Everything You Need to Know About Xanax Side Effects

Learn more about Xanax side effects, the dangers of Xanax abuse, and how to get treatment for Xanax addiction here.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is an FDA approved prescription medication that is commonly used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Although it can be an effective treatment option for many when use is medically-supervised, it is essential to understand Xanax side effects and relevant risks before you or a loved one begin taking it.

Xanax Side Effects

How Does Xanax Work?

Xanax is a benzodiazepine that works by slowing down the activity in the brain, which can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. The medication is available in both immediate-release and extended-release forms. It is typically taken orally. Xanax is a highly effective medication, but it can also be highly habit-forming if misused or abused.1

This article will provide a general overview of Xanax, its relevant dangers, risk factors, a comprehensive list of side effects, how to successfully mitigate these side effects, and how to pursue effective treatment in cases of dependence, addiction, or misuse.

Dangers of Xanax Misuse

It’s important to be aware of Xanax side effects and the dangers of its misuse and abuse.

High Addiction Potential

One of the primary dangers associated with Xanax is the potential for addiction. People who take Xanax to get high or to relieve stress or anxiety may begin to take the medication in larger doses or more frequently than prescribed. This leads to physical dependence on the drug, making it difficult to stop using it without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Xanax Overdose

Xanax overdose is also a significant danger. When taken in large amounts or combined with other substances, Xanax can cause respiratory depression, coma, and even death. It is essential to follow dosage instructions carefully and avoid mixing Xanax with other substances.

Long-Term Use

The impact of long-term Xanax use is also a concern. Chronic use of the drug can lead to cognitive impairment, memory problems, and difficulty with coordination and balance. Long-term use may also increase the risk of developing dementia.2

Risk Factors Associated with Xanax

There are several risk factors associated with Xanax use that can increase the likelihood of experiencing side effects. Some of these risk factors are detailed below.

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions such as liver or kidney disease, respiratory problems, acute narrow-angle glaucoma, or pregnancy may be at a higher risk of experiencing side effects from Xanax. These medical conditions can affect how the body processes and metabolizes the drug, increasing the risk of adverse reactions.3


Elderly individuals may be more sensitive to the effects of Xanax. As a result, they may experience more severe Xanax side effects. Additionally, older individuals are more likely to have pre-existing medical conditions, which can further increase their risk of adverse reactions.


The risk of Xanax side effects is influenced by the dosage. Higher doses increase the likelihood of experiencing side effects, including overdose. It is important to take Xanax only as prescribed and to avoid increasing the dosage without consulting a healthcare provider.

List of Xanax Side Effects

The list of potential Xanax side effects is extensive. It includes both physical and psychological symptoms. While it is an effective treatment option for some conditions, it is important to understand the potential negative effects that may occur when taking this medication.

It is important to note that this is not a complete list of Xanax side effects. People may experience different side effects or varying degrees of severity. If you experience any adverse reactions while taking Xanax, it is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Physical Side Effects

The physical Xanax side effects include:
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Slurred speech
  • Muscle weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Tremors or shaking

Psychological Side Effects

The psychological side effects of Xanax include:
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors

Other Common Side Effects

Other common Xanax side effects may include:
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Changes in libido
  • Loss of coordination
  • Increased appetite
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Palpitations
  • Abnormal liver function tests

Rare Side Effects

In rare instances, more severe Xanax side effects may occur. These can include:
  • Seizures
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Respiratory depression
  • Hearing loss
  • Numbness in hands and legs
  • Lack of feeling
  • Feeling jittery
  • Sore throat
  • Twitching, twisting, or uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
  • Uncontrolled twisting
  • Sticking out of the tongue
  • Stomach pain
  • Sweating
  • Swollen joints
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Change in color vision
  • Painful urination
  • Problems with memory
  • Restlessness
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Talkativeness
  • Trouble with balance
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Nightmares 
  • Urticaria (raised and itchy rash)
  • Mania
  • Psychosis
  • Paradoxical reactions (i.e., increased anxiety or agitation)
Understanding the potential risks associated with taking Xanax is crucial for anyone considering taking this medication. It is essential to communicate any concerns or symptoms to your healthcare provider and to take Xanax as prescribed to minimize the risk of adverse reactions.4

How to Mitigate Xanax Side Effects

Xanax is a potent medication that can cause various adverse effects. If you’re experiencing Xanax side effects, there are several ways to mitigate them.

Communication with Your Doctor

Communicating with your doctor is the first step to determining the best course of action to mitigate side effects. Your doctor may adjust your dosage, recommend alternative treatments, or suggest lifestyle changes to minimize adverse reactions.

Changing Your Medication

Sometimes, a medicine adjustment can mitigate Xanax side effects. Your doctor may recommend switching to a different medication.

Taking Xanax With Caution

It’s crucial to take Xanax as prescribed and avoid alcohol and other drugs that can enhance its effects. Additionally, avoid activities that require mental alertness, such as driving or operating heavy machinery.

Alternative Treatment Options

Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend alternative treatment options such as therapy, lifestyle changes, or other medications.

Safety Tips

To reduce the risk of Xanax side effects, follow safety tips such as keeping track of your medication, storing it properly, and disposing of any unused medication safely.
By taking these steps, you can minimize the risk of side effects and manage your symptoms effectively.
Xanax Side Effects

Xanax Addiction Treatment at Essence Healthcare

If you or someone you know is struggling with adverse Xanax side effects or addiction, Essence Healthcare is here to help. Essence is a top-notch addiction treatment center that offers a comprehensive range of services designed to help individuals struggling with addiction.

About Us

At Essence Healthcare, our facility is staffed with experienced and compassionate addiction specialists who provide customized treatment plans to each patient. We offer evidence-based treatments, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and group therapy.

Our team also provides medication-assisted treatment to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Our Mission

We strive to create a safe and supportive environment that promotes healing and long-term recovery. With our multidisciplinary approach to addiction treatment, we are confident in our ability to help individuals overcome addiction and achieve lasting wellness.

Contact Essence Healthcare Today

You don’t have to overcome addiction alone. Contact Essence Healthcare to learn more about our comprehensive addiction treatment programs.

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Questions About Treatment?

We are a patient-first substance abuse and mental health treatment facility located in Los Angeles, California. At Essence Healthcare, we provide different levels of care from detoxification to drug rehab aftercare. Our team is standing by to address your questions. Your call is confidential and no obligation is required.