Xanax (Alprazolam) Withdrawal, Side Effects, Addiction and Treatment

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Originally Posted On: https://www.alternativetomeds.com/benzodiazepine/xanax/

 

Xanax withdrawal needs to be performed in a very specific way. Unfortunately, detox facilities still seem to miss this point despite a mountain of evidence. The failures seem to be justified by the insurance dollars they procure at the expense of the patient who is left suffering.

Benzodiazepines like Xanax are not a typical drug withdrawal. The strategy for eliminating this drug needs to be compassionate and tailored to individual needs.

Do you feel alone in this struggle? So did we.

Alternative to Meds has been the expert on Xanax withdrawal for over 15 years. We have published evidence regarding our success. While some CAN transition from benzodiazepines rather uncomplicated, many people have a much more nuanced path back to a state of ease. For instance, many are neurotoxic, resulting in constant fight or flight (sympathetic overdrive). That neurotoxic burden would need to get cleaned up so that the withdrawal is even possible. Truly, every person is different and needs a full investigative process.

You are likely well aware of the horrors of Xanax. The anxiety, the increasing doses, the life of true confusion, and panic. Trying to live life on benzos can be a mess, and getting off of them seems impossible. We know. That was us.Please watch the videos you see here or call us to get hope about your situation.

 

Watch as our founder, Lyle Murphy, discusses some of the most popular questions regarding Xanax withdrawal

Xanax (alprazolam) is a tranquilizer in the benzodiazepine drug class, used as a sedative to treat anxiety and panic disorders. The drug is potent and short-acting and has a risk of dependence after as little as 2 weeks. Cessation from Xanax should never be abrupt, due to significant health risks. Xanax is the brand name for the generic drug alprazolam. This tranquilizer is a commonly prescribed medication primarily used in the treatment of anxiety disorders and panic attacks.

Below we have provided some information on the most frequently requested topics that are highly recommended to research before starting or stopping Xanax. A surprisingly overlooked fact is the tenfold increased risk of overdose deaths when benzodiazepines are combined with opiates.1

Understanding safe medication withdrawal is vitally important as a prescription to Xanax should only last for a limited time, as little as a few weeks, and it will become necessary to correctly withdraw from the drug at that time to avoid potential health risks. More information is available below.

Side Effects

Withdrawal

Alternatives

Treatment

What is Xanax (Alprazolam) Used For?

Xanax is primarily prescribed to treat anxiety disorders such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or Panic Disorder. Day to day tension or stress does not usually require a benzodiazepine prescription.2

Xanax Alternative Names and Slang

Xanax is a brand or trade name for the generic drug, alprazolam. Other brand names in the US include Gabazolamine-05 and Niravam.

Xanax has developed a presence as a street drug, possibly due to its sedative effects and pleasurable sensation of mild euphoria.

Numerous street names have evolved, including:

  • Zanbars
  • Blue footballs, footballs
  • Upjohns
  • Yellow boys, white boys, white girls
  • Zannies
  • Z-bars
  • Bars
  • Handlebars
  • Tranx
  • Benzos
  • Schoolbus
  • Planks
Xanax Side Effects

Xanax can cause mild as well as more serious side effects. Always let your doctor know if you experience unusual or uncomfortable symptoms when taking any benzodiazepine. These side effects can include:

  • Sedation
  • Drowsiness
  • Vertigo or dizzy feeling
  • Loss of memory, amnesia
  • Mood changes, i.e., irritability, depression, anger, apathy
  • Loss of libido
  • Insomnia
  • Cognitive impairment, reduced clarity or problem-solving ability
  • Loss of coordination, losing balance
  • Gastrointestinal issues such as constipation or diarrhea
  • Unusual sweating
  • Appetite changes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Flu-like symptoms, headache, cough, stuffy nose, aches, weakness
  • Vision problems, blurring of the vision, perception changes

Due to the sedative effects, a person taking Xanax should not drive a car or operate machinery where alertness is required for safety reasons.

Xanax should not be taken along with other CNS suppressants as the effects can be significantly intensified, sometimes leading to unconsciousness, coma, or death.

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from Xanax (alprazolam) can produce the following:

  • Seizure
  • Drug cravings
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Rebound insomnia
  • Muscle pain, cramping
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Mood changes
  • Depression
  • Crying spells
  • Memory lapses

These are not all the withdrawal symptoms that may be experienced while coming off Xanax. Never stop using benzodiazepine drugs suddenly. Withdrawals can be eased by gradually tapering down instead of stopping all at once.

Discontinuing/Getting Off Xanax (Alprazolam)

Quitting Xanax or any benzodiazepine drug can be deadly if done abruptly, i.e. all at once. A gradual taper is the FDA recommended approach to avoid these severe and sometimes deadly withdrawal symptoms.2

Xanax FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked topics about Xanax, including safety, health risks, mechanism of action in the brain, and other important subjects of interest. It is recommended that a person learn as much as possible about a drug before starting or stopping a prescription.

How Does Xanax (Alprazolam) Work?Can You Overdose on Xanax?How Addictive is Xanax?Is Xanax a Controlled Substance?How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?Can Xanax Cause Liver Damage?Can Xanax Damage Kidneys?What are Xanax Alternatives?Can Xanax Cause Dementia or Memory Problems?

 

Treatment for Xanax (Alprazolam) Abuse and Addiction?

At Alternative to Meds Center, we specialize in safe medication withdrawals, and also provide testing and therapies to relieve symptoms for which prescription drugs may have been prescribed in the first place.

The FDA recommends that for day-to-day stress or tension, such as workplace stress, or family discord, etc., that benzodiazepines should not routinely be prescribed in these cases.2

However, it is known that benzodiazepines are prescribed more commonly than almost any other medication in the US. It is also known that symptoms such as anxiety could have environmental causes and are documented as being related to poor diet, sleep deprivation, and certain chemical pollutants that we are commonly exposed to. These are factors that can create a host of symptoms including anxiety, tiredness, weakness, depression, and other unwanted feelings that drugs may only mask temporarily.

A particularly popular aspect of the Alternative to Meds program is investigative lab testing to detect accumulated toxins and facilitate their removal from the body. It is true that some symptoms like anxiety and insomnia could be related to neurotoxicity, especially troublesome in our industrialized world. Pollutants, including pesticides, food additives, and heavy metals, do have the capacity to damage and interfere with normal healthy hormones, reproductive systems, neurochemistry, and innumerable parts of the complex body. Clearing these is a positive step toward natural mental health improvements and long-term success.

Safe tapering is another specialty that can help those who have found limited or no success in drug-based treatments and who wish to discontinue them.

We invite you to contact us for further information if you are struggling with Xanax addiction or dependence, and wish to find holistic answers for Xanax withdrawal.

1. CDC WONDER online database

2. FDA drug label Xanax

3. Walton AG “Anxiety Meds Valium, Xanax And Ativan May Not Lead To Dementia After All” Forbes, 2016 Feb 4 [cited 2020 Jun 13]

4. Breggin PR MD “Brain-Disabling Effects of Benzodiazepines” [INTERNET, benzo.org.uk] [cited 2020 Jun 13]

5. “Does taking Xanax for 30 years or more affect your kidneys?” National Kidney Foundation, 2012 Aug 9

6. “LiverTox, Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2012

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