Taking Xanax for several days can already pose the risk of developing a physical dependence on the drug. For this reason, an individual is likely to experience withdrawal symptoms as soon as tapering off the substance begins.
Generally, you will experience withdrawal effects the moment you stop using it. If you take more than 4 mg daily for 3 months, you’re likely to suffer from withdrawal symptoms. The intensity of withdrawal symptoms heightens when you take this drug for a longer time at a higher dose. If you are abusing this benzo for recreational use or for self-medication, expect to get more detrimental side effects when you slowly stop using it.
Considered to be the most prescribed benzodiazepine, Xanax is a highly addictive substance capable of giving more severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzos. As a short-acting substance, Xanax can immediately enter and wear off in the body which results in a swing of highs and lows in each dose, making detox really challenging.
Dosage in Xanax Treatment
This benzodiazepine is known to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It is an oral tablet whose maximum dosage is 4mg a day and must be given in divided doses – usually three times daily. Doctors may begin with 0.25 or 0.5mg which can be increased every 3 or 4 days. It is best to always begin with the lowest dose and then adjust depending on how the patient responds.
Among patients suffering from panic disorder, prescription can reach a maximum of 10mg a day. Since higher doses have a higher risk for withdrawal, physicians slowly taper the substance and when withdrawal symptoms occur, tapering can be paused or dosage can be reverted to the last one.
Some physicians design a taper schedule that minimally lasts up to eight weeks and brushes off the idea of reverting to the original dose. Doctors also use long-acting benzos to act as replacement for Xanax when the patient is slowly cutting back from it. theThe long-acting ones are much easier to taper off later on.
Although addiction specialists protest about the prescription of Xanax, physicians continue to believe in its clinical benefit as long as there is a constant reassessment of each patient’s need to continue with the treatment. This is necessary to prevent physical dependence and suffering from severe withdrawal.
The best dose to take for Xanax where you’ll feel no severe withdrawals is 4 mg daily for three months. However, this does not guarantee those withdrawal symptoms can be completely prevented. Cases of relapse are still likely to occur, but you can prevent that through medical supervision.
Another study has also shown the significant advantage of a slow taper schedule since it shows that patients were only able to experience mild withdrawal symptoms. However, it is important to note that every condition varies from person to person depending on several factors. Usually, the amount of Xanax taken in a period is the primary factor.
Addiction to Xanax
Experts suggest that Xanax treatment must last only up to six weeks. A period that exceeds that entails the risk of tolerance towards the substance. When this happens, the quality of treatment becomes less effective and requires a higher dose. This cycle can lead to addiction, a huge factor that contributes to the onset of severe withdrawal symptoms.
Seizures or panic attacks are alarming withdrawal symptoms. You experience it whether you are misusing or abusing Xanax. Addiction does not only happen to people who are under Xanax prescription. Even individuals with no health problems abuse the drug because of its instant calming effect.
In a matter of about four weeks, individuals can develop physical dependence towards the substance even when taken in small doses. This condition significantly changes the way the brain functions. With the absence of the substance, the body struggles to cope with the changes and experiences physical health problems.
Physical withdrawal symptoms can range from headache, nausea, diarrhea, blurred vision, sensitivity to light and sound, loss of smell and appetite, muscle pain, tremors, numbness of extremities up to serious cases such as fever, hypertension, and increased heart rate. These discomforts can be alleviated by medications prescribed by the physician.
On top of that, psychological symptoms are also likely to occur and these require a more complex treatment compared to the physical ones. Letting the patient undergo therapy is a must to recover from behavioral disorders.
Other mental problems that may occur during withdrawal are acts of forgetfulness and lack of focus. Xanax addiction is also another thing that must not be left untreated as soon as withdrawal is considered. Physicians may recommend inpatient treatment depending on the severity of a person’s addiction.
Other Factors that Affect Xanax Withdrawal
Apart from the amount of Xanax a person has taken over some time, other factors contribute to the degree of withdrawal symptoms someone may experience. Sometimes, these factors can also affect the length of withdrawal treatment. There are two kinds of withdrawal depending on the length where symptoms last.
An acute withdrawal shares symptoms that peak within two weeks and can last for months. Usually, the second day is the most difficult time in this type of withdrawal. There is also a condition called protracted withdrawal whose symptoms can swing for months and can last up to a year.
The following are other factors to consider before Xanax is prescribed. It is important to discuss these conditions with one’s physician beforehand.
Physical health condition
Individuals who have vulnerable physical health conditions such as the elderly, pregnant women, and those with a history of serious illnesses such as seizures, hypertension, and heart attack, are more susceptible to suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms. Physicians must carefully assess these individuals before prescribing them Xanax.
History of substance addiction
Substance addiction is a chronic mental illness that requires immediate treatment. Individuals who have suffered from addiction in the past or whose family members are prone to addiction may not work well with Xanax treatment. The highly addictive potential of the substance may trigger addiction which causes severe withdrawal symptoms.
All in all, always remember that the safest way to withdraw from Xanax is to taper off one’s dosage with the supervision of a doctor. Quitting cold turkey must never be attempted to do as it can cause death.