31 Aug How Long Does Xanax Stay In Your System?
Xanax is a drug that has become increasingly popular in the United States. Every year, it’s prescribed to more than 46 million people in America.
How long does Xanax stay in your system? It’s a powerful drug that’s used to treat a variety of mental health issues. It doesn’t stay in the system long, but it does come with side effects and can only be administered with a prescription from a doctor.
What is Xanax?
Also known as the generic form of Alprazolam, Xanax is a tranquilizer that’s similar to Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin. It’s prescribed to people with anxiety. They can use it as needed or on a daily basis as recommended by their doctors. It targets the chemicals in the brain that cause panic attacks and all types of anxiety disorders like social and chronic anxiety.
Usually, adults with panic disorders will take 0.5 milligrams of immediate-release Xanax orally three times per day, or 0.5 mg to 1mg once per day for extended-release tablets. Those with anxiety may take 0.25mg to 0.5mg of immediate-release tablets three times per day.
Some users will take it when they’re going through the symptoms of anxiety, and others will take it on a regular basis to avoid such symptoms. If users are experiencing an anxious episode, they can take the pill, and feel calmer and maybe even sleepy within 15 to 20 minutes. The effects take about six hours to wear off, so it’s not recommended when driving or operating heavy machinery.
The drug, which comes in pill form, can be highly addictive, and is not for women who are pregnant or nursing. It’s also not available to anyone under 18 years of age or individuals with narrow-angle glaucoma. Older adults have to be careful when taking Xanax because they may fall or injure themselves while on the drug.
A psychiatrist or doctor will ask those with anxiety about their medical history before they prescribe Xanax. If patients have or had asthma, seizures, drug or addiction problems, suicidal thoughts or behavior, or liver or kidney disease, it may not be the best option for them.
The Side Effects and Dangers of Xanax
Xanax is a habit-forming medicine. If misused, it can lead to overdose, addiction, or death. That’s why it’s especially dangerous for pregnant or nursing mothers and those with past drug misuse.
Users may be allergic to Xanax if upon taking it, they have trouble breathing or experience swelling in their face, lips, or throat. If they’re going through negative side effects of the drug, they need to call their doctor immediately or check into to the emergency room. Some of these side effects are confusion, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts or behavior, fast heartbeat, agitation, seizures, and risk-taking actions.
Since Xanax calms you down and induces sleepiness, users shouldn’t take it with other sleep aids, sedative hypnotics, or alcohol. Fluvoxamine and some types of Benzodiazepines, if taken at the same time as Xanax, can have life-threatening effects on the system. Lomitapide is also not compatible with Xanax because they both slow down the processing of lomitapide in the liver.
If an individual is taking antifungal medicine, that can slow down his or her system’s ability to process the effects of Xanax. People should also be cautious and not mix it with other Alprazolam drugs, Boceprevir, Ritonavir, and Telaprevir, since this may lead to the Alprazolam not working correctly in the body.
Patients who decide to stop taking Xanax need to taper off their usage of the drug. This process can take up to a year.
Since Xanax use carries many downsides, doctors may recommend natural methods for treating anxiety before prescribing the drug. This could include eating well, going to therapy, exercising, meditation, sleeping more, eliminating caffeine, and doing yoga.
How Long Xanax Stays in the System
Xanax has the ability to calm people down before a flight and help them get to sleep at night. For people with stressful jobs who have trouble relaxing, Xanax can be a quick fix. Also, because it’s subscribed to millions of patients, it’s easily accessible.
All of these facts have led to the abuse of the drug by people who are not prescribed it. Many jobs and organizations are now testing for the drug in applicants’ systems.
Xanax has a half-life of six to nine hours. For healthy people, it takes that long for half of a dose to leave their systems. After four days, the system should be completely clear of it.
How fast the drug leaves the body depends upon a few factors including the speed of someone’s metabolism, age, how healthy the liver is, weight, amount of the drug ingested, how long he or she has been taking it, and body fat content.
How They Test for Xanax in the Body
Drug testing facilities will detect Xanax in a person’s system through urine and blood tests, hair follicle analysis, and saliva swabs. The most frequently used method is urine testing. If people are taking the drug on occasion, it will not show up on this kind of test after four days; for heavier users, it can show up even if they haven’t taken it for a week.
Since doctors taper off the usage of Xanax for safety purposes, it’s still going to show up in an individual’s system even if they are in rehab for it. With this drug, it’s not possible to go cold turkey. That could lead to very perilous withdrawal symptoms.
Why Organizations and Jobs Test for Xanax
Aside from testing individuals in rehab, organizations and jobs may look into whether people are using the drug for a variety of reasons.
For example, a construction company may be cautious to hire workers using Xanax because their job is to operate heavy machinery. It would not be a great idea to hire a truck or bus driver who takes Xanax because he or she may become sleepy and fall asleep at the wheel. The same goes for pilots, boaters, and ship captains. The military may also be hesitant since people will be going into stressful situations and might be tempted to take the drug. Drowsiness could cause users to not be alert in life-threatening situations.
Many employers will require the five-panel drug test, which is for street drugs like cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, opiates, and phencyclidine. If they administer the 10-panel drug test, Xanax will show up. That’s because this test is for the five street drugs, in addition to methadone, propoxphene, methaqualone, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines. Xanax is a benzodiazepine.
What Happens When Detoxing from Xanax
People will choose to go off of Xanax if they feel like they’re getting too dependent on it or they’re experiencing the downsides of the drug. They may also opt for a more natural method of treating their anxiety, or want to be hired for a job that frowns upon using it. Women will also be forced to go off it if they’re planning on getting pregnant because of the risk of birth defects.
Withdrawal symptoms from the drug can start occurring only hours after individuals stop taking it. Over a period of one to four days after stopping, withdrawal side effects may be at their peak. These symptoms occur because the brain has become dependent on Xanax for making GABA, a neurotransmitter that reduces anxiety and fear and stops the body from going into total panic mode.
During this time, people may have headaches, seizures, paranoia, blurred vision, insomnia, sweating, heart palpitations, diarrhea, numb fingers, and a number of other negative health issues. In terms of their mental health, they might be more prone to getting upset, be irritable, and have emotional outbursts and panic attacks.
A patient needs the help of a medical detox specialist to assist him or her because of all the risks that come along with withdrawal.
Treating Withdrawal Symptoms Caused by Xanax
Aside from tapering the drug, patients experiencing very severe withdrawal symptoms may need to go through the detox process in a medical or rehab setting. A doctor might prescribe Valium, which is a longer-acting benzodiazepine, to substitute for the lack of Xanax in the body. Other medications like anti-depressants and beta-blockers can be used as well if necessary.
If Xanax users don’t have psychologists, their doctors may recommend they go to a cognitive behavioral therapist throughout the withdrawal process. This kind of therapy will arm individuals with the techniques to manage their stress and prevent panic attacks from occurring.
Doctors or nutritionists should also keep an eye on patients detoxing from the drug. This is because appetites can change and weight loss may occur at this time.
Though Xanax can help people with their anxiety, it needs to be taken only with the help of a medical professional. It can lead to a host of health issues as well as unpleasant withdrawal systems. When deciding to detox from the drug, patients have to find alternatives to deal with their stress, as well as closely monitor their physical and mental health.
“How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System: Blood, Urine, and Hair?” The Recovery Village. 7 Mar. 2019. https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/xanax-addiction/faq/how-long-xanax-system-blood-urine-hair/#gref
Lautieri, Amanda. “How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?” American Addiction Centers. 7 Mar. 2019. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/xanax-treatment/how-long-in-system
“How Long Does Benzos Stay in Your System? Drugrehab.com. 7 Mar. 2019. https://www.drugrehab.com/addiction/prescription-drugs/benzodiazepines/how-long-do-benzos-stay-in-your-system/