What is Xanax and How it works ?
- Xanax belongs to the class of medicines known as benzodiazepines.
- Experts aren’t sure exactly how Xanax works to stabilize mood but experts suggest it may enhance the activity of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), an inhibitory neurotransmitter, in the brain. This produces a hypnosis (a trancelike state).
- Xanax is a brand (trade) name for alprazolam. Alprazolam may be used in the treatment of anxiety and other mood-type disorders. It may also be given for its calming and sedative properties.
2. Benefits and use of Xanax
- Xanax is available as a generic under the name alprazolam.lets understand How does Xanax work ? Use and effects of Xanax?
- May be used for the treatment of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia (agoraphobia is a fear of places or situations that might cause panic, helplessness or embarrassment).
- May be used to help manage the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder or for the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety. May help the symptoms of anxiety related to depression.
- Xanax is available as an immediate-release tablet and an extended-release tablet.
3. Drawback and side effects of taking Xanax
If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:
- Xanax is potentially addictive and may cause emotional or physical dependence.
- Withdrawal symptoms (including convulsions, tremor, cramps, vomiting, sweating, or insomnia) may occur with abrupt discontinuation; taper off slowly over several months under a doctor’s supervision.
- Blood pressure lowering, heart palpitations, constipation, nausea, dry mouth, headache and a decrease in libido are also commonly reported side effects.
- Smokers may have less of a response to Xanax.
- Drowsiness and unsteadiness upon standing, increasing the risk of falls.
- May impair reaction skills and affect a person’s ability to drive or operate machinery. Avoid alcohol.
- Although Xanax has been used off-label (not an FDA-approved use but still a common use) in the past to aid sleep, it should not be promoted for this purpose unless there is no other alternative. Benzodiazepines such as Xanax reduce the duration of deep or slow-wave sleep, (correlates to how refreshed you feel in the morning) and are also associated with addiction, dependence, and tolerances (where progressively larger dosages of the same drug are needed in order to obtain the same effect). Abrupt discontinuation of Xanax, when used for sleep, has been associated with rebound insomnia that may be worse than the initial sleeping problem.
- May not be suitable for people with significant liver or kidney disease, lung disease or breathing problems, and certain psychiatric disorders.
- Avoid combining Xanax with opioids such as oxycodone or hydrocodone. Profound sedation, respiratory depression (abnormally slow and shallow breathing), coma, and death may result. May also interact with a number of other drugs including those that induce or inhibit CYP 3A hepatic enzymes.
4. Conclusion on Xanax
Xanax may be used for the treatment of anxiety or panic disorder; however, it is addictive and withdrawal symptoms can be severe while understanding How does Xanax work ? Use and effects of Xanax?
5. How to use Xanax safely
- Extended-release tablets should be taken in the morning, swallowed whole, and not crushed or chewed.
- Withdrawal symptoms (blurred vision, insomnia, sweating, rarely seizures) may occur if long-term Xanax is stopped abruptly; discontinue slowly on a doctor’s advice.
- Women should not breastfeed their baby while receiving Xanax.
- Do not start or discontinue Xanax during pregnancy without speaking to your provider first.
- Not for use if you have acute narrow-angle glaucoma.
- Avoid alcohol while taking this medicine.
- The lowest effective dose of Xanax should be used for the shortest time possible.
- Xanax may be taken with or without food.
- Avoid operating machinery, driving, or performing tasks that require mental alertness while taking Xanax.
- Do not take with itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral) or take with any other medications until you have checked with your doctor that they are compatible with Xanax.
- Keep out of reach of children and pets.
6. Response and Effectiveness of Alprazolam
- The duration of effect of Xanax varies between individuals and formulations (anywhere from 6 to 27 hours).
- Peak concentrations of Xanax occur 1-2 hours following administration of immediate-release tablets, and up to 12 hours following administration of extended-release forms.
7. Xanax and its interaction with other medications
Medicines that interact with Xanax may either decrease its effect, affect how long it works for, increase side effects, or have less of an effect when taken with Xanax. An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of the medications; however, sometimes it does. Speak to your doctor about how drug interactions should be managed.
Common medications that may interact with Xanax include:
- anti-anxiety medications, including other benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam and oxazepam
- anticonvulsants such as valproate
- antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, imipramine, nortriptyline
- antifungals such as voriconazole
- antihistamines that cause sedation, such as diphenhydramine
- HIV medications such as ritonavir
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors, such as selegiline, isocarboxazid, or phenelzine
- opioid analgesics such as alfentanil, codeine, oxycodone and morphine
- oral contraceptives
- muscle relaxants such as baclofen and cyclobenzaprine
- sleeping pills, such as zolpidem
- some medications used to treat mental illness, such as clozapine and thioridazine
- Alcohol may worsen the side effects of Xanax such as drowsiness and dizziness.
- Note that this list is not all-inclusive and includes only common medications that may interact with Xanax. You should refer to the prescribing information for Xanax for a complete list of interactions.