How Long Does Valium Stay in Your System?
Valium, also known by the generic name diazepam, is a benzodiazepine medication that may be prescribed for the management of anxiety disorders, the short-term symptoms of anxiety, the relief of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and other medical conditions.1 Although Valium is a legal medication that you can receive with a valid prescription from a doctor, it has the potential for misuse and addiction.2
Many people are required to take a drug test for legal, medical, or work reasons. If you’re wondering whether diazepam will show up if you’re drug tested, the answer is yes, Valium will show up in blood, hair follicle, saliva, and urine toxicology reports.3
Keep reading to learn more about how long Valium stays in your system and what you can do if you’re concerned about a drug test.
How Long Does Valium Stay in Your System?
If you’re required to take a drug test for legal, medical, or work reasons and you use Valium, you may wonder how long diazepam stays in your system.
Different types of drug tests can be used to test for Valium. The most commonly used tests include:3
The detection and quantification of benzodiazepines can also be found in breast milk, nails, plasma, and meconium (a newborn’s first bowel movement).3 Many substances can be detected in your urine 1-2 hours after your first use.4 Different substances may be detectable for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, but this can depend on different factors.5 For example, higher and more frequent doses can increase the chances that a substance will be detected.5
Different substances are excreted at various rates and can accumulate in the body with continued use.5 How long Valium stays in your system depends on different factors and the test used. In urine tests, benzodiazepines may be detected for 3-7 days depending on the dose, and up to 30 days when taken regularly and for longer periods but can also be detected in hair for up to 90 days.6, 7
If you’re wondering how to get Valium out of your system, the best way is to stop taking it. If you’re struggling with Valium misuse and are worried about it showing up on a drug test, you may want to seek professional help from a Valium addiction treatment program. Learning more about professional treatment options can be the first step toward stopping substance misuse and regaining control of your life.
How Long Do the Effects of Valium Last?
Valium works by facilitating the action of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).1 GABA is a key inhibitory neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, in the central nervous system and is believed to be the reason for Valium’s anxiety-reducing and sedative effects.2
Valium is available in different preparations, such as oral tablets in 2, 5, and 10 mg dosages, suppositories, suspensions, gels, intramuscular injections (IM), and intravenous injections (IV).1, 8 The time it takes to feel the effects of Valium and how long Valium is active in your system can vary based on routes of administration. Typically, intravenous preparations take effect within 1-3 minutes, but oral routes of administration can take anywhere from 15-60 minutes.1 The effects of Valium can last more than 12 hours.1 However, even though the effects wear off, Valium remains in your system and can be detectable on a drug test.
Valium Metabolism and Half-Life
The half-life of a substance refers to the amount of time it takes for the concentration of a drug to decrease to half of its starting dose in your body.9 Short-acting benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam or midazolam, have an average elimination half-life of 1-12 hours, and long-acting benzos, which include diazepam and clonazepam, typically have an average elimination half-life of 40-250 hours.10
Diazepam has an average half-life of up to 48 hours, but this can increase by 1 hour for every year of age over 40; so, for example, someone who is 75 would have an elimination half-life of 75 hours.8, 10 Valium is metabolized in the liver, and is distinctive from other benzodiazepines in that when it is metabolized, it produces the active metabolites oxazepam, temazepam, and desmethyldiazepam; these all exert their own actions and play a role in Valium’s longer half-life.10
Factors That Affect How Long Valium Lasts in the Body
The length of time that impacts how long diazepam lasts in your body depends on several factors and can vary from person to person. Some factors that impact how long Valium and other drugs stay in your system and are metabolized include:3, 5, 10
- Overall health.
- Route of administration.
- Urine dilution.
- Urine pH.
- Frequency of use.
- Time of last use.
Getting Help for Valium Misuse
If you misuse Valium or suspect that you have a Valium addiction, it may be time to seek professional help. Addiction is treatable and can help people stop using substances and find lasting recovery.
Getting help can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of evidence-based addiction treatment across the U.S. Our admissions navigators are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week when you call . You can share your story, learn about treatment options, and verify your insurance over the phone.