Xanax is a drug that is marketed as a quick but momentary solution that serves to alleviate symptoms of certain psychotic conditions. Its consumption is recommended as part of the treatment in patients with a diagnosis of anxiety disorder who present high symptoms of said condition.
Generally, improvement in the patient’s condition occurs after the first dose administered. However, at the same time it has an immediate-acting palliative effect and acts as a highly addictive drug. For this reason, treatment with Xanax must be carried out under strict medical supervision, trying to keep it as short as possible.
What is Xanax
Xanax is a drug whose active substance is alprazolam, which belongs to the group of drugs derived from benzodiazepines. Due to the effects presented by the patients to whom xanax is administered, this drug is described as: anxiolytic, calming, anticonvulsant and relaxing.
The prescription of Xanax is restricted primarily as emergency aid against severe anxiety attacks including assault.
What is Alprazolam for
Because it has an anxiolytic effect, the main component Alrpazolam of Xanax, serves for the short-term treatment of:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Anxiety disorders with seizures
- Anxiety disorder in the form of a phobia
- Mixed depression and anxiety disorders
Specialists recommend the use of Xanax only in situations where the symptoms are severe and pose a high risk, or when they cause too much inconvenience to the patient. The states of tension and anxiety related to everyday problems are not decisive for the use of this drug.
The trained professional to prescribe this drug is the psychiatrist, and should do so only in extreme cases. However, many times, knowing that it is a very addictive drug that can harm the health of the patient, this drug is prescribed by general practitioners to people who do not qualify to follow a treatment with drugs that contain alprazolam as an active substance.
Xanax pill presentation
Xanax is sold under other trade names such as: Trankimazin and Alprazolam, in the form of tablets that must be administered orally. The amount of active substance per tablet can range from 0.25 mg to 2 mg. According to the needs and conditions of the patient, the doctor must establish a detailed treatment plan, in which the number of doses and their frequency are foreseen.
Due to the particularities of this medicine and the risk that its consumption entails for the patient, the dose of xanax must be determined by a qualified psychiatrist and after a thorough evaluation of the patient. However, for reference, these are the general recommendations for the dosage of Xanax:
- In patients who present with generalized anxiety syndrome or who show symptoms of depressive anxiety conditions, doses of 0.25 to 0.5 mg of xanax are usually used three times a day. It should be noted that the total daily dose should not exceed 4 mg.
- In patients who are treated for paroxysmal anxiety or agoraphobia, the recommended starting doses are 0.5 mg to 1 mg once a day, before bedtime. This dose is gradually increased according to the evaluation and criteria of the treating physician. However, the maximum daily dose that can be administered to these patients is 10 mg.
Treatment should be as short as possible and with the minimum of daily doses. It is recommended that the total duration of treatment does not exceed 8 to 12 weeks.
Other alternative medications to Xanax
Like Xanax, there are other medications that control the different disorders caused by anxiety and depression, as well as for the treatment of seizures. These are the most wanted.
What is Lorazepam for?
It is another of the most effective medications to control anxiety and depression disorders.
What is diazepam for?
Like Xanax, diazepam is used to treat anxiety. It is also prescribed for people who have seizures. This drug has proven to be very effective in controlling alcohol withdrawal.
What is clonazepam for?
Clonazepam is in a class of drugs called “benzodiazepines.” It is used to treat some types of seizures. It is also indicated for people suffering from panic disorders.
Recommendations for the administration of Xanax
Alprazolam and alcohol
Drinking alcohol while having Alprazolam treatment is extremely dangerous, as Xanax has a sedative and hypnotic effect that makes you very sleepy.
Other important recommendations are:
- It is not recommended that the patient stop taking this medicine overnight due to the possibility of withdrawal symptoms.
- Doses are gradually reduced according to the doctor’s instructions, usually no faster than 0.5 mg every 3 days.
- The use of this drug as an aid in emergencies does not represent a risk of addiction.
- The tablets should be swallowed whole, if they are crushed, dissolved or sucked in the mouth, it is very likely that the effectiveness of the active substance will be drastically reduced.
- Increasing the recommended daily dose does not increase the therapeutic effect, but it can cause side effects and promote the development of addiction.
What side effects does Xanax have
The effects caused by Xanax mainly occur when treatment is started and disappear over time.
If they are extremely bothersome, the patient should let the doctor know so that he can discuss the possibility of reducing the dose. In general, if used properly, the benefits of this drug outweigh the harm of possible side effects.
The most common side effects of Xanax, seen in more than 1 in 100 people, include the following:
- reduction of concentration.
- Decreased appetite and problems with digestion.
- Visual disturbance or blurred vision.
- Dryness of the mucous membranes.
Rare side effects of Xanax
Side effects that can occur much less frequently, in 1 person in 1,000, include the following:
- Memory disturbances
- Mental reactions such as disorientation, entanglement, unrealism, hallucinations.
- Paradoxical reactions, such as increased excitability, nervousness, irritability, aggressive behavior.
- Alterations in libido.
- The most important are: mania manifested by the compulsion to speak, on psychomotor stimulation and delusions of persecution.
If the patient notices any of the above symptoms, he should consult his doctor as soon as possible to modify the prescribed doses. Usually after reducing the daily dose all side effects are eliminated. In some cases, the patient may have to stop taking this drug completely.
Xanax as an addictive drug
Using Xanax in maximum doses and with high frequency makes the substance act like a drug. The patient develops a mental and physical dependence on the drug. Therefore, every time you try to break the addiction ends with the occurrence of the so-called “withdrawal syndrome.”
This syndrome manifests itself with headaches and muscles, feelings of tension, fear and anxiety. In rare cases, seizures, photophobia, hallucinations, feelings of unreality, and personality disturbance occur.
The risk of addiction increases in people with a tendency to abuse alcohol and psychoactive substances. Treatment of such patients should be under the close supervision of a physician and with great caution.
In addition, it should be borne in mind that Xanax is not a drug indicated for people with emotional disorders, which arise as a result of problems in daily life. In such situations, it is recommended that the patient undergo psychological therapy.
The use of the powerful psychotropics of Xanax does not help in the treatment of emotional disorders, but rather masks their effects: they reduce tension, stress and allow the patient to forget about everyday problems. However, if the problem persists and the patient constantly escapes from reality through the use of sedatives, it is most likely that he will end up developing addiction.
Conclusion on the use of Xanax
As we have seen, Xanax is a powerful drug that helps to mitigate the symptoms of severe cases of anxiety disorders. However, its popularity has led many people to take this drug for no apparent reason. Many of the people who ended up addicted to Xanax, saw in the drug a “solution” to relieve stress from the daily routine.
Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.