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Xanax Overdose: Symptoms, Dose And Treatment

The medication Xanax, also known as Alprazolam, is often administered for anxiety, panic disorder depression, premenstrual disorder, and insomnia. Taking too much Alprazolam, like any other medication, can result in some health issues. The risk of overdose is always certain as all prescription medications come with caution on dosages, counter interactions, and other instructions that should not be ignored. Can you overdose on Xanax as a prescription medication? If this is possible, how much Xanax does it take to overdose?

Can You Overdose on Xanax?

Xanax overdose is possible, especially when one does not stick to the prescribed dosage, or if the medication is taken concomitantly with other medications with similar properties. Xanax should never be taken with depressants such as alcohol as the effect of the drug can be intensified to fatal levels. 

Xanax, as one of the most potent benzodiazepines, boosts the activity of GABA in the brain, which brings a feeling of relaxation and calm. Overdose on Xanax could induce severe sedation, which can be harmful. Xanax overdose death is especially possible when the drug is used together with opioid medications and alcohol. This is why it is imperative to let your doctor know what other medications you are on, or if you have a drinking problem before opting for Xanax prescriptions. 

How Much Xanax Is Too Much?

Xanax OD occurs when one takes more drugs at once than is prescribed. One could also experience symptoms of Xanax overdose when one uses similar medications alongside the drug. Typically, the regular dosage for Xanax ranges from 0.25 – 0.5 mg per day, which can be split into three doses on the same day. Depending on the peculiarity of the condition, the physician may alter the medication to suit the patient until the symptoms subside. In severe cases, the medication may be up to 10 mg per day. 

The popular question is- how much Xanax to OD? What is the lethal dose for the drug? The fact is that overdosing on Xanax may vary from one person to another. Differential factors include age, weight, metabolism, preexisting health issues such as liver, heart, or kidney diseases, and lastly, concomitant use with other substances such as depressants, antidepressants, and others. 

Xanax LD-50

The LD-50 (amount of the drug required to kill 50% of the test population) of Xanax ranges from 331-2,171 mg per kg of body weight. This implies that fatal OD on Xanax is thousands of times higher than the maximum prescribed dosage. However, this is in theory, as the human body varies, and alprazolam overdose is possible from any amount of the drug that is higher than the maximum dose prescribed by the physician. 

Xanax Overdose symptoms

How does one know if they overdose Xanax? There are mild to severe signs of Xanax overdose that may be exhibited depending on how much of the medication taken, level of sensitivity to the medication, and if the medication was used alongside other potent medications as well. 

Mild Overdose

  • Palpitations
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Poor reflexes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Tremors and uncontrolled muscle movements

 Severe Overdose 

  • Chest pains
  • Seizures
  • Palpitations
  • Hallucinations
  • Breathing problems
  • Coma

Xanax Overdose treatment

Often time, the first line of treatment for Xanax overdose is an administration of activated charcoal to absorb the toxic substance and possibly reduce symptoms before treatment begins. Stomach pumping or flushing may follow to completely eliminate metabolites and remainders of the Xanax in the system. Information on how long does xanax stay in your blood system is iessential in such situation.

A benzodiazepine agonist such as flumazenil may be administered to further impede the effects of the medication. The individual would also require intravenous fluids to replenish nutrients and prevent dehydration in the process.  

It is best to leave medications to a physician, never self-medicate to avoid an overdose. If you suspect that you or your loved ones may have Xanax abuse signs, seek emergency medical care immediately.   

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