Call American Addiction Centers for help today.

(888) 287-0471
Close Main Menu
Main Menu
  • Find a Rehab Center
  • AAC Facilities
  • Find Treatment
  • Paying for Treatment
  • Substance Abuse
  • About AAC
    Back to Main Menu
    Main Menu

Symptoms of Xanax Overdose and Treatment

Questions about treatment?
  • Access to licensed treatment centers
  • Information on treatment plans
  • Financial assistance options

Xanax is the brand name for a drug called alprazolam and is one of several prescription drugs in the benzodiazepine group. It is usually prescribed to treat general anxiety and panic disorders, as well as anxiety brought on by depression. Xanax overdose symptoms occur when you have taken more than your recommended dose, or if you have accidentally or intentionally mixed Xanax with alcohol or another drug.

xanax overdose pills spilled on ground

Can you Overdose on Xanax

Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines, with more than 48 million prescriptions written for it in 2013. It is not without its negative effects, however. People who regularly use it and then stop experience more severe withdrawal symptoms than do people who take other benzodiazepines, including delirium and psychosis. It is also easy for people to abuse the medication and become addicted to it. In fact, Xanax has been linked to nearly one-third of all intentional overdoses and suicide attempts.

The chances of overdose increase exponentially when the medication is combined with other substances—especially alcohol. Because alcohol makes you sleepy and lowers inhibitions, when you take Xanax and drink, these effects are intensified. The same is true of taking Xanax with other medications. Many over-the-counter cold medicines may contain small percentages of alcohol, which can lead to accidental Xanax overdose symptoms.

Although Xanax is safe and produces only mild side effects when used properly, the risk of abuse increases the longer it is used. Because your body will build a tolerance to it over time, the amount needed to get the desired effects increases and so does the risk of Xanax overdose symptoms.

Xanax Overdose Symptoms

Overdose symptoms may occur if Xanax has been crushed, chewed, or broken during ingestion. This is because Xanax extended-release tablets are meant to be slowly administered into your system. Breaking or crushing the tablets results in the drug being released all at once, which can overwhelm your body’s systems.

Signs of a Xanax overdose may include:

  • Extreme drowsiness.
  • Loss of balance or coordination.
  • Confusion.
  • Lightheaded feeling.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Fainting.
  • Coma.

Xanax Overdose Treatment

Xanax overdose treatment varies depending on how much was taken, if other medications or substances were ingested with it, and how quickly treatment was sought. In many cases, certain medications, such as flumazenil, may be given to act as an antidote for Xanax. Symptoms are treated as they present themselves. Medical personnel may also use gastric lavage, which involves inserting a tube into the stomach to pump out the unabsorbed Xanax. Depending on the symptoms, an intravenous line may be inserted to provide necessary fluids as well.

It is vital to seek out immediate medical attention if you are experiencing Xanax overdose symptoms so you can be properly treated and supervised. After all acute symptoms have been mitigated, you may choose to go through medically supervised detox, followed by more intensive psychological treatment at either an inpatient or outpatient facility. It is important to ask for help when dealing any addiction so you can safely recover from your overdose.

We're here to help you find the treatment you deserve.
Substance Abuse Assessment
How our treatment is different?
American Addiction Centers photo
Editoral Staff
The editorial staff of is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands of pages for accuracy and relevance. Our reviewers consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA, NIDA, and other reputable sources to provide our readers the most accurate content on the web.
Reach out to us day or night

Our supportive admissions navigators are available 24/7 to assist you or your family.

Call 888-287-0471
There was an error fetching your data