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  • Xanax (Alprazolam) & Blood Pressure | Is There A Correlation?

    Xanax effects blood pressure

    Xanax, also called alprazolam, is a popular prescription drug. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it for the treatment of anxiety disorders such as panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. 

    Like all anti-anxiety medications, Xanax may cause side effects, including changes in blood pressure.

    Can Xanax Lower Blood Pressure?

    Yes. When you’re experiencing a panic attack or an intense episode of anxiety, your blood pressure will often rise. Xanax can treat not only psychological symptoms of anxiety, but also physical symptoms like high blood pressure. 

    As with other benzodiazepines, which include diazepam (brand name Valium) and clonazepam (Klonopin), Xanax works by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) called gamma-Aminobutyric acid, or GABA. 

    GABA causes relaxation and drowsiness by depressing, or slowing down, your central nervous system (CNS). That’s why Xanax is called a CNS depressant. 

    If you use Xanax with other CNS depressants, such as alcohol or opioids, your blood pressure may drop to a dangerously low level. To avoid this situation, always follow your health care provider’s instructions for taking Xanax. 

    If your blood pressure is already too low, your provider may recommend using another medication to treat your anxiety. Popular options include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are antidepressants that can also reduce anxiety. 

    Can Xanax Raise Blood Pressure?

    In most cases, no. However, if you take Xanax for a long time or abuse it (use it in a manner not prescribed by your doctor), you could become physically dependent on it. 

    That means that when you stop taking it, you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, including high blood pressure (also called hypertension).

    Other possible Xanax withdrawal symptoms include:

    • anxiety
    • trouble sleeping
    • sweating
    • increased heart rate
    • shakiness
    • seizures
    • hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there)

    To avoid or decrease these symptoms, seek medical advice before you stop taking Xanax. In most cases, your doctor will recommend gradually lowering your dosage instead of quitting cold turkey. 

    This strategy gives your body time to adjust to the lack of Xanax, which can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. 

    If you or someone you love is abusing or physically dependent on Xanax, please contact an Ark Behavioral Health specialist to learn about our substance abuse and addiction treatment programs. 

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    National Institute on Drug Abuse - Prescription CNS Depressants DrugFacts
    U.S. National Library of Medicine: StatPearls - Alprazolam

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on June 30, 2022
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