The Truth About Xanax Side Effects

You’ve probably heard all sorts of things about Xanax (brand name of the drug Alprazolam, used for anxiety and panic disorder treatment). No, Xanax doesn’t give you brain damage. No, you aren’t likely to become permanently addicted to it either. There’s a lot to learn.

This article outlines the Common, Uncommon, and Rare side effects of Xanax use and is the product of various personal and professional research
Common Side Effects.

Side effects, if they occur, are generally observed at the beginning of therapy and usually disappear upon continued use. The most commonly reported side effects in clinical trials were drowsiness, fatigue, impaired coordination,   irritability , light-headedness, memory impairment, insomnia, and headache. Here are some common side effects:

  • drowsiness
  • light-headedness
  • tiredness
  • dizziness
  •  irritability 
  • talkativeness
  • dry mouth
  • increased salivation
  • changes in sex drive or ability
  • changes in appetite
  • weight changes
  • difficulty urinatingnull

The most frequent side effects of alprazolam taken at lower doses are drowsiness or lightheadedness, which probably reflect the action of the drug. Side effects of higher dosages (those used for panic attacks) include fatigue, memory problems, speech problems, constipation, and changes in appetite with resultant changes in weight.

Feelings of being ‘groggy’. Unintentional daytime sedation,

hangover effect (residual drowsiness and impaired reaction time on awakening), and rebound insomnia may also occur.

Uncommon Side Effects

Sometimes there can be more serious side effects of Xanax. The treatment for serious side effects of xanax require physician’s advice or emergency attention depending upon the seriousness of the effect.

The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you

experience any of them, call your doctor


  • seizures
  • seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist
  • severe skin rashnull
  • yellowing of the
    skin or eyes
  • memory problems
  • confusion
  • problems with coordination

Less common Xanax side effects can also


  • thrombophlebitis
  • vertigo
  • paradoxical excitation
  • aggression and hostility
  • respiratory depression
  • respiratory arrest
  • arrhythmias
  • severe hypotension
  • abdominal cramps
  • anterograde amnesia
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • hyperventilation
  • blurred vision
  • nausea
  • chest
  • pain
  • decreased libido / change in sex drive
  • confusion
  • headache
  • change in appetite
  • insomnia
  • unusual dreams
  • change in salivation
  • low blood
  • pressure
  • racing heartbeat
  • fainting
  • severe nasal congestion
  • difficulty urinating
  • sweating
  • weight change
  • skin irritation
  • twitching or tremors
  • nervous or anxious state
  • sun sensitivity
  • respiratory infection
  • memory impairment
  • loss of coordination

Rare Side Effects

As with all benzodiazepines, paradoxical reactions such as stimulation, increased muscle spasticity, sleep disturbances, hallucinations, and other adverse behavioral effects such as agitation, rage,  irritability , and aggressive or hostile behavior have been reported rarely.

If you notice your eyes or skin turning a yellow colour, stop taking Xanax and contact your doctor straight away.

Rarer side effects (that strongly suggest you

should taper or discontinue treatment)


  • allergic reactions, including rash and anaphylaxis
  • blood disorders, including leucopenia and
  • jaundice
  • difficulty concentrating
  • slurred or unusual speech
  • double vision
  • fear or anxiety
  • altered sense of taste
  • lack of inhibition
  • muscle cramps or spasms
  • urination problems
  • tingling
  • incontinence
  • warmth
  • weakness
  • change in muscle tone
  • yellow eyes and skin
  • hyperexcitement or overstimulation
  • hallucinations
  • rage or other hostile behavior
  • transient elevated liver function tests
  • tremors
  • insomnia or sleeping difficultiesnull

The less common side effects of xanax

can also be manifested as the following:

  • Neurological effects: Blurred
    vision, headache, seizures, slurred speech, difficulty in depth
  • Psychiatric effects: Mental
    confusion, depression,  irritability , nervousness, sleep disturbances,
    euphoria, lethargy, stupor.
  • Gastrointestinal effects: Dry
    mouth, nausea, non-specific gastrointestinal disturbances,
  • Muscular effects: Muscle spasm,
    muscle weakness.
  • Cardiovascular effects:
    Hypotension, palpitations, tachycardia.
  • Dermatological effects:
    Pruritus, rash.
  • Genitourinary effects:
    Incontinence, change in libido.
  • Hematological effects: Decreased
    hemoglobin and hematocrit, increased and decreased WBC.
  • Hepatic effects: Elevations of
    alkaline phosphates, bilirubin, AST (SGOT), ALT (SGPT).
  • Miscellaneous: Increased and
    decreased blood sugar levels.

Speak to your doctor about any of these effects; your dosage

may need to be adjusted or treatment discontinued.