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What Is A Xanax Hangover?

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

February 26, 2019

Anyone who takes Xanax can experience something known as a Xanax hangover. This is when mild withdrawal symptoms are felt as the drug leaves the system. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to Xanax, there are multiple treatment options available.

Xanax is a benzodiazepine that is used to treat mental health conditions such as anxiety and panic disorder. Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are some of the most abused prescription drugs on the market.

A Xanax hangover is when someone who has taken the drug begins to feel mild withdrawal symptoms as it starts to wear off. While people who abuse Xanax are more prone to this, someone who takes it as prescribed can also experience these symptoms.

How Long Does A Xanax Hangover Last?

The half-life of Xanax can vary from six to 27 hours, with 11 hours being the mean range. It will take many more hours before the drug is completely out of the system. However, symptoms will subside before the medication is completely out of the body.

Most symptoms should go away within 24 hours of the last dose taken. Minor symptoms may persist for one to two days after the last dose.

What Does A Xanax Hangover Feel Like?

A Xanax hangover can feel similar to an alcohol hangover. It can be both mentally and physically uncomfortable.

Symptoms of a Xanax hangover include:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • headache
  • blurry vision
  • lack of appetite
  • trouble breathing
  • increased pulse
  • elevated blood pressure

Psychological or emotional symptoms include:

If you are taking Xanax as prescribed by your doctor and are experiencing these symptoms regularly, you may need to adjust the dose you are taking. This is something your physician can do.

Taking a large dose of Xanax at once can make the hangover feeling more likely to occur. Abusing the drug can also make someone more prone to Xanax hangovers.

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Other factors that can make it more likely for a person to experience a Xanax hangover include:

  • missing a dose
  • taking Xanax for the first time
  • changing the dose of Xanax taken
  • using the medication sporadically

After taking the drug for a while, the body becomes used to Xanax being in the system. This means that if someone stops taking Xanax abruptly or misses a dose, withdrawal symptoms may occur.

Despite this fact, taking Xanax for an extended period of time can lead to dependency on the drug. Therefore, it’s important to take the medication only how it is prescribed.

How To Minimize The Symptoms Of A Xanax Hangover

The best thing you can do when dealing with a Xanax hangover is to wait it out. Once the drug is completely out of your system, the symptoms will subside.

Other things you can do to help curb the symptoms of a Xanax hangover include:

  • Sleeping — Sleeping through the symptoms is one of the best ways to deal with a Xanax hangover.
  • Eating — Xanax is metabolized in the gastrointestinal system. This means that eating foods rich in fat, protein, and fiber can help break down and push out Xanax faster.
  • Exercising — Exercise can help get circulation flowing and naturally boost endorphins, making you feel better.
  • Stress Reduction Techniques — Learning how to deal with anxiety and stress naturally can help to keep Xanax doses lower. In the long run, this will prevent the hangover effect from occurring or lessen its symptoms.

Preventing Xanax Hangovers

Getting your body adjusted to the medication is the best way to prevent the feelings of a hangover after taking it.

Other things you can do to prevent or minimize the feeling of a Xanax hangover include:

Take Medication Only As Prescribed

Taking Xanax exactly as prescribed is important to ensure that your body gets acclimated to the drug. Taking more or less than prescribed could cause feelings of a hangover after taking the drug.

Mixing Xanax with alcohol or other medications could cause symptoms to arise. It can also be very dangerous to mix Xanax with other drugs.

Limit Caffeine

Xanax can make someone feel more tired than usual when first starting to take the drug. This can make drinking coffee or another form of caffeine tempting. However, doing so can increase anxiety, working against what Xanax is supposed to do.

Get Enough Sleep

While this may sound like basic knowledge, getting enough sleep is incredibly important when taking a new drug like Xanax. Being well rested can lessen the emotional reactions to a Xanax hangover and make it easier to deal with any symptoms that may arise.

Getting Help For Xanax Abuse And Addiction

Benzodiazepines like Xanax are one of the most often abused prescription medications and are highly addictive. Even when someone takes Xanax exactly as prescribed, physical and emotional dependence can still form and lead to drug abuse.

If you or a loved one is addicted to Xanax, it’s important to know that you are not alone and that help is only a phone call away.

Most people begin their journey to recovery from Xanax addiction with a medically supervised detox program. This can be done on both an outpatient basis as well as inpatient and typically involves tapering off Xanax to avoid intense withdrawal symptoms.

Once the detox process is complete, many people go on to a treatment program such as an inpatient rehab program. Most drug addiction treatment facilities offer individualized plans to help each patient get the help they need.

To learn more about Xanax hangovers and getting help for a Xanax addiction, contact our treatment specialists today.

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