Valium contains diazepam as its active ingredient which belongs to the benzodiazepine group of medications. It is used to treat psychiatric conditions such as acute anxiety, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, panic attacks, muscle spasms, restless leg syndrome and seizures. Valium has an anti-anxiety and sedative effect on the body and results in drowsiness and physical relaxation. Although valium has therapeutic benefits, it can interfere with one’s performance at work and vehicular driving skills. Due to its addictive potential it is classified as a controlled drug in US and other countries. Valium should be taken only under strict medical supervision. If you decide to discontinue using the drug then you will have withdrawal symptoms. You should discontinue using valium only under medical supervision.
How Long does Valium Stay in Your System?
Individuals who are usually tested for the presence of valium in their system include criminals, patients recovering from valium addiction and military personnel. Note that factors such as age, body mass, genetics, gender and food habits can also influence the elimination half life of diazepam. A healthier individual with higher metabolism can get rid of it faster.
The elimination of drugs in the body is measured in terms of the half life, which is the time it takes for 50% of the drug to leave the body.
Diazepam, the active ingredient of valium has a long half life of 48 hours. So it will take 48 hours for 50% of the ingested diazepam to be eliminated from the system. Based on the fact that it takes 48 hours for 50% of diazepam to leave the body, it will take approximately 10 days for diazepam to be entirely eliminated from the body (50% of the medicine will be eliminated in 2 days, then half of the remaining 50% i.e., 25% will be eliminated in 4 days, half of 25%, i.e., 12.5% will be eliminated in 6 days, half of 12.5%, i.e., 6.75% will be eliminated in 8 days, half of 6.75% , i.e., 3.3% will be eliminated in 10 days).
However, when a drug enters into the body it is metabolized or converted to its metabolites. Although diazepam is entirely eliminated in around 10 days its metabolites still stay in the body. The major metabolite of diazepam in the body is nordiazepam. The elimination half life of nordiazepam is 100 hours. So to completely eliminate valium from your system you need 30 days since the last dose. (10 days for diazepam to leave the body. 50% of nondiazepam will be eliminated in approximately 4 days, then half of remaining 50% i.e., 25% will be eliminated in 8 days, half of 25%, i.e., 12.5% will be eliminated in 12 days, half of 12.5%, i.e., 6.75% will be eliminated in 16 days and half of 6.75%, i.e., 3.3% will be eliminated in 20 days).
The duration is also influenced by whether you are a chronic user or a short term user. If you have been consuming valium chronically for several months, than it will take longer for diazepam and its metabolites to completely leave your body. This is due to accumulation of the drug and its metabolites in your body due to chronic use.
Several other factors that affect Valium duration in your body:
If you suffer from hepatic impairment, a condition where your liver is not functioning normally, the elimination half life of diazepam and its metabolites is increased and it might take longer for the drug to leave your system entirely.
Ingestion of drugs that inhibit enzymes that metabolize diazepam can also influence the elimination of diazepam from the body. Drugs such as Chloramphenicol, Clarithromycin, Ketoconazole and Prozac inhibit the enzymes responsible for diazepam metabolism. Therefore, if you take these drugs along with valium it will take longer for the drug to be completely eliminated from your body.
Apart from this, mode of administration of the drug, metabolism rate of the individual and body fat content are the other factors that influence the elimination of valium from your system.
There are Various Tests as to How Long Valium Stays in Your System
Valium can be detected by means of blood tests, urine tests, tests done on hair follicles and saliva tests.
The urine test for valium detection is the most commonly used test and it can detect diazepam and it’s metabolites for weeks after last valium dose was ingested.
Blood test is an accurate way to detect presence of valium and its metabolites but it is commonly used for users who have ingested valium for long-term.
The saliva test can detect the presence of valium for 7- 9 days since last dose was taken.
Tests done on hair follicles are less accurate but can detect the presence of the drug and its metabolites for about ninety days since last dose.