Interested in starting your healing journey? Speak with an admissions counselor now
We're Hiring!
Apply for Jobs Now

How Long Does Ativan Stay in Your System?

Ativan is a benzodiazepine drug called lorazepam. Healthcare professionals often prescribe it to treat anxiety and insomnia. While it can help manage these conditions, long-term use can lead to addiction.

Even though the effects of lorazepam only last 6 to 8 hours, the half-life is 12 hours.[1] This means that it can take your body up to 60-90 hours to eliminate Ativan. However, metabolites of Ativan can remain in your areas of your body longer than 60 hours. This is how Ativan can be detected by drug tests. Urine tests might be able to find lorazepam in your system for up to 6 days after your last dose.

It is important to note that there is no way to beat a drug test by drinking more water, exercising, or taking detox drinks. The only way to pass is to remain abstinent from Ativan before you take your drug screen. If you are having a hard time abstaining from Ativan use, it might be time to call a drug rehab program like Mandala Healing Center.

In this article, you will learn:

  • How long the effects of Ativan last
  • What the half-life of Ativan is
  • How long different drug tests can detect lorazepam

How Long Do the Effects of Ativan Last?

Ativan is an anti-anxiety or insomnia medication that can lead to addiction when used long-term or in high doses. It causes central nervous system depression, which makes it easier to fall asleep and prevents severe anxiety. If you are taking Ativan to treat your anxiety or insomnia, you might be wondering what side effects to expect.

The common side effects of lorazepam include:[2]

  • Dizziness and drowsiness
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Coordination issues
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Restlessness and excitement
  • Blurry vision

The effects of Ativan can last between 6 to 8 hours.[3] The amount of time you experience effects will depend on various factors, including the speed of your metabolism. You should never take high doses of Ativan at once, as you could experience a life-threatening overdose or develop an addiction.

How Long Does Ativan Stay in Your Body?

The half-life of a drug refers to how long it takes your body to eliminate half of the substance. It typically takes 4 to 5 half-lives for your body to remove a drug.

The half-life of Ativan is about 12-14 hours.[2] It can take 60-90 hours for Ativan to be eliminated from the body.

Ativan leaves behind metabolites in your urine, blood, saliva, and hair that drug tests can detect for a longer period. The amount of time that drug tests can detect Ativan depends on the type of test being used.


Urine tests are the most commonly used type of drug screen. This is mainly because they are cheap to use and minimally invasive. That said, these tests can detect Ativan in urine for up to 6 days after you last consumed it.

If you have not consumed Ativan but you test positive for it, this is known as a false positive. Some medications can cause false positives for Ativan, like sertraline or oxaprozin. The medical professional administering your test can help you determine whether a false positive has occurred.


Blood tests look for the metabolites of Ativan left behind in your bloodstream. They are not used as often as urine screens because they provide a shorter window of detection. Keeping this in mind, blood tests can find lorazepam in your system for up to three days after your last dose.


Saliva tests are not used as often as urine tests for the same reason as blood tests. However, some law enforcement officers might use them to determine if you are under the influence of drugs while you are driving. Saliva tests can find Ativan in your system for up to eight hours after ingestion.


Hair tests are the least common type of drug screen. The main reason people shy away from using them is because they might discriminate based on hair color, leading to false results. Despite this, hair tests can find Ativan in your hair follicles for up to 90 days after you last used it.

Find Help for Ativan Abuse and Addiction

If you or a loved one suffers from Ativan abuse, you might be dealing with a substance use disorder. Ativan addiction can be incredibly dangerous, affecting your mental and physical health.

Mandala Healing Center is here to help you overcome Ativan addiction. We offer evidence-based treatments like medical detox, behavioral therapies, and treatment for co-occurring mental health conditions like anxiety disorders or insomnia. Additionally, our program uses a compassionate approach to addiction treatment, ensuring you will feel comfortable enough to open up about the root causes of your substance use disorder.

Mandala’s Admissions Coordinators are available 24 hours a day. All calls and forms are 100% free and confidential.

Contact the Mandala Healing Center today for more information on our Ativan detox and addiction treatment program. We can help you regain control over your life, beat addiction, and improve your overall well-being.


  1. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Ativan Label
  2. Medline Plus: Lorazepam
  3. Lorazepam
  4. The National Library of Medicine (NLM): False-Positive Urine Screening for Benzodiazepines: An Association with Sertraline?