How Long Does Valium Stay In Your System?

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on August 24, 2023

Valium has a much longer half-life than many other drugs and can be detected in urine up to six weeks after last use in cases of heavy use. With that said, the average detection window for Valium is closer to 11 days using standard, urinalysis.

Valium is a brand name medication made using the generic drug diazepam. It’s commonly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, seizures, restless leg syndrome, muscle spasms, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Like other benzodiazepines, Valium acts as a central nervous system depressant, slowing and calming physical and mental activity inside the body. Compared to other benzos, Valium has an unusually long-half life and is cleared from the body comparatively slowly.

How Long Does Valium Stay In Your System?

As a long-acting medication, Valium has a longer elimination half-life than many other prescription medications, including Xanax (alprazolam), and can be detected in the body long after its effects have worn off. 

Certain metabolites of Valium (including nordiazepam, temazepam, oxazepam, temazepam glucuronide, and oxazepam glucuronide) can be detected for a longer period of time still.

Rough estimates for Valium detection times using different types of drug screenings are as follows:

Valium Urine Testing

The most common and affordable form of drug testing, urine screens may be able to detect Valium use for up to 6 weeks after your last dose.

Valium Blood Testing

Blood tests have the smallest detection window and are only able to identify Valium abuse for up to 2 days after a person’s last dose.

Valium Saliva Testing

Saliva tests may be able to reveal the use of valium for up to 10 days after use.

Valium Hair Follicle Testing

Given a regular and prolonged pattern of Valium use, hair follicle tests may be able to detect Valium use for up to 13 weeks after a person’s last use of the drug.

Factors That Affect Valium Detection Times

How long Valium stays in an individual’s system can also be greatly influenced by individual factors relating to health and metabolic rate.

These factors include:

  • genetic factors
  • age
  • gender
  • nutrition and hydration
  • body composition/body fat percentage
  • use of other substances (including other drugs of abuse)
  • kidney and liver function and health
  • length of Valium use and typical dosage
  • half-life

Valium Half-Life & Elimination Period

The half-life of Valium ranges between 20 to 50 hours for different individuals, describing the amount of time it takes for one-half of the remaining dose of Valium to be metabolized and cleared from the body.

Because it takes between five and six half-lives for substances to be effectively cleared from the body, Valium may still be present in your system for 4-13 days after your last dose.

How Long Valium’s Effects Last

Valium takes effect within an hour after the medication is taken by mouth. These effects then last for between four to six hours per dose.

If Valium is misused through other forms of ingestion (snorting, injection, smoked, parachuting, plugging, etc.) the drug’s effects may be intensified and accelerated, but will tend to wear off even more quickly.

Side Effects Of Valium Use

The most common side effects of Valium use include:

  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • vertigo
  • constipation
  • problems with balance
  • problems with memory
  • restlessness
  • irritability
  • muscle weakness
  • nausea
  • drooling
  • dry mouth
  • slurred speech
  • blurred or double vision
  • itching or rash
  • reduced libido and sexual function

Valium Withdrawal

Because a dose of Valium lasts so much longer in the body than most other benzos, symptoms of Valium withdrawal can emerge later and more gradually. This can take up to one week depending on the individual and may involve increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and fever.

Acute symptoms of withdrawal will then intensify, often involving tremors, anxiety, disorientation, sweating, agitation, hallucinations, and seizures.

Since the effects of Valium withdrawal can be severe and potentially life-threatening in rare cases, healthcare providers recommend that anyone detoxing from Valium after a prolonged period of time have medical supervision through a tapering and/or medical detox program.

Valium Addiction Treatment

Treatment programs, including inpatient services available at Ohio Recovery Center, are available to help you or your loved ones restore your behavioral health and recover from Valium abuse and substance use disorder.

Please contact us today to learn more about our substance abuse treatment options.

  1. Drugs in R&D https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8885946/#:~:text=Diazepam%20is%20metabolized%20to%20nordiazepam,(OG)%20%5B6%5D.
  2. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/013263s094lbl.pdf
  3. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682047.html

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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