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Can You Overdose On Xanax?

Xanax, or alprazolam, is a sedative in the class of medications known as benzodiazepines. It is prescribed for the treatment of anxiety, especially panic disorder. It is not impossible to overdose on Xanax alone, but compared to historic anxiety medications, such as barbiturates, Xanax and other benzodiazepines are less likely to be lethal at typical prescribed dosages. In fact, a typical Xanax overdose is unlikely to be deadly, except when the drug is combined with other depressants. The difficulties happen when this drug is mixed, as happens often, with substances such as alcohol and pain medication. In the case of mixing depressants, even small amounts of Xanax can be dangerous. Below is more information about Xanax overdose.

The Faces of Overdose on Xanax

Therapeutic dosages of Xanax cause muscle relaxation, sleepiness and slowed reflexes, and larger amounts mainly cause these same effects to a greater degree. Patients who take too Xanax much may find themselves falling asleep uncontrollably or blacking out and acting strangely. When taken in very large amounts, Xanax can cause patients to sleep for many hours. If alcohol, painkillers or other sedative substances are taken at the same time, however, even a therapeutic dose of Xanax can be deadly by causing respiratory depression.

Dangerous Xanax Dosages

The dosage of Xanax that is deadly in 50 percent of rats ranges from 331 mg to 2171 mg per kilogram of body weight. Using the smaller figure, this means that for a 150-pound person, more than 22,000 1 mg Xanax pills would have to be taken to have a 50-percent chance of being deadly. However, just a few pills can be deadly if combined with even a moderate amount of alcohol or narcotic pain medication. In addition, amounts just over therapeutic dosages could cause users to act recklessly or operate a vehicle or other equipment in a dangerous manner.

Addiction and Treatment

In most cases, people become addicted after using Xanax under the care of a doctor or buying it on the street for some time. After usage increases, overdose is more of a concern because sedation may still occur despite the absence of euphoria, prompting users to take much larger dosages in efforts to get high. For these reasons, Xanax should never be taken in excess of prescribed levels or for recreational reasons. Due to the severe withdrawal associated with cessation of the drug, inpatient rehab is an important part of recovery from Xanax addiction for many users.

If you or someone you know needs help with addiction or finding an alcohol detox, we can help: Call today (877) 548-0193.


Our articles are written by individuals who have seen addiction up close. They may have watched addiction take a toll on someone they loved or had their own battles with substances, and they write for us to spare others some of that pain and confusion. If you find these writings useful and would like to speak to someone who gets addiction, call us at (844) 826-1700.

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