Xanax Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, & Treatment

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Xanax, a benzodiazepine medication prescribed for anxiety disorders and panic disorders, has the potential for addiction and physical dependency, even when taken as directed. If you need to discontinue the use of Xanax, consult with a doctor who can assist you in creating a tapering schedule to manage the symptoms of Xanax withdrawal effectively.

Xanax withdrawal can be aggravating and uncomfortable, as both physical and mental health symptoms may present. Xanax withdrawal symptoms can range in severity from mild to severe. If Xanax is abused or taken for the purposes of self-medication, this increases the risk of addiction and complicates the Xanax addiction withdrawal process.

This guide shows you how to withdraw from Xanax as safely and comfortably as possible by seeking professional help. A healthcare professional can provide guidance, support, and potentially prescribe medications or therapies to alleviate Xanax detox symptoms and minimize the risk of complications. Withdrawal from Xanax should not be taken lightly, and seeking appropriate medical assistance is essential for a smoother and safer recovery.

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from Xanax side effects can vary from person to person. Research shows that 40% of those withdrawing from Xanax will experience severe symptoms, while 60% who withdraw from Xanax will experience mild symptoms during detox.

Common withdrawal symptoms from Xanax can be physical and psychological. Physical symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Tremors or shaking, especially in the hands
  • Muscle spasms 
  • Sore or stiff muscles
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Weight gain or weight loss 
  • Convulsions or seizures

As well as these physical side effects, withdrawals from Xanax can be psychological. These symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety 
  • Panic
  • Confusion 
  • Depression
  • Increased sensitivity 
  • Insomnia or disrupted sleep
  • Nervousness 
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia 
A woman is lying in bed looking sick to represent xanax withdrawal timeline.

Xanax Withdrawal Timeline

Withdrawal from Xanax can persist for weeks to months, and in some cases, even years after the last dose. The duration of withdrawal symptoms associated with Xanax and other benzos can be more prolonged than withdrawal from other substances.

The timeline of Xanax withdrawal is influenced by various factors. A typical timeline is as follows:

Stage 1: Days 1 to 7 of Detox

  • Symptoms typically commence during this period, including anxiety, insomnia, and headaches.
  • Individuals who initially used Xanax to manage anxiety may encounter a rebound effect, where their anxiety symptoms return, sometimes worsened.
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances are common during this stage.

Stage 2: Days 7 to 28 of Detox

  • Symptoms have peaked and gradually start to diminish.
  • Occasional fluctuations in symptom severity may occur, with some symptoms temporarily worsening before improvement.
  • Anxiety and insomnia persist, while muscle aches and headaches tend to lessen.
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort, such as stomach aches, may be experienced.
  • The risk of seizure decreases during this phase.

Stage 3: Several months after Detox

  • Normal functioning gradually returns, although the recovery process can be protracted.
  • Gastrointestinal and mood-related symptoms may persist for weeks or even months.
  • Working with an addiction professional can help to minimize withdrawal symptoms during this phase.
  • Environmental factors can also influence the speed of Xanax withdrawal. Seeking support from rehab centers is often recommended, as these facilities provide a safe environment free from familiar triggers.

The severity and duration of Xanax withdrawal symptoms are influenced by a range of factors, including an individual’s unique biochemistry and the quantity and frequency of Xanax use. Collaborating with healthcare professionals can provide tailored assistance throughout the withdrawal process.


Can you have withdrawals from Xanax?

Yes, sudden discontinuation or significant reduction in Xanax dosage can lead to withdrawal symptoms.

How do I get through Xanax withdrawals?

Seeking medical supervision is crucial to safely managing Xanax withdrawals. Gradual tapering under a doctor’s guidance, along with support from therapy or support groups, can be beneficial for streamlining the detox process.

What are the symptoms of Xanax withdrawal?

Symptoms of Xanax withdrawal may include anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, irritability, tremors, sweating, headache, muscle pain, nausea, and in severe cases, seizures.

How can I stop Xanax cravings?

How to stop Xanax cravings is most effectively achieved by working with a healthcare professional. They can provide strategies such as CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), counseling, and medications to address cravings and prevent relapse.

How long are withdrawals from Xanax?

The duration of Xanax withdrawals can vary, but symptoms may last for a week or two. In some cases, certain symptoms can persist for months.

What does benzo withdrawal feel like?

Benzo (including Xanax) withdrawal can be challenging and uncomfortable. Common symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, tremors, sweating, muscle pain, and a sense of restlessness. Severe withdrawal can lead to hallucinations, seizures, and other serious complications, highlighting the importance of professional support during the process. 

A woman is upset with her hands in her hair to represent xanax withdrawal symptoms.

Xanax Withdrawal Treatment

What does benzo withdrawal cause, then? The abrupt discontinuation of Xanax without proper tapering can lead to severe and potentially life-threatening withdrawal reactions, including seizures, extreme confusion, disorientation, and even death. To ensure safety and comfort, medically managed detoxification is essential. Under the supervision of medical professionals, individuals can safely eliminate the drug and other toxins from their bodies.

Tapering the Xanax dosage gradually is one of the most effective ways to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. This approach allows the body to adjust gradually to lower doses, reducing the intensity of withdrawal and, in some cases, preventing symptoms altogether.

Working with a doctor is crucial for a supervised Xanax taper. They can provide a tapering schedule, guiding when and how to reduce the dosage. A doctor can assist with tapering even if they did not originally prescribe Xanax.

In certain instances, an inpatient detox facility may be recommended. These facilities provide a safe environment with medical supervision, ensuring proper treatment of withdrawal symptoms and equipping individuals with the necessary tools to manage addiction.

During the detox process, whether inpatient or outpatient, additional supportive services may be recommended. These can include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), medication assistance, counseling, meditation, mindfulness practices, herbal sleep aids like chamomile or melatonin, and participation in an exercise program.

While detox is a vital initial step toward recovery, it is usually not sufficient for long-term success in overcoming drug addiction. Medical detox serves as an entry point for more comprehensive treatment, where evidence-based behavioral therapies and counseling play a significant role in preventing relapse and achieving long-term abstinence.

Xanax Withdrawal Medicine

Xanax withdrawal management protocols often involve the gradual reduction of benzodiazepine doses. In some cases, a switch to a longer-acting benzodiazepine like Librium, Valium, or Klonopin may be made to stabilize the patient during withdrawal before proceeding with a gradual dose reduction.

Preliminary evidence suggests that flumazenil, a medication that disrupts the activity of benzos at specific receptor sites, could help reduce the intensity of acute withdrawal symptoms and prolonged symptoms that linger after discontinuing the use of Xanax. A study showed that those prescribed flumazenil encountered fewer withdrawal symptoms, had reduced cravings, achieved better withdrawal completion rates, and had lower relapse rates

Beyond this, it is believed that antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and beta blockers may be effective in treating benzo withdrawal symptoms. These medications can contribute to managing and alleviating the various symptoms that arise during withdrawal. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate and effective medication-based strategies for managing benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms.

A woman sits looking out at a sunset to represent drug and alcohol addiction treatment and rehab in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Get Treatment for Xanax Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers

At Ohio Recovery Centers, we specialize in personalized addiction treatment programs specifically designed to address Xanax addiction. Our comprehensive programs are tailored to individuals struggling with addictions to Xanax, whether it’s a standalone issue or accompanied by the abuse of other substances.

Extensive research indicates that intensive outpatient treatment can be equally effective for mild to moderate Xanax addictions as residential rehab. Not only does outpatient treatment offer comparable outcomes, but it also provides greater flexibility and affordability without compromising the quality of care delivered.

At our Cincinnati rehab facility, you can choose from a range of programs to suit your needs, including PHPs (partial hospitalization programs), IOPs (intensive outpatient programs), and dual diagnosis treatment programs for co-occurring disorders.

All of our treatment programs at Ohio Recovery Centers integrate pharmacological, behavioral, and holistic therapies, ensuring a science-backed approach to recovery. Our goal is to equip you with relapse prevention strategies, effective coping techniques, and ongoing access to therapy if needed, empowering you to maintain long-term sobriety. For immediate assistance, please contact our admissions team at (877) 679-2132. We are here to support you on your journey toward a healthier and drug-free life.

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn