Xanax Overdose: How Much is Too Much?

Xanax Overdose: How Much is Too Much?

Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, which is a medication that falls under the drug class of benzodiazepines (benzos).

As a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, Xanax works by enhancing the effects of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA inhibits or blocks nerve signals, reducing excitability throughout the nervous system. While Xanax’s mechanism of action makes it an effective form of treatment for insomnia, anxiety disorders, and panic disorders, it also makes it highly addictive. Once a person is hooked on Xanax, they want to take more and more of it. But how much is too much? Our substance abuse treatment center in Stuart, FL, shares more on Xanax overdose.


What Is a Drug Overdose?

A drug overdose occurs when you take too much of a substance, whether it’s prescription, illegal, or over-the-counter (OTC). Drug overdoses can be either accidental or intentional. The former usually occurs when someone takes more of their medication than they realized, while the former often occurs as a result of recreational drug use. When you take more than the recommended dose of a prescription or OTC medication, or if you’ve taken high doses of an illicit drug, it can produce severe physical and psychological symptoms, also known as a drug overdose.


Can You Overdose on Xanax?

Yes, you can overdose on Xanax. A Xanax overdose occurs when you take a higher dose than the one recommended to you by your doctor. Which leads us to this question: how much Xanax does it take to overdose? Doctors typically prescribe patients around 0.25 to 0.5 milligrams (mg) of Xanax to be taken three times a day, totaling out to 0.75 to 1.5 mg in 24 hours. For panic disorders, some doctors may even prescribe up to 10 mg per day. Although doctors aim to keep doses as low as possible, some people simply require more medication to treat their symptoms. However, whether the dose is 0.5 mg or 10 mg, taking more than recommended can cause an overdose.

Additionally, a Xanax overdose can occur if taken with other benzodiazepines, alcohol, narcotics, and various other substances. Many people do this on purpose, which is a practice referred to as polydrug abuse or polydrug use. Frequently using more than one substance not only increases your risk of an overdose, but also facilitates addiction. Benzodiazepine addiction can destroy your health, relationships, career, and finances. Substance use disorders are also chronic diseases that require professional care. If you’re addicted to Xanax or any other medication, our benzo detox treatment at Banyan Stuart can help you recover.


Xanax Overdose Symptoms

Xanax’s side effects kick in within an hour and usually peak after one or two hours. The side effects of Xanax only last between 2 and 4 hours, which may not seem like much to someone who’s addicted. Although Xanax overdose can be accidental, it can occur in people who have developed a tolerance to it and have to take higher doses to experience the same high.


Typical signs of Xanax overdose include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slowed or shallow breathing (common when Xanax is mixed with another CNS depressant)
  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Joint pain
  • Light-headedness
  • Fatigue
  • Unusual talkativeness
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Tremors
  • Slow reflexes
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Chest pains
  • Coma
  • Death


A Xanax overdose is life-threatening. If someone is exhibiting the signs and symptoms of Xanax overdose, call 9-1-1 immediately. If the individual is a loved one who you know is suffering from addiction, get them help.


Overdose isn’t the only repercussion of Xanax abuse. Xanax and fertility issues are also linked, in addition to addiction and cognitive complications. Fortunately, Banyan Treatment Centers Stuart provides patients with the detox programs and addiction treatment options they need to break the physical and mental bonds of addiction. Call us now at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our Florida drug and alcohol treatment.


Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.