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Side Effects Of Xanax Combined With Alcohol

Updated on January 25, 2011

Xanax (Alprazolam) is a known prescription medicine to treat anxiety and panic attacks,. It is marketed by Pfizer Inc. and goes in generic form with alprazolam as its chemical name. Just like alcohol, Xanax is also a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Thus, taking them together will definitely result to serious damaging side effects. People who have mental disorders are recommended to avoid taking in alcohol because their condition will just worsen out. Moreover, it is noted that people who have a history of abusing alcohol are most likely to abuse Xanax too.

This explains why there is a warning label against taking in alcohol while on Xanax because together, they can be a lethal combination.

Mental And Physical Side Effects

Taking Xanax while drinking alcoholic beverages will destroy the natural course of the brain activity. It also meddles with the brain’s communication with the body. This will affect to an essential hindrance of body coordination and mental alertness. This will also result to unconsciousness, extreme dizziness, heightened drowsiness, and there is a tendency to lose proper balance by constantly staggering or stumbling.

It is vital to always notify a physician when somebody who consumes alcohol with Xanax experiences any of the effects mentioned above.

Memory Loss And Behavior

Too much alcohol alone can cause a person to ‘black out’ or undergo a certain period that he could not remember after sobering up. If Xanax will add up to alcohol in the body system, the chance for this hazardous condition is greatly increased.  The presence of alcohol in the body while Xanax is being taking in will enhance the confusion and may produce odd behavior in the patient. With these scenarios, consuming alcohol with this depressant will make one potentially dangerous experience.

Studies show that in some parts of the United States, Xanax has become a date rape drug with its amnesiac components when added with alcohol. This made fellow benzodiazepine Rohypnol--flunitrazepam, also known to many as "Ruffies," move over from its spot in being the US date rape drug.

Cardiovascular And Respiratory Effects

With two intense central nervous system depressants combined, they can definitely result to a grave side effects on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. The mix of alcohol and Alprazolam produces a slow heart rate and significantly reduce the breathing rate. For someone unaware that he is hit by the mixture’s danger, it is truly hazardous because it may lead to respiratory problems. 

Dependence And Withdrawal

Once you’ve become too dependent of the alcohol-Xanax mixture, ceasing to take it too suddenly will lead to withdrawal symptoms. It is absolutely advisable to seek approval from a medical doctor.  

When you take in both alcohol and Xanax at the same time, it can aggravate each one’s withdrawal symptoms. These include vehement craving for either of the two drugs, insomnia, irritability hallucinations and seizure. 

Seizure is considered the most dangerous symptom associated with withdrawal. Aside from the abrupt discontinuation of taking alcohol and Xanax in, this can also be possibly experienced if taking them is not stopped slowly enough. You can even experience it if you happen to forget to take a single dose of Xanax or between your usual doses. 


Taking in Xanax and alcohol concurrently is not advisable because of the deadly side effect caused by doing so -- an overdose. 

To identify an overdose, we could look for key signs such as drowsiness, gravely impaired motor coordination, confusion and even coma. When you see any of these side effects with someone who consumed alcohol and Xanax at the same time, then it is crucial for the patient to undergo emergency services outright.


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      Lindsey 3 years ago

      I've been taking Xanax for 7 years. I've been a heavy drinker for 17 years. I want to get off both drugs. It will kill me if I don't stop. At the same time I'm afraid it's going to kill me stopping. I can't afford help. I have to do it alone. I'm terrified! I wish I never started!

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      Depressed 4 years ago

      Xanax and alcohol do not kill you. I have taken 30mg of Xanax and a liter of rum to no avail, you'll be safe doing both together.