Unless you’re allergic to it or have a pre-existing condition, xanax is unlikely to kill you. However, taking too much of any drug can be dangerous and potentially fatal. Too much of any active ingredient in a drug can be toxic, which is why it’s important to take drugs exactly as directed. If you take too much xanax (also known as alprazolam), the risk of death increases dramatically.
Although xanax isn’t likely to kill you on its own, combining it with other depressants (alcohol, benzodiazepines like Valium, GHB or Rohypnol), opioids or other central nervous system depressants can be deadly.
In fact, mixing any two or more drugs is extremely risky and can lead to overdose and death. Keep reading to learn more about how much xanax could hurt you and what the risks are of overdosing on this drug.
What Is the Lethal Dose of Xanax?
The lethal dose of any drug depends on two things: the drug’s toxicity and the person’s sensitivity to the drug. A lethal dose is the amount of a substance that’s needed to kill 50% of the people who take it.
Put another way, it’s the amount of a drug that will kill half of the people who take it — whether they take too much of a drug or not.
The lethal dose of xanax is very high, which is why you need to take it very seriously and take steps to avoid an overdose.
How Can Xanax Kill You?
Xanax works by slowing your heart rate and respiration, and decreasing the excitability of your central nervous system. This allows your body to relax, but if you take too much, it can slow your heart rate and respiration to dangerously low levels.
A lethal overdose can occur when you take too much xanax and also mix it with other depressants. Combining a depressant drug with another depressant drug creates a synergistic effect and increases the risk of an overdose.
Too much xanax can also cause unresponsiveness, coma and respiratory arrest, which can be fatal if not treated immediately.
When Can a Drug Like Xanax Be Fatal?
Although xanax isn’t likely to kill you on its own, mixing it with other depressants can be fatal.
When you take too much xanax or mix it with alcohol, drugs like opiates and benzodiazepines, GHB, or Rohypnol, you significantly increase your risk of overdose, coma and death.
Too much xanax with alcohol can be fatal because the two drugs slow your heart rate and respiration, which can cause you to stop breathing. Mixing xanax with opiates can slow your heart rate and respiration to dangerous levels, causing you to stop breathing and die.
A lethal dose of benzodiazepines alone can be fatal, but when combined with xanax, it can be lethal in a very short amount of time.
What Are the Risks of Taking Too Much Xanax?
The risks of taking too much xanax depend on a few factors, including what your usual dosage is, what other drugs you’ve taken, your medical history and whether you’ve developed a tolerance to the drug.
Any of these factors can increase your risk of overdose, which can be fatal if not treated immediately. If you’re at risk of an overdose, you can take some steps to help prevent it.
How to Avoid Overdosing on Xanax
If you take xanax, you should take it seriously and follow the instructions carefully.
Follow these steps to avoid an overdose:
Take the lowest dose of xanax that works for you. Don’t take xanax with other drugs unless your doctor prescribes it. Stay hydrated when taking xanax.
This can help you prevent low blood pressure. If you have anxiety disorder, make sure to take xanax as prescribed and in the right dose for no more than a few weeks. If you find you still need treatment, consider therapy or other alternatives to long-term xanax use.
Monitor their breathing and level of consciousness. Stay with them until they’re stable. Call 911 or your local emergency medical services.
Xanax can be an important and potentially life-saving drug for anxiety and panic disorders.
However, this drug is highly addictive, and can be fatal in high doses. If you take xanax as directed, you can minimize the risk of an overdose, but you should still be careful.
If you or a loved one struggles with anxiety, please consider seeking out other treatment methods like therapy and CBT that don’t come with the risk of overdose. If you need help kicking the xanax habit, you can find support online or through your doctor.
And remember, you’re not alone — addiction is a chronic illness that affects millions of people.