Xanax can cause rebound anxiety for those who are in withdrawal. The symptoms of increased anxiety, headaches, and trouble focusing can last from 24 to 72 hours.
However, it is important to note that people can often manage these symptoms with the right treatment strategy.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax is a member of the benzodiazepine family, and physicians often prescribe it to help treat anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved it in 1981 to reduce symptoms of anxiety by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain caused by overstimulated neurotransmitters.
This activity can also help you sleep better if anxiety is causing sleep disturbances. By relieving stress and anxiety, Xanax can help people lessen its impact on their daily lives.
Xanax is also known for its ability to produce a rapid “high,” making it a target for medication abuse. The drugs most encountered in emergency room patients are a combination of Xanax and alcohol. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration had more than 1.2 million emergency room visits related to the non-medical use of prescription drugs in 2011. Xanax made up 10 percent of those visits.
Understanding Xanax Dependence
Xanax is very effective at relieving anxiety, but the brain rapidly learns to tolerate it very rapidly. Physical dependence can develop in just a few weeks for some people. When users stop Xanax abruptly, the receptors it binds to in the brain struggle to function without it.
People may use Xanax for prolonged periods. In that case, the number of receptors can also decrease in response, reducing the number of sites available for naturally-occurring molecules to bind to once the user stops taking Xanax.
Xanax, like other benzodiazepines, alters the brain’s chemistry and can even change the brain’s structure. Sometimes, it can take a lot longer than a couple of weeks for the brain to heal itself. As a result, long-term users have the greatest risk of serious damage. For example, one study of 4,425 long-term users of benzos found that 75 percent were markedly ill to extremely ill.
These changes can also lead to severe panic and anxiety when Xanax is stopped or decreased suddenly. Unfortunately, these conditions are typically why physicians prescribe Xanax, making it hard for people to stop.
When Xanax is stopped suddenly, the body sends various signals in response. These signals can be very uncomfortable and are the reason for withdrawal symptoms.
Symptoms and Timeline
Xanax withdrawal symptoms can be both physical and psychological. Physical symptoms can include headaches, uncontrollable shaking, muscle stiffness and pain, heart palpitations, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. In addition, there can be weight loss, generalized discomfort, and hyperventilation. In the most severe cases, Xanax withdrawal can also lead to seizures.
Psychological symptoms aren’t just limited to worsening the condition the person was prescribed Xanax for originally. It can also cause hallucinations, sleep problems, a sensation of being detached from your body, delirium, and difficulty concentrating. Those experiencing Xanax withdrawal may also have symptoms of depression, including suicidal thoughts.
Xanax withdrawal begins within 24 hours after the last dose of Xanax is taken. These can last up to four weeks. The duration and severity of withdrawal symptoms depend on the duration of Xanax use, the dose prescribed, and co-occurring conditions.
With long-term use, some people may experience a protracted withdrawal with fewer physical symptoms. Prolonged withdrawal is characterized by new or worsening anxiety and depression and can last for weeks to months after acute withdrawal symptoms have abated.
Does Xanax Give You Rebound Anxiety?
Xanax is one of many medications that cause rebound anxiety. Because the brain has become accustomed to functioning with Xanax bound to receptors, the anxiety the drug reduces comes back the same or worse than before they started Xanax.
There can also be rebound symptoms other than anxiety, most often insomnia and other sleep disturbances. This is especially prominent when these symptoms were under control or eliminated while on the medication.
Getting Treatment to Avoid Rebound Anxiety
If you would like to stop taking Xanax, you should do so with the help of your healthcare provider. Stopping this medication abruptly can lead to problems such as withdrawal symptoms and rebound anxiety. People who experience rebound anxiety may notice a return of their anxiety symptoms at the same level or worse than before they started Xanax.
While treating rebound anxiety from Xanax is entirely possible, preventing it through a properly managed detox at a dedicated detox center like Agape Detox Center is preferable. These centers create customized plans to help get you through withdrawal and any rebound symptoms while you detox from Xanax. They also utilize medical treatments and offer support from a team of medical professionals to give you the best care possible.
In addition to more traditional therapies, some centers offer holistic therapies to complement medical and cognitive treatments. Based on evidence and research, people can use options like yoga, chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage to meet an individual’s specific needs as part of an integrated treatment plan.
If you or a loved one is looking to stop Xanax in a safe, comfortable environment, reach out to Agape Detox Center. Get started with a personalized detox plan and holistic therapy to help you stop using Xanax today.