More and more people are becoming aware of the dangers of benzodiazepines. These drugs, commonly prescribed for anxiety, are known to contribute to overdoses and can even kill you. But they can be useful when used properly. So how long does 1 benzodiazepine stay in your system?
To understand this question, you’re going to need to know a bit more about how drugs work in the system. Ultimately, the answer depends on your own body chemistry and the type of benzo that you’re using.
How Long Do Drugs Stay In the Body?
The most important term you’re going to need to learn right now is half-life. The term half-life is used to describe the amount of time it takes for half of a drug to leave the body.
So, for example, imagine you take a 5 mg dose of Valium. Valium has a very long half-life, ranging from 20-80 hours. This means that even after 80 hours (3 and a half days!) you might still have half (2.5 mg) of your dose in your body.
After this, the half-life continues. This means that it’ll take another 20-80 hours for the next half of the remaining 2.5 mg to be eliminated from the body, and so on. This means that trace amounts of drugs can often be found in your body long after you’ve stopped taking them.
This also makes it hard for anyone to pinpoint exactly how long it takes for a benzo to stay in your body. That’s where the following info will come in hand.y
How Long Does 1 Benzodiazepine Stay In Your System?
As we mentioned above, it’s pretty much impossible to know exactly when the last molecule of any drug will leave your body. But, by applying the idea of the drug’s half-life, along with some other information, you can get a rough idea.
Shorter-acting benzos tend to leave your body a lot faster than longer-lasting drugs.
- Midazolam (Versed) is a very short-acting benzo with a very fast half-life of 1.5-2.5 hours.
- Triazolam (Halcion) has a half-life that ranges from anywhere between 1.5 to 5.5 hours and usually can’t be detected in urine tests after 15 hours.
- Lorazepam (Ativan) takes effect very quickly, within a few minutes, but remains active for some time. The half-life of lorazepam is between 10-20 hours.
- Alprazolam (Xanax) has a half-life between 12-15 hours.
Both of these mid-length benzos are generally cleared from urine within 5 days.
- Clonazepam (Klonopin) has a half-life of 18-50 hours.
- Diazepam (Valium) has a very long half-life between 20-80 hours. Valium can be detected in urine tests for up to 30 days.
- Nordiazepam is not actually prescribed in the USA. However, some other benzos – such as diazepam – are metabolized by the body and turn into nordiazepam. This compound has a half-life between 31-97 hours.
In addition to knowing the drug’s half-life, many other factors can affect how long benzos stay in your body. Your dosage, how often you use them, your metabolism, and what you eat can all affect you.
If you’re wondering how long does 1 benzodiazepine stay in your system, the answer might surprise you. Some benzos can stay in your system for up to a month, whereas others are eliminated in less than a day.
Your best bet is to talk to a doctor. Remember, benzos are dangerous and addictive. Consider supplementing your anxiety with natural cures or other lifestyle changes.