General Warnings

List of Foods to Avoid While Taking Xanax

Xanax is a brand of alprazolam a fast-acting tranquilizer of medium duration in the benzodiazepine class marketed for the treatment of anxiety disorders and panic disorder (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks).

Xanax is also sometimes used to treat depression, fear of open spaces (agoraphobia), and premenstrual syndrome.

Xanax comes as a tablet, an extended-release tablet, an orally disintegrating tablet (tablet that dissolves quickly in the mouth), and a concentrated solution (liquid) to take by mouth. The tablet, orally disintegrating tablet and concentrated solution usually are taken two to four times a day. The extended-release tablet is taken once daily, usually in the morning. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Xanax exactly as directed.

To take the concentrated liquid, use only the dropper that came with your prescription. Draw into the dropper the amount prescribed for one dose. Squeeze the dropper contents into a liquid or semisolid food such as water, juice, soda, applesauce, or pudding. Stir the liquid or food gently for a few seconds. The concentrated liquid will blend completely with the food. Drink or eat the entire mixture immediately. Do not store for future use.

Remove the orally disintegrating tablet from the bottle just before it is time for your dose. With dry hands, open the bottle, remove the tablet, and immediately place it on your tongue. The tablet will dissolve and can be swallowed with saliva. The orally disintegrating tablet can be taken with or without water.

Swallow the extended-release tablets whole; do not chew, crush, or break them. Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of Xanax and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every 3 or 4 days.

How Long Does Xanax Last in Your System?

The body absorbs Xanax quickly after a person takes it. Peak levels in the blood occur 1–2 hours after taking a dose. However, the person will feel the effects before levels peak. One study which examined the effects of Xanax in 14 healthy people, found that participants felt the effects of the medication in under 1 hour, with an average onset time of 49 minutes.

Xanax has an average half-life of roughly 11 hours in healthy adults. In other words, it takes 11 hours for the average healthy person to eliminate half of the dose of Xanax. However, it’s important to note that everyone metabolizes medications differently, so the half-life will vary from person to person. Studies have shown that the half-life of Xanax ranges from 6.3 to 26.9 hours, depending on the person.

What foods should I avoid while taking Xanax?

There are certain types of food to avoid while taking Xanax because doing so will affect the way Xanax works or increase the risk or intensity of side effects. These foods include:

grape fruit juice and Xanax
  • Grapefruit juice: Although, grapefruit juice is packed with health benefits and makes a great addition to your daily breakfast or afternoon snack. However, grapefruit juice is one drink you should avoid while on Xanax. When you take Xanax with grapefruit or grapefruit juice, the amount of alprazolam in your blood may increase and boost side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion. It may be best if you avoid grapefruit juice while you take alprazolam.
  • Herb kava (Piper methysticum ): Kava has a long history of consumption in the South Pacific and is considered a safe and enjoyable beverage. The roots of the plant contain compounds called kavalactones, which have been shown to help with anxiety. However, Kava can cause drowsiness. Xanax can also cause drowsiness. Taking kava along with Xanax may cause too much drowsiness. Avoid taking kava and Xanax together.
coffee and xanax
  • Coffee: 64% of American adults currently consume coffee every day. An average American drinks 3.1 cups of coffee per day making it one of the most widely consumed drinks in the country. One cup of brewed coffee (8 oz) contains about 70–140 mg of caffeine or about 95 mg on average. A study that analyzed the effect of caffeine while on Xanax (alprazolam) suggests that drinking coffee while on Xanax may increase toxicity. As a result, consuming a cup of brewed coffee to address the side effects of Xanax may create more problems and also worsen symptoms that initially required treatment, and make the medication much less effective.
  • Alcohol: America loves to drink. According to an April 2020 report from the National Institute, Americans’ alcohol consumption reached 7.8 billion gallons in 2018. U.S. residents reportedly drank 6.3 billion gallons of beer, 900 million gallons of wine, and 570 million gallons of spirits. If you must avoid dangerous side effects while taking Xanax, you must avoid alcohol and alcoholic products including food and dishes made with alcohol. Avoiding ethyl alcohol the main ingredient in alcoholic products is very important because it can increase the maximum concentration of Xanax according to a 2018 study. Taking alcohol puts extra pressure on your liver because it needs to work harder since it breaks down both alcohol and Xanax in the body. Taking Xanax and alcohol can also increase the nervous system side effects of Xanax. Side effects may include dizziness, drowsiness, trouble concentrating, impairment in thinking, slowed reflexes, and poor judgment.
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