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Taking Xanax for anxiety. How long is safe to wait after taking it to drink alcohol?

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I am prescribed xanax (0.25 mg) as needed for anxiety. I've read a lot of different opinions online, and so I'm wondering how long is safe to wait after taking it to drink alcohol. It also interests me that on the bottle it simply says "may intensify effect", but looking online it seems like people seem to think you will die.
Posted Sat, 24 Aug 2013 in Anxiety and Stress
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 19 minutes later
Hi,
Thanks for writing in.

You have a valid question in asking about taking alcohol when you are under treatment with Xanax (Alprazolam) 0.25mg.

Even with the smallest amount of medication and a small drink, the side effects of Xanax are magnified and can result in a great deal of emotional and physical turmoil.

Rather than easing a mild panic attack, the introduction of alcohol may trigger a more intensive attack that requires a trip to a hospital emergency room. In like manner, people who tend to become irritable when taking alprazolam may find that every little thing going on around them causes unreasonable responses of anger that are almost impossible to control.

If you badly need to take alcohol, wait at least 2-3 hours after a drink to take the Xanax. However, this is assuming just 1-2 drinks. If you plan on having more, you probably would need more time, or just not take it that night.

I hope this answers your question,
Write back in case of doubts,
Dr. A. Rao. Kavoor.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Taking Xanax for anxiety. How long is safe to wait after taking it to drink alcohol? 5 minutes later
I take xanax as needed so, at the most I'll take it 3 times a month. My question is what is the safe time period to wait after taking xanax to drink? 24 hours? 48 hours? I've read a lot of different opinions about this on the internet. Thanks.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 6 hours later
Hi,
Thanks for writing in with an update.

Xanax (alprazolam) is a short - intermediate acting benzodiazepine, which means that you can feel the effects of Xanax quickly as they peak 1-2 hours after taking it. However, the effects of Xanax but do not last very long, about 6-12 hours. As you might be taking it only once in 10 days, there is no danger of chronicity in you. Also, you take 0.25 mg which is the least dosage available.

Taking alcohol after 24 hours (two half lives) would be best. Even then, please take the alcohol in small amount (1-2 drinks) and let it flow down slowly.

I hope this answers your question,
Write back in case of doubts,

If you do not have further doubts, I request you to please close this thread and post a feedback.

Dr. A. Rao. Kavoor.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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