How Long Should You Take Xanax?

Xanax is a known medicine for anxiety and depression. It can boost your mood and make you feel better to counter depression. Even though this drug is only prescribed for the short-term (approximately 6 weeks), still, a lot of doctors are prescribing their patients to use it for an extended period.

The danger of its side effects strengthens as you continue to take it longer than 6 weeks, that’s why you need to taper off from using it over time. Let’s discover more about the benefits and side effects of this drug, and the ideal duration of using it.

Basic Information

It’s also known as Alprazolam and is a common medication for panic disorders, depression, and anxiety. The moderate tranquilizing effect of this substance helps calm your brain and muscles while giving that pleasurable feeling to combat depression. However, its potency poses a high risk for dependence and abuse, that’s why you need to abide by your prescription.

How Long Does It Take For You To Feel Its Effects

XanaxThis benzodiazepine is typically orally taken, and you will feel its effects in less than an hour. That’s how potent this drug is, and your blood will reach peak concentration in one to two hours.

Tolerance is the main danger of continually using alprazolam, not to mention its detrimental health consequences intensify through time with increasing doses. When medicating with this substance, you need to gradually reduce your intake to avoid painful withdrawal symptoms.

How Long Do Its Effects Stay Inside Your Body

Talking about the duration of its effects, we will refer to the half-life of alprazolam. Half-life is the length of time it takes for the original amount of the substance to reduce to 50 percent. The average half-life of this drug is 11 hours.

However, there are slight changes since the metabolism of the person can affect it. The faster the metabolism, the shorter its half-life. Based on medical reports, another reference for the average life of this benzodiazepine is 6.3 to 26.9 hours.

Here are some factors that influence the half-life of this drug:

Body Weight

People who are overweight and obese have a slower metabolism, so expected the half-life will be longer, around 9.9 to 40.4 hours.


The metabolism of a person decreases as he gets older, so this drug stays longer in the body of an older adult. The average duration of stay is within 11 to 16.3 hours.


This drug stays longer in the body of Asians compared to Caucasians.

Liver Condition

If a person has a damaged or fatty liver, it will have a hard time metabolizing the drug. The average half-life for that matter is 19.7 hours.


Generally, the higher the dose, the longer it stays inside the body since there is a lot to digest for the body. The usual dose for this benzodiazepine is 0.25 mg, 0.50 mg, 1, and 2 mg. If the person is also continuously taking it every day, then more of this substance stays in the body.

How Does It Feel To Use It For Recreation

XanaxWhen you abuse this drug for leisure purposes, the general effects you will feel are calming or sedating. This is contrasting to the euphoric and pleasurable impact you will experience upon using cocaine or methamphetamine.

Other substances abused along with alprazolam are alcohol and other benzodiazepines (such as Klonopin, Librium, and Valium). This amplifies the sedating impact you’ll experience, which is life-threatening since it can depress your heartbeat and breathing patterns.

What Is The Normal Dose For Using Alprazolam

In general, the dose per individual differs since factors like weight, age, metabolism, and race need to be considered. Once you get the dose prescribed by your doctor, you need to follow it to avoid getting an overdose.

Anxiety Treatment

For an adult with anxiety disorder, the average dose is 0.25 to 0.50 mg three times daily. The dose must not go more than 4 mg daily. If it’s elderly, the usual dose falls between 0.25 mg taken twice or thrice daily. For children, it needs to be prescribed by the doctor.

Panic Disorder

An extended-release form of this drug is given to patients so that the effects last longer. For adults, the usual dose is 0.5 to 1.0 mg once daily in the morning. For the elderly, the average dose is between 0.5 mg once daily taken every morning.

What Are The Long Term Health Consequences

XanaxAll benzodiazepines have short and long-term side effects which you need to know and embrace before medicating with this drug. The active component of this drug will impact both your mind and body.

Considering its high potency, you must not take this drug longer than 6 weeks, or as prescribed by your doctor. Otherwise, you will suffer from these long-term side effects.


This can affect your balance and smooth body coordination. Also, you are more susceptible to mood disorders and hormonal imbalances, which can lead to other psychological disorders. This includes depression, suicidal behavior, anxiety, and reduced brain function.

Panic Attacks

As you abuse this drug for a longer time, its medicinal benefits wear off easily and can give you more serious seizures. This is one main withdrawal symptom from quickly stopping the use of this substance.

Can Alcohol Worsen the Side Effects of Xanax

Alcohol is a known depressant, so drinking it together with your medication can heighten its sedating effects. At the same time, it decreases the metabolism of your body, so the substance stays longer in your system.

The worse health consequences from drinking alcohol while medicating with this drug are the following:

  • Depressed breathing pattern
  • Sleepiness
  • Inability to focus
  • Panic attacks
  • Slower heartbeat

Get Immediate Help To Recover

When you are suffering from dependence on Xanax, be sure to get professional help from a licensed doctor or addiction specialist. They have the experience and expertise of giving you a personalized treatment program to recover from benzodiazepine abuse.

Seek help as early as today.