Reasons To Take Xanax
There are several situations where you can take Xanax for relief. These situations include when you are anxious, have panic disorder, are experiencing repeated episodes of anxiety, and are having anxiousness associated with depression.
Xanax is an effective medication for treating the symptoms of anxiety, panic disorder, and general bouts of anxiety. Its also a good option if you suffer from anxiousness that is associated with depression.
Xanax For Anxiety: Is It A Good Long
Xanax is the brand name for a fast-acting benzodiazepine medication, alprazolam. This medication is prescribed for short-term treatment of generalized anxiety, panic disorders, anxiety associated with depression, and social anxiety disorder. Rarely, it is used to treat insomnia or seizures, but among benzodiazepine medications, Xanax is not the most efficient at this. Even more rarely, alprazolam can be prescribed to treat more intense and immediate symptoms of depression. However, it is important to remember that benzodiazepines, especially Xanax, work rapidly, so they are prescribed to treat the intense and sudden symptoms associated with panic or related conditions they are no longer seen as a long-term treatment.
There are many reasons that Xanax and other benzodiazepines are not considered appropriate long-term treatment for most conditions. Most people rapidly develop a tolerance to the drugs they can cause euphoria so may lead to compulsive or addictive behaviors and they can take time to detox from. People who abuse Xanax may doctor shop, steal prescriptions from friends or family, or get multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors. This increases the risk of addiction to Xanax, which can lead to long-term health problems.
Does Xanax Make Panic Attacks Worse
This article has been fact checked by a third party fact-checking organization.
Xanax is a medication that is used to treat anxiety disorders. Some people who take Xanax may experience an increase in their anxiety. This could make panic attacks worse. If you experience a panic attack while taking Xanax, talk to your doctor.
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What To Do In Case Of Overdose
If you think youve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
Disclaimer:Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
Why To Avoid Medicine
The main reason to avoid Xanax and other anxiety medications unless you need them is because they don’t cure your anxiety. They merely dull it. Eventually, if you stop taking the medicine, your anxiety will always come back.
That’s clearly a problem. These medications already have trouble with side effects, tolerance, and addiction , but perhaps their greatest problem is that they dull anxiety without helping a person truly fix the problem. Eventually you’ll quit the medication, your anxiety will come back, and you’ll find yourself suffering. That’s why you need to make sure that you never depend on medication alone.
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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
Paroxetine and sertraline are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of panic disorder, with abundant evidence supporting their short-and long-term efficacy. However, even with a small initial dosage and slow titration some patients are unable to tolerate the initial anxiogenesis associated with initiation of SSRI therapy and delayed onset of efficacy.16
Signs Of Addiction To Xanax
If you feel as if you or a loved one might be becoming addicted to Xanax, pay attention to these major red flags of addiction:
- Drug-seeking behavior, such as having multiple prescriptions or multiple doctors
- Taking more Xanax than what is prescribed
- Taking Xanax at inappropriate times of the day, such as in the morning or at work
- Feeling like you cannot slow down or stop using
- Drinking alcohol or taking other drugs while taking Xanax
- Changes in eating patterns, sleeping patterns, hygiene or weight
- Isolating from friends or family in favor of taking Xanax
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How Do I Stop Taking Xanax
Do not stop taking Xanax without seeking medical advice first.
Xanax and other benzodiazepines can cause physical dependence. Abrupt discontinuation of the drug can produce withdrawal . These include rebound anxiety, insomnia, drug cravings, nightmares, irritability, rage, homicidal thoughts, suicidal thoughts, delirium, psychosis, seizures, high blood pressure, and sweating. Some withdrawal symptoms can persist for as long as 12 months, including depression, cognitive impairment, memory impairment, unusual skin sensations, and weakness. For people taking excessive amounts of benzodiazepines, withdrawal can even be life-threatening.
Xanax must be discontinued through a tapering dose prescribed by a doctor. Unfortunately, withdrawal is still possible even with a tapered dose.
There are some reasons to discontinue Xanax suddenly, including hypersensitivity, pregnancy, breathing problems, drug interactions, or intolerable adverse effects such as seizures or mania. Some people may need to stop when common side effects of alprazolam such as drowsiness, impairment, dry mouth, or constipation interfere with functioning or reduce the quality of life.
What Does Taking Xanax Feel Like
Taking benzodiazepines feels different for everybody, as it is a prescription medication, and each person reacts differently to these types of drugs. When taken to treat anxiety and panic, alprazolam Xanax can alleviate uncomfortable, anxious feelings and stress, helping people feel normal. It does not produce a high or euphoria but instead a tired quietness, relaxing muscle tension. Xanax can cause you to fall asleep or pass out, and higher doses have more potent effects like memory loss and blacking out completely. Tell your doctor or seek immediate medical attention if you begin to experience respiratory depression, blurred vision, or other dangerous Xanax side effects.
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How Should This Medicine Be Used
Alprazolam comes as a tablet, an extended-release tablet, an orally disintegrating tablet , and a concentrated solution to take by mouth. The tablet, orally disintegrating tablet, and concentrated solution usually are taken two to four times a day. The extended-release tablet is taken once daily, usually in the morning. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take alprazolam exactly as directed.
To take the concentrated liquid, use only the dropper that came with your prescription. Draw into the dropper the amount prescribed for one dose. Squeeze the dropper contents into a liquid or semisolid food such as water, juice, soda, applesauce, or pudding. Stir the liquid or food gently for a few seconds. The concentrated liquid will blend completely with the food. Drink or eat the entire mixture immediately. Do not store for future use.
Remove the orally disintegrating tablet from the bottle just before it is time for your dose. With dry hands, open the bottle, remove the tablet, and immediately place it on your tongue. The tablet will dissolve and can be swallowed with saliva. The orally disintegrating tablet can be taken with or without water.
Swallow the extended-release tablets whole do not chew, crush, or break them.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of alprazolam and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every 3 or 4 days.
Working Towards A Healthier Alternative
Despite the benefits of benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, for your panic disorder, once you have fallen into addiction, you have passed the point of this method of treatment being beneficial. Breaking free from its grip is a difficult process, but you can learn to cope with anxiety in a different mannersomething that many in the throes of addiction consider to be a scary thought. Luckily, there are alternative treatments available that can help clients manage their panic disorder and learn to control their fears, while at the same time pulling themselves out of their addiction in a safe, comfortable environment.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that is used to treat various mental illnesses by guiding individuals to identify negative thought patterns and to reconcile their maladaptive ways of perceiving the world. For those with panic disorder, CBT typically involves helping clients become aware of the cycle of fear and anxiety by understanding that during panic attacks, the fears that stimulate anxious sensations are the products of distorted beliefs. One study revealed that CBT decreased the amount of fear, panic, anxiety, and depression experienced by those suffering from panic disorder, and all patients in that study no longer experienced spontaneous panic attacks following treatment.
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Indulge An Old Hobbyor Find A New One
Xanax takes you away from the things you love most. But now that you have more time, and don’t have to spend your hard-earned cash on drugs, reward yourself by embracing an old hobby or finding a new one.
- Sign up for a class. Join a local meetup.
- Watch online tutorials.
- The goal here is to master a new skill so you can feel more confident, less fixated on Xanax, and hopeful about a brighter tomorrow.
How Does Xanax Work
Xanax is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are mild tranquilizers that work by slowing down the brain and central nervous system . By slowing down the CNS, Xanax helps to relax the body, which in turn reduces anxiety. It also helps people sleep.
Like most drugs, Xanax carries a risk of several side effects. Usually, these side effects occur at the beginning of therapy and go away over time.
Side effects of xanax
- muscle twitching
Since Xanax has CNS depressant effects and can impair your motor skills, you should not operate heavy machinery or drive a motor vehicle while taking Xanax.
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Side Effects And Warnings
Xanax has many of the same side effects as alcohol, including mental and physical impairment, sleepiness, slower reaction times, balance and coordination problems, dizziness, and light-headedness. Other common reactions include memory problems, slurred speech, trouble concentrating, confusion, upset stomach, headache, and blurred vision.
You should not take Xanax if you have shown sensitivity to other benzos such as Valium and Ativan, have narrow-angle glaucoma, or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Alert your health care provider if you have liver problems, as there is a risk that Xanax may build up in your system and lead to overdose or heavy sedation. Xanax has not been shown to be effective for adolescents and teens under age 18 so using it in this population is considered off label.
Xanax also may be habit-forming. The risk of addiction is about two 2%, Dr. McGee says, but that risk is higher, he adds, among people who are already addicted to alcohol or opioids. He also worries that Xanax and drugs like it may prevent some from learning how to manage anxiety. People have a tough time learning to cope without meds once you put them on them, so the real problem is dependence, Dr. McGee continues. Over many years Xanax can increase risk of falls, motor vehicle accidents, dementia, and urinary incontinence, he adds.
What Are The Dangers Of Taking Amitriptyline
Drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, blurred vision, and weight gain are some of the symptoms that may occur. If the effects last or get worse, immediately report them to your doctor or pharmacy. The risk of dizziness and lightheadedness can be reduced by getting up slowly from a sitting or lying position.
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How To Stop Taking Xanax
The tapering process should be completed as a doctor says, by gradually reducing the dosage. Usually over a period of weeks or months depending on how long the patient has been taking the drug. As soon as drowsiness becomes intolerable. The patients should not drive until they have been able to reduce their dosage significantly and safely. Patients may also experience insomnia while coming off this medication. So it is important that they are aware of these symptoms and plan for them accordingly. It is not recommended that any attempt at self-detoxification occur. Since there is no evidence to suggest that it will be effective and could potentially pose health risks. Patients should be aware of the withdrawal symptoms they may experience while reducing their Xanax dosage. And should only attempt to stop taking this medication under medical supervision.
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Clinical Studies For Depression
Some studies have found that Xanax to be just as effective as several other antidepressants, including amitriptyline, clomipramine, and imipramine, for the treatment of moderate depression, but not for severe depression.
However, these studies only addressed short-term effects and were considered poor quality in a review published in 2012. It was also not clear if the effects of Xanax was due to an actual antidepressant effect or rather a general positive effect on anxiety and sleep issues.
With the arrival of newer antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , the number of clinical trials evaluating Xanax in depression has significantly decreased. There have been no clinical trials directly comparing Xanax to SSRIs or other newer antidepressants for treating depression.
What Is The Safest Way To Take Xanax
Because of Xanaxs serious side effects and the risk of misuse and dependence, you should only take it under the supervision of a healthcare provider. If you and your provider decide that Xanax is right for you, take it at the lowest dose possible for the shortest time possible.
If you are taking Xanax, you should also avoid alcohol and certain drugs such as opioids . These substances affect the brain in similar ways and can have an additive effect. They can lead to serious health complications such as breathing problems and sometimes even death. All of these substances have a high risk of misuse and dependence.
You might be taking other medications in addition to Xanax or another benzodiazepine. Certain medications, when taken with Xanax, can slow down or speed up the amount of time it takes Xanax to leave the body. Conversely, sometimes Xanax can slow down or speed up how long it takes other medications to leave the body.
Examples of these medications include:
- Grapefruit juice
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Medications Used To Treat Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms
Many withdrawal management protocols involve administering benzodiazepines in gradually decreasing amounts. In some instances, a switch to a relatively longer-acting benzodiazepinesuch as chlordiazepoxide, clonazepam, or diazepamwill take place to stabilize the patient in withdrawal prior to proceeding with a gradual dose reduction.12,13
There is some preliminary evidence that flumazenil, a medication which blocks the activity of benzodiazepines at specific receptor sites, could help to alleviate both acute symptoms for those actively going through withdrawal and more protracted withdrawal symptoms that persist after discontinuing benzodiazepines.8 One study found that individuals who took flumazenil experienced fewer withdrawal symptoms, had less cravings, completed withdrawal at better rates, and relapsed less.8
Additionally, studies show that anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and beta blockers have some efficacy in treating benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms.8
Vagus Nerve And Anxiety
When we are subjected to stressful situations is activated the sympathetic nervous system. If the tension persists and we cannot turn off the physiological response that triggers it, it wont pass much time before problems appear.
At brain level, this involves the activation of two pathways: the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and the brain-intestine axis.
The brain responds to stress and anxiety by increasing the production of hormones that goes from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland where induces the release of another hormone , which in turn goes through the bloodstream to adrenal glands stimulating cortisol and adrenaline induction.
These act as immune system suppressors and inflammatory precursors, which is why when we feel stressed and anxious we get ill easily and, ultimately, we can end up suffering depression, a mental disorder that has been linked to an inflammatory brain response.
And if it were not enough, chronic stress and anxiety cause an increase in glutamate in the brain, a neurotransmitter that, when produced in excess, causes migraine, depression and anxiety.
In addition, a high level of cortisol reduces the volume of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for the formation of new memories.
The involvement of the vagus nerve will lead to symptoms such as dizziness, gastrointestinal problems, arrhythmias, breathing difficulties, and disproportionate emotional responses.
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How Xanax Treats Panic Disorder
Like other benzodiazepines, Xanax impacts receptors for gamma-aminobutyric acid , a neurotransmitter in the brain that’s involved in sleep regulation, relaxation, and anxiety. This action can assist in slowing down the central nervous system , decreasing agitation and over-excitement while creating a tranquilizing or relaxing effect. Depressing the CNS also helps alleviate feelings of anxiety and lessen the severity of panic attacks.
Xanax is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream typically produces fast-acting results, rapidly eliciting feelings of calm and quickly decreasing panic disorder symptoms. Xanax has a short half-life, meaning it gets in and out of your system quickly. This has advantages and drawbacks, including the fact that you have to take it frequently, and it may result in ups and downs in anxiety control in some people.
To minimize the risk of dependence, Xanax is often prescribed for a limited period of time. Your doctor may regulate your prescription by only providing a certain amount of medication so that your condition can be periodically reevaluated before continuing on Xanax. Never increase or decrease your dosage without first consulting your doctor. To prevent withdrawal symptoms, your doctor may gradually reduce your dosage.