Side Effects of Xanax

Learn about the side effects of Xanax in order to prevent abuse of the drug

Xanax, a potent and highly addictive benzodiazepine drug, is one of the top prescription drugs abused by people of all ages. The drug is not meant to be used long-term, and should only be taken up to six weeks  because tolerance to the drug can occur quickly. In fact, prolonged use or abuse of Xanax can cause the brain to become physically and psychologically dependant. Despite efforts to curb extensive use of the drug and dangerous side effects of Xanax, many physicians continue to prescribe it at an alarming rate.

Many people who develop a Xanax addiction starting taking the prescription drug to treat their anxiety, panic disorder or insomnia. Some of them thought that a little extra dosage may help to manage their problem better. By abusing the drug they became dependant and were not able to stop on their own. Other people took the drug for a longer duration than the prescribed time. Many Xanax addicts will doctor shop to get as many prescriptions for the drug as they can. People taking Xanax may experience difficulty with concentration and become extremely forgetful. They may also become lethargic, depressed, and  experience confusion. Another side effect of Xanax dependency is severe mood swings that may affect the behavior of the addict.

Xanax abuse will impair the normal functions of the brain and begin to exert control over: memory, consciousness, emotional responses, muscle coordination and thought processes. Once a person becomes tolerant of the drug, it will stop being effective in treating the health problems for which it was prescribed. The drug may cause severe mood swings that may be expressed in violent behavior. The appetite can be suppressed and friends and family may notice the addict losing weight. When the addict gets a surge of hunger pangs he or she may begin to binge eat. The side effects of Xanax also cause lethargy which can lead to missed appointments and absence from school or work.

Because Xanax affects the brain, the addict may have trouble with balance and speech. Brain cells can be damaged when Xanax has been used for more than a few months, which is yet another reason to not use the medication long-term. Risky behavior may also ensue and the addict may have altercations with other people. Another side effect is depression which may lead to suicidal thoughts and acts. disease.

Xanax withdrawal can prove to be difficult for some people addicted to the drug. Xanax is a short-acting benzodiazepine drug that may cause withdrawal symptoms to start within a few hours after the last pill was taken. Individuals who take Xanax for an extended amount of time, or in a larger than prescribed dosage, may experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report states that patients taking 4mg. of Xanax, or higher, per day for over three months were at a greater risk of becoming addicted to the drug. They would also experience stronger withdrawal symptoms than those who took a smaller dosage for the same amount of time.

Xanax is considered to be a more potent benzodiazepine than longer-acting ones such as Valium. Withdrawal from Xanax may be experienced sooner and in a more pronounced way, because longer-acting benzodiazepines remain in the body longer and ward off the effects of withdrawal. Poly-drug abuse is when a person takes more than one drug at the same time. When Xanax is taken with another drug it may affect the severity and timing of withdrawal symptoms. It is not wise to stop taking Xanax “cold-turkey” because that can create serious complications.

Xanax withdrawal should be done under the care of experienced medical professionals at a drug rehabilitation facility. The early withdrawal phase of Xanax can occur within a few hours after taking the last pill. The addict may experience symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. Acute Xanax withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle spasms, panic, seizures, hallucinations, drug cravings, mood swings, decreased appetite, agitation and twitching. The medical team at the rehab center may administer medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms. The patient will be kept safe and as comfortable as possible. After the patient has completed the detox phase of treatment, he will begin a series of psychological and behavioral therapies. The patient will be educated and equipped to live a drug-free life, and he may continue with aftercare counseling and support group meetings.

Xanax is the most prescribed psychiatric medication in the U.S. and is twenty times more potent than Valium. The drug has a very high risk of addiction, even without the person being aware of it until it is too late. Xanax should be used with extreme caution and avoided if possible. If you or someone you love has become addicted to Xanax, reach out to a detox facility near you or visit to learn more.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.