1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
    PLEASE HELP
    Dismiss Notice

Dose - why is it so difficult to overdose on xanax (Alprazolam) alone?

Discussion in 'Benzodiazepines' started by ihavequestions, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. ihavequestions

    ihavequestions

    Reputation Points:
    120
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Messages:
    220
    swim has heard all over the place that overdosing on xanax is almost impossible.

    but why? swim knows of people who have precriptions and 1mg is enough to make a person fall alseep right away. obviousely a strong drug even at prescribed doses with notable effects. yet many pills (lets say 20mg of xanax) will knock a person out for a day or two and they will be okay after that. you would think that a depressant at extreme doses would sto pthere breathing in the same way that opiates do.

    why is it that benzos dont do this as apposed to other downers?
     
  2. tyranny4u

    tyranny4u

    Reputation Points:
    219
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    221
    Re: why is it so difficult to overdose on xanax alone?

    first of all, benzos don't have effect on the opiate receptors, they bind to
    another "part of the nervous system"
    Barbiturates, that bind to the same system as benzos do can be lethal
    (one of the reason why they were taken from the market). But benzos
    act in another way to that system. See, the nervous system is a very
    complex system. The GABA receptors, where the benzos bind to, are res-
    ponsible for our sleep regulation (and many other mechanism) Giving a
    benzo to a person who never has taken a substance like it before, it will
    show sedative effects, of course.
    As alcohole works at the GABA system, too, it is dangerous to combine
    benzos and alcohole, as now it could become lethal.
     
  3. Jatelka

    Jatelka Psychedelic Shepherdess

    Reputation Points:
    5,668
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Messages:
    5,479
    Re: why is it so difficult to overdose on xanax alone?

    Please bear in mind that there is actually some evidence that Alprazolam is MORE toxic in overdose than other benzodiazepines

    see here..

    http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/local_links.php?action=jump&catid=129&id=1309

    This goes for both Alprazolam alone and Alprazolam plus other substance overdoses

    In terms of Benzo overdose in general, they don't tend to cause the circulatory collapse and arrythmias associated with other Downers (particularly the barbiturates, which also have an extremely steep dose-response curve)

    All Downers can, of course stop a monkey breathing, or render them so sedated they are unable to protect their airway. Neither of which is a good place to be

    There seems to be a rather worrying propensity to believe that (solo) benzo od cannot be fatal. It may be extremely uncommon, but it DOES happen.
     
  4. Seconal

    Seconal Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    Swim heard somewhere that midazolam is the only benzodiazepine that could easily kill a person if overdosed on (especially the injectable kind) because is slows down the respiratory system causing the victim to fall unconscious and die. As with many prescription medicines - mainly downers - can be deadly if overdosed on.
     
  5. fiveleggedrat

    fiveleggedrat Palladium Member

    Reputation Points:
    1,180
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,001
    I'm sorry, I wasnt aware that overdose of substances causing CNS depression could be fatal :crazy

    Swim has OD'ed non-fatally on alprazolam and other benzos many times. Swim has lost up to 4 days of memory before too. And Swim also know a good handful of people who have died from solo benzo overdoses.

    Fatal OD with these substances is definately possible. Please be aware of such.
     
  6. chibi curmudgeon

    chibi curmudgeon Gold Finger

    Reputation Points:
    2,077
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,453
    From Goodman's and Gilman's:

    Essentially, the way benzos (all of them, not just Xanax) work is like this, and I can't quite think of a better analogy: when you put a battery into a vibrator, you enable electricity to run through it, however, no matter how well you connect the battery, you can't increase the voltage to the vibrator. There's no way you're going to get 120 volts out of a 9 volt battery.

    Benzos work with the GABA you have, they don't stimulate the receptor themselves, like opioids do. (And barbs do this in high doses, which is why you can easily die from an od of them.)

    While benzos cause CNS depression, they don't really cause respiratory depression unless you have a respiratory problem to begin with. A fatal OD from only a benzo is possible, but very unlikely.
     
  7. tyranny4u

    tyranny4u

    Reputation Points:
    219
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    221
    that seems to be plausible, as Alprazolam is "the little brother" of Triazolam:
    These substances chemically are nearly identical. Alprazolam has just one
    Chlorine atome missing where Triazolam is chlorinated.
     
  8. Politicalchalk

    Politicalchalk Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    432
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    345
    In terms of Benzodiazapine overdose in general, a single dose only occupies a very small amount of receptor space. The study swim recalls was done with lorazepam: a single 2mg oral dose only occupied 3% of available receptor space in the brain. Overdosing is quite possible, but difficult relative to other depressants when used alone. Remember, Icarus flew to close to the sun, and got to taste melted wax and feathers browned on his way down...