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Alprazolam Xanax belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. People use Xanax to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It is the single most prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States.
This article will explain why people use Xanax, its potential side effects, and its relevant warnings. Xanax is an antianxiety medication in the benzodiazepine family. This is the same family that includes diazepam Valiumclonazepam Klonopinlorazepam Ativanflurazepam Dalmaneand others. Xanax works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Benzodiazepines act on the brain and central nervous system CNS to produce a calming effect. Xanax slows down the movement of brain chemicals that may have become unbalanced, resulting in a reduction in nervous tension and anxiety.
Xanax works by boosting the effects of a natural chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is made in the brain. To ensure the safe and effective use of benzodiazepines, doctors will provide the following guidance to anyone with a Xanax prescription:. People should not use Xanax if they are allergic to alprazolam or other benzodiazepines, such as:. People should not use Xanax if they are pregnant. Benzodiazepines can potentially cause harm to the fetus. During the first trimester, for example, Xanax increases the risk of congenital abnormalities.
People should usually avoid taking Xanax during the first trimester of pregnancy. Healthcare professionals should also inform people that if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant while taking Xanax, they should tell their doctor. born of a person who is taking benzodiazepines may be at risk of withdrawal symptoms from the drug. Respiratory problems have also occurred in children born to people who have been taking benzodiazepines while pregnant.
Xanax may be excreted in human milk. As a general rule, people who use Xanax should not breastfeed. Older adults, or people aged 65 years and above, may be more sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines. For example, the sedative effects of Xanax may last longer in older adults.
Accidental falls are also common in older adults who take benzodiazepines. Therefore, people should use caution to prevent falling or accidental injury while taking Xanax. As with other psychotropic medications, there are some precautions to take when people with severe depression or suicidal thoughts take this drug.
Episodes of hypomania and mania have occurred in association with the use of Xanax in people with depression. According to the Treatment Episode Data Set, the of people seeking treatment for benzodiazepine misuse almost tripled in — Long-term misuse and addiction to Xanax are associated with depression, psychotic experiences, and aggressive or impulsive behavior.
The of ER visits involving the nonmedical use of Xanax doubled from 57, toduring — and remained stable atin The most common drug combinations that healthcare professionals encountered in people presenting to ER were Xanax with alcohol and Xanax with prescription opiates such as hydrocodone Zohydro ER and oxycodone OxyContin. Many people use Xanax to manage anxiety disorder or to provide some short-term relief from the symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety or tension associated with the stress of everyday life usually does not require treatment. Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by unrealistic or excessive anxiety and worry about two or more life circumstances for a period of 6 months or longer.
During this period, the person has been bothered more days than not by these concerns. Xanax is also indicated for the treatment of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobiaand it may reduce the of panic attacks a person has.
Panic disorder is characterized by regular panic attacks. Panic attacks are relatively short periods of intense fear or discomfort where four or more of the following symptoms develop all of a sudden and reach a peak within 10 minutes:. Side effects often occur at the beginning of therapy and will usually disappear when a person stops taking the medication. The above is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Call a doctor for medical advice about side effects.
People can also report any Xanax side effects they experience to the FDA at A person needs emergency medical help if they have any of these symptoms of an allergic reaction to Xanax:.
Xanax comes as a tablet, an extended-release tablet, an orally disintegrating tablet a tablet that dissolves quickly in the mouthand a concentrated solution liquid to take by mouth. A person should take Xanax by mouth as a doctor directs. The dosage will be based on the following factors:. A doctor may gradually increase the dosage of Xanax until the drug works effectively for the person.
If a person has used this medication regularly for a long time or in high dosages, withdrawal symptoms can occur if they suddenly stop taking it. A person should not crush, chew, or break a Xanax extended-release tablet. They should swallow the tablet whole. It is specially made to release the drug slowly into the body. Breaking the tablet would cause too much of the drug to be released at once. People should not share their medications with other people. It may not be suitable for them and may harm them. If a person misses a dose of Xanax, they should take the missed dose as soon as they remember.
However, they should skip the missed dose if it is almost time for their next scheduled dose.
Death has occurred in association with overdoses of Xanax by itself, as it has with other benzodiazepines. If an overdose of Xanax occurs, a person needs emergency medical attention. Somebody should call or Poison Control at Benzodiazepines, including Xanax, can produce extra depressant effects on the CNS when a person takes it alongside:. Studies of benzodiazepines other than Xanax suggest a possible interaction with the following drugs:. This list is not complete, and other drugs may interact with Xanax. A person should tell their doctor about all the medications they use.
This includes prescription, OTC, vitaminand herbal products. It is important to taper off Xanax gradually. Otherwise, there is a risk of benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. To discontinue treatment of Xanax, a doctor should reduce and taper the dosage slowly.
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