Wednesday September 17th 2014

Xanax overdose: How much amount of Xanax to OD?

Can you prevent an unintentional Xanax overdose?  Although Xanax narcotic class of drugs is not illegal, this does not mean that the drug is always safe for you.  In this article, we’ll explore that question in more depth, along with the risk factors for Xanax overdose. At the end, we invite your questions about Xanax and overdose.

How does Xanax overdose happen?

What is a Xanax overdose? Simply put, it’s when you take too much Xanax and the main ingredient, alprazolam, becomes toxic to the body. How much you need to take to overdose varies from drug to drug. Some drugs can be taken in higher doses as directed without injuring a person, while others are not safe to take in higher doses.

You might accidentally take too much Xanax for a variety of reasons. If you suffer from anxiety, you make feel the need to take it more often or in higher doses than recommended by your doctor in order to control your symptoms.You may develop a tolerance after long-term use and increase your dosage in order to get the same therapeutic effects. Getting “high” on Xanax by snorting, injecting, or mixing Xanax and alcohol (or other drugs) is another way that accidental overdose occurs, particularly since this takes larger amounts of the drug than are normally prescribed.  Plus, snorting Xanax vs oral administration increases your risk of OD’ing.  Finally, some people even intentionally attempt to overdose either to injure themselves or attempt to commit suicide.

Xanax overdose – How much is too much?

The amount of Xanax you need to take to overdose depends on your body weight, previous exposure to alprazolam (the main ingredient in Xanax), and individual factors. But there are some basic guidelines you can follow.

1. How much Xanax to take at a time?

Doctors never recommend more that 2 mg of Xanax be taken at one time – and that’s only in cases where someone has developed a tolerance for the medication. Starting doses are as low at 0.75 mg per day.

2. Do not mix Xanax with other drugs or alcohol.

It is much easier to overdose on Xanax when it’s combined with other central nervous system depressants, such as opiates or alcohol.

3. Do not try to take a lot of Xanax.

Xanax abuse does increase the risk of death and overdose. Some people have reported taking up to 2000 mg of Xanax and have experienced only minor toxicity. At more than 1000 times the normal daily dose, this medication is incredibly safe and very difficult to overdose on when taken alone.

4. Do not take Xanax other than prescribed.

Alprazolam should only be taken swallowed as a whole pill, and only in the doses recommended by your doctor.You’re much more likely to overdose or experience adverse effects when you chew, crush, snort or inject Xanax pills.

Xanax overdose complications

The main complication related to Xanax overdose is central nervous system depression and associated risks. At high doses, or when mixed with other medications, Xanax can cause a slowed heartbeat or breathing problems. And taking more Xanax than recommended can cause drowsiness and impairment of judgment that can put you in danger. Excessive tiredness and dizziness may put you at risk of accidents.

Xanax overdose prognosis

The prognosis for Xanax overdose is usually good. It takes a very high amount of Xanax to overdose, and even more doses of Xanax to experience long-term health effects or death. While taking more Xanax than directed can be unpleasant and dangerous, medically it’s unlikely to seriously harm you if taken alone. Taking high doses of Xanax habitually can cause withdrawal symptoms, which can be serious, including seizures.

Xanax overdose amount questions

If you have any questions about safe amounts of Xanax in your system, please leave them here. We are happy to try to help answer your questions about Xanax, and will try to respond with a personal and prompt reply for all legitimate queries.

Reference Sources: Medline Plus: Alprazolam
PubChem: Alprazolam
ToxNet: Alprazolam

Photo credit: bzztbomb

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62 Responses to “Xanax overdose: How much amount of Xanax to OD?
Sherrie
3:20 am November 23rd, 2012

my friend took 15 1mg zanex about 8 hours ago and just in the last hour took 5 more… plus 5 or so muscle relaxers. Not eaten all day. Should we take her to er?

12:40 pm November 25th, 2012

Hi Sherrie. I’d suggest that yes, you seek medical consultation for your friend. At the least, the anxiety must be pretty bad to cause her to take so many Xanax. Call the Poison Control Center to know what to do in terms of first aid at 1-800-222-1222.

Michael Phillips
6:22 pm February 13th, 2013

Hi, My mom 81 years old is on .25 mg when needed. She is currently going fir radiation treatments. She has a compression fracture of the T-12 and makes her laying down for het treatments very differcult. We are giving her 4 tablets per day 2 1.5 hrs prior and 2 about 30 min before. This relaxes her enough to get throught the treatment. Should I worry about long term, since we have to go for 37 treatments.

Thank you

8:24 am February 14th, 2013

Hello Michael. This is a great question, and one that can be best answered by a pharmacist or your mother’s prescribing doctor. Basically, if she’s taking fairly regular doses of Xanax weekly, will she develop physical dependency on Xanax? Seek medical advice for this so that you can know what to expect.

liliana
6:56 am February 21st, 2013

hello.my sister has taken 10 pills of alprazolam 0.5mg in the morning and I have found out now.she is in deep sleep now and I don’t know what to do.Should I call the emergency?

2:15 pm February 21st, 2013

Hello liliana. I’d suggest that you seek help from the Poison Control Center to know what to do. Call 1-800-222-1222 for more information.

Sarah
11:04 pm March 10th, 2013

Hello,

I am concerned about my older brother. I know he takes Xanax, sometimes adderal and that he also drinks excessively. Last weekend he locked himself in a bathroom and can only imagine what he was doing in there. He turns into an entirely different person and doesn’t even seem to remember the awful things he does. He also seems like he’s in denial and has started lying about other things that I know he’s done. I also know that he does cocaine. This has been going for years. I have no idea what to do. What happens to people after this long?

1:48 pm March 11th, 2013

Hi Sarah. Physical dependence on the drugs can happen. Or damage to the liver or kidneys. Plus, lots of negative social, work, or family consequences. I’d suggest that you plan an informal or formal intervention with your family. The goal would be to get him to realize the need for help, and to accept going to seek help. Also, look into family therapy. Often, there’s something dysfunctional in a family system which causes compulsive drug use in the first place. Does that help?

Zaatrix Angel
5:53 am March 12th, 2013

hello,
my doctor gave me a 1mg prescription, taken three times a day as needed.
But I have to take it to sleep, because i’ve tried every sleeping pill there is and they don’t work,
But the real problem is that I have to take about 10mg of xanax to actually go to sleep because I have insomnia.
what are your opinions.
please and thank you
-Zay

7:42 am April 1st, 2013

Hi Zaatrix, Talk to a psychologist about your anxiety! While a normal part of our modern human life, anxiety should not hold you hostage while you try to sleep. Lifestyle changes can help, as can meditation. But taking so much Xanax is not good for you, either!

BJ
7:53 pm April 2nd, 2013

Ok so I was really stupid and drank 9 beers and took 6mg of Klonopin and maybe 20mg of flexeril(muscle relaxer). I woke up and was fine but I’m worried that if I had respiratory depression if that may have caused brain damage that is not noticeable. Is this likely?

7:13 am April 4th, 2013

Hi BJ. The only way to diagnose possible brain injury is to seek the counsel of a neurologist and to undergo diagnostic procedures, such as an MRI or CT-scan. These brain imaging procedures can help pin point possible injury…but they are expensive and may not be necessary. Consult with a family doctor first and then seek a referral to a neurologist, if necessary.

rani
12:51 pm May 4th, 2013

Hi,

My friend has taken 10mg of alprazolam with 300ml of Vodka followed by another 10mg of alprazolam. He is in unconscious and under observation now. Is there any risk for his life?

7:53 am May 7th, 2013

Hi Rani. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. What do the doctors say? They should know best about the prognosis.

Kristen
8:27 pm May 27th, 2013

I have been in terrible emotional pain for about two weeks and two days. I lost my nephew to an overdose. I have not been sleeping very well. I woke up this morning at five and only had a couple of hours of sleep. I took 8 2mg bars of xanax. It’s been ten hours since I did this. I am really shakey and my heart is beating realy fast. Could this be a panic attack? Or over dose symptoms

5:18 am May 28th, 2013

Hello Kristen. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Death from overdose just doesn’t seem to make sense. I hope that you experience peace in knowing that you nephew is in a better place.

For the symptoms that you describe, I’d suggest that you call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. You’ll need medical advice from professionals to take the best course of action. Please let us know if we can help further.

sonia
12:28 pm August 14th, 2013

hi my friend has taken 6 alprazolam 0.5mg tablets. is there any risk?????????
her weigh is 75 kg and height is 5.3 and age 29 years

g
6:58 pm August 15th, 2013

it killed my sister in law they say she died of an unintentional overdose….she aspirated on her own vomit her jaw locked up . They need to take this drug off of the market it is very dangerous if it had not been for Xanax she would still be here. all she did was take it just like the doctor said..

mike
4:50 pm August 27th, 2013

xanax has basicly saved my life like is said sry for ur lss but mabey the meadcicine wasnt taken as prescibed if prescribed at all,,,,!!!!!!!

mike
4:54 pm August 27th, 2013

Zaatrix Angel have u tried any real sleep meds ambien wich has worked for me in thepastbut i is a narcotic. i found that eliva amitritylive is amazin and none narcotic hope that will help ive always had extreme sleep issues

Nikki Ryan
1:28 am September 12th, 2013

My son is 22 and took 5 1mg of xanax and has been sleeping all day and is out of it. He is prescribed Gabapentin, escitalopram and quetiapine, I’m not sure if I should still give him those that the dr. gave him since he took xanax that was not prescribed to him? Please let me know. Thank you

6:36 am September 12th, 2013

Hello Nikki. Call 1-800-222-1222 to contact the Poison Control Center.

Annie
8:21 am September 12th, 2013

For about 3 years, I have had to take Xanax when I fly, which is about 2-4 times a year, to deal with severe claustrophobia in air planes. I do not take Xanax, or anything like it aside from that at all. Over time the amount I have had to take has increased. The first time I took 5 or 6 0.25 mg pills in an 8 hour period, now I have to take about 8 0.25 mg pills: 5-6 pills in the 3 hrs before the flight, and then another 1-2 pills when I am about to board.

In a few days I need to travel for about 18 hrs, which includes 2 flights, the second one being the more claustrophobic one. I still have my pills left over, but I need to find out how many mgs I can take in an 8 hr period, in a 16 hr period, and 24 hr period in the worst case scenario, and my doctor is on vacation.

I think I need 2 grams (8 pills) for the first 11.5 hr flight, and another 2 mgs (8 pills) for the second flight of 3 hrs (this one is short, but ten times more claustrophobic). Could this hurt me, or is this an acceptable dose? I am 31 years old, 5’11” and about 130 lbs. I’m traveling with my husband so drowsiness is not a worry.

11:08 am September 13th, 2013

Hello Annie. You’ll need to seek professional medical advice from your prescribing doctor or a pharmacist for an accurate answer to your very specific questions. Best of luck!

nkn
3:36 am October 6th, 2013

I took 1-5mg ambien, 1-0.5 xanax and 2 beers am I ok

govind
12:21 pm November 18th, 2013

if any body take 30 tablets of 0.5 mg…..then what will happen….

MIRANIMAL
11:10 am December 4th, 2013

Please provide me with some useful information regarding patient brain dead after overdose. My cousin has been “ASLEEP” for about 4 days. We are not sure what’s going to happen, what can be expected or what can be done…. Please let me know ANY AND EVERYTHING that may be able to educate us on the situation

9:19 am December 12th, 2013

Hello Miranimal. Do a Google search using these keywords:

site:.gov drug overdose alprazolam coma

All my best to you and your family.

Janiqua Fig
3:15 am December 15th, 2013

I took a bar and a half of green Xanax bars last night and half a bar this afternoon. im throwing up do I need to go to the er.

asad
12:21 pm January 27th, 2014

can 10mg of xanas would kill you my weight is 82kg age 41years tell me please

christy rhykerd
11:36 pm February 1st, 2014

my son recently was arrested and had toxicology work done on his blood. The following drugs and amounts were detected…Buprenorphine-3.4ng/mL, Clonazepam-18 ng/mL,
Norbuprenorphine-2ng/mL, 7-AminoClonazepam11ng/mL
Alprazolam-210ng/mL, Alpha-Hydroxyalprazolam-10ng/mL, D Delta-9CarboxyTHC-29ng/mL. could you please interpret this in laymans terms and also explain what the various amounts indicate as far as any amounts that appear over dose possibilities. While some of these meds were prescribed for him he obviously wasn’t taking them properly and has no memory of that day nor the following, and is quite confused concerning this whole episode. Any information you could give us will be very helpful. Thank you.

sonia c
8:04 am February 2nd, 2014

About 10 hrs ago I took one .25mg of xanax and I just took 50mg an over the counter sleep aid (diphenhydramine). I didn’t know if it was ok.so I started googling. I should of done it before I took it. I am a little freak out now. Will I be ok since it’s been 10 hrs?

SHAWN
12:33 am February 26th, 2014

I TOOK 6 .25MGS OF XANAX AM I GOING TO BE OK?

Bets
11:38 pm March 23rd, 2014

Its literally impossible to OD on Xanax. Literally. I have tried multiple times. In fact, just last night, I took 4 800mg Metaxalone, I took 12 Xanax, I took 8 Benadryls to keep it all down, and on top of that I took 4 Aldactone (to srop my blood pressure), and then a Pristiq. I had 5 Ibuprofens AND 70% proof liqour (half a bottle)…. Its almost impossible to OD. Trust me. Ive tried 4 times.

Allison
10:59 pm March 30th, 2014

Hello, recently, I was prescribed 0.5mg of Xanax as needed but not to exceed 6 within 4 hours. I believe I built a tolerance (often having anxiety attacks) so I took 4 pills. I was a bit “high,” but not for longer than 10 minutes and only because the effects hit me very late. By then, I was exhausted from the attack and I believe the exhaustion plus the sudden effect overwhelmed me a little.

However, my friend believes this counts as an overdose, even though I only followed my prescription.

Was this an overdose?

Anon
10:15 am April 14th, 2014

I weigh 370, I stupidly thought this about xanax, that it would take lots of mg to overdose. I took a total of 40 mg on my prescription. The fire department and ambulance had to come and get me. I was in intensive care, I was apparently acting weird saying random things. I had to have a catheter put in. I couldn’t walk, I was hospitalized for two days. I don’t remember a thing. The doctor thought my mom was mistaken that I had taken 40 mg because that would have arrested the breathing in a normal person. To give you an idea, A friend of my ex was addicted to benzos took at the most 10 mg a day, and he was an extreme case. It is a urban legend about Xanax being hard to overdose on!!!

dan
1:48 pm April 14th, 2014

Hi my girlfriend died on March1 2014 from over dose on xanax she choked on her throw up wen she was sleeping can that really happened

1:48 pm April 15th, 2014

Hello Dan. Was she drinking at the same time? Alcohol poisoning can cause the gag reflex to shut down…

dan
10:47 pm April 18th, 2014

No alch found in her only anax and percent I just found out she choked

Heidi
7:05 am April 21st, 2014

I keep reading that it is impossible to overdose on Xanex. I take .5 mg as needed with no more than 3 pills daily. This weekend my boyfriend came over and without my knowledge got into my xanex. He is 185 lbs and doesn’t drink. He told me a few min later he took 4 pills totaling 2mg. Within 10 min he was stumbling around, incoherent, and then fell over face first and was completely limp and unresponsive. ..still breathing though. He was out cold for 6 hours doesn’t remember much. If you supposedly can’t overdose, what the hell possibly happened?

9:40 am April 23rd, 2014

Hello Heidi. Was he mixing any other drugs with Xanax? Your description sounds as if other CNS depressants (Benzos, opiates/opioids, alcohol) could have been in his system at the same time.

Rajesh Patel
10:31 am June 19th, 2014

Dear Sir/Mam,
I Rajesh From India Gujarat.Now I take Alprazilam 0.5 10 pills/Day.If I Take Some Time Late my Mind Cant Work And I fiil Difrent(Not Positive)Other Problem Is It’s Very Ifact To Intercourse .
I Can Not Reguller Intercourse or Can’t Fill About Intimacy..If I Not Take 8 to 10 pills /day. My hall Boddy Can’t work.
Dear Sir I Very Afaraid I sure going to coma Or may be kiil. So please I want to leave It Fast Please Help Me.What I do.
Thanks
Your Regard
Rajesh Patel.

julie
8:19 pm June 19th, 2014

Been on 2 mg qid for long time. Want to stop but I know it jas to decrease slowly. Question is how long does that usually take to minimize withdrawal effect?

Gina
1:05 pm June 30th, 2014

I wish everyone would stop taking Xanax. It is over prescribed, highly addictive, and dangerous. I have seen so many people detox off of Xanax, have seen people overdose, and have seen this drug take over people’s lives. COPING SKILLS are what people need to learn, develop, and practice to deal with anxiety. Counseling also needs to play a major role if not the primary role. Drugs will only mask what is causing your anxiety. A lot of these questions need to be answered by physicians. Do not play pharmacist! Seek help from health care professionals, and seek help if you are having any abnormal effect from the drug or call poison control.

Sds
6:55 am July 8th, 2014

Gina U have no idea what you’re talking about…

crystal
2:56 am July 20th, 2014

Please, don’t think that you can’t overdose on Xanax. It cost my 20 year old son his life. Nothing else was in his system, only Xanax. His tolerance was low because he was 54 days clean. The only time in his life I actually wish his tolerance had been greater. He left a 7 month old son that will never know his Daddy and a brokenhearted momma. Just so sad…

NicoleMarie
9:33 pm July 30th, 2014

Debbie,Please its not worth it. Just take a couple, take a deep breath and go to sleep. I like to imagine that even in death there are still problems. I too have had that thought many times and acted once. I just wound up making myself extremely I’ll. And I know there is someone out there who would LOVE for you to be around. I know that the millisecond I read your post I knew, without a doubt, that I still wanted Debbie around and how I bet shes a pretty cool person! Deep breath.

Ronnie
8:42 pm August 3rd, 2014

I have .5 and 2mg .5 don’t work my 2mg says twice a day if I take three can I OD

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
10:45 am August 4th, 2014

Hi Ronnie. Taking your Xanax in any way other than prescribed is considered abuse. Your prescribing doctor or pharmacist at your local pharmacy can help you figure out if it stopped working because you’re building up tolerance, and figure out a safe way to get the wanted effect. I wouldn’t suggest playing around with Xanax.

Daniellee
2:17 am August 5th, 2014

I’m on methadone about 75mg and have been for three years. I stopped doing Xanax, then started again. I’m “prescribed” 2mg daily at the most. I’m an addict, of course, I don’t follow instruction very well and normally never worry…but my best friend died march 12 this year and it messed me up and scared me at the same time. Now I’m mixing the 75mg methadone and from 6mg-14mg of Xanax. Am I gonna be OK? Plz respond anyone that can

saran
8:02 pm August 5th, 2014

I took 0.5mg 8 tablets what will happen

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
9:44 am August 6th, 2014

Hello Saran. 4mg is a very high dose for someone with no tolerance. You are probably fealing really relaxed and loose, but Xanax is notorious for memory loss. People have reported blacking out and doing some things they won’t remember doing. Most likely it won’t stop you from breathing as higher doses can, but may make you sedated to the point where you become a danger to yourself and others, especially when driving or taking other substances (like alcohol or narcotic pain medicines).

You can Call The Poison Control Center on 1-800-222-1222 for a free over-the-phone asesment of the risk of overdose and advise on what to do next. If you’re experiencing worse symptoms Call 911.

Judy
2:17 am August 14th, 2014

I can’t remember taking my 1mg of xanx and I took another. Will this hurt me? I also wear a fentoyl patch

Thank you.

tina
2:29 am August 14th, 2014

MY husband just said that he took a handleful of 1mg xanax can he overdose on it. What should I do?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
9:17 am August 19th, 2014

Hello Judy. The sedative effects of these drugs can be potentially harmful, especially if your organism hasn’t built up tolerance. If they are taken in combination, it should be under a doctor’s supervision. Users can also overdose on these drugs by accident, and there is a potential for “suffocating” due to severely depressed breathing. Get professional medical assistance ASAP.

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
9:28 am August 19th, 2014

Tina, Call The Poison Control Center on 1-800-222-1222 to talk to a poison expert. Or if you see he’s getting worse don’t hesitate to Call 911.

Janet
3:20 am August 22nd, 2014

I’ve been on Xanax for ten years or so. I keep taking more and more to try to keep the anxiety at a tolerable level. Tonight I took 8 or 10mg, I can’t remember. What is the best thing to do?

Janet
3:33 am August 22nd, 2014

I’m feeling very tired, I’m going on to bed. I think I’ve learned a good lesson tonight, and plan to seek help tomorrow. Thanks

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
3:48 pm August 23rd, 2014

Hello Janet. Call The Poison Control Center on 1-800-222-1222 for a free over-the-phone assessment of the risk of overdose and instructions on what to do next.

Jen
2:31 pm September 12th, 2014

I was rushed to ER unconscious. They determined that I had pneumonia and sepsis. I was going into kidney failure. The night before I had taken my prescribed dose of Xanax, two 1 mg XR. The ER physician also told my family that I had overdosed. I am in the process of obtaining my medical records, and wanted to know what the range was for an overdose to be determined ( family was told that I had to have taken at least 10 ). They also blamed kidney failure on this. This has caused me a great deal of stress, family blaming me, friends looking at me differently, rumors being started and it is untrue. I also researched Xanax and kidney failure and what I have determined is that respiratory system would be affected before kidneys. Can you also address this for me? I would greatly appreciate any help in proving myself. I really believe that once it is determined that patient has a controlled substance in their system that they are labeled a junkie. They didn’t know anything about me or why I was taking medication.

Michael
6:46 pm September 14th, 2014

My friend just took 18 pills and a half bottle of johnny walker red. He’s in the military and suffers from PTSD from active duty and does not want his record tarnished . We are telling him to go to the hospital but he is refusing. Should we be worried? The pills are 2mg each.

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
12:05 pm September 15th, 2014

Hi, Michael. Call The Poison Control Center on 1-800-222-1222 to talk to a poison expert. They offer a free over-the-phone assessment of the risk of overdose. But, if things get worse, Call 911 EMEDIATLEY.

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