Can You Take Xanax Before a Tattoo?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on October 1, 2021
    Last Updated: October 12, 2021

When thinking about getting a tattoo, one of the first things that comes to mind will be the pain. This will be both the pain of the actual tattoo being completed and the pain afterwards.

Getting a tattoo is a medical procedure where multiple needles will repeatedly penetrate your skin. There’s no doubt about it, this will hurt. You will have to make the decision if you are able to deal with the pain or not. If not, we would recommend that you think twice before having the tattoo.

It may be tempting to look at taking medication before your tattoo appointment. However, this is not always the right thing to do. Taking medication such as Xanax could make the situation worse rather than better.

We’ll let you know if this is something that you should be thinking of taking before you go to have your tattoo. If not, we’ll let you know why.

Will Xanax help to make a tattoo less painful?

If you suffer from anxiety, the thought of having a tattoo done may escalate this feeling and bring on a panic attack. This will not help anyone and is not a great position to be in when waiting for the tattoo artist to start their work.

Taking Xanax may help to calm you, rather than making the process less painful. However, we wouldn’t recommend taking any medication before having your tattoo. 

What we would recommend is that you speak to your tattoo artist beforehand to discuss your anxiety and get their advice.

Can You Take Xanax Before a Tattoo?

Getting a tattoo, especially your first, is a big decision and this will be heightened if you suffer from anxiety.

Your anxiety may be brought on when thinking of the pain of the tattoo and the pain of the healing process. It could also be triggered when thinking of the permanence of a tattoo. Knowing that you will have to live with your choice for the rest of your life is a big thing that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

If your doctor has prescribed the use of Xanax to control your anxiety you may be tempted to take this before your tattoo appointment. This may help to calm you and make you less stressed about the situation. 

However, we wouldn’t recommend that you take any medication before having a tattoo as it may affect the results and maybe even influence your choice of tattoo.

What we would recommend is that you speak to your chosen tattoo artist to get their thoughts. Once they understand how you feel they should be able to put you at ease and explain the process. This will remove the need to take any medication beforehand.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax, or Alprazolam as it’s known medically, is used to treat panic disorders and anxiety. It works by acting on the brain and central nervous system to create a calming effect. It also enhances the natural chemical gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA).

This medication should only be used if prescribed by a doctor and should be used as prescribed as it can be addictive.

Will It Help the Anxiety Before a Tattoo?

Taking Xanax before a tattoo may help with your anxiety and calm you. However, you should be careful that this doesn’t relax you too much that you make decisions that you wouldn’t normally make. 

Make sure that you are ready to have the tattoo and you are happy with your tattoo design and placement before taking any kind of medication. Also make sure that you don’t take too much as some tattoo artists refuse to tattoo anyone under the influence of medication.

Will It Help With the Pain Before a Tattoo?

Xanax isn’t specifically a pain killer, however it will calm any anxiety that you may be feeling. This will help to relax you and as such the pain of the tattoo should be slightly less. Your body will be relaxed and not as tense as if you were stressed.

No medication will take away the pain completely and so it shouldn’t as that is part of the tattooing process.


You may feel like you need some medication to get you through the tattooing process. However, it may be that you just need to speak to someone about your concerns. A good tattoo artist will be able to speak to you and put you at ease. 

This should then remove the need for any medication as you feel comfortable with your decision and relaxed in your surroundings.

We hope that we have answered your question and that your tattoo is a success. Keep calm and take deep breaths throughout. You will get through this and will have a great new tattoo to show off!

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