How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?

Xanax (alprazolam) is a central nervous system depressant of the benzodiazepine class, commonly used to treat generalized anxiety and panic disorder. Intended to be used only as needed to treat acute symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders, Xanax is one of the most widely prescribed medications for short-term treatment of these disorders.

Despite being a fast-acting medication, Xanax can stay in a person’s system for several days. For individuals who use other substances, such as alcohol, heroin, or other depressant drugs, the presence of Xanax in the body can lead to an increased risk of dangerous or life-threatening health consequences.

Long-Term Risks of Misusing Xanax

alprazolam xanax

Xanax is a fast-acting benzodiazepine prescription medication that is intended for short-term use to treat anxiety and depression. It’s very effective at calming acute anxiety and panic attacks, and it is a fast-acting drug, making it particularly popular.

Xanax, like other benzodiazepine drugs, does have the potential to become addictive — especially if taken for longer periods of time, outside of the prescribed amount, or if misused. This is why Xanax is intended only for short-term treatment of anxiety. When a person becomes dependent or addicted to Xanax, if they suddenly stop taking the drug, withdrawal symptoms may develop.

Withdrawal from Xanax

Withdrawal symptoms from any drug tend to be unpleasant. In rare cases, withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be dangerous, causing symptoms like seizures, suicidal urges, and psychosis. Other symptoms include:

  • Insomnia.
  • New or returning anxiety symptoms.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Restlessness or mood swings.
  • Tremors or shaking.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Confusion.
  • Problems withe memory and concentration.
  • Confusion.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Sudden weight loss.

The most dangerous symptoms tend to occur when the individual has been taking a high dose of Xanax for a long time, and/or when intake of the drug is stopped all at once. It’s therefore important for both addicted individuals and anyone taking the medication for medical reasons to be aware of how long it takes for Xanax to leave the system.

No matter your situation, it’s important to ensure that you only attempt to withdraw from Xanax under the supervision of qualified addiction treatment specialists or other healthcare professionals in order to avoid dangerous symptoms.

Elimination Half-Life

Every drug has an elimination half-life, which is the time it takes for half of a substance to leave a person’s system. The half-life of Xanax is 9-16 hours, with an average of 12 hours. In the next 12 hours, half of what’s left of the substance will be gone. Therefore it takes about four days for all of the drug to be flushed out of the average person’s body. This can, of course, vary depending on a number of factors. These include:

  • Age: In general, the older a person is, the longer it takes for a substance to be entirely eliminated from the system.
  • Genetics: Some people have a naturally faster metabolism than others, and this is overwhelmingly determined by one’s genes. A faster metabolism means that a drug is flushed out of the body quicker.
  • Body mass: This includes height, weight, and body fat content. More body fat can slow the elimination of certain drugs as fat cells tend to absorb and store substances like Xanax for a period of time.
  • Liver and kidney health: Drugs are processed and eliminated from the body by these organs. A healthy liver and kidneys will be more effective at this, causing a substance to be flushed from the body faster.
  • Drug-taking behavior: The more Xanax a person takes, the longer it will take for the drug to be eliminated from their system.

Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Hollywood, FL

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to Xanax or any other drug or alcohol, we can help. Recovery First Treatment Center provides effective evidence-based addiction treatment, including drug and alcohol detox, to help people overcome substance use disorders and get on the road to recovery.

Contact our admissions navigators at to learn about our inpatient drug and alcohol rehab in Hollywood, FL. We’ll be happy to answer your questions about ways to pay for rehab, how to start addiction treatment, and help you find out if

The Price of Not Getting Help
When contemplating the costs of addiction treatment for yourself, child, or loved one, consider the costs, or consequences, of “things as they are now.” What would happen if the substance abuse or addiction continued? Contact Recovery First, and we will help you or your loved one get the treatment needed to stop the dangerous, progressive effects of addiction.