Xanax (Alprazolam)

A very common drug to treat the symptoms that come with anxiety, Xanax is an extremely common prescription drug. There are several drugs that are available to help treat anxiety, but Xanax is known as an entry solution to the common health condition.

When you visit a doctor to discuss your anxiety symptoms, Xanax is likely to be one of the first suggestions they make regarding a prescription. Although the drug is quite common in today’s society, that doesn’t mean it’s a viable solution for everyone.

Through this article, you’ll learn an extensive amount of information about Xanax, how it works, and precautions you should consider before ingesting the prescription drug.

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Taking a Look at the Specifics

The binding of Xanax in the body enhances the affinity of GABA to a specific receptor in the central nervous system. This causes an increase in chloride ion conductance and neuronal hyperpolarization. In turn, this also creates a decrease in neuronal excitability, which is correlated to many aspects of anxiety.

Xanax comes with a number of properties which include anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative-hypnotic, and muscle-relaxant. Each of these properties plays a crucial part in bettering the symptoms that arise from different anxiety disorders.

Although the effects of modest dosages of Xanax can feel relatively light, the drug is known to cause withdrawal symptoms in many people. Even in cases where patients quit with the help of a tapering schedule, withdrawal symptoms can still arise.

Doctors also warn that individuals who have a history of depression, suicidal tendencies, or substance abuse should use Xanax (alprazolam) with caution. One benefit of the drug is that it can interact with other prescription medications. Some of these include antidepressants, antihistamines, antifungals, and more.

Discussions with your doctor

Considering Xanax is a prescription medication, you’ll need to have a discussion with your doctor about its use, dosage, and any potential risks. Your doctor will bring a lot of insight to the table, but there’s plenty of information the patient needs to provide as well.

It’s wise to discuss any known allergies with your doctor, especially when it comes to medications. You also don’t want to leave out any non-prescription or prescription drugs you may currently be taking. This is crucial as you don’t want to mix medications that can’t be taken together. If you’re looking to avoid adverse side effects, it’s crucial you’re crystal clear about any other existing medications.

There are a number of health concerns that need to be considered before taking Xanax. Patients that have lung, kidney, or liver disease or have a history of glaucoma or seizures need to bring this up with their doctor.

Xanax can’t be prescribed with a universal dosage for every age group. It’s known that older patients need to work with lower dosages so the body can handle the drug. A common side effect of Xanax is a decent amount of drowsiness. This can make everyday tasks more difficult than they usually are. However, this isn’t the only potential side effect, as any prescription drug is capable of several side effects that span from mild to more severe.

What are the risks?

As with any prescription medication, Xanax is known to cause a number of side effects, but many of these are either rare or can be entirely avoided. Side effects aren’t necessarily a guarantee, but your doctor is likely to cover which ones are the most common.

It’s advisable to consider what side effects may arise so you can be better prepared moving forward. The best way to ensure side effects don’t come along is by sticking to the recommended dosage for your Xanax prescription.

Some of the most common health risks can be found below:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness
  • Increased salivation
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Weight changes
  • Joint pain

Some are bound to be more common than others. It’s always important to remember that each person’s body is different. While some may experience one or more side effects, others may not come across them at all. Aside from the common side effects, there are a few that are considered to be a bit more severe.

These include:

  • Confusion
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rash
  • Seizures
  • Problems with coordination, speech, or balance

Being aware of the potential health risks can ensure you’re more prepared if they do come along. In the same vein, if you do happen to experience any side effects, make you notify your doctor as soon as possible. You may want to immediately stop taking the medication, but this isn’t advised as it can only lead to more health concerns.

This information isn’t meant to cause a scare, but patients should be cognizant of their existence so they can take action if needed.

Other important information

There are many nuances associated with prescription drugs that can make them tricky to navigate for some people. Xanax should be taken with caution if a patient is already taking opioid medication. Combining the two could lead to severe side effects that can significantly impact a patient’s health. Some of these pertain to respiratory depression, coma, or even death.

If a patient is already experiencing impaired respiratory function, this could exacerbate the presence of severe side effects. Xanax is a drug that comes with risks associated with addiction, abuse, and misuse, and many people all over the world struggle with this every year. There’s a sense of an easy fix when it comes to Xanax, and the body can quickly become dependent on its effects to manage anxiety symptoms.

When it comes to withdrawal symptoms, they can cause much more than just a little discomfort. Immediate cessation of the medication could lead to life-threatening events. A tapering schedule must be followed if anyone is looking to get off a Xanax prescription. There may be a decent list of precautions related to Xanax, but it’s still regarded as a very safe drug for those suffering from various anxiety disorders.

It’s understandable to have a few questions when it comes to any prescription medication. If you take a look at the FAQ section below, you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions centered around Xanax medication.

Xanax FAQ

Is Xanax addictive for everyone?

Although Xanax has the potential to be addictive for many people, this is by no means a guarantee. Addicting generally stems from the dependent aspects of the drug, as the body can become reliant on the drug over time. Then again, some people can easily become addicted to how the drug makes them feel.

Abuse of Xanax can occur by not following administration instructions. Some people take Xanax even when it isn’t really needed, and this is a sign that the drug is being abused. Xanax is easier to let go of in the short term but can become increasingly difficult with long-term users.

Can I drive while on Xanax?

Any doctor would highly advise against driving while on Xanax medication. There are plenty of people who still attempt to do so, but this makes room for many other mistakes. Operating any kind of heavy machinery is extremely dangerous when taking Xanax medication.

Some people may claim the effects of Xanax don’t affect them very much, but judgment can be misguided when the drug is working in full force. There’s no guarantee that a person may not be able to drive while on Xanax, but as its effects can increase over time, it’s best to avoid driving when the drug is present in your system.

Are there any specific storage instructions?

This is pretty easy to manage, as Xanax should simply be stored at room temperature. It’s important to note that the medication should be kept away from any kind of moisture or excessive heat. This also means that Xanax shouldn’t be kept in the bathroom, even if that’s commonly where many medications are stored.

How can I get off Xanax?

Your doctor would be more than happy to guide you on a tapering schedule if you’re looking to get off the medication. An optimal way to achieve this is by slowly reducing your dose on an incremental schedule. By doing so, you’re giving your body time to react to these changes in a way that won’t feel like a shock to the system.

This is likely to look different for each patient, but the concept will remain the same. You never want to quit the medication cold turkey, as this will definitely come with heavy side effects. Withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable, but this can be avoided by incrementally reducing your dose over time.

Can Xanax be used during breastfeeding?

You may be surprised to learn that Xanax can be used during breastfeeding. Mothers don’t have to wait to breastfeed after taking their Xanax medication. There’s no significant concern regarding the baby that’s nursing. However, this shouldn’t be a long-term situation. For the most part, many patients get into Xanax with the short term in mind.

It can help individuals gain control of their issues with anxiety, and many prefer to drop the medication as soon as possible. You should also know that in rare circumstances, some infants experience minor withdrawal symptoms after the breastfeeding phase has passed.

Is alcohol allowed while taking Xanax?

Any doctor will advise that you refrain from drinking alcohol while managing a Xanax prescription. The two shouldn’t be mixed by any means, and having both in your system can cause many adverse side effects to your health.

Some people think they can drink alcohol in between doses, but this simply isn’t wise. Having both substances in your bloodstream can lead to many health complications that should be avoided altogether. As unfortunate as it may be, patients shouldn’t drink any alcohol when taking Xanax on a consistent basis.