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Is It Safe to Take Valerian Root With Xanax?

by
author image Allison Adams
Allison Adams has worked as a registered dietitian since 1996. She began writing professionally in 2000, with work featured in a variety of medical publications such as "Women's Health Magazine" and the "New England Journal of Medicine." Adams holds a Master of Science in nutrition and food sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Is It Safe to Take Valerian Root With Xanax?
A pharmacist is talking to two clients. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

Valerian root is a natural way to combat anxiety, stress and nervousness. Generally, people who take this herb report mild beneficial effects. A person seeking a stronger relaxant may find this mild effect insufficient. Others may find it just right for "taking the edge off." However, the mild effects of this natural remedy can also lead some to ignore possible harmful interactions with other relaxants, such as Xanax. Xanax, also known as alprazolam, is a prescription drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Talk to a doctor before taking valerian root or any herb for medicinal purposes.

How Does Valerian Root Work?

Valerian root can help to relive stress, anxiety and nervousness. It is also often used as a natural sleep aid because of these sedative effects. The American Herbal Products Association has given valerian root a rating of One. A One rating means the drug is very safe to use. However, some people have reported feeling giddy and nervous after taking valerian root. Before mixing any drugs, it is always best to use each drug individually and gauge your body’s reaction.

What Are the Side Effects?

The generally recommended use of Xanax is to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders and sometimes, depression. The drug functions, in part, by relaxing the body’s muscles. As a result, if you take Xanax, you should monitor your body’s reaction to the drug and monitor your body for possible respiratory depression. This is especially important if you take Xanax with valerian root, which also acts as a mild relaxant. Because both Xanax and valerian root are relaxants, you should not consume alcohol when taking either substance.

Who Should Take Extra Precaution?

People with pre-existing liver or kidney conditions should not take valerian root, as studies have shown that it may adversely affect these conditions. The same warning goes for Xanax, which can also have damaging affects on an existent disease in these organs. It is especially important not to take Xanax and valarian root at the same time if you suffer from liver or kidney conditions. If you currently take Xanax, and want to take valerian root simultaneously, you should check with the doctor who originally prescribed the Xanax to you.

What Happens When I Stop Taking Them?

When you stop taking valerian root or Xanax, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Xanax, is also a highly addictive substance. Thus, you should never take an excessive amount of either substance, alone or together. You should consult a doctor if you are a long term user of either or both substances and want to stop taking the drugs.

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