How Long Does Valium Stay In Your System

Valium, sometimes known as diazepam, is a common medication prescribed to treat things like insomnia, muscle spasms, anxiety, panic attacks, seizures, restless leg syndrome, and alcohol withdrawal. You may also be given valium before or after a surgery or similar invasive procedure where you’ll need to be sedated.

While it is quite effective and used throughout the medical industry, it is also strong and can pose a problem for those who need to be drug-free for their job or for those who are affected by strong medications. If you are that type of person you might wonder how long valium stays in your system. The information here should help you in this respect.


What Is Valium?

Benzodiazepines, like valium, were created in order to replace more dangerous and highly addictive barbiturates in the medical industry. While they are less addictive than other meds, valium itself is still considered to be quite addictive and is regularly abused by people looking to misuse the beneficial drug.

​The medication works as a central nervous system depressant that is meant to slow down your respiratory system and affects your neurotransmitters. Due to its potency, there are restrictions placed on the medication which makes it hard to get through a prescription. You can only get it through a doctor typically in pill form. Valium is absorbed into the body rapidly when taken orally. The usual prescription is anywhere from 2 milligrams to 60 milligrams depending on your individual situation.

Clearing Valium From The Body

So, how long does valium stay in your system? As it was said, valium is strong and will need to be discontinued properly in a controlled way in order to avoid withdrawal and possibly debilitating effects. In order to find out exactly how long it stays in your body, you have to look at its elimination half-life.

The elimination half-life of valium is anywhere from 30 to 56 hours with the average time being 43 hours. This means that it takes that time to clear only half of the last dose you took so even after that time you still have 50 percent of the drug remaining in your system. If we use this half-life as a measuring stick, it can be assumed that it will take just under 10 days for valium to fully leave your system (plasma). This means that it won’t be circulating throughout your body. However, metabolites of the drug haven’t been eliminated yet. It will take over 20 days for the metabolites to clear your system.

For the purposes of testing, though, it is advised to wait anywhere from one to five days after stopping valium to take a drug test. The drug can stay in your urine for a few says after stopping a normal prescription. If you abuse valium, however, it can stay in your urine for as long as 6 weeks in severe addictions. Saliva and blood tests can detect metabolites for up to 10 days while hair follicle tests can detect the drug for up to an extreme 90 days.

To protect yourself, present a valid prescription along with something from your doctor to prove that you were taking the drug for a specific purpose and that you were taking it as prescribed and weren’t misusing it.

The amount of time estimated here is general as there are factors that can change the amount of time that valium stays in your system. These factors are:

  • Weight/body fat content
  • Age
  • Amount of prescription
  • Other medications in the body
  • Metabolism rate
  • Liver and kidney function

As it was mentioned earlier, if you stop valium abruptly, especially after abusing it, you can suffer from severe withdrawal. Individual reactions are always different and depend on a lot of individual factors. The common withdrawal symptoms are:

​1. Anxiety: Since valium helps people manage anxiety, it’s only natural that stopping the drug can cause a spike in your anxiety.

2. Depersonalization: This is when you feel different from your normal self on an intense level. It is sometimes referred to as a zombie state. This is because your neurotransmitters won’t be activated in the same was as they are while on valium.

3. Concentration issues: cognitive functions can be effected heavily when stopped abruptly. You can experience slow cognitive reflexes and notice a problem concentrating on things. This should clear up but can be jarring.

4. Depression: when you stop the drug abruptly, you can experience extreme depression along with an increase in anxiety. This can lead to different problems including panic attacks.

5. Fatigue: withdrawal can make you feel extremely tired and lethargic. Your energy levels won’t be where they were while on the medication and may stay low for weeks after stopping the medication.

6. Dizziness: feeling dizzy is a common symptom when coming off of any medication. This is because your brain is trying to adjust to the absence of the drug that was affecting your neurotransmitters. If you stop the medication too quickly, your dizziness will be worse.

7. Hypersensitivity: after stopping valium, you might be affected more than usual by different sights and sounds. Loud noises, for example, may harm you more than usual as can things like flashing lights or a strong glare. This is due to your adjusting brain chemistry, not your ears or eyes.

8. Insomnia: if you were prescribed valium to help you sleep, now that you’re off of it, you will more than likely experience insomnia for some time until your body readjusts to the change.

9. Irritability: as valium helps you manage aggression and mood swings, coming off the drug can make you more irritable and prone to mood swings that may prove to be difficult to manage.

Other withdrawal symptoms that you might experience are:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Memory problems
  • Obsessive thoughts or OCD-like actions
  • Panic attacks
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Excessive sweating/the chills
  • Muscle fatigue and general weakness

If you are looking to stop valium, it is important to do so under a doctor’s supervision so these withdrawal symptoms will be kept to a minimum.


Hopefully, this information regarding how long valium stays in your system has helped you understand what happens once you stop taking the medication. If you are concerned about valium remaining in your system or are looking for a more accurate time table regarding its half-life and expulsion from your system, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Anna Smith

Hi there ! I’m Anna Smith, chief editor at Healthankering. I'm a proud mother of three passionate about health tips, beauty and ways to live healthier with more energy ! We start Healthankering to provide advanced material about not only the best ways to get healthy, but also to entertain and create a great community. Welcome aboard !

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