Xanax, also known as alprazolam, is a popular prescription drug used to treat anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and phobias.
It is a sedative that is used by more than 21 million people in the United States each year. It’s important to know that Xanax mixed with various substances can have adverse effects.
Some people believe that combining Xanax and benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium (diazepam) with vitamin C foods like grapefruit boost the drug’s effect.
However, combining Xanax and grapefruit can be hazardous. This is because grapefruit can speed up the rate at which alprazolam enters your system, resulting in dangerous side effects.
What Happens When You Mix Xanax And Grapefruit?
The following are effects that can occur when you mix grapefruit and Xanax.
Effects On Liver Enzymes
Consuming grapefruit juice with Xanax can lead to liver damage. In the liver, there are iron-containing proteins called cytochromes that make drugs and other substances more easily excreted from your system via urine or bile.
Cytochromes include molecules like cytochrome p450 and CYP3A4, to name just a few. Xanax excretion is prevented by these enzymes.
The cytochrome designated CYP3A4 is involved in the metabolization of a wide range of medications, including Xanax; dozens of these enzymes have been identified.
When you eat grapefruit products, you can get more of many drugs into your system because grapefruit blocks the enzyme CYP3A4.
Increased Xanax Effects
Taking Xanax with grapefruit juice increases Xanax concentrations in your bloodstream, which can lead to more severe adverse effects than taking the benzo alone.
Because of this, you’ll have a harder time staying awake, focusing, reacting, and staying on your feet, as well as a higher risk of drowsiness and other side effects.
Combining Xanax and grapefruit may cause paradoxical Xanax side effects like anxiety, irritability, excessive stimulation, and even suicidal thoughts.
Side Effects Of Mixing Xanax And Grapefruit Juice
Because grapefruit juice interferes with the breakdown of Xanax, a person may experience multiple effects when combining the two substances.
The potential side effects of taking Xanax with grapefruit juice include:
- weight loss
- anxiety symptoms
- panic symptoms
- difficulty breathing
- concentration problems
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that certain prescription and OTC drugs taken orally caution against consuming fruit and related products, such as grapefruit and orange juice.
Will Mixing Grapefruit And Xanax Cause Potentiation?
Potentiating alprazolam occurs when Xanax is combined with another substance that enhances the effects of both substances.
Alcohol or opioids can cause Xanax to interact within the person. And the same applies when grapefruit interacts with Xanax.
As both drugs work to lower the person’s breathing, heart rate, and other activities of the central nervous system (CNS), an overdose is possible.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), drug interactions are dangerous and can cause adverse side effects, such as blood pressure changes.
Does Mixing Grapefruit Juice And Xanax Increase The Risk Of Overdose?
Grapefruit juice interferes with the liver’s ability to break down Xanax, making it possible for a patient to inadvertently overdose on Xanax and grapefruit juice.
The symptoms are similar to an alprazolam overdose, with the only difference being that the drug interactions may cause worsened symptoms.
Addiction to alcohol or opioids while also abusing Xanax and grapefruit juice can lead to fatal outcomes, including overdose and death.
Seek medical advice before taking your medications with other drugs or substances.
Treatment Programs For Xanax Addiction
Outpatient and inpatient addiction treatment programs can help you safely detox from Xanax.
Your healthcare provider may also prescribe antihistamines, such as fexofenadine, and muscle relaxants to aid sleep. Some meds may also help with withdrawal symptoms.
The doctor may additionally prescribe cyclosporine to change drug metabolism and increase the action of alprazolam.
You can also take buspirone, which can also interact with grapefruit, or other anxiolytics (instead of Xanax) to help with anxiety.
When you are ready for Xanax addiction treatment, you may be able to access a drug rehab program with experience in addressing prescription drug addition.
Find Drug And Alcohol Treatment Services At Bedrock Recovery Center
At Bedrock Recovery Center, our treatment program teaches you how to overcome addiction and lead a healthier life.
We also work with people who have mental health issues or other disorders that may contribute to their substance abuse.
Call us today for more information on our addiction treatment program.
- Harvard Health Publishing https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/grapefruit-and-medication-a-cautionary-note
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/grapefruit-juice-and-some-drugs-dont-mix
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: PubMed https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10907671/