Klonopin, the brand name for clonazepam can stay in your system for an extended period of time. It’s often prescribed for issues like seizures, pain, insomnia, and alcohol withdrawal. Even so, people can become dependent on it in as little as two weeks, even while using it as prescribed.
If you’re one of the many people taking Klonopin, you may wonder how long this benzo stays in your system.
The answer depends on:
- Frequency of use
- Duration of use
- Other factors
Read on for more specific details on how long it lasts under various conditions.
How Long Does Klonopin Stay in Your Body?
Klonopin is a long-acting benzodiazepine. Others include chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, and flurazepam. This makes it distinct from clorazepate, midazolam, and triazolam, which are short-acting. It’s also different from intermediary benzos like alprazolam, lorazepam, estazolam, and temazepam.
All benzos work similarly. Experts believe they influence the behavior of neurotransmitters. These are chemicals that serve as signals between the brain and nerves. In this case, it’s GABA, which regulates pain, seizures, mood, and sleep. By binding to the GABA-benzodiazepine receptor complex, benzos boost the effectiveness of GABA. They’re tranquilizers that diminish symptoms of conditions associated with low GABA.
For purposes such as seizures or pain, Klonopin is usually taken three times per day. It may also be prescribed to treat sleep disorders with daily dosing instead. The body starts breaking down Klonopin right away and sending it throughout the body.
Within one to four hours, Klonopin reaches peak effectiveness. Roughly 90% of the drug will already be broken down by the body at this time.
At this stage, the body and brain effects of Klonopin include:
- Drowsiness/ fatigue
- Impaired coordination
- Inability to concentrate
Klonopin has a half-life of 30-40 hours. It can stay in the system producing effects for up to 12 hours after the last dose. People should abstain from activities that require focus during this time, like driving.
Due to its addictive nature, withdrawal symptoms are also common when people try to quit. Sometimes withdrawal symptoms don’t appear for several days. This is due to its longer half-life. It’s also more common with people who have been taking it for an extended period of time.
How Long Does Klonopin Stay in Lab Tests?
Klonopin can stay in lab tests for approximately 5-30 days depending on the type of test. However, it’s one of the most difficult drugs to screen for. This is due in part to the fact that there are more than 50 types of benzodiazepines prescribed. Each one will appear in drug tests in a unique way.
Despite this, many are broken down by the body into the same metabolites. So, instead of screening for the drugs, labs often screen for the shared metabolites of the drugs. Accuracy in these drug tests varies. Both false positives and false negatives routinely occur. When positive results occur, labs typically run an alternate test to confirm.
Klonopin isn’t like any other benzo, though. It’s the only one that’s broken down into the metabolite known as 7-aminoclonazepam (7AC). This means it does not show up in many standard drug tests, such as the SAMHSA-5. Labs must specifically screen for Klonopin or its metabolite.
Accuracy varies here as well. For example, some screens specifically look for clonazepam (CLON). Just 40% of presumptive-positive saliva samples indicate its presence this way. When the same samples are analyzed for 7AC, 91% indicate a positive result.
This in mind, labs generally screen for 7AC and not CLON when Klonopin use is suspected.
There are four primary types of drug tests that will be addressed in greater detail below. They include:
- Urine tests
- Hair tests
- Blood tests
- Saliva tests
How Long Does Klonopin Stay in Your Urine?
In one study, Klonopin’s metabolite was found in urine as much as 30 days after the last time taken. In another, the metabolite was found 14 days after the last dose in every person tested. At 21 days, 80% of them tested positive. At 28 days, just one tested positive.
The drug stays in urine longer than other fluids and tissues and testing is more reliable. Because of this, urine testing for Klonopin is typically the preferred method.
How Long Does Klonopin Stay in Your Hair?
Evidence of Klonopin use can stay in your hair for several weeks to a month. However, 7AC tests in hair are not always reliable. In one study, only 60% of those who took the drug had a hair test come up positive. Of those who tested positive, the metabolite remained detectable for a range of 21-28 days.
How Long Does Klonopin Stay in Your Blood?
Klonopin can stay in your blood for several days. Given its fast metabolization rate, it can be detected very quickly with blood. It dissipates rapidly too. When broken down into 7AC, it has a plasma half-life of up to 92 hours. In other words, it can take almost four days before 7AC in blood is halved. However, dosing and other factors are not the same for everyone. This in mind, no readily available studies give a solid timeline on how long it can be detected in blood.
How Long Does Klonopin Stay in Your Saliva?
The window for a positive saliva test is respectively small at just 5-6 days. However, saliva screening for the drug often results in false negatives. Tests for 7AC are far more reliable.
Get Help for Klonopin Dependence
Klonopin dependence, or addiction, can set in rapidly even when used as prescribed. It’s incredibly difficult to kick too. Withdrawal symptoms vary and may be severe. A few include seizures, tremors, nausea, and irritability. Increased heart rate changes in blood pressure are common as well. Because of this, it’s important to work with a physician when coming off this potent drug. If you or a loved one needs help, contact Bedrock Recovery Center to learn about your options.