How long does Xanax take to work
Anxiety Meds: How Long Does Xanax Stay In Your System?

Xanax, also known as Alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine drug used for anxiety and panic attacks treatment. It is considered a light sedative or mild tranquilizer. Xanax promotes relaxation and helps to calm the nerves. However, it has the potential to be abused and can result in dependence when taken in large doses. Because of this, it is categorized as a federally controlled substance (Schedule IV).

If you are taking Xanax it would be beneficial to know how it works, its effects, and how long the effects of Xanax last. So, keep reading to learn the details!

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Does Xanax Relax Anxiety?

Xanax is an anti-anxiety drug used to treat the following conditions:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorders
  • Depression-related anxiety
  • Social anxiety disorder

Xanax decreases excessive brain activity by reducing abnormal excitation. It also lessens nerve tension and releases anxiety by slowing the movement of potentially out-of-balance brain chemicals. The way that Xanax works is by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid, a naturally occurring molecule that is produced in the brain.

Xanax can be used to alleviate the following anxiety-related adverse effects:

  • Irrational fears
  • Irritation or anger
  • Concentration problems
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Isolation
  • Panic attacks

How Long Does Xanax Take to Work?

One of the reasons Xanax is so successful at treating anxiety disorders is that the drug’s peak effects occur quickly. Most people often experience it one to two hours after taking their medication. In some cases, the effects can be felt within 5-15 minutes.

When taken by oral, Xanax enters the bloodstream rapidly. Whether you ingest Xanax with food or not has no bearing on how quickly it takes effect.

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How Long Does Xanax Last in Your System?

Xanax’s effects only last a few hours. Most people experience the drug’s effects at their peak for two to four hours. That’s why it is known as short-acting benzodiazepine. Extended-release medications can keep working for almost 24 hours.

Different lab tests may be conducted to know how long Xanax stays in your body. This medication can be detectable in urine, blood, saliva, and even hair for the following amount of time:

SalivaAlmost 3 days
UrineAbout 4 days
BloodAbout 27 hours
HairFor 90 days

It is possible to develop a tolerance to Xanax. If that occurs, you might start to notice that the drug’s sedative effects come on more slowly and fade away more quickly.

Effects of Xanax According to Dosage

Xanax is available in 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg dosages. As the dose rises, the effects become more prominent. Doctors generally advise first-time Xanax users to start with the lowest dose feasible. High doses are also linked to the “Rambo effect,” a rare and perplexing side effect. In this case, Xanax users start acting in ways that are highly out of character for them.

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Xanax dosages

Xanax's Half-life

A drug’s half-life means how long it takes your body to eliminate half of a dose from your system. Xanax has an 11-hour half-life. The body eliminates Xanax in 55 hours since it takes five half-lives for a medication to be eliminated from the body (about 2.5 days). On the other hand, Xanax XR has a longer half-life of about 16 hours and can stay in the body for up to 6 days.

Factors Affecting Xanax’s Half-life

The Xanax half-life is affected by various aspects, such as:

  • Age. Xanax is metabolized more quickly by younger persons than by older adults.
  • Weight. Because the body needs to work harder to digest the medication, Xanax often lasts longer for overweight people.
  • Dose. The half-life of Xanax will lengthen with higher doses, prolonging its duration of action.
  • Body’s Metabolism. Fast metabolism causes the body to process Xanax more quickly, shortening the period it remains active.
  • Drug interactions. Taking Xanax with certain medications may result in an interaction that affects one drug’s effectiveness while worsening the negative effects of another.

Summing Up

The half-life of medicine is crucial when preparing to cease taking it. This is crucial because quitting medications abruptly can create unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Although Xanax’s effects normally only last a few hours, the drug’s duration in the body can be much longer.

Only a medical professional can help you decide when to stop taking your medicine and how to do it safely. Contact us to get in touch with the best health professionals online.


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