Exploring the Connection Between Xanax Use and Weight Gain: What You Need to Know


Xanax is a commonly prescribed medication for anxiety and panic disorders. While it can be effective in treating these conditions, there are potential side effects that users should be aware of. One of these side effects is weight gain. In this article, we will explore the connection between Xanax use and weight gain, and what you need to know if you are taking this medication.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is a brand name for the drug alprazolam, which belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines. It is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders, as it works by slowing down the central nervous system and reducing feelings of anxiety and stress.

How Does Xanax Cause Weight Gain?

While the exact mechanism behind Xanax-induced weight gain is not fully understood, there are several theories. One theory is that Xanax can increase appetite and cravings for high-calorie foods. Another theory is that Xanax can slow down metabolism, making it harder for the body to burn calories.

Appetite Increase

Xanax has been shown to increase appetite in some users. This can lead to overeating and weight gain, especially if the user is not mindful of their food choices. Additionally, Xanax can cause cravings for high-calorie foods, such as sweets and carbohydrates, which can contribute to weight gain.

Metabolism Slowdown

Xanax can also slow down metabolism, which is the process by which the body converts food into energy. When metabolism slows down, the body burns fewer calories, which can lead to weight gain. This effect may be more pronounced in older adults, who tend to have slower metabolisms to begin with.

How Much Weight Gain Can You Expect?

The amount of weight gain that can be expected from Xanax use varies from person to person. Some users may not experience any weight gain at all, while others may gain a significant amount of weight. In general, the longer a person takes Xanax, the more likely they are to experience weight gain.

Studies on Xanax and Weight Gain

Several studies have looked at the connection between Xanax use and weight gain. One study found that patients who took Xanax for six months or longer gained an average of 10 pounds, while those who took it for less than six months gained an average of 4 pounds. Another study found that Xanax use was associated with a higher risk of obesity.

What Can You Do to Prevent Weight Gain?

If you are taking Xanax and are concerned about weight gain, there are several things you can do to help prevent it.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet that is low in calories and high in nutrients can help prevent weight gain. Focus on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, and limit your intake of high-calorie foods and drinks.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can help boost metabolism and burn calories, which can help prevent weight gain. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.

Monitor Your Weight

Monitoring your weight regularly can help you catch any weight gain early on, before it becomes a significant problem. Weigh yourself once a week and keep track of your weight in a journal or on a chart.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you are concerned about weight gain while taking Xanax, talk to your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dosage or switch you to a different medication that is less likely to cause weight gain.


Xanax can be an effective medication for treating anxiety and panic disorders, but it can also cause weight gain in some users. If you are taking Xanax and are concerned about weight gain, there are several things you can do to help prevent it. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, monitoring your weight, and talking to your doctor can all help you maintain a healthy weight while taking Xanax.