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Alprazolam Detox Guide: Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

Alprazolam, more commonly known by its brand name Xanax, is a prescription benzodiazepine (or “benzo”) used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.1 It is the most widely prescribed benzo.12 Alprazolam and other benzodiazepines can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal, even when used as directed.1 Dependence is when your body gets used to a substance so that you will have withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly reduce or stop your dose.10 Dependence isn’t the same thing as addiction, but it often goes along with it.10

Signs and Symptoms of Alprazolam Withdrawal

Acute withdrawal symptoms of alprazolam and other benzos may include:1,5,11

  • Nausea.
  • Headache.
  • Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there).
  • Sweating.
  • Sleep troubles (insomnia).
  • Feeling irritable.
  • Tremors (shakiness).
  • Fast heart rate.
  • Seizures.

Stressed woman getting help from doctorWhen you stop using alprazolam, the symptoms you originally took the drug for may also return.4 For example, if you took alprazolam for insomnia, you may have insomnia again, and if you took it for anxiety, you may have anxiety again. These are called rebound symptoms.4 Rebound symptoms may be worse than your original symptoms and can last up to a few weeks.4

Alprazolam Withdrawal Timeline

In general, alprazolam withdrawal symptoms can begin 6 to 8 hours after your last dose and may last for about a week.11 But this can vary depending on:9,11

  • How much you take.
  • How long you’ve been taking it.
  • If you have other physical or mental health problems.
  • If you use other substances.

Using benzos with other substances, especially other benzos, opioids, or alcohol, can be very dangerous and even fatal without the right medical care.9

Can you Die from Alprazolam Withdrawal?

While death from the withdrawal of alprazolam and other benzos is rare, some withdrawal symptoms can be serious and need prompt medical care.9 Alprazolam also tends to have more severe withdrawal symptoms than other benzodiazepines.7 Possibly dangerous withdrawal symptoms include:7

  • Fast heart rate (tachycardia).
  • Delirium (sudden, severe confusion).
  • Psychosis (not being able to tell what is and isn’t real).
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Seizures.

How to Stop Taking Alprazolam Safely

Before trying to quit alprazolam on your own, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can assess your withdrawal risks, help decide the right level of care to fit your recovery needs, and create a tapering plan. Tapering means taking smaller doses of a drug over time before stopping for good. Tapering can help reduce your risk of having withdrawal symptoms.7

As mentioned, alprazolam withdrawal can be dangerous, especially if you take high doses or use other substances.9 Seizures and other severe symptoms can happen with no warning and need prompt medical care.9 Inpatient medical detox can help you manage these symptoms while keeping you as comfortable and safe as possible.9

During detox, clinic staff check your progress and may give you prescription medicines to help ease symptoms. They will also create a tapering plan for you, which may include switching to a longer-acting benzo with a lower risk of misuse.9,10

Finding Alprazolam Withdrawal Treatment

You don’t have to go through alprazolam withdrawal alone. Professional medical detox can help you manage symptoms and keep you safe and comfortable.

American Addiction Centers is one of the leading providers of addiction treatment, with detox centers across the nation. If you or someone you know is addicted to alprazolam or other benzodiazepines, we’re here to help. Call one of our knowledgeable and compassionate admissions navigators day or night at to learn more about your treatment options.