors can affect how long Xanax stays in your system. 

Type of Drug

The type of drug can affect how long it stays in your system. Different types of benzodiazepines may be taken. Long, intermediate, or short-acting drugs can affect how quickly it is released into your system and processed through the body. 

Frequency of Use

Frequency of use can also affect the amount of Xanax in your system. The more frequently you use Xanax, the longer it will stay in your system. 

Amount of Drug

The amount of the drug taken can also affect Xanax in your system. Xanax can be taken in different dosages of 0.25, 0.5, 1, and 2mg tablets. Taking higher dosages can lead to Xanax staying in your system longer. 

Fentanyl Half-Life

Those who use Xanax recreationally may combine it with the opioid drug fentanyl. Combining both substances can lead to an increased half-life and having Xanax in your system longer. The half-life of fentanyl ranges from about eight to ten hours. 

Body Mass

Body mass can also affect Xanax in your system. Drugs can often be stored in fat cells within the body, making it take longer for them to leave your system. This fact means that the heavier someone is, the longer it will take the drug to leave their system. 

Metabolic Rate

A person’s metabolism can also affect how quickly their body can process a drug. Someone who has a quicker metabolism will likely be able to process the drug and have it leave their system sooner. 

Smoking Cigarettes

Smoking cigarettes and other polysubstance use can cause the body’s processes to slow down and not process substances as quickly. Smoking cigarettes can lead to Xanax staying in your system longer. 


As you age, your body’s processes begin to slow down. Generally, the younger someone is, the quicker their body can process substances and get them out of their system.5  

How to Get Xanax Out of Your System?

If you are trying to get Xanax out of your system, there are a couple of methods you can use. 


Hydration and drinking enough water can help get Xanax out of your system faster. Drinking water helps cleanse your body and will help accelerate the process of getting rid of Xanax in your system. 

Stop Xanax Use

The easiest way to get Xanax out of your system is to stop using the drug. Once you stop using the drug, it will take some time before it is fully removed from your system. It is important to be patient and allow your body to fully process the drug to get rid of Xanax in your system. 

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms and Co-Occurring Disorders

Xanax withdrawal symptoms can lead to side effects and co-occurring disorders. Those who use the drug may already struggle with co-occurring disorders that can lead to Xanax addiction and affect the withdrawal process.


Since Xanax is an anxiety medication, many who take will already be experiencing symptoms of anxiety. When someone suddenly stops taking the substance, it can lead to anxiety symptoms or feelings of panic due to physical and psychological dependence that can be formed on the drug.


Depression is another common co-occurring disorder that can occur in Xanax withdrawal. Xanax withdrawal symptoms can affect the mind and your moods in many ways which can create symptoms of depression. If you are struggling with depression while detoxing from the drug, proper treatment for the depression symptoms will be necessary to achieve full recovery.


Seizures can be a more serious side effect of Xanax withdrawal, so you must seek proper treatment and support before trying to detox from it. A treatment center can provide you with immediate medical attention and help you manage severe withdrawal side effects like seizures if they occur.

Mood Swings

A common side effect of Xanax withdrawal is mood swings. When someone develops a dependence on Xanax, they will feel like they can’t function normally without taking the drug. It will often result in mood swings and other mental health side effects if someone suddenly stops taking it. 

Get Help for Xanax Addiction at The PAC Program

If you or someone you know is struggling with a Xanax addiction, The PAC Program can help. The PAC Program has experts that are experienced in treating addiction symptoms. The addiction specialists on staff can help you create a recovery plan that will lead to high rates of success. 


The first step in the recovery process involves a drug addiction detox. When you go through the detox process you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms as your body gets rid of the Xanax in your system. With the assistance of the professionals at The PAC Program, you will have around-the-clock support to make this process as comfortable as possible. 


Therapy is a common part of most addiction treatment programs. Through therapy, you will be able to work on ways to cope with the daily stresses of life without the use of drugs or alcohol. Many who struggle with addiction may also deal with underlying conditions that cause are causing the addiction to occur. Therapy will help you work through underlying conditions to ensure higher rates of success in recovery. 


Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may be used to help treat Xanax addiction. MAT is useful in addiction treatment for easing withdrawal symptoms or preventing relapse. Common medications that are effective for treating addictions to benzodiazepines are buprenorphine and methadone. 

Inpatient Care

The PAC Program offers inpatient treatment programs where you will stay at the treatment center for a duration of time while you detox and recover. Inpatient care provides you with around-the-clock support and treatment to make this process as easy and comfortable as possible. 

Outpatient Care

Outpatient care is also available as a treatment option. Outpatient treatment is often a good option for those who have work or family responsibilities they do not want to leave behind while receiving treatment. During outpatient treatment, you will go to the treatment center at dedicated times to work on your recovery program. This allows you to continue living at home during this process. 


If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at
623-523-4748 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.

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