Being Careful with Xanax

I was shocked when researching an article about Xanax that many people were advising others to just stop taking it. Now I’m not a doctor, so I’m not qualified to say whether you should or shouldn’t be prescribed the medication often used to treat anxiety, but I have done enough medical research as a writer to know that stopping cold turkey can be a dangerous and life threatening mistake. And I wanted to say something here about it in case anyone is considering it.


Xanax is a highly addictive medication that is certainly useful, but can have serious consequences when one wants to get off of it. I’m sure you’ve seen people on TV going through withdrawals, usually for illegal drugs like cocaine and such. They are in extreme pain, sweating, hearing or seeing things that aren’t there, basically living in a man made Hell. But in the end, they come through to the other side no worse for the wear, returning back to normal without any complications. But even if you are willing to submit yourself to that sort of torture, real life withdrawal is far more dangerous. The need is not just psychological, but physical. Your body has learned that it cannot live without the chemical and if it is deprived of it just as if it were deprived of oxygen, horrific things can happen, including organ failure and death.

Many don’t think that prescription drugs can be as addictive as their illegal counterparts, and thus just stopping is easy, but it’s not. Even ones that aren’t considered addictive, which are the majority, usually have some sort of blowback when there is no more of the drug. An example is that some people experience renewed heartburn worse than before when one stops taking something like Prevacid because the stomach is suddenly flooded with acid that it hasn’t seen in a bit. But for those that are addictive like painkillers, Xanax and others, the medication has to be stopped via the proper methods in order to keep the body from going off the tracks completely.

That is why it is important not to decide for yourself the dose or the medication you should be taking. If you feel that you don’t want to take a medication anymore, or that it’s not working or has too many side effects to be tolerated, discuss it with your doctor. Perhaps he has alternatives. But at the very least, he or she will know how to wean you off the medication in the correct manner, reteaching the body to live without the drug in a way that won’t be a shock to the system. In extreme cases, you may even need hospitalization, which sounds scary, but it’s far better than to just try it yourself because without supervision, death could be a distinct possibility.

Stopping medication methodically isn’t just limited to Xanax. There are lots of other medications that form addictions. Even anti-depressants like Paxil and Prozac can do that too.

So in conclusion, you may read that someone is saying that they just stopped taking whatever, and they were fine, but that person isn’t you. We are all made up differently, which is why we like different things, have different medical problems, and take different medications. Only your doctor knows you and what you need and can make the determination and plan that will keep you healthy. Not that guy on some website. So please consider this before just dropping any meds.