How Long Does Ativan Stay In Your System?

Have you been using Ativan for some time? If you stop using Ativan, you might be concerned about getting this drug out of your system as soon as possible. Therefore, it is worth learning how long Ativan stays in your system after you quit using it.

Abruptly discontinuing a sedative or antidepressant drug is not easy. If you have been using this sedative and relaxation drug for a long time, you might experience many withdrawal symptoms. In extreme cases, abruptly stopping Ativan usage could trigger seizures and/or death.

What is Ativan?

Ativan is the brand name for Lorazepam, which belongs to the benzodiazepine drug 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, agoraphobia, and inflammation inside the ear.

It is also beneficial for managing drug withdrawal symptoms.

Ativan is a prescription medicine categorized as a controlled substance under Schedule IV and has a low potential for abuse and dependence. It is approved by the FDA to treat anxiety and depression in people over 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 Lorazepam work?

Ativan acts on a major part of the brain’s central nervous system by 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 a calming effect.

Ativan may help calm down excessive brain activity, relieving anxiety symptoms like an irrational fear, tension, restlessness, and irritability.

Your body’s nervous system quickly adapts to Ativan’s effects 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 a calming effect and relaxation.

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

Interaction with other drugs may increase the chances of experiencing side effects from Ativan. It may also affect the effectiveness of this drug. Some substances that can cause drug interactions 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 its first half-life cycle will require about 2.75 days to be fully eliminated from the system.

A few studies suggest a more accurate half-life for the drug may be slightly longer at 15.7 hours. If Ativan’s half-life is 15.7 hours, 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 much longer than most other medications.

How long Ativan stays in your body depends on a number of your health factors.

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

Influential Factors

Any drug’s speed of absorption and elimination depends on several factors unique 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 people take drugs or get rid of them from their bodies more slowly than healthy young people. 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 are dependent on the healthy functioning of liver enzymes and kidney functions. Patients with poor liver or kidney health conditions will take longer to clear Ativan from their systems.

Body size

Your body’s height and weight considerably impact the effectiveness of the drug you take. People with a higher body mass will quickly metabolize and eliminate Ativan from their system. Similarly, people with a higher body mass may need a higher dose of medication.

Metabolic rate

The metabolic rate is the speed at which metabolism occurs in a living being. Patients with a healthy metabolic rate can digest, assimilate, and eliminate Ativan quicker than those with a weak metabolism.

Frequency and duration of use

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

Interaction with other substances and medications 

If you take Ativan along with other drugs or alcohol, it can make it harder for your body to absorb and get rid of the drug. Some studies suggest that drinking alcohol can reduce the clearance rate of drugs by up to 18 percent.

Tests for detecting Ativan in your system

It is easy to discover the presence of Ativan or Lorazepam in your body via various lab tests involving samples such as blood, urine, saliva, sweat, or hair. The time it takes for Ativan clearance may vary in some. Ativan addiction or substance use tests include:

Blood test

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

Urine test

How long does Ativan detectable in your urine?

A urine drug test, also known as a urine drug screen or a UDS, is painless. A urine test is a great way to find out if someone is using benzodiazepines, amphetamines, methamphetamines, opioids, or any other drug.

Lorazepam is detectable in the user’s urine for four to six days after the last use of the drug. However, the metabolite lorazepam-glucuronide can be detected in the urine for up to 9 days.

Hair test

If you have been consuming Ativan for a long time, hair sample tests can easily detect the metabolite of this drug for six weeks. In some 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 for detecting the drug for 8 hours. 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 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 much longer. For example, in your hair follicles, its metabolites can remain for six weeks to 90 days.

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