Withdrawal Symptoms of Xanax Addiction


shutterstock_225802213Xanax (alprazolam) withdrawal symptoms can show up in a short period of time after the medication has worn off. Feelings of being ill and achy may occur, but may also include cold or stomach flu-like symptoms. Withdrawal happens when the body develops a dependency to Xanax, or any other drug, and can take anywhere from several hours to several days to clear out of the system.


Withdrawal Signs

Abuse of Xanax can quicken dependence on the drug. Due to how benzodiazepines work in the body, Xanax withdrawal can take longer than other opiates or similar medications. The spectrum of symptoms range from mild to severe of the course of several weeks or even months. Initial onset of withdrawal symptoms appear between 6-8 hours after the last dose. Symptoms will peak over the next 72 hours and taper off within two weeks. Acute symptoms may return on and off during this period even if it seems the worst part of withdrawal is over. To be completely free of Xanax withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety may take months to overcome with the help of behavioral therapy.


Signs of withdrawal may include:


  • convulsions
  • cramps
  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • dysphoria
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • high blood pressure
  • mania
  • mood swings
  • nausea
  • psychosis
  • seizures
  • vomiting


Initial Signs

Shortly after the last dose of Xanax, withdrawal symptoms may begin including chills, aches and pains which can linger for a few days and peak before finally waning. Some symptoms are more severe and may require medical supervision. It is not, therefore, recommended withdrawal from Xanax be done suddenly or without support. Serious signs such as coma, seizures, convulsions and psychosis will require immediate medical attention.


Early Signs

Once the worst of withdrawal is over, signs can still continue to emerge manifesting in flu like symptoms, aches, pains and cramping. Sleeplessness and fatigue may occur. Psychological symptoms are part of the withdrawal process including anxiety and depression. Since Xanax is used to treat mood disorders, exacerbated symptoms may occur and will repeat themselves throughout the withdrawal process.



Several treatments are available for addiction to Xanax. Acute symptoms can be treated as they happen. Over the counter medication is available to treat headaches, cramps, pain and issues with sleep. Doctors can prescribe medication for withdrawal including other antidepressants for depression and anxiety. A physician should also monitor any interaction with existing medication. Other benzodiazepines should be avoided as well as alcohol.


A doctor can assist in tapering the amount of Xanax in the body to ease symptoms of withdrawal. Slowly, over time, the amount of Xanax in the body will decrease. This method is safest as it gives the body time to heal and reset itself to equilibrium which may also minimize withdrawal symptoms. If help is needed managing withdrawal symptoms, supervision by a medical detox facility can help prevent serious complications from arising and promote a healthier, longer lasting recovery. Peer support can also help ease the process of recovery from addiction to Xanax.


Lead Recovery is committed to the health and recovery of every one of our patients. For more information about our Xanax addiction recovery services, contact us at 800-380-0012.