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.
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 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:
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:
Due to the sedaative 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.
Withdrawal from Xanax can produce the following:
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.
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)
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.
At the 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 to these problems.
Dr. Michael Loes is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pain Management and Addiction Medicine. He holds a dual license in Homeopathic and Integrative Medicine. He obtained his medical doctorate at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1978. Dr. Loes performed an externship at the National Institute of Health for Psychopharmacology. Additionally, he is a well-published author including Arthritis: The Doctor’s Cure, The Aspirin Alternative, The Healing Response, and Spirit Driven Health: The Psalmist’s Guide for Recovery. He has been awarded the Minnesota Medical Foundation’s “Excellence in Research” Award.