non benzodiazepines home page Non benzodiazepines

Alprazolam Withdrawal

Alprazolam, also commonly known under the brand name Xanax, is a common prescription medication prescribed for the treatment of various conditions, including anxiety, panic disorder and insomnia. Alprazolam is also used for the treatment of other disorders. Unfortunately, using the drug alprazolam regularly for more than a couple of weeks can result in addiction. When a user of alprazolam becomes addicted and then tries to stop using their drug they can experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal side effects on stopping the drug can include mild to life threatening withdrawal symptoms including, anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasms, psychosis, suicidal ideation and grand mal seizures. Severe and life threatening withdrawal symptoms only occur however during over rapid or abrupt withdrawal from alprazolam. Addiction to alprazolam is a serious condition. For this reason it is very important to stop alprazolam gradually, preferably using a diazepam taper plan. On this page we provide you with information on the preferred method for getting off of alprazolam.

Alprazolam has a short half life and is what is known as a high potency benzodiazepine drug. It is not generally recommended to withdraw directly from high potency and/ or short acting benzodiazepines such as alprazolam, lorazepam or clonazepam. The smallest available doses of alprazolam are the 0.25 mg tablets. These are equivalent to 5 mg of diazepam, which is a fairly high dose and not a dosage that a person can just stop. You can see here the benzodiazepine equivalence table by Professor Heather Ashton which we have found to be the most accurate benzodiazepine equivalency table. Further more as alprazolam is short acting, it has to be taken 3 or 4 times a day to keep blood levels somewhat level, so a person taking even the lowest strength of alprazolam tablet, would be taking 0.25 mg 3 times a day which is equivalent to 15 mg of diazepam. An excellent article outlining the benefits of using diazepam aka valium to taper off of other benzodiazepine drugs is written by Professor Ashton. Read here the TAPERING WITH DIAZEPAM article by Professor Ashton.

Alprazolam Brand Names

Alprazolam is the generic name, however it is known under many different names world wide, the most common being xanax. The brand name of alprazolam available in your country will depend on which manufacturer supplies alprazolam for your countries medical industry.

The following is a full list of brand names world wide which you may know the medicine alprazolam as:

Adax, Alcelam, Alnax, Alprastad, Alplax, Alplax Digest, Alplax Net, Alpralid, Alprax, Alpravecs, Alprax, Alpraz, Alprazig, Alprazomed, Alprocontin, Alpronax, Alprox, Altrox, Alzam, Alzolam (Алзолам), Amziax, Anax, Anpress, Ansielix, Ansielix Digest, Ansilan, Anxirid, Anzilum, Apo-Alpraz, Apraz, Azor, Becede, Bestrol, Calmax, Calmol, Cassadan, Danox, Dizolam, Docalprazo, Emeral, Euciton Stress, Farmapram, Fludep Plus, Frontal, Frontin, Gerax, Grifoalpram, Helex (Хелекс), Kalma, Krama, Marzolam, Medronal, Mialin, Nalion, Neupax, Neurol, Niravam, Novo-Alprazol, Nu-Alpraz, Pacyl, Pazolam, Pharnax, Prazam, Prenadona, Prinox, Psicosedol, PTA, Renax, Restyl, Restyl Forte, Restyl Plus, Retan, Sanerva, Saturnil, Siampraxol, Sidomal, Stresnil, Tafil, Tensium, Tensium Gastric, Thiprazolan, Topazolam, Tranax, Trankimazin, Tranquinal, Tranquinal Soma, Tricalma, Unilan, Valeans, Xanacine, Xanagis, Xanax (Ксанакс), Xanax XR, Xanor, Xiemed, Xycalm, Zacetin, Zolam, Zopax, Zopax Plus, Zotran.

Alprazolam Dangers

Alprazolam has dangers associated with it, especially with long term use or in drug abuse. With long term use alprazolam is associated with cognitive problems, especially short term memory and concentration impairments. Long term use of alprazolam is also associated with depression, increased anxiety, emotional blunting and changes in personality. Long term users often report that they felt like a zombie whilst on the drug. Most of the problems, therefore, with alprazolam result through long term use. However, alprazolam is a drug of abuse and abuse of alprazolam is certainly not without its dangers as well. Alprazolam carries the risk of overdose either intentional or unintentional which can prove lethal. The danger of overdose is significantly increased when alprazolam or other benzodiazepines are combined with opiates or alcohol. Combining alprazolam with opiates or alcohol leads to a synergistic enhancement of respiratory depression which can lead to death. The risk of opiate overdose raises significantly when alprazolam or other sedative hypnotic benzodiazepine drugs are combined. Alprazolam also is commonly abused for its intoxicating sedative high and also to bring drug abusers down from a high or to cushion their crash or "come down" from stimulants. Alprazolam is also often used or abused to reduce withdrawal symptoms from opiates and in particular alcohol, with 50% of alcoholics using benzodiazepines obtained legally or illegally. In the USA, alprazolam is often sold on the street as 2mg xanax bars and can obtain quite a high price.

There are also dangers to the unborn child from using alprazolam or other benzodiazepine acting tranquillisers or sleeping pills during pregnancy. In the USA all benzodiazepines are category D which means that they should not be used in pregnancy. The risks include addiction and withdrawal syndromes which present when the baby is born and starved from its supply of benzodiazepine. There are also concerns that children who received benzodiazepines whilst in utero suffer neuropsychological deficits and problems later in life and may persist indefinately.

How does reducing slowly work?

Reducing slow works by allowing the body to gradually becoming accustomed to a smaller dose. Making small dosage reductions reduces the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms allowing for physical adaptions in the nervous system (tolerance) to adapt or adjust to the lower dose. When a person's body has adjusted to the lower dose they can then proceed to make another small dose reduction and so on. It is very difficult to obtain small dose reductions with alprazolam as explained earlier. The alprazolam tablet dose strengths are very potent and the half life of alprazolam is short. The short half life does not allow for the blood levels to remain stable which is very important to withdraw from benzodiazepine drugs, as explained by Professor Ashton in her article on Tapering using Diazepam.

As alprazolam is a high potency benzodiazepine, some doctors may not be able to prescribe the high equivalent doses of diazepam required to withdraw from alprazolam. A solution to this is to do a partial cross over to diazepam and taper the dose down.

Below is a withdrawal table to help explain how to withdraw. It is important that the reader notes that the rate of reduction outlined in the below table including rate of cross over to diazepam is only a suggestion. Everyone is an individual and one has to take responsibility and decide what speed of withdrawal suits them best. The ideal way to decide the rate of withdrawal is to listen to how your body responds to dosage cuts and to wait for withdrawal symptoms to settle down before making another dosage cut. If you, the reader, are taking a different dose than the dose of alprazolam listed in this table, simply adapt the table to suit your current dosage which shouldn't be too difficult to do. If you have any questions or require advice, support or assistance in or with your taper or just simply would like to meet other people who are tapering off benzodiazepines, then feel free to join our benzodiazepine withdrawal support forum.

Withdrawing from Alprazolam

Withdrawing from 4 mg of Alprazolam via dose reduction and then cross over to diazepam
Follow or Adapt Table From Your Starting or Current dose
Morning Lunch Time Evening Before Bed Total Daily Dose
Alprazolam 1 mg Alprazolam 1 mg Alprazolam 1 mg Alprazolam 1 mg Alprazolam 4 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks

Alprazolam 1 mg

Alprazolam 0.75 mg Alprazolam 0.75 mg Alprazolam 1 mg Alprazolam 3.5 mg
Stabalise for 1-2 weeks
Alprazolam 0.75 mg Alprazolam 0.75 mg Alprazolam 0.75 mg Alprazolam 1 mg Alprazolam 3.25 mg
Stabalise for 1-2 weeks
Alprazolam 0.75 mg Alprazolam 0.75 mg Alprazolam 0.75 mg Alprazolam 0.75 mg Alprazolam 3 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks

Alprazolam 0.75 mg

Alprazolam 0.5 mg Alprazolam 0.75 mg Alprazolam 0.75 mg Alprazolam 2.75 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks

Alprazolam 0.75 mg

Alprazolam 0.5 mg Alprazolam 0.5 mg Alprazolam 0.75 mg Alprazolam 2.5 mg

Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks

Alprazolam 0.5 mg

Alprazolam 0.5 mg Alprazolam 0.5 mg Alprazolam 0.75 mg Alprazolam 2.25 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks

Alprazolam 0.5 mg

Alprazolam 0.5 mg Alprazolam 0.5 mg Alprazolam 0.5 mg Alprazolam 2 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks

Alprazolam 0.5 mg

Alprazolam 0.25 mg Alprazolam 0.5 mg Alprazolam 0.5 mg Alprazolam 1.75 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks
Alprazolam 0.5 mg Alprazolam 0.25 mg Alprazolam 0.25 mg Alprazolam 0.5 mg Alprazolam 1.5 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks
Cross over can be done in 6 stages instead of 3 stages and more slowly if any difficulties are encountered during this suggested cross over to diazepam section.

Alprazolam 0.25 mg + 5 mg of diazepam

Alprazolam 0.25 mg

Alprazolam 0.25 mg

Alprazolam 0.25 mg + 5 mg of diazepam Alprazolam 1 mg + diazepam 10 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks
Alprazolam 0.25 mg + 5 mg of diazepam Diazepam 5 mg Diazepam 5 mg Alprazolam 0.25 mg + 5 mg of diazepam Alprazolam 0.5 mg + 20 mg of diazepam
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks
Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 5 mg Diazepam 5 mg Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 30 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks
At this stage you should be stabalising on the diazepam and ready to start making some small reductions in dosage.
Now that the dose is going below 30 mg of diazepam (or equivalent) most people find that they need to slow their taper rate down, so we recommend cuts are done every 3 - 4 weeks.
Diazepam 13.5 mg     Diazepam 13.5 mg Diazepam 27 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 12 mg     Diazepam 13 mg Diazepam 25 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 10 mg     Diazepam 12.5 mg Diazepam 22.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 10 mg     Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 20 mg
Withdrawing from 20 mg of diazepam should be carried out using 2 mg sized tablets
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
9 mg     9 mg Diazepam 18 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 8 mg  

 

Diazepam 8 mg Diazepam 16 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 7 mg     Diazepam 7.5 mg Diazepam 14.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 6.5 mg     Diazepam 6.5 mg Diazepam 13 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 5.5 mg     Diazepam 6 mg Diazepam 11.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 5 mg     Diazepam 5 mg Diazepam 10 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 4.5 mg     Diazepam 4.5 mg Diazepam 9 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 4 mg     Diazepam 4 mg Diazepam 8 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 3.5 mg     Diazepam 3.5 mg Diazepam 7 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 3 mg     Diazepam 3 mg Diazepam 6 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
See also NOTE below for additional information on withdrawing from 5 mg of diazepam
Diazepam 2.5 mg     Diazepam 2.5 mg Diazepam 5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 2 mg     Diazepam 2.5 mg Diazepam 4.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 2 mg     Diazepam 2 mg Diazepam 4 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 1.5 mg     Diazepam 2 mg Diazepam 3.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 1.5 mg     Diazepam 1.5 mg Diazepam 3 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 1 mg     Diazepam 1.5 mg Diazepam 2.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 1 mg     Diazepam 1 mg Diazepam 2 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 0.5 mg     Diazepam 1 mg Diazepam 1.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 0.5 mg     Diazepam 0.5 mg Diazepam 1 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 0.5 mg Diazepam 0.5 mg
Drop Last 0.5 mg dose of diazepam and Never Take Another Benzodiazepine Again
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gradual Diazepam Detox Complete

NOTE: Some people find it difficult in the final stages of withdrawal from 5 mg of diazepam to zero. If you are one of these people it may be of value asking your doctor to provide you with the 2 mg per 5 ml diazepam liquid suspension, and obtaining a 1 ml syringe from your local pharmacy/drug store/chemist. Users can then obtain smaller dose reductions than the 0.5 mg sized cuts using tablets. See this page on SLOW WITHDRAWAL FROM DIAZEPAM using liquid suspension diazepam.

  Home Forum Withdrawal Benzo Names Contact Us  
Disclaimer Stories Books Feedback Sitemap