Xanax (alprazolam) is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which slow down the brain’s activity. Xanax can help reduce symptoms of anxiety such as excessive worrying, racing thoughts, and difficulty concentrating. It can also be used to relieve symptoms of panic disorder, such as fear and discomfort.
Xanax is usually taken by mouth once or twice a day, as directed by a healthcare provider. The medication is usually taken with or without food and it may take several weeks before the full effects of the medication are felt.
It is important to note that Xanax can be habit-forming and should only be used as directed by a healthcare professional. It is also important to avoid alcohol when taking Xanax as it may increase the risk of side effects.
Common side effects of Xanax include drowsiness, dizziness, and light headedness. More serious side effects can include confusion, memory problems, and difficulty breathing. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of these side effects.
How Xanax work?
Xanax (alprazolam) works by enhancing the brain’s activity of a neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is a naturally occurring chemical that helps to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. When GABA binds to its receptors in the brain, it causes a decrease in the activity of certain nerve cells, leading to a decrease in anxiety and an increase in relaxation.
Xanax works by binding to the GABA receptors in the brain and increasing the effectiveness of GABA. This leads to a reduction in the activity of certain nerve cells and a decrease in symptoms of anxiety, such as worry, tension, and nervousness. It also helps to reduce the symptoms of panic attacks, such as a racing heart, sweating and trembling.
It’s important to note that Xanax is a controlled substance and it should be used only under the supervision of a doctor and according to the prescribed dosage, it can be addictive, and should be avoided if possible. Withdrawal symptoms can occur when stopping Xanax, and it should not be stopped abruptly, instead, the dosage should be decreased gradually under the supervision of the doctor.
Drowsiness and sedation
Less common side effects include:
It’s important to let your doctor know if you experience any side effects, especially if they are severe or persistent.
In some cases, long-term use or abuse of Xanax can lead to serious side effects such as:
It’s important to use Xanax only as prescribed by a doctor and to avoid using it in higher doses or for longer periods than recommended.
Xanax (alprazolam) can interact with other medications, supplements, or substances, which can change how it works or increase the risk of side effects. Some examples of drugs that can interact with Xanax include:
• Other benzodiazepines or sedatives, such as diazepam, lorazepam, or zolpidem, which can increase the sedative effects of Xanax and increase the risk of drowsiness and confusion.
• Opioid pain medications, such as oxycodone or morphine, can also increase the sedative effects of Xanax.
• Antidepressants, such as fluoxetine, sertraline, or venlafaxine, can increase the risk of side effects, such as drowsiness, confusion, and changes in mood.
• Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine or hydroxyzine, can also increase the sedative effects of Xanax.
• Alcohol, which can increase the sedative effects of Xanax and increase the risk of drowsiness, confusion, and other side effects.
• Grapefruit juice, which can increase the amount of Xanax in the blood and increase the risk of side effects.
• It is important to let your doctor know about all medications, supplements, and substances you are taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
It’s also important to avoid using Xanax with other substances that can cause sedation, such as alcohol or marijuana, as it can increase the risk of side effects, including drowsiness, confusion, and impaired judgment.