How Long Does Ativan Stay In Your System?

Have you been using Ativan for some time?  If you are stopping the usage of Ativan, you might be concerned about getting this drug out of your system at the earliest. Therefore, it is worth learning, how long does Ativan stays in your system after you have quit using it.

Abrupt discontinuation of a sedative or anti-depressant drug is not easy. If you have been using this sedative and relaxation drug for a considerably long period, you might experience an array of withdrawal symptoms.  In extreme cases, abruptly stopping Ativan usage could trigger seizures and/or death.

What is Ativan?

Ativan is a brand name for a drug called Lorazepam which belongs to the benzodiazepines category of drugs.

It is a sedative, anticonvulsant, tranquilizer, and central nervous system depressant drug. Ativan is commonly used before and after surgical procedures to reduce anxiety and stress.

Ativan is also used for treating epilepsy, insomnia and agoraphobia, and inflammation inside the ear.

It is also beneficial for managing drug withdrawal symptoms.

Ativan is a prescription medicine that is categorized under schedule IV controlled substances with a low potential for abuse and dependence.   It is approved by FDA to treat anxiety and depression for people above the age of 12.

It is available in different forms like pills, liquid syrup, and injection solutions. However, it is mostly used as pills taken by mouth with or without food.

How does Ativan work?

Ativan acts on a major part of the central nervous system of the brain in increasing the activity at receptors for the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).  An increase in the activities of the brain occurs through increased GABA signaling, and this produces drowsiness or calming effect.

Ativan helps to calm down excessive brain activity which leads to the relief of symptoms of anxiety-like an irrational fear, tension, restlessness, and irritability.

The nerve system of your body quickly adapts to the effects of Ativan and may develop a tolerance to the drug in the long run. For this reason, when a person uses Ativan for a long period, it becomes less effective.  In such a condition a higher dose of the drug is required to achieve the calming effect and relaxation.

Ativan does not affect the liver, unlike most other benzodiazepines.

Interaction with other drugs may increase the chances of side effects of Ativan. It may also affect the effectiveness of this drug. Some of the substances that can cause drug interaction with Ativan are clozapine, GHB, certain antihistamines, medications used for pain relief, muscle relaxants, other anxiety medications, and psychiatric medications.

How long does Ativan stay in your system?

Now we are coming to the important question, ‘how long does Lorazepam stay in your system?’

Evidence from previous drug testing results suggests that the average half-life for Ativan is approximately 12 hours.  A drug that takes 12 hours to reach the first half-life cycle will require about 2.75 days to get fully eliminated from the system.

Few studies suggest a more accurate half-life for the drug may be slightly longer at 15.7 hours. If the half-life of Ativan is pitched at 15.7 hours, then it will take about 3.59 days to excrete the drug from your system fully. So the metabolites of Ativan are detectable in your urine, saliva, or hair for a much longer time than most other medications.

How long Ativan lasts in your system is largely depends on several health factors of yours.

A young person with healthy functions of kidney and liver and a good metabolic rate will eliminate the drug faster from the body.

Influential Factors

The speed of assimilation and elimination of any drug depends on various individual factors specific to the user.

How long the effects of Ativan last or how fast this drug will be eliminated from your system will depend on your health conditions and other factors.


Older adults assimilate or eliminate a drug from the body at a slower pace than healthy young persons. It is because a healthy young person has a better metabolic rate, blood flow, and organ functionality.

Kidney and liver functions

The faster metabolization and elimination of Ativan is dependent on the healthy functioning of liver enzymes and kidney functions. Patients with poor health conditions of the liver or kidney will take a longer time to clear Ativan from the system.

Body size

The height and weight of your body have a considerable impact on the effectiveness of the drug you take. People with higher body mass will quickly metabolize and eliminate Ativan from their system. Similarly, people with higher body mass may need a higher dose of medication.

Metabolic rate

Metabolic rate is the speed at which metabolism takes place in a living being. Patients with a healthy metabolic rate have the natural ability to digest, assimilate and eliminate Ativan quicker than those with weak metabolism.

Frequency and duration of use

If you have been taking Ativan pills 3 times a day for a considerably long period, it will take a longer time to clear the drug from your system. With long-term use of Ativan, the body develops a tolerance to the drug; you are forced to increase the dosage of the drug in the long run. The metabolites of the drug also get deposited in the fat cells of the body and hair follicles.

Interaction with other substances and medications

If you are using Ativan simultaneously with other medications or alcohol, they can upset the absorption and elimination of the drug. Some of the studies suggest that drinking alcohol can reduce the clearance rate of drugs up to 18 percent.

Tests for detecting Ativan in your system

It is easy to discover the presence of Ativan/lorazepam in your body via various lab tests involving samples such as blood, urine, saliva, sweat, or hair.

Blood test

Ativan can be traced in your blood within 6 hours after you have ingested it. In most patients, it is traceable for 24 hours, but for some patients, lorazepam is detectable in blood for up to 3 days.

Urine test

How long does Ativan stay in your urine?

A urine drug test, also known as a urine drug screen or a UDS, is a painless test. A urine test is excellent for tracing benzodiazepines, amphetamines, methamphetamines, opioids, and all narcotic substances.

Lorazepam is detectable in the user’s urine for 4 to 6 days after the cessation of using the drug.  However, the metabolite of lorazepam-glucuronide can be detected in urine for up to 9 days.

Hair test

If you have been using Ativan for a long period, hair tests can easily detect the metabolite of this drug for six weeks. In some of the users, the metabolite of Lorazepam can stay in hair follicles for up to 90 days.

Saliva test

The saliva test for lorazepam provides only a short window of detecting the drug for 8 hours only. For this reason, the saliva test is not a preferred option for detecting Ativan in your system.

The Bottom Line

So, how long does Ativan last in your system?

Ativan has a comparatively long half-life. It is gradually eliminated from the body via urine. The duration of Ativan staying in your system largely depends on the dosage, frequency, and duration of using this drug.

The average half-life of Ativan is about 12 hours. In this case, this drug in its potential form can stay in your system for up to 2.75 days before it is fully eliminated. According to a few of the recent studies the active metabolite of lorazepam glucuronide has a longer half-life of 15.7 hours.

However, the inactive metabolites of this drug may stay in your system for a much longer time. For example, in your hair follicles, its metabolites can remain for six weeks to 90 days.