How Long Does Versed Stay in Your System?

Midazolam package

Versed (midazolam) is a drug usually used for pre-anesthesia sedation and for procedural sedation for children. For adults, it is often used for uncomfortable procedures such as colonoscopies because it produces memory loss. It is a benzodiazepine and a central nervous system depressant. Knowing how long it stays in your system and has effects can help you avoid dangerous drug interactions and potential overdoses.

How Long Versed Acts in Your System

There are several ways Versed can be administered, but it must always be done where there is immediate access to monitoring for breathing and heart function due to associated risks. It is administered by medical professionals in a hospital, day surgery clinic, or doctor's office.

It can be given as an injection, by tablet, or in a syrup. This will determine how fast it takes effect. An injection or IV takes effect in 5 to 15 minutes with maximum effect in 15 to 60 minutes and has effects lasting for about 2 hours but with a range of 1 to 6 hours. The amnesia effect lasts for 20 minutes to an hour depending on how it is administered. Taking the syrup, effects in children are seen in 10 to 20 minutes.

Midazolam is broken down in the liver to both active and inactive metabolites, so it has two phases of elimination from the body. It is mostly excreted in the urine, but some is eliminated in the feces. Most of it has been eliminated in a day for adults but can take longer in children, newborns, and geriatric patients.

You may feel the effects of midazolam for 1 to 2 days after having it administered. It can make you continue to feel drowsy, tired, weak, and have problems with coordination and alertness. This is why you won't be allowed to drive yourself home after Versed is administered for a procedure, and why you must take the day off of work.

It is important to not drink any alcohol or take any other medications that depress your nervous system for 24 hours after you have been administered Versed. Discuss all of your medications with your doctor so you can be advised on what to avoid. This can include allergy medications, cold medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, sleep medications, pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and medications for seizures. It's also affected by some antifungal medications and HIV medications.

You also must avoid grapefruit juice and grapefruit before and after being administered Versed. Also discuss any herbal medications or supplements as some should be avoided, such as St. John's wort.

This drug passes through to the fetus if you are pregnant and the breast milk if you are breastfeeding, so discuss this with your doctor if these apply to you.

Preventing an Overdose

Because Versed is a central nervous system depressant, there is a risk of death if an overdose occurs. Symptoms of an overdose of Versed include the following:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Shallow respiration
  • Clammy skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Weak and rapid pulse
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Depression
  • Coma
  • Possible death

If you suspect a Versed overdose, call 9-1-1 immediately or call the poison control center (1-800-222-1222).

How Long Does Versed Stay in Your System?

The effects of Versed can last for 1 to 2 days and you should plan your schedule so you won't be doing any tasks that require coordination and concentration. How long it persists depends on many factors, including age, liver function, hydration, and any other medications that were administered or you have been taking.

If you experience any side effects you think may be related to Versed, contact your doctor. Vomiting is a more common side effect, and rash is less common.

Versed (midazolam) can be detected in blood and urine tests for prescription drugs and has a urine detection window of 0.5 to 2 days. If you will be taking any such test, be sure to inform the testing laboratory that you have had it administered by your doctor so the test can be interpreted correctly.

A Word From Verywell

If you are concerned about how long Versed will stay in your system after being administered, talk to your doctor to find out exactly what to expect. Any indication of how long a drug will stay in your system is only a best estimate, and you should plan accordingly.

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Article Sources

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  1. Pfizer. Midazolam. Accessed November 27, 2019.

  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Treatment improvement protocols. Appendix B. Urine collection and testing procedures and alternative methods for monitoring drug use. Accessed November 27, 2019.

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