Long Term High Dose Xanax Effects

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jhalljhall Says:

I began taking Xanax in 1982. I have been abusing it more and more over the years. I can now take 14 mg and not even tell it. I can stop taking it with no withdrawals. It's like I am immune to it. For the past two years I have been experiencing a lack of cognition, forgetfullness, and general fatigue. It does not matter if I stop the Xanax for a couple of months, I feel like the deficit is permanent. Can Xanax lead to permanent brain damage?

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helper Says:

ever have your liver enzymes looked at? I have a suspicion that something might be going on there. More specifically, your liver enzymes. With those amounts and beginning to go even heavier, you are not immune just maybe something is not working quite like is used too. I'd recommend you go get your liver checked out right now... or research drug induced hepatitis C associated with chronic xanax use but its very rare but rare or not its better to know than not know.

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Verwon Says:

I have to agree, Xanax contains the active ingredient Alprazolam, this is a Benzodiazepine, commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, but by abusing it, you are risking serious liver damage and may have already caused some.

In addition, if you try to stop taking it abruptly, you will experience some severe withdrawal symptoms.

You really need to talk to a doctor about this issue and get their help with beating your addiction to this medication.

Trying to stop on your own may cause some symptoms such as: vomiting, fever, chills, seizures and etc.

You can read more about this medication here:


Is there anything else I can help you with?

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greeneyes Says:

I was taking 4 2mg. klonpin a day for about 6 years. they weren't doing anything for me any more, so my doctor switched me to 4 1mg. xanax a day. they seem to be helping,but after reading some of your comments i wonder if i made a mistake.

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dcat Says:

i've been taking .5mg of xanax 3 times per day for about a year now. i often don't even take all 3 in a day, depending on my stress level.

in an attempt to deter me from the drug, a psychiatrist once told me that if i began taking it and then discontinued use, the xanax would have caused the chemical balance in my brain to function differently and that i would basically never be able to be happy again.

is there any validity to what he said?

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Verwon Says:

Dcat, you're brain chemistry would eventually return to normal, however, it can take a long time, from several months and up to a year, depending on how long you were taking it and how high your dosage.

In addition, this medication causes a very high rate of dependency, so if you abruptly stop taking it, you will experience withdrawal effects and this can include rebound anxiety and depression.

Were there any other questions?

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bman Says:

I have been taking xanax 3mg 3 times a day for the last six months ans lately I've been abusing it so bad that I took a total of 12 milligrams in 1 hour if not more.I have been abusing it at this level for deveral months and feel that the medicine is doing amything for my panic attaks anymore

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Selahway Says:

I was originally prescribed Xanax (alprazolam) .25mg at bedtime to help me sleep (I could not stop thinking - had my own business). Now 20 years later, I am taking .5mg, 4 times, daily. I have been told the low dose I am taking should have no negative effects. It was actually a small dosage. (According to my last Psychiatrist.) I sometimes feel it has effected my cognitive abilities and anxiety is still an issue. If possible I would like to do with out it - will there be predictable physiological issues? Could it effect my brain function long term? I also take Celexa and Wellbutrin.

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practical pill poppers Says:

Aloha, I abused xanax for roughly 3-4 months; taking up to 15mgs per day. I can say this, detox was complete hell. I'll never take it again. All benzo's are quite difficult to revive from after becoming physically dependent. Be careful out there!

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bchgrl Says:

My 20 year old son was on Xanax for 1 1/2 years.After going on Suboxone for his heroin addiction,his doctor prescribed this to him for his anxiety.This can be a very deadly combination if you abuse it...you can go to sleep and never wake up.
At the end he was snorting 8 bars a day.It completely changed his personality.He became very withdrawn,angry and depressed.
One day after selling a bunch of his Xanax as well as taking so many of his prescription,he became so desperate to get more that he actually told his doctor that the reason he had run out of 90 Xanax in 16 days was because his Mother(me) was taking his pills herself.(not true of course!).This is how addicted you can get to Xanax.When confronted and withdrawling that same day,my son went off the deep end to the point I almost had to call 911 before he finally agreed to let me take him to get help.He was actually at a point that he was a danger with his violent behavior to anyone that confronted him,his aggressivness was so out of control.My son was a very laid back and calm kid before he started using Xanax.This is very normal behavior with abusing Xanax.He became very angry and aggressive...started breaking and throwing things in the house and threatening to kill himself.I put him in a detox center and he is now in a rehab.He says the Xanax withdrawl is worse than heroin ever was.He wanted to die.
It's been almost a month and he still feels bad and is suffering major memory loss...but is very slowly feeling better.Xanax withdrawl can take months and months.Going cold turkey can kill you.You need medical supervision to wean off this drug.
Hope this story helps someone out there from getting to the point my son got to and is still battling becuse of Xanax abuse...

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matt Says:

I am getting off methadone its beem 2 weeks and the only thing to sleep is xanax not to get high but to sleep how long does it take to get physically addicted ?????

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leetheleo65 Says:

Hey there Jhalljhall, I hope that your doing alright @ the moment?
As A Nurse Practitioner I wanted to let you know that *Long Term Use* of Xanax can seriously damage your Liver. As well, ... you mentioned something about your cognitive abilities correct? Well, YES, Long term use, ... CAN Cause serious problems with memory *(and just so you know, the memory loss should only be *Temporary)* ... Xanax also CAN cause, what is called 'Cognitive depression.' *(this is when your ability to perform your daily tasks become foggy, like your in a haze, & forgetful too)*
I suggest that you get help immediately!! I feel for you, & also wanted to let you know that *Confusion* is also a Long Term Use side effect too. Please, if anything, try your best to get help with this very serious addiction. I wouldn't continue taking the amount that you've mentioned, ... One day you may not wake up sweetie!! Take good care of yourself Jhalljhall.

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mike Says:

i'm taking 40 mg of celexa a day for GAD and SAD and some depression plus up to .75mg of xanax per day usually less (I start out with .175...split a .25 in half)

at this low level are there concerns about long term usage? in terms of these side effects or should I be ok? a little goes a long way and I'm not tempted to abuse it...

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Danikay Says:

JHall, the problems you are experiencing are all too common when taking Xanax for a prolonged period of time; as in your case it's been 28 years. The cognitive problems that you are having are the same thing I have been having. You feel mentally muddled (confused or get confused easily), forget and slowed thinking. My reactions are slower and I know I'm definitely not the same person I was prior to taking the Xanax. I have been taking 1 mg of it daily for the past ten years. I initially started with 2 mgs daily. I know on one hand this is def a bad thing and I'm depressed about it but on the other hand I feel as though I wouldn't be able to work or deal with the world if I didn't take them. The thought of getting off them makes me paranoid. Not sure what to do about this. Perhaps cognitive-behavioral therapy might help as it entails replacing bad, negative thoughts about yourself with good ones. It's basically talk therapy and may even involve hypnosis. Ultimately tho I just wanted to answer your question and let you know you are not alone. I hope thinks work out for you and I myself will have to figure out where to go from here with my problems as well..take care!

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CoVeS Says:

cold sweats after i stoped juse xanax... now its been 2 week since i stoped... first 3 days i had fever... now i just have cold sweats... how long time can it last? i was using 3-4 0.5 mg pills a day.

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alexia Says:

i've been takin xanax for past 4 years and now i really want to take some amount that will help... befor was to calm down and deal with life better... . under greatest pressure and solitude... single woman age 35 and nothing , nothing is seem to help or work out for my life... don't mind to take those pills and gently fall asleep, how many pills will help me to do so? Please do not reply with comment like , don't, look for help... i've done all this and i reached the LIMT i deserve to put my pain off and easy up free me from my prison... Thanks for the info... God bless you all... Ciao Alexia.

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feetfried Says:

Alexia-- You cannot die from an overdose of a benzodiazapine alone. You will get sick and throw up first or just sleep alot until it wears off. Write back before you do anything irrational......

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Jay Says:

Hi everyone, my names Jay and im an ex drug addict. During my times coming down i would take some kind of xanax or valium so i would not get anxiety attacks. It has been two weeks of quitting and my anexiety has been hitting me up daily since. There are times i wake in the morning with anxiety, when im extremely hungry my back around my right shoulder muscles witha bit of right side muschle aches, these muscle aches feel like a contast pain that i would want to hurt myself to feel a different pain. there are times i cant even hold down water or food for a good 24plus hours just vomitting or in extreme. When this gets real severe for me to handle i check myself into the ER and some drs dont know what going on tell this one doctor starting to message my back and he asked how it feels and i says it feels so good. Then he mentions im getting anxiety attacks and prescribes me ativan(lorazapam). well comes to say it help me for awhile but the pills were a bit strong for me plus i wasnt able to get them prescribe for me from a dr. telling me i had to see a pyschiatrist for such meds. i cant afford a pyschiatrist. plust them pills are strong. Recently I was talking to a friend about this and he mention xanax(bars). I recently took a whole one because my anxiety hit me hard. NOTE: my anxiety attacks are severe, extreme vomitting, dry heeves anything i drink or eat, which is very light drink and eat, i vomit out, i get into vomitting fits. With them first my back is twisting and churning with extreme pain has if someone has a big fist and is constistantly rubbing on it with such force it drives me nuts. I cant afford rehab.........so what I am getting to i took some xanax and it help me out quicklike and it wasnt as strong has lorazapam. i got my xanax of the street because im desperate for help. plus ive read alot about anxiety on here on the web and would love anyones opinion on this, on what i should do. what kind of helps should i seek, How can i win this battle with anxiety and start a new fresh life. I am desperate for some great help and advice. These anxiety is affecting my life and the others around me.

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Jay Says:

And im also losing extrem weight too, im weighing 135 from 150 since i stop using. the irony huh, where i should be gaining weight when quitting, not the other way around.

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alexia Says:

to Feetfried, thanks for advise. Thanks to all the people that are sharing, caring, and advising people... not all of us are strong enuff... to dare to take a step.... for better ... Thank You All.

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Danikay Says:


I know you probably feel you've exhausted all means of getting the help you need but you haven't sweetie. You need to get off the meds as I think they are the first culprit for the causation in your depression. You will need medical help for this and can be closely monitored. After getting off the meds successfully, you need to go talk to a mental health professional; pref a woman who can be quite empathetic and supportive in your situation. Perhaps there are unresolved childhood issues that you need to come to terms with. Nevertheless please don't give up on yourself! Help is out there for you seriously. You probably just haven't seen the right professional. Good luck to you. There is also spiritual counseling in which you can benefit from even more..I hope what I've said helps and please keep us abreast as to your progress--

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