Alprazolam is sold under the brand name Xanax and commonly used to treat a number of anxiety disorders. In fact, it is the most prescribed drug in the USA, but this widespread use has also made it the most misused benzo in the country.
If you've been prescribed Xanax for an anxiety disorder, you may be concerned that a drug test will force you to reveal your medical status. Of course, if you stop taking it for long enough, you should be okay, but how long does it take to get Xanax out of your urine? At what point will you be able to safely give a urine sample? Are there other ways to pass a urine drug test?
Do drug tests detect Xanax?
Well, yes and no. If you look at a typical 5-panel drug test, as recommended by SAMHSA, you'll see it targets marijuana (THC), coke, opiates (opium, heroin, morphine, and codeine but not opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone), amphetamines (including meth and possibly ecstasy), and PCP.
These tests do not look for benzodiazepines like Xanax, so it's unlikely that you would fail one just because you've been taking Xanax. There is a catch, however.
These days, employers are getting wise to the spreading use of prescription meds for recreational purposes, so they're buying in to the extended drug tests that testing labs offer. There is no fixed standard for what drugs are detected, so it largely depends on the individual lab. As always, it's best to play it safe and assume that you will be tested for benzos.
So, how long does it take to get Xanax out of your urine?
If you've been taking Xanax in therapeutic doses, it should be out of your urine (enough to pass a drug test) after about a week of abstinence. If you've been taking larger doses, be aware that it may take longer depending on your level of use. If you've been chronically using it for a year or so, it could even take as long as four to six weeks before your urine is clean enough.
In most cases, it would be wise to follow a weeklong detox program. Even if your detox is going to take longer than a week, this will give you a good start and get you into good exercising and eating habits. If you've been a seriously heavy user of Xanax, though, you may want to follow a two-month program instead.
What about rapid detoxes?
Good habits and supplements can help your body speed up its detox, but only to a point. If you need quick results for an upcoming urine drug test, you would be better served by getting one of the many detox drinks on the market.
In contrast to detoxing your body, which takes time, detox drinks focus on giving the urinary system a rapid but temporary cleansing. They aim to give you a few hours where your urine will have much lower concentrations of toxins (e.g., drugs and their metabolites) than normal. Just be sure to pick a drink that's formulated for your situation and always follow the directions.