Xanax Drug to Treat Anxiety
The start of the Xanax history in the US happened in the early 1980s when the medication got FDA approval. This preparation became a life-changer for millions of people dealing with anxiety and panic disorders. Studies showed significant improvement in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (with and without depression symptoms) and those with panic disorder.
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Revealing some Details about Xanax
Xanax is a brand name for the preparation called alprazolam. It belongs to the group of benzodiazepine preparations and works as a potent tranquilizer. The substance binds to specific receptors in the human CNS, producing a calming effect. Taking into account the effects produced by the drug, it can cause addiction and dependence. For this reason, it is a Schedule IV medication, so you can buy Xanax online or offline by prescription only.
Once the medication gets into the body, it is rapidly absorbed from the gastric tract. The preparation starts working within several minutes to an hour after the intake. In healthy people, the average duration of action is about 11 hours. In individuals with certain liver and renal disorders and elderly patients, this process may take a bit longer.
The intensity of the Xanax effects is dose dependent. Therefore, your drug intake schedule and daily dosage should be discussed with your healthcare provider, who knows the peculiarities of your disease and is aware of all the other health issues you may be suffering. Remember, you should take Xanax only by your doctor’s prescription.
The preparation comes in the form of pills. Their strength varies from 0.25 mg to 2 mg of the active substance. Healthcare providers usually recommend initiating the treatment with the lowest dose, 0.25 mg, and gradually increasing it until the desired therapeutic effect is achieved.
There is some evidence of slower Xanax absorption when taken with food. However, taking the medication with a meal can also reduce the risks and smooth the manifestations of the unwanted effects of the drug.
The effects of alprazolam likely become weaker as you proceed in your therapy. If this is the case with you, never increase the dose without checking with a medical specialist. An uncontrolled dose increase can trigger severe adverse reactions, cause overdose symptoms, and increase your chances of becoming addicted and dependent on Xanax.
To step off treatment, you should gradually reduce your daily dosage. This will allow you to avoid withdrawal symptoms and disease relapse.
Xanax. Who Needs to Be Careful?
Although more than 6.8 million Americans face the challenges of generalized anxiety disorder, not all of these people can benefit from treatment with Xanax. The reason is the medication has a range of contraindications and precautions that should be taken into account. Besides, doctors should weigh all the risks for each patient individually.
The list of contraindications to Xanax is extensive. Below, you’ll see some of them.
- Allergy to alprazolam or any other component of the pill;
- Pregnancy and lactation (high fetal harm risk);
- Severe depression and suicidal thoughts;
- Severe pulmonary disease;
- Severe renal or hepatic impairment.
In elderly patients, the intake of Xanax is associated with increased risks of respiratory depression. Therefore, dose titration is highly recommended in such people to minimize the possible side effects.
Interactions to Avoid
Alprazolam produces a depressive effect on the nervous system. This makes this preparation dangerous to combine with some other medical treatments, including:
- Opioid analgesics and other medicines containing opioids;
- CYP3A inhibitors, specifically ketoconazole and itraconazole;
- Other CNS depressants (barbiturates, sedative-hypnotics, non-benzodiazepines);
- Tricyclic antidepressants (Imipramine, Desipramine);
- Oral contraceptives.
The concomitant use of Xanax with the mentioned treatments enhances the chances of severe side effects such as respiratory depression.
Side Effects of the Drug
The intensity of unwanted reactions varies significantly depending on the person who takes it. The most common adverse reactions include but are not limited to:
- Trouble concentrating;
- Mouth dryness;
- Muscle weakness.
Such effects can be dangerous for a person operating machinery or driving a car, as a lack of alertness boosts the risks of accidents. Therefore, you should avoid activities that require alertness when on Xanax.
Withdrawal: Associated Risks
Abrupt discontinuation of Xanax brings high risks of withdrawal symptoms like mood swings, nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations, and many more. Yet the worst thing is you may get a rebound of anxiety symptoms, which nullifies all your treatment, bringing you to the point where you started weeks, if not months, before.
The only effective way to avoid this is to withdraw from treatment gradually, reducing the dose every other day.
The potency and effectiveness of Xanax make it a popular medication in patients with generalized anxiety and panic disorder. However, it also requires caution so your therapy is a success, not a failure. So check with a doctor before buying Xanax, even if you think this drug is perfect.