Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam and is a part of a class of medications known as benzodiazepines which work to enhance the effects of pre-existing chemicals in the brain that decreases over-activity in the brain and causes relaxation. Xanax is known to help patients diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax is available in different strength doses based on your condition’s severity, and you will be prescribed the dosage.
Why should you take Xanax?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine that works to increase the function of the neurotransmitter GABA or Gamma-aminobutyric Acid. GABA is known to work as an inhibitory neurotransmitter responsible for decreasing the abnormal and excessive activity in the brain that causes anxiety and panic. Low levels of GABA indicate stress, anxiety, chronic illness, and epilepsy. Xanax works to induce a calming and relaxing feeling in the body that helps relieve symptoms of anxiety.
When should you take Xanax?
Xanax is prescribed to patients diagnosed with anxiety or panic disorders.
You can have Xanax –
- If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, your doctor will likely suggest you start your treatment with Xanax, as it is one of the most prescribed medications for anxiety in the US.
- If you have a panic disorder
- If you have general anxiety
You can have Xanax with other medications, and it is suggested that you inform your doctor about your medical history so they can prescribe the correct dosage for you.
It is important that you have a proper diagnosis for your anxiety or panic disorder in order to get prompt treatment. Medication is not necessary for temporary and rarely occurring anxiety. However, if it makes it difficult to perform daily tasks, then it is advised that you consult a doctor.
What are the possible side effects of Xanax?
The common side effects include-
3- Increased saliva production
4- Changes in sex drive
5- Feeling lightheaded
The common side effects of Xanax should decrease with time. If they get more alarming, you should inform your doctor.
The severe side effects are-
1- Weak or shallow breathing
4- Frequent or extreme mood changes
5- Agitation or increased energy
The severe side effects of Xanax are unlikely, and however, if you notice any, you should immediately look for medical assistance.
An allergic reaction to Xanax is rare. If you see side effects like rashes, itching or swelling of the throat, face, or tongue, severe dizziness, and difficulty breathing, it is advised that you immediately call for medical assistance.
How often can you take Xanax?
Xanax is orally prescribed to people with anxiety and panic disorder and can be had with or without food as directed by your doctor. The dosage of Xanax given to you by your prescribing physician will be based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
- The usual adult dosage for anxiety is 0.25mg to 0.5mg, administered thrice daily. The maximum dosage is 4mg a day.
- The usual adult dosage for Panic Disorder is 0.5mg, administered thrice daily with a maximum dosage of 10mg a day.
- Extended-release tablets- The initial dosage is 0.5mg to 1mg to be had once daily. The maintenance dose is 3 to 6mg orally daily, separated into different amounts. The maximum dosage for ER Xanax tablets is 10mg a day.
If you have been using Xanax for a long time or in a high dose, you may develop a tolerance or dependence, leading to addiction and overdose. You should inform your doctor if you think the dosage prescribed to you isn’t working instead of increasing your dosage on your own. It is advised that you have Xanax regularly and preferably at the same time each day to yield maximum benefit from the treatment.
Precaution to be taken while using Xanax
Xanax is seen to be addictive and habit-forming, and you should have your medicine in moderation to evade addiction and overdose. Xanax has an increased risk of abuse, and it is suggested that you keep your prescription away from the reach of others, especially children.
Xanax can make you dizzy or drowsy; it is advised that you abstain from having alcohol, cannabis products, and other CNS depressants as they may aggravate your side effects.
If you have been using Xanax for a long time, you are advised to taper the dosage as instructed by your doctor to avoid withdrawal symptoms like insomnia and restlessness. If you are an older adult, you may have an increased risk of side effects, and it is suggested that you start with a low dose and monitor your side effects regularly. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, your doctor will likely advise you against Xanax or ask you to have it only when needed as it can have unwanted side effects on the baby.