Does Xanax Show Up On Drug Test?

Does Xanax Show Up On Drug Test?


For Certain, Yes. Xanax shows up as a benzodiazepine (BZO) on a drug test. Xanax may be detected on almost all types of drug tests. Xanax may be detected in your blood for 1 to 6 days, 5 to 7 days in the urine, 2 to 3 days in the saliva, and for up to 90 days in your hair after last use.

The half-life for Xanax is more or less 12 hours; hence the drug will be out of the system after four days on average.

Xanax is a prescription medication used for short-term treatment of muscle spasms, anxiety disorder, seizures, and sleep disorders. It acts on the brain and central nervous system by depressing them. It aids in calming the nerves and bringing on a feeling of relaxation.

Despite its effectiveness, Xanax is a potential drug of abuse and addiction and is most often used for recreational purposes since it induces euphoria.

Table of Contents

What is Xanax?

Xanax is an antianxiety medication and the brand name for alprazolam. It is an intermediary benzodiazepine that is prescribed short-term to people who have generalized anxiety syndrome. It is recommended and prescribed for other conditions such as insomnia, restless legs syndrome, seizures, panic disorders, and stress maintenance. On certain occasions, Xanax is also prescribed for medical conditions like severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and agoraphobia.

Xanax is not recommended during pregnancy since it is harmful to a developing fetus. Xanax reaches its full effect in less than two hours, hence considerably a fast-acting BZO.

A few side effects of Xanax include:

  • Unsteadiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia

Effects of Xanax

Xanax is a powerful antianxiety medication. It is formulated to be a short-term medication due to its highly addictive nature. Xanax reaches its peak in approximately 1 to 2 hours. Statistics describe the feeling of taking Xanax as sedating and calming. Unlike other drugs such as COC that produce a high or euphoric feeling, Xanax users feel more relaxed, quiet, and exhausted. The drug makes them fall asleep or pass out for a few hours.

BZO influences the chemical neurotransmitter known as GABA (GamaAmino-Butyric acid) in the brain responsible for mood, sleep, and pain. It binds to the GABA-BZO receptor complex, thereby inducing sedative and hypnotic properties. In essence, they work like tranquilizers.

How Long Does Xanax Remain in Your System?

After taking the Xanax, it reaches its peak in about 1 to 2 hours in the blood. The half-life of Xanax in the blood is about 11.2 hours on average; hence half of the drug gets metabolized and eliminated from the system through urine. Therefore, it takes five half-lives for most of the drug to be expelled out. Hence, it is approximately 2 to 4 days for the Xanax to be eliminated from the body.

Xanax may be detected in urine, saliva, blood, and hair. The detection period depends on various factors, and the Xanax gets cleared at different rates from various parts of the body.

  • Saliva - A mouth swab drug test may be able to detect Xanax shortly after a dose is taken. So if you just took a Xanax, it will undoubtedly show up on the saliva test. This type of test only works for a stipulated time of two and a half days. Oral fluids also have a smaller window of detection.
  • Blood - Xanax will usually build up within one hour of its usage. Statistics state that Xanax will show up for at least 24 hours. While this may be true, some sources state that a person may still be tested positive up to six days after consuming the drug. It mainly depends on the dosage of Xanax and how long you have been prescribed this medication.
  • Urine - The urine drug test is most typically used because of its clarity and accuracy. Unfortunately, urine screenings usually show effects for about five to seven days, with an average of four days. Older people may show up for a little longer.
  • Hair - Hair follicle drug tests will not instantly detect Xanax use because it takes much longer for the drug to appear in the hair. Xanax may be detected from two to three weeks to 90 days after the last dose.

Factors That Affect Detection Period

Many factors may alter the time that the system takes to eliminate the Xanax out. Age, weight, metabolism, hydration, medication dose, the period you have been taking Xanax, other medications, etc., may play a role in lengthening the elimination period.

  • Age:  Age could impact the half-life of Xanax. The average half-life in the healthy population is about 11 hours in young adults and over 16 hours in elderly.
  • Metabolism:  Metabolism varies among people. Physically active people have a higher metabolism and tend to eliminate Xanax faster. The elderly may have a slower rate because of their age, medical conditions, etc.
  • Weight:  Overweight people may have difficulties metabolizing Xanax, thereby increasing the half-life of the drug.
  • Liver/Kidney Disease:  People suffering from chronic liver disease or kidney disease may also have trouble breaking and eliminating the Xanax. It may result in increasing the half-life of almost 20 hours.

Various other factors such as the dose and how long the Xanax has been taken also alters the elimination period.

Effects of Xanax When Taken With Alcohol

Alcohol heightens the effects of Xanax and slows down how promptly your body may clear the drug from the system. If you take the Xanax and consume alcohol, there is a robust replication that you may encounter extreme lethargy and prolonged memory loss. It would be wise to avoid consuming the two substances simultaneously and prevent fatal side effects. The combination may result in dangerous, even deadly consequences to include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Strokes
  • Restlessness

Effects of Xanax When Taken With Other Drugs

It is advisable to avoid taking Xanax with various other drugs due to possible interactions. Xanax may interact with other medications, including:

  • Oral contraceptives
  • Antifungals
  • Antidepressants
  • Antibiotics
  • Antacids, Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Opioids

These drugs may alter the elimination process for Xanax in your body, leading to a toxic buildup of the drug and eventually overdose overtime.

Consulting with your prescribing physician is prudent before starting Xanax regarding the interactions to avoid untoward consequences. They can verify the risks and validate the disclosure of medical impacts with you.

You should also avoid combining Xanax with illicit drugs, including over-the-counter medications, since they may induce adverse effects which may be at times fatal. The compounded effects of combining these drugs may be hazardous and put your life at risk or may even lead to death.

How To Expel Xanax Out Of Your System?

Prescription medications such as Xanax are stopped by slowly tapering the dose. The body will naturally eliminate out the drug completely within a few days. Tapering of the drug should be done under the supervision of a medical professional. While tapering, one may experience withdrawal symptoms which may be mild and tolerable.

Since Xanax has a high potential for abuse, someone dependent on this drug may undergo a detoxification process. Abruptly stopping the Xanax could drive into a state of shock known as acute withdrawal. The detox process is associated with complex side effects that include blurred vision, vomiting, anxiety, drowsiness, rapid heartbeat, etc. During the detoxification process, patients are provided with emotional and medical assistance during treatment to ease withdrawal symptoms and facilitate a full recovery.

Final Words

Xanax is a prescription medication for short-term treatment of anxiety disorder, muscle spasms, seizures, and sleep disorders. Most of the Xanax will get metabolized, but the rest may be present in detectable levels.

Xanax will show up as BZO on a drug test. Before the drug test, it would be wise to inform your medication usage and show the prescription if necessary to the tester.

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