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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Xanax and losing control



While using Xanax and alcohol my wife becomes enraged at the smallest thing and will not calm down or listen to reason. Is this a side effect from Xanax?


Thanks you for your good question. It is impossible to give you specific advice regarding your spouse's prescription management, but here are some general principles that may help:

1.) Xanax is a benzodiazepine medication and works in the brain in EXACTLY the same place that alcohol does - so they "potentiate" or magnify each others' effects. It is absolutely "contra-indicated" or inappropriate for people who are on Xanax to drink any type of alcohol at all - no beer, no wine, no liquor.

2.) If a person has a drinking problem (history of alcohol abuse or alcoholism) it is recommended that they not be prescribed any medications from the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines - including Xanax, Ativan, Librium, Valium, Serax, Klonapin, etc.

Hope this helps.

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Response by:

Ted   Parran, MD Ted Parran, MD
Associate Professor of General Medical Sciences
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University