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How Long Does Librium Stay in Your System?

Librium (chlordiazepoxide) has a half-life of about 24 to 48 hours, so approximately half of the drug will be eliminated from the body within that time period. Drug tests can detect Librium for varying amounts of time, depending on the type of test used. Urine tests can identify Librium for approximately one to six weeks after use.

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How Librium’s Half-Life Affects How Long It Stays in the Body

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One of the main factors that influences how long Librium remains in your system after consumption is the drug’s half-life. This refers to the amount of time needed for the active substance in a drug to reduce by half in the body. A drug’s half-life is used to help doctors determine an appropriate dose and frequency of a prescription. 

A drug’s half-life will depend on how the body eliminates the substance from its systems, such as via urine versus excrement. A drug with a short half-life is eliminated from the body relatively quickly, whereas long-acting drugs have long half-lives.

Quick Facts on Librium’s Half-Life

  • Librium is a long-lasting benzodiazepine with a relatively long half-life of 24 to 48 hours. 
  • Chlordiazepoxide is metabolized by the liver first.
  • Due to its longer half-life, Librium can be detected on urine drug tests for up to six weeks.
  • Like other drugs, Librium’s half-life range will be influenced by other factors, such as dosage, duration of use, body size, age, and personal metabolism.
How Long Will Librium Show on a Drug Test?

How Long Will Librium Show on a Drug Test?

Librium can remain in different bodily systems for differing periods of time. Thus, how long Librium remains in the body is also dependent on the type of drug test that is being used. 

Expect Librium to show on the following types of drug tests for these time periods: 

  • Urine test: Librium is predominantly eliminated from the body via urine. The drug is detectable in the urine for up to one to six weeks following most recent use.
  • Blood test: Librium is detectable in the bloodstream for up to 48 hours following use. 
  • Saliva test: Librium can be detected in the saliva for between 1 and 10 days.
  • Hair follicle test: Librium remains detectable in hair for the longest period of time. The drug can be detected in hair follicle tests for up to 90 days following most recent consumption. 

Factors That Affect Librium Duration in Your Body

Various factors impact how long Librium remains within your body. The following are some of the most significant:

  • Amount taken and duration of usage: Consuming higher amounts of Librium for longer periods of time can increase the length of time that the drug remains in your system. 
  • Body mass index: Having a higher body mass index, particularly if you classify as overweight or obese, can increase the total amount of time needed to clear Librium from your system. 
  • Age: Older individuals metabolize Librium less effectively, so it remains in their systems for longer. In general, younger people have faster metabolisms and are able to eliminate drugs more quickly from their bodies than older people. 
  • Liver health and function: A healthy liver is vital to effectively clearing Librium from the body. Individuals with liver disease often experience oversedation with chlordiazepoxide, as they are unable to metabolize the drug as normally expected. 

Breaking Down Librium in the Body

Librium is detected in different types of drug tests for varying amounts of time. The following table compares the four main types of drug tests and how long Librium will show up on each type of test: 

TestDuration of Detectability
Urine test1–6 weeks 
Blood testUp to 48 hours 
Saliva test1–10 days 
Hair follicle testUp to 3 months 

Remember that these are general guidelines. The actual amount of time Librium will remain detectable via each of these tests will depend on a wide range of personal factors. 

How Librium Works in the Body

Librium is a long-acting benzodiazepine that is used to treat the acute effects of anxiety. It is also used to treat acute symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and depression in some cases.  

When consumed orally, Librium takes effect within approximately 10 to 30 minutes. It functions by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is responsible for regulating mood and affect. Librium results in the sedation of the sympathetic nervous system, which can alleviate symptoms of anxiety.

Since Librium (chlordiazepoxide) is a sedative drug in the benzodiazepine class, dependence can form quickly. If you have been taking Librium for an extended period of time, talk to your doctor about how to safely stop taking it. Do not suddenly stop taking it on your own as this could be dangerous.

Updated January 19, 2024
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