Medically the review by Dena Westphalen, Pharm.D. — written by Jessica Caporuscio, Pharm.D. — to update on November 8, 2020

People take alprazolam (Xanax) to treat anxiety and also panic disorders. Acquisition Xanax can cause mild-to-serious next effects. Acquisition too lot Xanax or taking other drugs alongside Xanax deserve to increase the hazard of overdose.

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Xanax belongs come a course of medications referred to as benzodiazepines. Along with its usage for anxiety, some civilization use Xanax for sleeplessness, premenstrual disorder, and depression. However, the Food and also Drug management (FDA) have actually not currently approved the medicine for this uses.

Some human being have provided Xanax because that recreational purposes or in ~ dosages higher than their doctor prescribed. When human being use medicine without a prescription or at different dosages, over there is an enhanced risk of drug misuse and feasible overdose.

This short article will talk about the symptoms, treatments, and also risk factors linked with Xanax overdose. The will also explain what to execute if someone has actually taken too lot Xanax.

What happens if friend take too much?

Share on PinterestDrowsiness is one feasible side impact of taking too lot Xanax.
Doctors will typically prescribe Xanax dosage of roughly 0.25 to 0.5 milligrams (mg) 3 times every day. Some civilization may require a dosage of as much as 4 mg per day. For scare disorder, part doctors may prescribe dosages of up to 10 mg per day.

Older adults and also people with progressed liver failure may require lower dosages the Xanax, together their bodies can be much more sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines.

Doctors target to prescribe the lowest efficient dosage because that the shortest duration to regulate the hazard of dependence.

People who take too lot Xanax might experience:

drowsinesspoor coordinationblurred visionconfusion

Sometimes, civilization may endure delayed symptoms, if others might experience severe symptoms, such as coma or even death.

Mixing Xanax with other medications, alcohol, or both can reason overdose. Sometimes, overdose is unintentional, but some world may use Xanax alone or with various other substances to intentionally damage themselves.

Xanax is a usual drug and also has a high likelihood of misuse. Researchers imply that Xanax is the most common benzodiazepine affiliated in emergency room visits related to the misuse that drugs.


If who overdoses ~ above Xanax, they may experience mild-to-severe side effects. Also if a person experiences mild next effects, they still need emergency clinical attention.

Symptoms that Xanax overdose might include:

drowsinessconfusionimpaired coordinationreduced reflexescomadeath

People who overdose on Xanax alone might experience gentle drowsiness through normal or near normal vital signs. A benzodiazepine overdose may likewise lead to slurred speech and also an altered mental state.

People who experience difficulty breathing after taking too lot Xanax have actually likely bring away the drug v other main nervous device (CNS) depressants or alcohol. Respiratory obstacles are uncommon in isolated Xanax overdoses.

Doctors have actually not determined the exact dosage that Xanax the can cause breathing problems due to the fact that it have the right to depend on numerous factors, including:

how lot of the medicine the human tooktheir drug tolerancetheir weighttheir ageany other substances they take it at the exact same timetheir genetics

Severe complications pertained to benzodiazepine overdose can include:

respiratory arrestdeath

If someone is suffering overdose next effects, lock or someone rather should speak to their local emergency number immediately.

Sometimes, overdose is unintentional. If a person has actually been acquisition benzodiazepines with alcohol or other sedating medications, they may not understand that they have overdosed top top the drug.

Individuals must tell their doctor and also pharmacist which medications they space taking so that the healthcare experts can decision whether or no Xanax is appropriate and safe because that them.

Doctors warn that mixing benzodiazepines and opioids, alcohol, or various other CNS depressants can reason drowsiness, breathing problems, coma, or even death.


Both opioids and benzodiazepines can influence breathing since they plot on GABA and also mu receptors, which are receptors in the mind that control breathing.

Taking both of this drugs in ~ the same time deserve to increase the risk of serious sedation, breath problems, coma, and also death. A human should never ever use Xanax v opioids or take much more than the prescribed dosage, uneven a physician recommends it.

Doctors need to prescribe the lowest possible dosage because that the shortest possible duration.


Taking benzodiazepines such as Xanax has actually a depressant effect. Alcohol has actually a similar effect. Therefore, people should avoid using alcohol with Xanax, together this can lead come adverse, and also possibly life threatening, effects.

People should inform their doctor around their alcohol intake habits prior to using Xanax.

Other CNS depressants

People who integrate CNS depressants through Xanax might experience one increased action of the benzodiazepine. The additive side effects from different drugs can reason CNS depression, consisting of symptoms such as sedation and also drowsiness.

CNS depressants include:

psychotropic drugsanticonvulsantsantihistaminesalcohol


Doctors indicate that adult over 65 years old might experience digoxin toxicity if they incorporate digoxin through Xanax.

If a human being needs to take both of this medications, doctors have to monitor them very closely for digoxin toxicity, i beg your pardon may incorporate the complying with symptoms:

visual disturbances, such as yellow or eco-friendly discolorationan irregular heartbeatshortness of breathfainting or pass outdizziness

Cytochrome P450 3A

The enzyme cytochrome P450 3A (CYP450 3A) digests Xanax in the liver. Drugs the block the to work of this enzyme will influence how the body clears Xanax, which deserve to increase its level in the blood.

Some examples of drugs the block the effect of CYP450 3A encompass fluoxetine and also birth manage pills.

If a human does not know if they space using a drug that block CYP450 3A, they need to talk to their medical professional before beginning Xanax.

If someone has overdosed on Xanax, that is crucial to contact the Poison manage helpline at 800-222-1222. Information is also easily accessible on the Poison manage website.

The doctors, nurses, and pharmacists who occupational for Poison manage offer free, confidential consultations 24 hours per day and also 7 days per week. They deserve to assist people who may have overdosed.

If someone has collapsed, had a seizure, has challenge breathing, or will not wake up, someone must contact 911. The person will must go come the closestly emergency room right away.

Sometimes, a human may not endure the effect of the overdose or misuse immediately. Others might not be mindful that they have actually overdosed ~ above Xanax if they room unintentionally combine the medicine with various other substances, consisting of alcohol.

Lower dosages can cause toxicities in enlarge adults.

Doctors treat Xanax and other benzodiazepine overdoses v supportive care, relying on the who symptoms. This may incorporate monitoring their crucial signs, providing them intravenous fluids, and, if they have severe breath problems, making use of a breathing tube.

Doctors execute not use activated charcoal, dialysis, or bowel watering for benzodiazepine toxicity.

Flumazenil injections

Doctors might give civilization with severe benzodiazepine toxicity a flumazenil injection to treat the overdose. Flumazenil is one injectable drug that reverses the result of a benzodiazepine by prevent the benzodiazepine receptor.

A physician may give adults flumazenil injections if they have actually overdosed on benzodiazepines. They can also give youngsters aged 1–17 year flumazenil to turning back the impacts of benzodiazepines ~ a surgical procedure.

Usually, however, the risks of using flumazenil outweigh the possible benefits, so doctors carry out not recommend it routinely.

A significant side impact of flumazenil is seizures, and also the drug carries a black box warning come this effect. This kind of warning is the most serious warning that the FDA give to drugs.

When medical professionals give human being flumazenil, they need to be ready to treat and also manage any kind of seizures the occur.

People that overdose on Xanax alone may have mild symptom of toxicity. However, when people combine Xanax with various other drugs that influence the CNS, they might experience more severe symptoms, including difficulty breathing, coma, and also possibly death.

People taking Xanax should let their doctors and pharmacists understand if lock are likewise taking other medications. CNS depressants, digoxin, opioids, and CYP450 3A inhibitors have the right to all interact with Xanax and also cause unintended overdose.

Some people shot to harm themselves by taking big amounts that Xanax or combine Xanax with various other drugs. Overdoses and misuse the Xanax have the right to lead come coma and death.

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If someone has overdosed ~ above Xanax, that is necessary to get emergency medical aid immediately.