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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Xanax and losing control

10/06/2006

Question:

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?

Answer:

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