Being able to take the same dose of a medication repeatedly without experiencing negative side effects is referred to as building up a “tolerance” to that drug.

When someone develops a tolerance to a medication, it means the person needs increasingly higher doses in order for the drug to have the same effect on their body.

Tolerance can be both beneficial and problematic. On one hand, being able to take the same dose of a medication repeatedly can be an indication that your body is becoming more balanced.

On the other hand, building up a tolerance to a medication means you will require progressively larger doses in order for it to continue working effectively.

Keep reading for more information about when and why you might develop a tolerance to xanax and other medications – along with tips for preventing this side effect from occurring again.

What is Xanax Tolerance?

When you take a certain type of medication over a long period of time, your body may begin to build a tolerance to it. A tolerance occurs when a person needs increasingly higher doses of a medication to produce the same effect.

This can happen for a variety of reasons, including changes in the amount of the drug in your system, changes in how your body breaks down the drug, changes in how your body responds to the drug, or a combination of these factors.

Xanax is a drug that is commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders. Tolerance to the drug can occur when you take it for a long time. If you take xanax for a long period of time, your body will most likely develop a tolerance to it.

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This means that you will need to take a higher dose of the drug each time you refill your prescription.

Timing for Tolerance Buildup

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll usually experience tolerance to a drug if you take it for more than 8 weeks.

While there are many factors that might contribute to building a tolerance to a certain drug, the type of drug (and its dosage) will play a significant role.

  • If you take a low dose of a benzodiazepine drug, you’ll likely develop a tolerance sooner than if you take a higher dose.
  • If you take a short-acting benzodiazepine, you’ll build a tolerance more quickly than if you took a long-acting benzodiazepine.

When Will You Build Tolerance to Xanax?

Because each person’s body chemistry is different, there is no “one size fits all” guideline for when you will build a tolerance to xanax.

In general, you are more likely to develop tolerance to xanax after taking it for more than 8 weeks.

  • If you take a low dose of xanax, you are more likely to develop a tolerance after taking it for 6 weeks.
  • If you take a medium dose of xanax, you are more likely to develop a tolerance after taking it for 10 weeks.
  • If you take a high dose of xanax, you are more likely to develop a tolerance after taking it for 14 weeks.

Strategies to Prevent Xanax Tolerance


If you have been taking xanax for several weeks and have noticed that you need to take more than you did at the beginning, it could be a sign that you are building a tolerance to the drug.

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Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can try to prevent developing a tolerance to xanax.

  • Try taking smaller doses more frequently. Taking smaller doses more frequently will likely help you avoid building a tolerance to xanax.
  • Take a break from xanax. Taking a break from the drug and then starting to take it again after a period of weeks or months may help you avoid developing a tolerance to xanax.
  • Switch to a different medication. If you have been taking xanax for a long time and are concerned about developing a tolerance to it, you may want to consider switching to a different medication. You should discuss this option with your doctor.

Summary

When you take a certain type of medication over a long period of time, your body may begin to build a tolerance to it.

When you build a tolerance to a drug like xanax, it means that you will need increasingly higher doses in order for the drug to have the same effect on your body.

Xanax is a commonly prescribed drug for anxiety disorders and is often taken for extended periods of time. If you take xanax for a long period of time, your body will likely develop a tolerance to it.

Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can try to prevent developing a tolerance to xanax. If you have been taking xanax for several weeks and have noticed that you need to take more than you did at the beginning, it could be a sign that you are building a tolerance to the drug.

Try taking smaller doses more frequently, taking a break from xanax, or switching to a different medication.


David Warren
Author

David Warren is a pharmaceutical specialist that dispenses prescription medication on a daily basis. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of Tennessee in 1991. With over 50 publications on medication-related and pharmacy topics, David has been able to share his experiences and knowledge with others. David with lots of experience and knowledge in medications that are utilized to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Before David dispenses a medication to a patient, he will go over the side effects, dosage recommendation and contraindications.