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Xanax withdrawal treatment: How to treat Xanax withdrawal

Xanax is also known by its generic name, alprazolam. Classified as a benzodiazepine drug, Xanax is prescribed to treat anxiety, panic disorders, and in some cases, depression. Xanax works like a depressant and effects the nervous system by calming the physical symptoms of anxiety. But after a while, your body will develop physical dependence to the medication.

When a body which has developed physical dependence does not get its regular doses of Xanax, you can expect symptoms of withdrawal to manifest. But, what exactly is the best way to treat withdrawal when detoxing from Xanax? What are the exact Xanax dependence withdrawal symptoms that you need to be concerned in treating and how? Here, we explore the effects and treatments of Xanax withdrawal symptoms. Then, we invite your questions about Xanax withdrawal at the end.

Effects of withdrawal from Xanax

Usually, the greatest effect withdrawal from Xanax is the underlying mental health condition which Xanax is treating. This is why you may feel “rebound” anxiety and/or depression during Xanax withdrawal. These symptoms may also be exacerbated, making withdrawal harder to treat. But what happens to the body as you withdraw from Xanax?

Your body will go through a period of discomfort much like the flu during Xanax withdrawal; it will take time to regulate normal functioning in your body. Additionally, Xanax withdrawal can affect other aspects of your life. While you are going through physical withdrawal, it may be mentally draining as you work to fix and regulate levels of anxiety. Plan to take time off work (if possible) and expect that personal relationships may become strained as these symptoms begin to affect your life. However, time resolves symptoms and most acute symptoms resolve within a few weeks’ time.

Withdrawal from Xanax symptoms

Physical withdrawal from Xanax symptoms impersonate the flu. Other physical symptoms can consist of vomiting, chills and sweat. Some symptoms of withdrawal you can expect include:

  • dizziness
  • insomnia
  • panic attacks
  • paranoia
  • racing thoughts
  • rebound anxiety
  • seizures
  • severe depression
  • speech issues

How to treat Xanax withdrawal symptoms

The first concern during Xanax withdrawal is treating any possible serious side effects. Be sure that the first days of Xanax withdrawal are medically supervised. In particular, the first few hours during withdrawal are critical, as seizures can occur during this time. For this reason, it is recommended you work with a physician to taper your medication and then to monitor early withdrawal.

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Next, you’ll need to address possible psychological symptoms that can manifest during Xanax withdrawal such as, paranoia, anxiety, and depression. You may need a better SSRI medication that will work on anxiety, since Xanax is only meant to treat anxiety for a short periods of time. You may also want to seek out a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist so that you can talk through anything that may arise during withdrawal. A psychiatrist (an MD who specializes in mental health) can help you regulate medications and find something else that would be better suited to your needs. Talk therapy can be helpful in resolving underlying contributors to your anxiety. These mental health professionals can also help work through psychological symptoms of withdrawal.

You can also address Xanax withdrawal symptoms using prescription medications. Pharmacological support for withdrawing from Xanax includes the prescription of the medication propranolol which has been said help ease the symptoms of withdrawal. It has an impact on the severity of the withdrawal symptoms but can’t help the frequency or length withdrawal will happen.

Finally, you can treat physical withdrawal symptoms at home. As withdrawal occurs, make sure that you are getting enough liquids and replenishing the electrolytes in your body. You can use over-the-counter-medications from your local pharmacy to treat flu-like symptoms and address body discomfort. Teas such as chamomille or resmary having a claming effect on the nervous system. Seek help from a nutritionist or your doctor for more recommendations on changes to diet or supplements.

Best way to withdraw from Xanax

Since Xanax is used to treat anxiety, it is important that you do not stop taking it cold turkey. There are just too many variables that can effect this type of withdrawal, including complications such as seizure. Working with a medical professional is imperative as you withdraw from Xanax. In fact, the best way to withdraw from Xanax is under medical supervision. A doctor will taper your medication slowly over the course of many weeks. More tapering guidelines include:

  • In general, doctors recommended that aXanax taper occur over a period of eight weeks.
  • Doses of Xanax should be no more the .5mg every three to four days.
  • Tapering may take longer than suddenly stopping Xanax, but minimizes the severity of withdrawal.
  • Tapering gives you time to figure out treatment alternatives if you still need to treat anxiety symptoms.
  • Let people know what’s going around so that they can support your with withdrawal process.

Xanax withdrawal treatment questions

Do you still have questions about treating Xanax withdrawal? Please ask your questions in the comments section below and will we get to you ASAP.

Reference Sources: NCBI: Discontinuation and Withdrawal problems of Alprazolam
NCBI: The benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome and its management.

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23 Responses to “Xanax withdrawal treatment: How to treat Xanax withdrawal
judy jordan
4:36 pm January 20th, 2014

I have recently gone from 20 mg. twice day down to 7.5 mg. once a day. I am doing this on my own. I am having trouble breathing during the day (not while sleeping)…Is this a withdrawal effect from Hydrocodone?

1:33 pm January 22nd, 2014

Hello Judy. You’ll need to check in with your prescribing physician and schedule a full medical exam. While problems breathing can be a side effect of hydrocodone use and initiation (especially when figuring out doses), this type of side effect can indicate other medical problems.

10:27 pm January 30th, 2014

I am curious about the possible cross-tolerances that can occur between different benzodiazepines, such as Alprazolam, Lorazepam, Clonazepam, etc. I take Generic Xanax on occasion, but sometimes it feels like it doesn’t do the trick. I was used to taking the 2mg “bars” a while back, stopped altogether for a few years, but it seems that I have some kind of Psychological long-term tolerance to it as I have started using the medication again. Is it suggested to switch to other types of benzos for similar symptoms, and would one expect better/different results?

6:55 am February 1st, 2014

Hi Bri. It’s probably a good idea to consult with a prescribing doctor or psychiatrist on this question, than to try to dose yourself. I’d suggest that you schedule a consult with a qualified physician for more information and guidance.

2:40 pm September 27th, 2014

I am a 75 year old man who has been taking .5 mg alprozalam for 7 years. Recently my doctor recommended that I try to get off of it because it has been linked to Alzheimers. I am looking for some support in doing this. I have decided to take .5 on Mon, Wed and Fri and .25 the other days for a month, then go to .25 every day for another month, then every other day, etc. Is there any information you can give me to help in this process? It seems my doctor wasn’t aware of how difficult this process could be, so no help there!

12:05 pm October 2nd, 2014

Hello Ed. Lowering Xanax doses for 10-20% each month is a safe taper. Although your tapering plan sounds good, you should have doctor’s approval and monitoring during this process. It’s not easy and you may need your doctor’s assistance.

12:14 pm October 24th, 2014

I have been on Xanax for 5 years. It started with a panic attack, which happened for no apparent reason. I spent several hours in the hospital being tested for all kinds of things. I was taking 1mg tablets up to 3 times a day. I left a very stressful job and got down to 2 a day. My doctor has me on Celexa 10 mg., once a day. I usually take 1 Xanax in the morning, and start to crave around 11 in the morning, so I take another half. Most of the time that is all I need. It has been a couple of weeks since I took 2 whole ones in a day. That was because my mother in law was quite ill and needed me to care for her after open heart surgery. I really need to stop. There is no reason for me to be such a nervous wreck. Do you think the Celexa will help?

10:09 am April 22nd, 2015

I have only taken a.5 at night for around 5 years but have cut them in half now for 8 days. I have had episodes of my heart racing the last two days. It has been as high as 120. Is this from withdrawal?

2:34 pm May 4th, 2015

Hi Deb. Yes, it is highly possible that your organism is reacting to the dose decrease. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about what you should do in terms of taking any additional medications that may lower the withdrawal risks. If you are reacting strangely to the lowered dose, doctors usually recommend you stay on that dose for another week or two, until your body stabilizes. Then, you will be able to go ahead and do cut another dose back.

4:19 pm November 18th, 2015

I have been taking 2 mg of Xanax every night for two months so I can sleep. I want to stop and need to know in what increments to reduce the tablet and over what period of time is safe? Recently a friend told me that Xanax long term could be bad for your memory and my mom passed away from Alzheimer’s so that is why I want to quit. Thank you for your assistance.

11:16 pm November 18th, 2015

Hello Liz. I suggest you talk with your doctor about reducing your tablets, or replacing them.

6:17 am November 22nd, 2015

I’ve tried quitting a couple of times. My doctors, including the prescribing Dr, admit to being unqualified to wean me me off the drug. So no wonder I fail. I can no longer diffenciate between my actual anxiety and my withdrawal.• so it’s a vicious cycle. Help.

5:15 pm November 24th, 2015

Hello David. Don’t give up! Try talking with an addiction professional. I believe they are the ones who know how to wean you off the drug. Also, have you considered group therapy? Listening and sharing all stories will help you cope with withdrawal. Stay strong!

11:13 pm December 21st, 2015

Hi I’ve been taking xanax .05 one everyday for bout 6 months sometimes off and on if stopping will i get withdrawals and can it cause seziures

5:44 am December 22nd, 2015

Great info my son is also suffering from depression so he self medicats with benadryl and Xanax Xanax don’t work I now know why after reading me and his psychiatrist need to have a talk. Thanks again you may have saved a life. He’s been in different programs but they failed. Mike. The dad

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
10:22 am December 22nd, 2015

Thanks for the lovely words, Mike. I’m glad that you found our info helpful. Hope your son is better soon!

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
11:32 am December 23rd, 2015

Hi, Daniela. Everyone who’s using medications may experience withdrawal symptoms. The difference is that those symptoms vary from person to person. I’d suggest you to ask a doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule only for you. In this way, you can quit Xanax gradually, and ease withdrawal symptoms. Good luck!

5:08 pm December 23rd, 2015

Assuming I get off Xanax, then what? I still have anxiety. What are better treatments, and why aren’t they prescribed in the first place?

10:43 pm April 4th, 2016

Doc prescribed Xanax until Prozac takes effect I have had one a day even though he prescribed two. I am so afraid of becoming addicted I have been taking it a week and expect to take it a week longer. .25 can I get addicted if I take the 2 a day he prescribed for two weeks. I’m terrified.

5:51 pm April 10th, 2016

will neurontin help or hurt in the detox process of xanax ——and .5 mg every 3 to 4 days is insainly to fast to taper for long term xanax users ! ineed something for anxiety but don,t know what to use .

10:47 pm April 10th, 2016

Hi, currently on 5 and one half xanax daily and 24mg of subutex. I’m having an extremely hard time. My parents died couple years back, my husband is addicted to porn and I suffer extremely bad anxiety, every day. My Dr has tried to help me through this. I can’t really get into every issue, other than this. I am going to be out of my xanax tomorrow. Cannot get my refill until Tuesday. I only have 2 and one half 1mg left until Tuesday, should I take a half today and tomorrow , to avoid withdrawals? I also have two very very precious children , 5 and 8, whom I love so very much, scared to death because my husband is very very verbally abusive towards me, it’s so much I really feel like dying because I don’t see anyway out, I have had such a hard hard life, don’t want to give up now. Please help me, any suggestions? My husband also cancelled my car insurance and didn’t pay my car note, just because he hates me and from what we’ve been through, continually trying to hurt me, just down and out

2:24 am July 17th, 2016

I have cut back my zanax to 1/2 of .o25 twice a day is this a good withdraw way to go

8:13 pm September 26th, 2016

I was on xanax 20 yrs. 7mg. Per day i stopped cold tutkey 5 months ago? Im still so sick i can barley shower?

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