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How Long Does Xanax Withdrawal Last?

How Long Does Xanax Withdrawal Last?

Xanax, or alprazolam, is a central nervous system depressant that’s part of the benzodiazepines drug class.

Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorders. As a depressant, it elevates the levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA to reduce nerve activity in the brain and slow down functions like heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. People who use Xanax for a long period may experience withdrawal symptoms when they reduce their dose or quit using it altogether. If you’re looking into quitting this drug, you may be wondering, how long does Xanax withdrawal last? Below is an alprazolam withdrawal timeline that can help.

How Long Does Xanax Withdrawal Take to Start?

Benzodiazepines, like Xanax, impact the brain’s reward center, including factors like mood, pain, and motivation. As a result, benzos like Xanax are addictive, and many people who take these drugs for long periods develop a physical dependence. You know that you’re physically dependent on a drug when you experience withdrawal symptoms when you reduce your dose or stop taking it. Withdrawal can occur when a person who’s accustomed to taking Xanax regularly drastically reduces their doses or quits cold turkey.

Xanax withdrawal usually leaves people feeling “out of sorts,” causing symptoms like:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Panic
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Hallucinations

Usually, a Xanax withdrawal starts 6 to 12 hours after the person’s last dose of Xanax. Because alprazolam has a half-life of 11 hours, several factors can determine how long Xanax withdrawal lasts and the severity of symptoms. Many people attempt to detox from Xanax cold turkey or without medical assistance, but this can be dangerous. If you’re looking to quit this medication, do it safely by coming to Banyan Treatment Centers Stuart, where you can undergo a medically monitored detox.

Xanax Withdrawal Timeline

The big question is, how long does it take to detox from Xanax? Xanax withdrawal can last anywhere from weeks to months. Some people even experience withdrawal symptoms years into their sobriety. Various factors can affect how long Xanax withdrawal lasts, including dosage used, duration of use, whether the person uses other substances, and the person’s metabolism, to name a few. In medical prescription drug detox, people are usually tapered off Xanax to avoid severe side effects, like seizures.

The collection of symptoms during detox and withdrawal are referred to as benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. These symptoms can occur in people who take Xanax exactly as their doctors prescribe but are most common in people who abuse it. Below is a Xanax withdrawal timeline, including when certain symptoms occur and peak.

6 to 12 Hours: Alprazolam withdrawal symptoms usually begin six to 12 hours after the person’s last dose. The most common symptoms in this stage are anxiety, trouble sleeping, headache, and irritability.

1 to 4 Days: Otherwise known as the rebound stage, people who are detoxing from Xanax may experience symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The symptoms of their anxiety or panic disorder may rebound or reoccur. While these symptoms usually subside after the fourth day, seizures are major risks during this stage.

5 to 14 Days: It is at the two-week mark that alprazolam withdrawal symptoms usually peak. Xanax withdrawal after one week to two weeks is known as the downward slope, during which previous symptoms like headaches and muscle aches decrease, as well as the risk of seizures. However, anxiety, insomnia, and gastrointestinal issues may still occur during this phase.

2 Weeks to Several Months: Normal function normally returns two weeks into Xanax withdrawal. However, people may still report gastrointestinal issues and mood symptoms coming off Xanax after two months.

Although symptoms usually dissipate a month or two after detox is completed, the after-effects of Xanax withdrawal include post-acute withdrawal syndrome, otherwise known as protracted withdrawal syndrome. This condition occurs in some people during benzo withdrawal and refers to a set of symptoms that are more severe than initial detox symptoms.

Benzos are considered to have the most potential for producing this condition, sometimes causing symptoms that last for years. A great way to reduce the likelihood of experiencing uncomfortable Xanax withdrawals is by undergoing a safe, professional, and medical detox for prescription drugs.

How to Overcome Xanax Withdrawal

The best way to overcome Xanax withdrawal is by following a slow and controlled tapering detox schedule set up by a medical professional. By gradually lowering the dose of Xanax taken over a safe period, the severity of withdrawal symptoms can be greatly mitigated and even avoided. Most professionals agree that the safest way to detox from Xanax and other benzos is through a combination of psychological support and tapering. At Banyan Stuart, we offer benzo withdrawal treatment as well as other supplemental services, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), to assist patients in every area of their recovery.

Whether it’s medical detox or inpatient drug treatment, our Stuart rehab offers everything you need to overcome withdrawal and addiction. To learn more about our services, call Banyan today at 888-280-4763.

Related Reading:
How Xanax Affects Fertility
Xanax Overdose: How Much is Too Much?
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.