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Debunking Xanax: The ins and outs of the popular anxiety medicine

Xanax signs and symptoms

What Does Xanax Feel Like?

Does everyone get the same feeling?

Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication that affects everyone differently. How will it affect an individual depends on various factors, such as,

  • Age
  • Metabolism
  • Mental state
  • Dosage
  • Person’s weight

People who are taking this medicine for the first time should understand its side effects and its interactions with other substances before using it. Read further to know about how it should and should not feel like, and other commonly asked questions. 

What happens when you use it recreationally?

People often use this medicine recreationally without a prescription. They describe the feeling of this drug as calming or sedating. 

Xanax has a more relaxed and quiet feeling as compared to other drugs like cocaine, which produces a “high” or euphoric feeling. The feeling caused by this medicine can lead to falling asleep or passing out for a few hours. People have also experienced memory loss or blacking out for several hours and not remembering what happened. The effects also depend on the dosage, as a higher dose will result in stronger effects.

What if you use Xanax for anxiety or panic disorder treatment?

Doctors generally prescribe this medicine for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorder. The relaxing and sedating effects of this drug helps decrease the symptom of anxiety and relax the body’s response to stress. If then as prescribed, the first dose will make the patient feel normal.  

What happens when you mix alcohol and Xanax?

Alcohol can amplify the effects of Xanax. It changes how long the body will take to clear this drug from the system. Drinking alcohol after taking this medicine can cause extreme lethargy and prolonged memory loss.

One should avoid mixing Xanax with alcohol, as the mixture can lead to dangerous or even deadly side effects, including 

  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Trouble breathing
  • Extreme drowsiness

How does Xanax react when mixed with other medications?

One should not combine Xanax with other medications or drugs, as the interaction can undesirable effects. This drug can interact with many medicines, which include

  • Antibiotics
  • Opioids
  • Antifungals
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Heartburn drugs
  • Antidepressants
Xanax bars on sale
Xanax bars

These drugs can cause Xanax to say in the body for an extended period by blocking the pathway that’s responsible for eliminating this drug from the system. If one continues this practice, then over time, it will lead to a toxic buildup in the body and result in an overdose. 

People should tell their doctor about all the prescription and non-prescription medications they are taking before using this medicine to ensure that they don’t interact with it. Not doing so can increase the risk of adverse effects.

Combining this medicine with drugs that can cause sleepiness, or slow down breathing, or cause extreme tiredness can have compounded effects. These effects can be dangerous and might put the user at risk of severe health issues or even death.

What shouldn’t a person feel when taking Xanax?

This medicine can cause mild effects that are detectable but not interfere with a person’s daily routine. One should seek medical attention if the impact of this drug becomes significant enough to affect day-to-day functioning. These symptoms include

  • Fainting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of balance
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness

You must receive emergency medical attention if you face any signs of an allergic reaction that include swelling of lips, face, tongue, and throat and trouble breathing. 

Similar to the side effects, people can also experience withdrawal effects if they stop taking this medicine abruptly. Xanax is a habit-forming drug, and people often unknowingly develop a dependency. If you face any withdrawal symptoms, then you should contact your doctor without delay, as these can be dangerous.

Xanax withdrawal symptoms include

  • Hostility
  • Racing thoughts
  • Depressed mood
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
  • Hallucinations
  • Uncontrolled muscle movements

How does the dosage change its effects on you?

Xanax is available in various doses (mg), that include

  • 0.25mg
  • 0.5mg
  • 1mg
  • 2mg

The strength of dosage determines how strong the effects will be, so a lower dosage will produce week effects, while a higher dose will have more significant effects.

types of xanax bars
Yellow and Green Xanax bar

Physicians typically prescribe the lowest possible dose for first-time Xanax users at the start of the treatment. After observing the effects of this drug on the patient’s body, the doctor might prescribe a higher dose if required. 

Taking a higher dose can be fatal not only for the first-timers but also for those using this medicine for a long time. You should avoid taking more than the dosage prescribed by your doctor without prior consultation. Taking a high dose can also cause a puzzling complication called the “Rambo effect,” which can make people exhibit unusual behavior. That includes promiscuity, aggression, or theft. The reason for such actions is not apparent, and it is also hard to predict if this might happen to you or not.

How long does Xanax take to start working?

Xanax is available in tablet form, and you can take it orally, and it can quickly be absorbed in the bloodstream. Typically you can experience the effects of this drug within 5 to 10 minutes from taking it. It takes up to an hour for some people to feel the results of this medicine. The fast-acting formula of this medicine is what makes it an effective drug for treating panic attacks.

How long do the effects of Xanax last?

Xanax is a short-acting medication. Its effects usually last for up to 2 to 4 hours, and the lingering effects or fuzzy feelings might stay for severe more hours. The duration of the impact varies from person to person.

Several factors determine how long will this drug to impact the patient. These factors include

  • Patient’s age
  • Their weight 
  • Medicines they are taking apart from Xanax

You might quickly build up a tolerance to Xanax. If you experience that it is taking longer for you to feel the effects of this medicine, or the usual dosage is not having the same impact as it used to, then you should contact your doctor. 

How does it feel when Xanax wears off?

The effects of this medicine usually wear off after 11 hours from taking it, as that is the half-life of Xanax. At this point, the body will process half of the dose from the bloodstream, and only half will remain. The half-life also varies from person to person, as everyone metabolizes this drug differently.

The feeling of calmness, relaxation and lethargic sensations starts to decrease as the effects of this medicine wear off. The symptoms of anxiety, such as a racing heart, nervousness, etc. might also return as your body will eliminate this medicine from your system. If these symptoms do not resurface, then you will start to feel normal. 

Are Xanax comedown and withdrawal the same thing?

Xanax comedown and withdrawal are not the same things. The comedown is the effects people feel after experiencing the peak of the drug, also known as “high.” People who take Xanax do not report having this effect as it does not cause a high.

Some people might experience depression or anxiety, even if they don’t have any previous issues with these conditions. The chemicals in the brain adjust to the withdrawal of this drug, which can result in rebound anxiety or depression. 

How does Xanax withdrawal feel like?

Xanax users are highly likely to become dependent on this drug, either knowingly or unknowingly.  So if you stop using this medicine abruptly, then you might experience withdrawal effects. These symptoms usually begin two to seven days after taking the last dose and can last from two to eight weeks.

To avoid experiencing the withdrawal effects, you should not abruptly stop taking this medicine without consulting with a doctor. It is best to lower the dosage gradually under a doctor’s supervision to safely get off this medicine. 

Xanax withdrawal symptoms include

  • Nervousness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Aggression
  • Worsened anxiety 
  • Panic attacks
  • Poor concentration


People who are considering using Xanax or curious about its capability to help treat anxiety, should talk with their doctor and get a prescription. 

It is always better to consult a doctor before using such medication, as these have a potential for abuse. Xanax can also interact with various other drugs and cause serious side effects, so if you inform your doctor, then they can monitor your overall health to avoid medical problems. Your doctor will also help you to take an adequate dosage that will speed up the treatment. 

6 thoughts on “Debunking Xanax: The ins and outs of the popular anxiety medicine

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