Xanax Side EffectsThis medication can cause certain side effects, such as drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, and dry mouth. Some side effects like breathing difficulty, seizures and hallucinations are considered serious and should immediately be brought to the attention of a medical professional.
How Xanax Works
When Xanax is taken, it enhances the effects of a brain neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). 1 The brain’s GABA transmitters slow the body’s ability to communicate with the central nervous system, which in turn promotes relaxed feelings and an increased sense of calmness.
As the use of this drug continues, the brain starts to produce less and less of its own GABA. This leads to a physiological dependence on Xanax in order to continue feeling good, though higher doses may now be necessary to effectively reduce anxiety.
Xanax is meant to be used for only short-term treatment of anxiety, usually for a period of a month or less. When continued for longer periods of time, the body develops a tolerance to the drug, often resulting in dependency.
When Xanax Becomes Dangerous
This particular drug works quickly to calm anxiety and promote feelings of relaxation within minutes of ingestion. The fast action of Xanax to produce feelings of relaxation plus its likeliness for physiological dependency make this medication dangerous when not used under a physician’s care.
Xanax detox performed without supervision can become dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms occur just a few hours after the last dose of this drug is taken, and symptoms become increasingly severe within a few days’ time. A sudden, abrupt Xanax detox performed alone after 1-6 months of continued use, especially when taken in high doses, can result in life-threatening seizures. 3
Symptoms of withdrawal from Xanax can happen suddenly, the most common of which are:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling increasingly anxious
- Having panic attacks
- Thoughts of suicide
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty concentrating
- Nausea, vomiting
- Muscle aches and stiffness
- Loss of appetite
Even those who are successfully able to stop their use of Xanax can experience rebound symptoms, such as feeling anxious, having panic attacks, and experiencing trouble sleeping. These symptoms, however, tend to lessen over a period of about a week.