Xanax and Nyquil – The Dangers of Mixing Alprazolam and Nyquil

Xanax can have potentially dangerous side effects when mixed with cold medication containing dextromethorphan (DXM), like Nyquil. This combination should typically be avoided.

Xanax (alprazolam) is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders that result from depression. Nyquil is a cold and flu medication that treats minor cold symptoms such as cough, runny nose, and congestion.

Taking these medications together increases the risks of potential adverse drug effects, excessive sleepiness, and, in some rare cases, overdose.

Side Effects of Mixing Xanax and Cold Medications

When someone uses a benzodiazepine like Xanax in combination with other central nervous system depressants, like cold medications, it severely increases their chances of experiencing adverse effects.

There are three active ingredients in Nyquil:

Dextromethorphan (DXM)

When someone takes Xanax and Nyquil Severe Cold & Flu together, they may experience a range of physical symptoms, including:

difficulty concentrating
impaired thinking
impaired judgment
reduced fine motor control

Xanax and Nyquil Food and Drug Interactions

Anyone with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) should avoid taking Xanax and Nyquil.

When taking alprazolam, you should avoid grapefruit juice as this combination can lead to dangerous side effects. It is also vital to not mix Xanax with alcohol, as this can increase the effects of alcohol, and someone may feel drowsy, dizzy, or very tired.

Doxylamine, one of the active ingredients in Nyquil, should also not be mixed with alcohol. When you combine alcohol and doxylamine, you can experience severe dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and impaired judgment.

Overdose Risk: Xanax and Nyquil

Unless someone is severely abusing Xanax and taking too large a dose, the risk of overdose when combining these medications is moderate.

However, this risk increases when someone adds alcohol to the mix of Xanax and Nyquil. This addiction can cause severe respiratory depression, leading to stopped breathing and possibly death.

Benzodiazepine and Z-Drug Addiction Treatment

Treating polydrug abuse can be challenging. If someone has become addicted to Xanax and Nyquil, they will likely need formal addiction treatment.

If the abuse of these drugs isn’t addressed right away, it can lead to withdrawal symptoms and other health conditions like further drug abuse.

Polydrug substance abuse treatment programs provide medical advice and support during recovery while ensuring access to necessary medical services. Detoxing from benzodiazepines can be very difficult to withdraw from alone.

If you or someone you love has a Xanax or Nyquil addiction, please contact an addiction specialist via our helpline today to learn more about your treatment options.


Food and Drug Association (FDA) – FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns about serious risks and death when combining opioid pain or cough medicines with benzodiazepines; requires its strongest warning

MedlinePlus – Acetaminophen

MedlinePlus – Dextromethorphan

MedlinePlus – Doxylamine

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