How To Wean Off Xanax

Xanax works for anxiety disorder. But, dependency or tolerance warns it's time to change drug. Doses can be safely reduced. And, with tips, you can kiss withdrawal symptoms goodbye.

Alprazolam, its brand name, is a powerful, fast-acting medication.
The majority who take it...

  • Do well.
  • Respect its benefits and the danger.
  • Follow directions for use. 

It is a blessing to many. But, for others, it may be time to think about...

Giving Up Xanax

Dependency is a serious side effect. The craving to 'feel good' overwhelms. Or, while the drug wears off, withdrawal symptoms appear.

Tolerance is another. You need more to feel better.  What used to help you sleep falls apart more quickly than the anti-anxiety effect. Eventually, this doesn't work, either.

It is highly addictive. Memory, over time, flickers. Your breathing? Strained.


For your brain to function normally, it's electrical impulses need to be systemic, coordinated and organized.

But, stop taking the drug suddenly, and brain activity can race out of control. Go out of whack.

You could have a seizure. Black out, have a convulsion. Fall, bite your tongue, inner cheek. And, seriously hurt yourself.

That's not all,...

Even if a seizure doesn't happen, psychosis can take place. Reality cracks, becomes blurred. You can become intensely worked up and unstable.

Want to reduce doses fast?  Expect severe, painful withdrawal symptoms. 

Tapering off Xanax

Yes, you can...

With a very small dose reduction action plan. Carefully supervised.

The manufacturer's recommendation is .5 mg at a time, every 3 days.  Dr. Stephen Cox, a psychiatrist, uses a slower approach. He clearly explains, in a language you can understand, how this benzodiazepine works. And, he points out what you can ask yourself before deciding to make a change.

Fight the urge to speed up dose reduction. It's important. You need time to adjust. 


The idea is to keep misery out of the picture. And, what will help to pull through, is asking yourself...“What am I doing today to help me feel better?”

Learn from yesterday to make today better. What worked today, you can use tomorrow.

Take it one day at a time. Persist. You'll defeat hopelessness.

Here's additional help to decode your anxiety disorder symptoms so you can have more control over them.


Soft light eases eye strain while getting off Xanax. So, outdoors, wear polarized sun glasses.

Easing eye strain while reducing Xanax

Note: Color of lens makes a difference. Gray, for general use. Brown, daytime. Amber is terrific for low light conditions.

At home and work, dim lights or turn them off. But, can still safely walk around. At bedtime, wear a sleep mask. Darkness makes for better rest.


Cool temperatures ease hot flashes.

  • Air conditioning, fans, open windows, do the trick.
  • Short, cool showers refresh.
  • Wear breathable, dry-wick clothing to keep you comfortable.

Cotton t-shirts and sweatpants aren't the answer. While sweating, they stick and you can feel clammy. On the other hand,...You may get chills while reducing Xanax.

Fighting off chills while reducing Xanax

  • Keep layers of clothing and a blanket nearby to stay warm.
  • Wool socks and sweaters can even out your body temperature.


While the drug works its way out of your system, sounds can spook, make you anxious. Mask the ringing in your ears. It'll help you relax and calm down. Have a good night's sleep.

  • White noise machines help. Or, apps you can download onto your favorite device and have by your side. Perfect! It's always there when you need it.
  • Ear plugs are ideal to block out noise.


Drink plenty of it. Helps digest, bowel movements are a breeze, toxins flush out. There are not as many hot and cold swings. Your eyes, nose, and mouth won't dry out.

You'll have less headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps. Even depression takes a break.

For outstanding results...Pure water is the way to go.


What interferes with getting off Xanax is wiped out. Impurities, contaminants, and harmful 'bugs'. Pharmaceuticals, too.
Water purification, by reverse osmosis with a carbon filter, does the job.

Once you're done with alprazolam, switch to mineral water.  It contains trace minerals, terrific for your  health.

How much you need

Normally, you're well hydrated with 32 oz. - 1 liter -  4 cups – a day. However, during Xanax reduction, your body works extra hard.


8 cups a day helps. What doesn't belong in your system washes out. Drink water at room temperature to absorb it more easily. And, to avoid stomach cramps.


  • When you drink straight from a glass, air is gulped in. You may feel bloated. Use a straw to get around this.

Zero caffeine and alcohol

With caffeinated coffee, tea, sodas, withdrawal symptoms can flare up. So, avoid them.

Drinking alcohol is a problem when you want to wean off Xanax. Withdrawal symptoms get worse. And, alcohol slows down dose reduction.


Eat lightly. Small, bland meals do the trick.

To keep from feeling queasy, broth, clear soups, plain crackers, pureed veges are the way to go. As you start to feel better,...

Steamed vegetables nourish. Like carrots, squash, sweet potatoes. You can snack on plain rice cakes. Drink milk. Consume non-acidic vegetable juices. Then, move on to high quality, low fat protein foods.

  • Chicken - white meat. Avoid frying.
  • Sock-eyed salmon.
  • Yellow fin tuna.
  • Shrimp.
  • Eggs.
  • Cottage cheese.
  • Yogurt.
  • Wheat germ. Yummy on cereal!
  • Soy.
  • Peanut butter - with no sugar.

To keep the serotonin level even, oats, honey, flour-less bread, squash are quality carbohydrates you can eat.


Grab every opportunity to lie down and rest. Or, sit quietly.

  • Guided imagery can soothe and calm. Pick the most peaceful place you can imagine. Listen, smell, taste and touch the scenery. It will help you feel you're right there, enjoying it.
  • Draw, paint or write whatever comes to mind.

Sleep better

Normally, between 4-7 pm, body temperature goes up. Then, at night, drops. It makes for better sleep. Xanax withdrawal symptoms mess with this.
Bump up your temperature, during the 4-7 window, with a...

  • Walk. Or, go biking. 
  • Stretch gently.
  • Have a light massage.

You'll have time to cool down, relax before bedtime. And, lower stress.


Blood circulation improves. Oxygen flows. And, it's good for your brain. Better circulation also helps wash out poisons.

Another way to ease out the drug

Deep rhythmic breathing – belly-breathing, stimulates your lymphatic system to clear away toxins. Yoga achieves this. Drink water afterward and you have a winning formula.


Deep breathe peacefully for 20 minutes. Then go for a walk. Stretch gently. Finish with a glass of water.

Bad mixes

Combining other remedies with alprazolam can interfere with dose reduction. So, let your doctor know what you take or might want to take. All of them.

  • Drugs, prescribed or recreational.
  • Vitamin supplements.
  • Herbal remedies.

Include over-the-counter medication...

  • Cold remedies.
  • Allergy medicine.
  • Antacids.
  • Cough syrup.
  • Oral contraceptives. 

Ask your doctor or pharmacist which ones have the least impact while you taper off Xanax.

By the way,...

If your doctor doesn’t know you smoke or you plan to quit, it's time to tell. Adjustments to dose reduction might be needed.

Xanax may have helped for your anxiety disorder. But, it could be time to change drug. Slow dose reduction is the way to go. And, tips on this page, can protect you from nasty withdrawal.

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