OverviewDosageSide EffectsInteractionsHalf-Life

Someone taking alprazolam can become dependent on the drug; the length of Xanax withdrawal depends on different factors, including whether someone stops “cold turkey” or tapers off the medication. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines comes in phases, too. These phases are early, acute, and protracted. 

How Long Do Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

Typically, the withdrawal will start within 24 hours of the last dose and may continue for several months. The time frame depends on how long this person took the drug, how much they took per dose, and any other medical problems they may have at the time. Symptoms tend to peak in severity within four days. “Benzo belly,” ot symptoms that affect the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, can last for months. 

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal affects each person differently. Most will experience typical withdrawal symptoms, such as headache, tremors, nausea, and diarrhea, along with muscle aches,  sweating, and chills. Stopping Xanax cold turkey can lead to potentially dangerous side effects like a seizure, high body temperature, and fast heart rate. 

Precautions

Those who take Xanax for long periods have the highest risk of withdrawal symptoms. It’s important not to stop taking this drug suddenly. The best chance of managing the symptoms of withdrawal comes with tapering off the medication under the supervision of a licensed medical professional. 

Treatment Options

When withdrawal occurs in a medically controlled space, nurses can offer comfort care to help ease the discomfort. They can administer pain relievers, fever reducers, and anti-diarrheal medications to ease symptom severity.

FAQ

Can Xanax help with antidepressant withdrawal?

Xanax could work to control a number of symptoms common with withdrawal, including anxiety, muscle tension, terrors, insomnia, and poor appetite. Xanax itself can be habit-forming, though, so supervision is necessary. 

How long does Xanax take to wear off?

Xanax wears off in 3-8 hours, or maybe longer or maybe less depending upon the person. 

Can Xanax make anxiety worse?

No drug affects every person the same way. With that in mind, yes, it is possible that Xanax may increase anxiety levels. That is unlikely when taken as prescribed, however. If abused in combination with another chemical substance like alcohol, it could have unexpected side effects, including increased anxiety. 

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.


More About Xanax

Written by

Medically reviewed by