People are often eager to know how long Valium stays in the system. Maybe, they are planning for pregnancy or a drug test. In any case, it is crucial to know that Valium may be present in the urine or blood long after the last dose. Also, patient should be aware how long to wait to take a test after taking it, because it takes time for the drug to become detectable in the urine or blood sample.
It contains Diazepam which is a benzo. It calms down the excited nerves and thus produces sedation. For this reason, doctors prescribe it to treat anxiety, seizures and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, it relieves muscle cramps and may also be used before a major surgery. It may cause an addiction and the risk increases if someone abuses it. Thus, patient should strictly follow the doctor’s instructions.
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Factors Influencing How Long Valium Stays In The System
The factors that influence how long Valium stays in system are:
- Age. If the patient isabove 65, they may get a higher value in the blood sample.
- Weight. A person with obesity is more likely to retain it for longer.
- Liver disorders like cirrhosis or hepatitis slow down its elimination from the body.
Also, the dose the patient takes also determines the duration. In a normal case, the higher the dose they take, longer the time it will take to flush.
How Is Valium Metabolized?
Metabolism is a biological process that converts a drug into other chemicals. The products of metabolism are called metabolites, while the portion of the drug that survives metabolism is called a parent or unchanged drug. A significant portion of ingested or injected Valium is metabolized by the liver enzymes. The major metabolites of Valium are Nordiazepam, Temazepam, and Oxazepam.
How Long Valium Effects Last
One may start experiencing Valium effects within thirty minutes of taking it. Moreover, individuals may experience them for the next 12-24 hours.
Users may have positive Valium urine test even several days or weeks after the last dose. This is owing to the longer half-lives of the metabolites. The amount of the parent form in the urine is less than one percent. Meaning, metabolites are predominantly present in the urine sample. They are Temazepam and Oxazepam.
Since it has a long half-life, it can accumulate in body, especially when users have been taking it for a long time. In a blood test, chronic users can have a higher concentration compared to the one time user. Interestingly, old users also tend to have a higher blood concentration.
When individuals take it in normal doses, the blood concentration of Valium ranges from 0.1-1.0 mg/L. Anything higher could indicate an abuse. Addicts may take several tablets at a time. Alternately, they may crush a tablet to inject. The gel forms may be inserted into the rectum.
Drug Testing Information For Valium
The elimination half-life of Valium is more than 24 hours. Notably, in a normal case, after five half-lives, the drug is virtually undetectable in the urine. So, its presence in the urine sample greater than the limit of quantification indicates exposure within a 5 to a 20-day interval preceding specimen collection. After patients take it, the parent form and metabolites become detectable within 30 minutes. Moreover, their urine concentrations peak between after an hour up to 8 hours.
Patients may go for a blood test one to two and a half hours after taking a Valium tablet. If they use an injection, one can immediately detect it in the blood. In both cases, Valium can stay in the blood for more than a week. Meaning, patients may test positive even weeks after discontinuing the use. Remember that a possible positive or negative test result also depends on the sensitivity of the testing method.
If an individual has been using/abusing it for the last three months, the hair analysis may show a positive test result. It may be present in the hair stands for several weeks to months after they stop taking it. Indeed, hair analysis for drug testing is still in infancy. Other more reliable and easy tests that use urine and blood samples are more preferable.
When users go for a test to detect Valium, they measure both the parent drug as well as its metabolites. That said, even if a person takes a drug with a short half-life, they may still test positive. This is when the metabolites have longer half-lives.
Longer half-lives do not always mean one will experience the drug effects for a long duration. In fact, the half-life is the time necessary to achieve half the initial concentration. This does not take into account the amount the drug present in the body, rather only the drug in the blood is considered. This is where we go wrong quite often. For a drug to show its effects, it should be present in the site where it acts, not always the blood.
Take an example, Valium has a long half-life, but its effects go away within a short time. The reason, it stays in the blood but not in the brain for a long time. But this does not take away the fact that users may get positive urine or blood result even days after their last dose.
Want To Know More?
Talk to the experts to know more about how long does Valium stay in the system? They are one of the few sources for an authentic health information. With the correct information, one can expect to benefit better.
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- S Dhillon, J Oxley, A Richens. Bioavailability of diazepam after intravenous, oral and rectal administration in adult epileptic patients. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1982 Mar; 13(3): 427–432. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1402110/
- U Klotz, G R Avant, A Hoyumpa, S Schenker, G R Wilkinson. The effects of age and liver disease on the disposition and elimination of diazepam in adult man. J Clin Invest. 1975 Feb; 55(2): 347–359. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC301753/