Risks Of Mixing Xanax And Trazodone

Xanax and trazodone are similar drugs in that they are both prescribed for mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. They are sometimes used recreationally together which can lead to polydrug abuse and addiction.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Xanax (brand name for alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine that is typically prescribed for treating generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorders.

Xanax is also a central nervous system depressant that can easily put a person to sleep when taken in higher doses.

Trazodone (Desyrel) is an antidepressant and a type of drug called SARIs (serotonin-2 antagonist-reuptake inhibitors). It is mostly used to treat major depressive disorder but can also be used to treat schizophrenia.

When taken as prescribed and per medical advice, there should be no complications taking the two drugs together.

Problems with drug interactions arise when a person strays from the guidance of their healthcare provider and abuses these prescription drugs for recreation. Mixing Xanax with other substances can create health risks.

What Can Happen When You Mix Xanax And Trazodone?

It is not uncommon for an antidepressant like trazodone and an anti-anxiety medication like Xanax to be prescribed at the same time.

Antidepressants are usually taken for an extended period of time, while Xanax is described usually for a short-term or as-needed basis.

For instance, a person may take a Xanax pill during a panic attack or during an event in their lives that is causing them extra stress.

However, the combination is not without side effects, especially with misuse of these drugs.

Physical Dependence

Both Xanax use and trazodone use on their own can lead to physical dependence, which only becomes more likely when they are abused in unison.

When a person is physically dependent on a drug, they will experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when they are without it for too long.

A trazodone or Xanax dependence can also result in a person building up a tolerance or an addiction to either drug.

Polysubstance Addiction

When two drugs are abused at the same time, it can make both of them more addictive and habit-forming.

When a person is addicted to two or more drugs at the same time, it is called polysubstance addiction.

Xanax and trazodone are not usually dangerous together, but can become dangerous when other drugs are involved as well, such as alcohol or an opioid.

Drug Potentiation

Drug potentiation is the act of mixing two drugs in order to enhance the effects of both or to amplify the high that is felt with them.

Drug potentiation can be particularly dangerous when both drugs cause the same effects.

For instance, both Xanax and trazodone cause sleepiness and drowsiness. They are both often used to treat insomnia and considered a sleeping pill.

When taken together, they can increase risk of overdose.

Dangers Of Mixing Xanax And Trazodone

Mixing Xanax and trazodone becomes dangerous when both or either drug is taken in high doses and abused.

Even though the drugs work differently, neither of them was meant to be taken in large amounts, and this behavior is not without its risks.

Serotonin Syndrome

Serotonin syndrome occurs when high levels of serotonin build up in the body due to the use of certain medications.

The body naturally produces serotonin as well, but when too much of it is present it can be lethal in severe cases.

Trazodone works by raising a person’s serotonin levels and then causes the body to accumulate serotonin over time. Serotonin can rise to dangerous levels when the drug is abused.

Severe cases of serotonin syndrome can cause fever, muscle stiffness, and seizures. Mild cases may go away on their own within a few days.

Severe Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawing from two drugs at the same time after an extended period of abuse can be even more uncomfortable than withdrawing from each of them individually.

This is especially true when the two meds involved are known to amplify each other’s effects.

It is also important to remember that the withdrawal symptoms from Xanax can be particularly severe and even lethal in some cases.

Withdrawal from Xanax addiction should always be completed with the care of healthcare professionals.

Common Side Effects Of Using Xanax And Trazodone Together

Abusing Xanax and trazodone together can result in some serious side effects. These drugs can also make the mental health issues that the person was having in the first place much worse.

Side effects of using Xanax and trazodone together include:

  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • panic attacks
  • dry mouth
  • decreased blood pressure
  • drowsiness
  • weight changes
  • headaches
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • muscle aches
  • sore joints
  • change in sex drive or function
  • suicidal thoughts

Treatment Programs For Xanax Addiction

While Xanax is safe when taken as prescribed, once it has been abused for a period of time, it becomes dangerous to both take and stop taking.

Because of this, Xanax addiction treatment is best performed under the supervision of medical professionals.

Treatment options for Xanax addiction include:

  • partial hospitalization programs
  • medical detox
  • medication management
  • outpatient treatment
  • inpatient treatment
  • individual therapy
  • group therapy

Find Drug And Alcohol Treatment Services At Bedrock Recovery Center

Are you concerned that a loved one of yours may be engaging in polydrug abuse? Even if the person you are concerned about is yourself, we are here to help at Bedrock Recovery Center.

As we specialize in early recovery, we would love to help guide you during your recovery journey. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at any time.

  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a684001.html
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine: PubMed https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6115742/
  3. U.S. National Library of Medicine: StatPearls https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470560/
  4. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/018276s052lbl.pdf

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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