How Long Does Valium Stay In System?

Last Updated: July 6, 2020

Authored by Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

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.

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.

Valium has a half-life of 43±13 hours. The metabolites of Valium have higher half-lives. Notably, the active metabolite Nordiazepam has a half-life of 40-99 hours. Considering the additive effects of the metabolites, the half-life can go up to 100 hours. Thus, it would not be too wise to assign a number for how long Valium stays in system.

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

Urine Test

How Long Does Valium Stay In Your System?
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.

Blood Test

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.

Hair Analysis

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.

Valium Precautions

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.
Looking for professional medical help for Valium or benzo addiction? Get the best rehabs page here.

Page Sources

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Published on: June 6th, 2017

Updated on: July 6th, 2020

About Author

Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Nena Messina is a specialist in drug-related domestic violence. She devoted her life to the study of the connection between crime, mental health, and substance abuse. Apart from her work as management at addiction center, Nena regularly takes part in the educational program as a lecturer.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.


Leave a comment

  • Marc
    I took 2 valiums on Monday. It was the First time I’ve ever taken them I have a job interview next Monday. Will I be safe to provide a urine sample?
    • dave
      if it is prescription you have no worries just tell them you have a script for it.
    • Marlaina
      It will probably still be in your system I took them one time before n it stayed in my system for about 3 weeks. I did take Xanax days prior before I took the valium.
  • Marlaina
    I took valium n it stayed in my system for about 3 weeks, I did take Xanax prior beforedays before. But I only took the valium that one time. All opioid stay in your system for 3 to 4 days usually 3 days.
    • Deborah
      Valium is a Benno not a narcotic and can stay in your urine up to 23 days. Narcotics will be in your urine 3,4 or even up to 6 days.
  • Larry
    This was a very interesting article I wasn’t sure what to expect from Matt
  • Laura Khanolkar
    If I’ve only taken 6 over six days how long will it be detected in my urine?
  • Jenny
    I have anxiety attacks & get Valium 10mg I took 4 this evening & want too know how long they will show up in my urine test…???
  • J.R
    I took 2 valiums 7 weeks ago and my drug test is still showing positive they said….is this even possible?
  • Moore Moore
    How long will one. 2mg. Stay in your system