Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms (9 Indicators That Must Know)

A close up shot of Xanax pills

Xanax (alprazolam) is a commonly prescribed medication for mental health problems such as generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorders. Still, it can also lead to addiction when used in high doses or for an extended period.

Drawing on our expertise in addiction treatment and extensive research on Xanax withdrawal symptoms, this article covers the common withdrawal symptoms, the timeline for withdrawal, and the various treatment options available.

Quick Summary

  • Xanax addiction can be influenced by mental health conditions, potentially exacerbating the dependence on the drug. 
  • The early withdrawal symptoms often comprise fatigue, insomnia, irritability, mood swings, and rebound anxiety. 
  • Individuals physically dependent or addicted to Xanax may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing its use.

9 Common Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

A woman experiencing Xanax withdrawal symptoms

Xanax withdrawal symptoms and their severity differ from person to person. Roughly 40% of individuals who suffer from Xanax abuse may experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms, while about 60% may have mild symptoms [1].

Symptoms of Xanax withdrawal can be:

  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Unintentional movements
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sweating
  • Heart palpitations

Quitting Xanax abuse can cause physical symptoms such as muscle tension, a tight chest, a fast heartbeat, sweating, trembling or shaking, and blurred vision.

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5 Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (Paws)

A man experiencing post-acute withdrawal syndrome

Protracted withdrawal symptoms or PAWS is a condition where some people might experience further symptoms beyond the initial withdrawal symptoms [2].

Withdrawal from Xanax or other drugs can cause changes in mood and cognition that can last for weeks or even months.

More severe withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritable mood
  • Drug craving
  • Memory difficulties

What Is The Xanax Withdrawal Timeline?

The Xanax withdrawal timeline can start as early as 6 hours after the last dose and may last up to a few weeks. Research shows that if Xanax is abused for 6 months or more, approximately 40% of individuals may experience acute symptoms upon discontinuation [3].

Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can have long-lasting effects such as psychosis, permanent cognitive damage, memory loss, and dementia.

Researchers have identified two phases of benzodiazepine withdrawal: acute withdrawal, which lasts between 5 and 28 days after stopping benzodiazepines, and a more prolonged withdrawal phase that can last up to a year or more in some cases.

What Is The Duration Of Xanax’s Effects On The Body And Brain?

Two boxes of Xanax pillsThe duration of Xanax’s effects on the body and brain is 8 to 12 hours on the brain and 31 hours to 134.5 hours (5.6 days) on the body.

The duration of the calming, relaxing, and sedative effects of Xanax may vary based on external factors, such as the user’s physiological condition and rate of metabolism.

When taken, Xanax is ingested orally and quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. You can start experiencing its effects within an hour. The medication will reach its highest concentration levels in your bloodstream one to two hours after you take it [4].

Individuals with PTSD, panic disorder, or polysubstance dependence may experience more difficulty with Xanax withdrawal. These conditions can affect the length and severity of withdrawal symptoms due to physical dependence and substance abuse.

Xanax is prescribed three times a day because its calming, soothing, and relaxing effects typically last for about eight hours in most people, which can lead to drug abuse if the effects wear off too soon.

It should be noted that a single dose of Xanax can remain detectable in the body for two to five days, though this may vary based on individual factors.

These factors can affect how long it takes for Xanax to be eliminated from the body.

These 8 factors include:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Race
  • Metabolism
  • Liver function
  • How long you’ve been taking Xanax
  • Dosage
  • Other medications

Can You Die From Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms?

No, you can not die from Xanax withdrawal symptoms. Reducing the use of Xanax slowly and under medical supervision can lower the risk of seizures, which can be dangerous in some cases during Xanax withdrawal.

“Xanax can be a highly addictive controlled substance and lead to physical dependency, even if used as prescribed. Anyone who has used Xanax for an extended period is at risk for dependency. Some people use the drug as a recreational sedative or to self-medicate.”
Dr. Philip Ngo, Licensed Pharmacist

How To Ease Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

A person holding Xanax pillsTo ease Xanax withdrawal symptoms, you can slowly taper your Xanax dose. Gradually lowering the amount can allow your body to adjust safely and potentially reduce or prevent withdrawal symptoms.

It is possible to seek a doctor’s supervision for tapering off Xanax. The doctor will provide a schedule for gradually reducing the dosage. It should be noted that a doctor can assist with 

Xanax tapering, regardless of whether or not the medication was originally prescribed to you. 

If you quit cold turkey, it can trigger a range of uncomfortable and serious withdrawal symptoms.  If you have been taking Xanax for over three months, it’s important to slowly reduce your dosage under medical supervision to minimize the severity of withdrawal and emotional symptoms. 

Medical detox experts may initially prescribe a longer-acting benzodiazepine like Valium, which lowers the risk of harmful complications during the gradual transition to Xanax.

If you’re struggling with addiction, it may be beneficial to consider checking into an inpatient detox facility or contacting Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for help.

If you’re undergoing detox, whether as an inpatient or outpatient, your doctor may suggest additional supportive services such as:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Some medications
  • Counseling
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness practice
  • Herbal sleep aids such as chamomile
  • Melatonin
  • An exercise program

Detox drinks may help to alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal. However, it should be noted that these drinks do not cure addiction. The best way to treat addiction is through medical supervision and long-term support.

How Can You Detox From Xanax Addiction

A patient and doctor discussing how to detox from Xanax addictionYou can detox from Xanax addiction by slowly tapering off the drug under medical supervision. The doctor will create a schedule for reducing your dose and monitor your progress during the transition.

Medical detox centers may prescribe a longer-acting benzodiazepine like Valium to reduce the risk of serious complications during the transition. You can also consume quality detox drinks to help manage withdrawal symptoms, although they do not cure addiction.

Although detox is an important first step in treating addiction, it is not the only one. Once detox is completed, individuals may enter an inpatient or outpatient treatment program, which is more intensive and designed to help them achieve long-term recovery.

Inpatient Xanax Rehab

If you are a Xanax addict, an inpatient rehabilitation program is the safest option. This program provides 24/7 care from medical professionals and counselors who can help you manage withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient treatment programs typically involve individual therapy, group therapy, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), relapse prevention, and other evidence-based approaches.

Outpatient Xanax Rehab

A counseling therapy done at homeOutpatient treatment programs are slightly less intensive than inpatient rehab.

This program allows individuals to live at home but receive regular counseling visits and therapy for addiction recovery.

Outpatient treatment typically involves individual therapy, group therapy, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), relapse prevention, and other evidence-based approaches that may help rebound symptoms.


What Can Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Feel Like?

Benzodiazepine withdrawal can feel different for everyone, but some common symptoms include anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, tremors, and seizures.

What Happens When You Run Out Of Xanax?

When you run out of Xanax, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, insomnia, tremors, and seizures. The severity and duration of symptoms can depend on various factors, such as the dosage and duration of use.

How Addictive Is Xanax?

Xanax is highly addictive, especially when used for an extended period or in high doses. It can cause physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms when individuals try to quit or reduce the dosage.

Do You Need Help During Your Withdrawal Process?

Experiencing withdrawal from Xanax or other benzodiazepines can be difficult and uncomfortable.

But with proper assistance and resources, you can manage your symptoms and conquer addiction. You may want to consider detox drinks as one possible solution to reduce withdrawal symptoms intensity.

After comparing the various detox drinks available, we suggest you check out our Clear Choice Rescue review.

This product has been shown to effectively cleanse the body of toxins, making it an excellent option for those seeking relief during the withdrawal process.


  1. https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bcp.12023
  2. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/withdrawal-timelines-treatments/post-acute-withdrawal-syndrome
  3. https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bcp.12023
  4. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/018276s045lbl.pdf

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