Xanax (Alprazolam) is one of the most popular benzodiazepine medications used in the therapy of anxiety and panic disorders. It produces a potent effect, allowing to improve the disease symptoms.
The medication under the trade name Xanax was first introduced to the US pharmaceutical market in 1981, though it had been patented ten years earlier, in 1971. This drug was intended to become a safer alternative to tranquilizers, like barbiturates, which were commonly used to treat anxiety and panic at that time.
Since its first appearance, the popularity of Xanax has been growing steadily. It reached its maximum in 2014 when 28.9 million prescriptions for the drug were given by US healthcare providers. In 2019, the number of Xanax prescriptions reduced to a bit more than 17.5 million. However, it is still one of the most often prescribed benzodiazepines.
It’s crucial to know that Xanax is a Schedule IV drug, which means it requires a prescription. What’s more, such a status of the medication means that it has some habit-forming potential and can cause addiction. These risks should be taken into account, especially if you have had any type of substance dependence.
Xanax (Alprazolam) is a potent tranquilizer from the benzodiazepine class of drugs, which is highly efficacious in the therapy of anxiety and panic disorders. The active substance in this drug is alprazolam. It has an intermediate onset of action and a shorter half-life than most other medicines from its class of drugs. Faster elimination of the preparation from the body reduces the risks for unwanted reactions. Besides, it makes the drug safer in terms of building-up tolerance and dependence, which are common problems with benzodiazepines.
The drug works by enhancing the effects produced by GABA receptors in the human brain. Xanax typically starts working within 20 – 60 minutes after the oral intake. Depending on whether you use immediate- or extended-release pills, the effects will continue for 6 – 11 hours.
What will you feel after ingesting a Xanax pill? The effect produced by the drug show through sedation, anxiety suppression, and muscle relaxation, so you’ll feel calm and relaxed. At the beginning of the therapy with this medication, you may also feel sleepy, yet this unwanted reaction typically improves when your body gets adjusted to Xanax.
Depending on the medical condition you have, the duration of treatment may range from 2 – 4 weeks (anxiety treatment) to 8 – 10 weeks (panic disorder treatment). However, your doctor may prolong the therapy if they consider it necessary. Researches show that Xanax can be used for up to 8 months without the loss of benefit.
To start treatment, you have to consult your healthcare provider and check if you have any contraindications to its use. Besides, you and your doctor should weigh all the benefits and risks of such a therapy. The next thing to do is choose the most appropriate dosage of the drug and work out a dosing schedule.
The dose you may need will vary depending on your medical condition. To avoid pronounced side effects, you should start taking Xanax with the lowest dosage, which is 0.25 mg three times a day, and gradually increase it until the desired therapeutic effect is achieved. The maximum daily dose for anxiety is set at 4 mg/day, while the treatment of a panic disorder may require up to 10 mg Xanax per day. A gradual dose reduction is also necessary for the safe discontinuation of the therapy. If you do it abruptly, you risk developing a withdrawal syndrome.
Any changes in your dosing schedule should be discussed with your doctor.
Any treatment has its pros and cons. Xanax can effectively eliminate the symptoms of panic and anxiety, but it can also cause some unwanted reactions. The most common of them include:
People taking Xanax for panic disorder are more likely to develop unwanted reactions as the dosages they typically use are much higher than those using the medication for anxiety treatment.
Aside from unwanted reactions, which can sometimes get severe, people on Xanax can also develop tolerance to the drug. Later, it can grow into drug dependence. According to the American Addiction Centers, 10.3% of people aged 18 – 25 and 5.7% of those older than 26 abuse alprazolam. To reduce dependence risks, follow your doctor’s prescriptions carefully.
If used responsibly, Xanax (Alprazolam) is an effective and safe medication, which can help you cope with anxiety and panic, even the severe ones. This medication has been used for 50 years, which proves its beneficial properties for human health. Don’t ignore your mental health problems: you can get rid of them with Xanax.