What Is Xanax (Alprazolam) Used For?
Alprazolam is a medicament that can be found under different brand names. One of the most famous of them is Xanax. By its essence, this drug is a tranquilizer, which is classed within the thienobenzodiazepine, a compound of benzodiazepines and triazole.
Anxiety conditions are the main reason why doctors prescribe Xanax. Among these conditions, there are panic disorder and generalized anxiety. The most common form of medicament is a pill. It takes about one week to see results if a patient is suffering from GAD. If we are talking about treating panic attacks, the results will appear quicker.
Reducing Panic Disorder with Xanax
If you experience some unexpected feelings of fear or panic, this is most likely how a panic attack manifests itself. If these feelings are repeated on a regular basis, your doctor might diagnose a panic disorder. This is the main condition that requires a prescription of Xanax, as it helps to reduce the level of panic attacks or stop them.
In Australia, treating patients who have panic disorder with Xanax (Alprazolam) has been recently prohibited. It’s explained by the danger of addiction. The studies of Xanax addiction have been conducted for around 10 weeks, although this medicament can be prescribed for up to 12 months.
In the US, Xanax is widely used and considered to be extremely effective against panic disorders (the user should show no signs of dependence or tolerance to it, though).
Xanax (Alprazolam) for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
This condition is shortly called GAD. It’s marked by an increased worry about daily activities and life in general. People expect upcoming disasters and always worry about their health, money, family, although there’s no particular reason for that.
Despite the lack of accredited research and studies, Xanax has proved to be effective in managing depression and GAD. In cases related to anxiety, Xanax cannot be taken for longer than 4 months. If a patient continues taking Xanax after this period, he’s most likely to get the opposite effects (explained by increased drug dependence).
Tips on How to Use Xanax
The doctor who prescribes Xanax (Alprazolam) is always confident that this medicament is the most appropriate treatment for his patient’s condition. Following the advice of your doctor will always do you good. However, there are several universal tips:
- Avoid crushing or breaking the pill, especially if you take XR form.
- Take Xanax as per the following: no longer than 4 months to treat anxiety or 10 weeks for panic attacks.
- If taking Xanax for about a week doesn’t mitigate the symptoms, give your doctor a call. Don’t attempt to increase dosage without his permission or change medication.
- The medicine has an impact on the liver or kidneys. If you take Xanax for a prolonged period, be sure to get tested from time to time.
- When your treatment with Xanax comes to an end, you should slowly decrease its amount until the end of the course. Otherwise, get ready to deal with withdrawal effects.
- Read the instructions provided with the package to learn more about the drug’s storage. If possible, keep Xanax away from such things as heat, light and moisture.
Groups of Patients that Should NOT Take Xanax
Xanax is a great medicament that lowers anxiety and panic attacks. Sadly, it’s not suitable for all patients. For example, if you have some respiratory problems, past addictions, suicidal thoughts, depression, kidney or leaver diseases, you cannot use it for your treatment.
Patients who take antifungal medicines or suffer from allergic reactions to benzodiazepine drugs must also avoid taking Xanax.
Pregnancy is another period when Xanax should be avoided. In this case, the medicine can result in dependency for the fetus and numerous withdrawal symptoms.
Safe Dosage & General Recommendations
This part of the article is dedicated to the correct dosing of Xanax. However, the main thing here is to listen to what your doctor says. Xanax dosage is purely individual and depends on your medical history, age and gender.
Adults: daily intake shouldn’t be any more than 10 mg. Commonly, the 0.5 mg immediate-release tablets are taken 3 times per day and the 3-6 mg XR tablets are taken once per day.
Adults 60+: daily intake shouldn’t be more than 3 x 0.25 mg. In the case of taking XR tablets, 0.5 mg should be the starting dose.
The final recommendations:
- The determination of the minimum dose depends on the patient’s condition.
- The initial dose is always lower than the all other dosages.
- The amount of Xanax should be lowered slowly and steadily closer to the end of treatment.
- When immediate-release tablets are prescribed, the dosages should be distributed evenly throughout the day.