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What is the Usual Xanax® Dosage?

Michael Pollick
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Xanax® is one of the brand names for a powerful anti-anxiety drug called alprazolam. It is considered a schedule IV controlled substance in the United States, and is only available by prescription. The usual Xanax® dosage actually varies from patient to patient, and also depends on the issue being addressed. A patient suffering from a mild to moderate anxiety disorder often requires a lower dosage of Xanax® than a patient suffering from a more serious panic disorder or depression. Mental health professionals generally start patients on a very low dosage, perhaps .25 to .5 mg three times a day, then slowly ramp up the dosage to a maximum of 4 mg per day for mild to moderate anxiety disorders.

The usual Xanax® dosage for treatment of panic disorders may be significantly higher, however. The patient may start with .5 mg three times a day, then ramp up over time to as much as 10 mgs a day for severe panic attacks or anxiety-related depression. The usual Xanax® dosage for most panic disorder sufferers is around 5 to 6 mgs per day, since addiction to the medication is always a concern for caregivers. The treating psychiatrist or physician should check on their patients' progress and adjust the daily dosage accordingly. Xanax® for anxiety or panic disorders is usually taken several times a day in small doses, not all at once before bedtime or after a panic attack has already occurred.

There is no usual Xanax® dosage for children under the age of 18, primarily because Xanax® is rarely prescribed to minors. There are other drugs available which address anxiety or panic issues in adolescents and children, and Xanax® can be extremely addictive. For senior citizens, the usual Xanax® dosage is typically lower than that of a younger adult. Dosages of .25 mg two or three times a day have been proven to be very effective in older patients. Many senior citizens who suffer from general anxiety or an inability to block intrusive thoughts are prescribed low doses of Xanax® as a form of sedative, since Xanax® depresses the central nervous system and affects the area of the brain which control emotions.

It is possible to overdose on Xanax®, and there are often severe side effects during any withdrawal period. Xanax® should never be combined with alcohol, and it should not be ordered online or through foreign or unfamiliar pharmacies. The pills should be taken at regularly timed intervals, not all at once or crushed into a liquid or soft food. There are forms of alprazolam available which dissolve on the patient's tongue if swallowing becomes an issue.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to TheHealthBoard, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

Discussion Comments

By bloggz — On Sep 20, 2014

Thanks for good info about dosage.

By anon937466 — On Mar 05, 2014

Xanax has helped me over the past few years with my panic attacks, but now unfortunately, I have found that I have acquired a dependency issue on this drug that I desperately want to get rid of.

By anon931629 — On Feb 09, 2014

Yes, xanax works and works fast. It relieves panic and anxiety attacks.

By anon174576 — On May 10, 2011

After starting on Lexapro for recent onset of anxiety, I was started on Chantix to aid in my smoking cessation. After only two doses of Chantix I was having night terrors, hallucinations and the panic attacks worsened dramatically. The last severe one I had lasted over four hours.

Then I was introduced to Xanax and it has tremendously improved my condition. Not only does it help to take when I feel the tingling sensation in my jaw indicating an oncoming panic attack, but just having it nearby has eased my mind enough that I feel safer.

I worry less about being able to do nothing about it and having to ride it out. Massive improvement in my day to do - I'm not living in fear constantly and I go about my life as I used to--happy, calm and motivated.

By anon109108 — On Sep 05, 2010

Xanax has been a life saver for me. I tried several other anxiety meds and nothing calms me and helps take my attacks away like Xanax!

By USBcable — On Jul 15, 2010

Xanax pills are color coded to better denote dosage:

White, rectangle-shaped ones are 2 mg.

Blue, elliptical-shaped (oval) ones are 1 mg.

White, elliptical-shaped (oval) ones are .25 mg.

Orange, elliptical-shaped (oval) ones are .5 mg.

Green, three-sided (triangular) ones are 3 mg.

By anon64528 — On Feb 08, 2010

Alprazolam or Xanax helped me manage my anxiety, it relaxes me like no other man can. Plus it gives me no bad side effects. Two thumbs up for this one! --Laila

Michael Pollick

Michael Pollick

As a frequent contributor to TheHealthBoard, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide...
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