Benzodiazepine is a large class of drugs that help treat clinically severe anxiety. The doctor might prescribe them due to a neurological condition, psychiatric disorder, or any other purpose. The benzo family includes:
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Clorazepate (Tranxene)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Oxazepam (Serax)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
These classes differ in how long they work, how quickly they work, and what they are prescribed. Besides anxiety disorders, benzodiazepines can be used for seizure disorders, anesthesia, alcohol withdrawal, muscle relaxation, and insomnia.
What do Benzodizepins look like?
Benzos are available in the form of suppository, injection, capsule, or tablet. Most of them are taken orally, but intravenous injection is common for people admitted to the hospital or anyone who is misusing the medication. Benzos are beneficial for most people, but they are also addictive. One concern that experts and some patients have is the dependency on the medication.
Dependency is common for people who consume benzodiazepine medication for a long duration. Some people stick to the prescribed amounts while others use them recreationally or consume higher doses to enhance the effects of opiate use, alcohol intoxication, or relaxation.
How do Benzos work?
Benzos affect your GABA, a neurotransmitter that suppresses neurons’ functioning in your spinal cord and brain. That’s because most of the conditions benzos are supposed to treat are associated with neurons.
Benzos were introduced as a replacement to Barbiturates because of increased cases of addiction. Benzodiazepines are also controlled substances because they all have a potential for abuse.
How long will Benzodiazepine stay in the body?
The different classes of benzodiazepine medication will take different durations before getting out of your body. That’s because these drugs have different half-lives and different durations of action. Some benzodiazepines might stay for a short period while others take longer to get eliminated.
Valium is one of the long-acting benzodiazepines, and it can take up to 10 days before getting out of your system. Klonopin, Librium, Restoril, Ativan, and Xanax can take up to five days, while Halcion can take up to two days. However, you have to understand that all these figures are estimations, and they can vary per person.
|90 Days||2.5 days||24 hours||4-7 days|
To better know whether the medication is out of your system, you should take a detection test. The tests can include a blood test, urinalysis, and hair follicle testing. Blood tests contain the shortest detection windows, while urinalysis has better results. Hair follicle testing is the best, and it can detect the presence of benzo in your system.
The duration of action will always have an impact on how long the benzodiazepine medication will last in your body. Other metabolites from the medication can be detected during a drug test, and they also take longer to get out of your system than the medication itself.
What are the half-lives and peak levels of Benzodiazepine?
To better understand how long benzos affect and last in the body, you should check the half-lives and peak levels. The half-life indicates the duration it takes for your body to eradicate half of the dose. The peak level suggests the drug’s highest concentration in your bloodstream.
The half-lives and peak levels of benzos will depend on factors like the dosage amount, method of administration, the time between doses, and the prescribed drug. There are three categories to help you understand how benzos work. They include:
- Long-acting – Their half-life values are longer than 24 hours. These benzos have long-acting metabolites that create stores in the body with multiple doses.
- Intermediate or short-acting – Their half-life ranges from five to 24 hours.
- Ultra short-acting – Their half-life is five hours or less.
Which factors influence how long Benzos stay in your system?
There are lots of factors that affect how long benzos will last in your system. Below are some of the most influential factors to consider.
Your genetic makeup plays a large role in how your body metabolizes benzos and showcases whether you are susceptible to addiction. It can, therefore, affect how you react to drugs and how your body processes them.
If you are an older person, your metabolism will be slower, thus indicating that your organs also take a while to work. Your age plays a massive role in determining how quickly your body can get rid of toxins.
Frequency of use
Benzos get to stay in your system longer if you have frequently been using them. If you took a single dose, it’s easy for your body to get rid of any medication. This won’t be the case if you have been ingesting benzos regularly.
Having a higher metabolism enables you to burn off liquids, food, and drugs quickly. If you have a slow-performing metabolism, it can hinder the process, thus having the drugs last longer in the system. Additional factors like dies, exercise, and supplements can influence your metabolic rates, thus impacting the elimination of benzos.
Body fat, height, and weight
These factors play a role in your benzos dosage amounts because you must take them in proportion to your fat, height, and weight.
The function of the liver and kidney
Your liver and kidneys play a large role in eliminating benzos from your body. If you have had some issues with these organs, it might take a while before benzos are entirely eradicated from your system. That’s because these organs will have a more challenging time with the elimination process.
What leads to Benzodiazepine addiction?
In most cases, one might get addicted due to environmental factors like peer pressure, family, and friends. Some genetic predispositions can lead to benzos addiction. The medication is addictive after long-term use, and being in a stressful environment can lead to prolonged addiction. Some of these settings include your finances, employment status, and economic status.
Since any benzos medication like lorazepam affects your GABA receptors, they affect your brain by reducing excitability. That’s why you get t experience antianxiety or tranquilizing effects. Prolonged use of the medication can deplete your GABA receptors, thus having a reverse effect on your brain. That’s by being hyperexcited, which can later lead to heightened anxiety, insomnia, and chronic abuse symptoms.
Experiencing such effects can lead most people to increase their dosage without understanding that tolerance has developed and become addicted. That’s why anyone who has experienced the addiction would like to know how long benzos stay in their system.
What are the dangers of Benzos addiction?
The main concerns for all benzos patients include the development of physical dependence and the potential of abuse. Even though intentional abuse of prescription benzos is uncommon, anyone with a history of drug abuse should use the medication cautiously. Most people don’t abuse benzos themselves; however, they can mix with other drugs to increase the effect.
As a patient, you need not worry about benzos addiction because you only use it for several months. Therefore, you will not experience issues of tolerance, dependence, and difficulties in stopping when you don’t need benzos. There are lots of dangers of benzos addiction. Some of the common ones include:
How should you deal with the withdrawal symptoms?
Understanding how long benzodiazepines last in your body is a good initiative. However, you might still face some withdrawal symptoms since you will have to break your body’s chemical dependency on benzos. Some of the symptoms you will encounter will include:
- Blurry vision
- Impaired judgment
Seeking some medical attention like detox or hospitalization can help you obtain the best care and recover healthily. Quitting benzos abruptly can result in death since your body goes into shock. Consulting with a health specialist ensures that you avoid such scenarios and understand the necessary changes to the medication. You can also ask for help if you want to break the addiction.
Some of the suggestions that the doctor can offer will include inpatient detoxification or rapid detox. They do this according to the dosage and how often you use benzos. In doing this, they can monitor you and administer the medication to help reduce the intensity of your withdrawal symptoms. More so, they can use preventative measures to negate any complications.
When are Benzo tests necessary?
Drug tests are necessary depending on your lifestyle. For example, military personnel, athlete, employer, or employee. Court-mandated tests or admission to a rehab center also require a drug test. If you have a benzos prescription, you can request a drug test to know whether there might have been an overdose. It’s crucial to conduct the test if you have been experiencing:
- Breathing difficulties
- Poor coordination
- Slurred speech
Benzos have their advantages and disadvantages. However, the duration they stay in your system can vary depending on your dosage and frequency of use. When using benzos, you should avoid overdosing since it’s one of the ways of becoming addicted. More so, if you are considering stopping the medication or addiction, you should seek professional aid for the best results.