How Long Does Lorazepam Stay in Your System?
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Francine Mends, MD on May 21, 2020
Lorazepam is part of the benzodiazepine class of drugs also known as ‘benzos’. Ativan is one of the well-known brand names for the drug. Benzos are not included on standard 5-panel drug tests. But if you take them you will test positive on 10-panel drug tests.
These tests are used for work compliance in safety-sensitive industries. They’re also used on victims of sexual assault to check if the perpetrator used a sedative.
For lorazepam, the time it takes for brain effects to occur depends on the method of consumption. For example, injecting causes it to take effect within a few minutes. In comparison, ingesting the drug only brings about effects after about two hours. It’s important to note that while the effects may wear off, it takes much longer for a substance to leave the body.
If you’re new to taking this drug or you’re concerned about an upcoming test, here’s what you need to know.
How Long Does Lorazepam Stay in Lab Tests?
Lorazepam has a half-life of 12-15 hours. Its metabolite has a half-life of 18 hours. It takes at least five half-lives for drugs to leave your system. Thus, lorazepam can be detectable in lab (blood) tests 90 hours after consumption.
How long the drug can be found in test results also depends on the type of test done. Different biological samples work with different time-frames, as you’ll see below. Hair gives testing authorities the longest amount of time to work with. But blood and saliva can provide a snapshot of what’s happening in your body right now.
How Long Does Lorazepam Stay in Urine?
Drug screenings can find Lorazepam in urine samples up to six days after consumption. But this refers to the parent drug, whereas metabolites linger for longer. They extend the window of detection to about nine days. Heavy use also makes lorazepam metabolites detectable for weeks after it is last used.
How Long Does Lorazepam Stay in Blood?
Lorazepam is detectable in blood around six hours after consumption. Tests can find the substance in blood up to 4 days after the last time taken. Windows of detection are longer in cases where consumption exceeds recommended doses.
Blood tests are sometimes used in the wake of workplace accidents. Blood samples are difficult to tamper with to hide drug abuse. This makes them a popular choice if a particular substance stays in the system long enough for practical use.
How Long Does Lorazepam Stay in Saliva?
It’s not common to use oral fluid or saliva tests to check for benzodiazepine use. They are relatively expensive. But they’re useful where there is reasonable suspicion of recent drug use. Traces of lorazepam are detectable in oral fluid up to about eight hours after consumption.
How Long Does Lorazepam Stay in Hair?
Like other substances, lorazepam should be detectable in hair for about three months after use. It’s possible to detect a drug around a week after use when new hair growth surfaces. Hair-styling and hair dye are unlikely to alter the result of a test.
Hair sample tests are rarely used to check for lorazepam use. Some studies show this method of testing as unreliable for this particular drug.
To summarize, lorazepam is typically detectable within these periods of time:
- Blood – up to 3 days
- Saliva – up to 8 hours
- Urine – up to 6 days
- Hair – up to 90 days
A false positive for lorazepam can occur where someone is taking Zoloft or Daypro. Be sure to alert the organization issuing the test about any prescriptions you have. This provides the necessary context for your results.
Can You Detox From Lorazepam Faster?
The rate at which the body processes lorazepam is not the same for everyone. How long it lasts in the body depends on individual factors. These include but are not limited to:
- Frequency of use
- Duration of use
- Presence of other substances
- General health
Let’s take a look at some of these factors.
Regular and/or long term use of lorazepam is going to prolong the process of detoxing.
Your kidneys are important detox organs for processing lorazepam. Kidney impairment means that it will take longer for your body to get rid of substances. The liver, another detox organ, is less relevant to lorazepam.
In general, the elderly take longer to process substances than their younger counterparts. And those with a higher BMI are able to clear lorazepam faster than smaller people.
Also, some people have genes which regulate liver enzymes and kidney function. This makes them better able to metabolize drugs.
Of course, a healthy lifestyle can result in a faster metabolism. But ultimately, there’s not much you can do to change how fast your body rids itself of substances.
If you’re worried about excessive consumption, we highly recommend seeking treatment. Stopping use suddenly can bring about serious withdrawal symptoms such as seizures.
Treatment for Improper Use of Lorazepam
Benzos are habit-forming. If you or someone you know is struggling with a dependence on lorazepam, help is available.
Outpatient treatment can guide you through the process of tapering. Your doctor will gradually reduce your dosage over time to help you avoid withdrawal.
Inpatient treatment is optimal if you’re struggling with other substances. It’s also ideal if you have a co-occurring disorder which you need the lorazepam for. Health professionals can look at alternative medications.
Therapy is an essential part of rehab and counselors are well-versed in techniques to help addicts. They can teach you coping mechanisms and ways to avoid triggers and relapses. They also address any underlying reasons for substance use disorders. Treatment can also link you to support groups and other resources that assist with maintaining sobriety.
A happy and productive life is within reach. Contact a local treatment center to discuss the best options for you.
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