Xanax Hangover: What It Feels Like and How Long It Lasts
Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, which is a type of sedative used to treat anxiety and panic disorder.
As a benzodiazepine, Xanax reduces anxiety and panic disorder symptoms by stimulating the release of the neurotransmitter GABA, which inhibits neural activity in the brain and spinal cord. Although Xanax can be effective for treating anxiety when taken correctly, did you know that a Xanax hangover is possible? Keep reading to learn what a Xanax hangover is, what it feels like, and how to cure it if it happens to you.
What is Xanax Hangover?
Xanax hangover refers to mild withdrawal symptoms that the user may experience as the medication wears off. Also referred to as a Xanax comedown, a Xanax hangover can mimic the effects of an alcohol hangover, which are notorious for being highly unpleasant.
Xanax hangover is most likely to occur in people who are physically dependent on Xanax. Alprazolam dependence can develop in people who take the medication for long periods of time.
Drug dependence occurs when a person’s brain and the body can’t function normally without the drug. When someone dependent on Xanax drastically reduces their dose or stops taking it altogether, they may experience a Xanax hangover.
It’s important to note that experiencing any withdrawal symptoms when Xanax wears off is an indicator of physical dependence. At this point, you may begin to realize that the same dose you started taking no longer produces the same effects (also known as tolerance).
If you’re experiencing this, avoid taking higher doses of Xanax than prescribed unless directed to by your doctor. Increasing your doses without the okay from the prescribing physician can perpetuate abuse and addiction, which can lead to other complications.
Xanax Hangover Symptoms
So, what does a Xanax hangover feel like? As we mentioned before, a Xanax hangover feels similar to an alcohol hangover. If you’ve never experienced this (which is a good thing), below are some common Xanax hangover symptoms:
Difficulty sleeping or insomnia
Increased blood pressure, body temperature, and pulse
Nausea and/or vomiting
Muscle tension and tremors
If you experience any day-after Xanax depression or comedown symptoms, speak to your doctor right away. They may be able to adjust your dosage or prescribe a different medication that may not produce these symptoms.
How to Get Over Xanax Hangover
The only foolproof cure for Xanax hangover is time. Xanax comedown depression and other hangover symptoms should subside once the drug has completely been eliminated from your system.
However, this means that how long a Xanax hangover lasts depends on how long Xanax lasts in the body. Xanax has a half-life of about 11 hours, and it can take several half-lives for a drug to be eliminated from the body.
The time it takes for alprazolam to leave the body ranges from 6 to 27 hours, meaning that Xanax hangover symptoms can also last this long. In the meantime, however, there are some things you can do to speed up this process and alleviate any discomfort:
Exercise: You can give yourself a natural boost of endorphins and improve your mood by exercising. You don’t have to do anything intense. A 30-minute walk around the block would work.
Eat: Xanax is absorbed and metabolized through your gastrointestinal (GI) system, so eating pushes fiber, protein, and fat through the GI system, helping your body process the drug quicker.
Sleep: If you’re able to, try to spend some extra time in bed to sleep off the effects of a Xanax hangover. You can sleep through the worst of your symptoms and wake up once less of the drug is in your body.
A Xanax hangover isn’t likely to occur every time it’s taken. You’re more likely to experience a Xanax hangover if it’s your first time taking the medication, you’ve used the medication irregularly, you’ve recently changed your dose, or if you’ve recently missed one or more doses after taking the medication for a while.
The more tolerance you develop to alprazolam, the less likely you are to experience any Xanax hangover symptoms. However, keep in mind that long-term use or high-dose use of Xanax can lead to drug dependence.
Drug dependence is very dangerous as it can contribute to drug abuse and possibly addiction, so it’s important to take Xanax exactly as prescribed.
Need Help for Xanax Abuse?
Tolerance often contributes to increased drug use. Just because a drug is prescribed doesn’t mean it’s safe to take however you want.
Xanax has a high potential for abuse and addiction, so it’s important to follow your physician's directions when taking this medication. If you or someone you care about has developed an addiction to alprazolam or any other drug or alcohol, our Philadelphia drug rehab offers various levels of care for substance abuse treatment that can help.
In addition to prescription drug addiction treatment, our rehab facility also offers various unique therapy programs that are held in one-on-one and group settings to promote peer support while catering to patients’ individual needs. Our Philadelphia, PA, drug rehab even offers family therapy for the spouses, family, and friends of patients who were impacted by their loved one’s addiction.
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.