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ZEPHYRA's avatar

How long does it take for Xanax to set in and calm you down?

Asked by ZEPHYRA (21750points) February 7th, 2015

I may take 2 or even 3 0.5mg over a few hours but I don’t get helped, instead it kicks in the following day making me sleepy, groggy and heavy-headed. When I need it during an “attack” it doesn’t help. What do you do? How do you take such medication? What is your approach? Do you take anything more effective? Seems I am drugging myself up for no reason.

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11 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Within 30 minutes.

You are taking a very high dose! 1.5 mg within a few hours?

In my opinion, if I were you, I would not ever take it again. It isn’t working for you, it can be highly addictive, and it would be better if you found something more effective.

The only other explanation is your pills are junk. Many years ago I took a few generic Xanax that did nothing. Now, I always get the brand. I say always, I have had two prescriptions in the last 15 years, I almost never take that drug, but it is magical when I need it.

Talk to your doctor. Maybe Klonopon or Adivan would work better for you? Or, some sort of antidepressant? Do you see a psychiatrist or a GP for the meds?

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
gailcalled's avatar


Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@ZEPHYRA, what did your doctor prescribe and how did they instruct you to take the drug?

As @JLeslie suggested, are you taking a generic version of the medication or the official brand version?

How often are you finding you need to take it? Are you only taking it in response to panic attacks?

I don’t take Xanax and I never have, but just reading your question it is obviously kicking in after quite a long period for you. I did a bit of a Google search and it seems the dosage varies considerably. Your weight, previous use and I imagine use of other drugs would all affect the dose you should take.

livelaughlove21's avatar

My mom is in the highest legal dose of Xanax, 2mg, because she’s been on it for decades. 1.5mg for someone relatively new to it is quite high. See your doctor if it’s not working and get something else.

I once took half of a .5mg and it knocked me out in 20 minutes. Can’t be anxious when you’re asleep, I suppose.

jca's avatar

I have never taken any type of medication like this, as I have no anxiety. However, I caution you to be careful with Xanax, as I have a good friend who ended up in a rehab for Xanax addiction. She got where she was taking it overnight and then couldn’t sleep without it, and was going to the pharmacy at 11:00 pm because her new prescription could not be filled until the next day, which didn’t start until 12:01 am. She described it as going to the pharmacy and feeling a sense of comfort, knowing that the Xanax was not far away. Then she would get the prescription at 12:01. Not long after that, she went to rehab.

Please be careful with this medication. Others here indicate you are taking what is considered a high dose.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

I have been given Prazepam to try instead which to me is even more useless! Doc has said I can easily take 2 Xanax ( 0.5 ) but they do NOTHING when needed. I also take EFFEXOR which has raised BP a bit.

janbb's avatar

I take Xanax very occasionally now – the lowest dosage. When I first used it for anxiety attacks, it was effective within 20 minutes and didn’t make me drowsy. Some times I use it to help take the edge off so I can get back to sleep. Sometimes now it works and sometimes not so I try not to use it much. I’ve never increased my dosage but I am also in a less anxious place now.

jerv's avatar

I take a 0.5mg every once in a while. Some days, I may take it a couple times a few hours apart, sometimes I’ll go 2–3 days without one at all.

It generally works in 15–30 minutes, depending on how I’ve eaten. When it does kick in, it pretty much just makes me feel “normal”; the shaking subsides enough that I’m semi-functional (if a little weak and wobbly), voices become words instead of random noise… but it doesn’t make me the least bit groggy or drowsy.

It sounds like Xanax isn’t the right thing for you though. Most drugs, especially those dealing with neurochemistry, are widely variable from person to person.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

My doc is still my doc because he did not recommend taking xanex for anxiety. I think the stuff has potential to be dangerous.

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