What Is Xanax (Alprazolam) Used For?
Most people know Alprazolam under its brand name – Xanax. It’s a drug of the thienobenzodiazepine group, which serves as an anti-anxiety agent. It’s a compound medicine consisting of benzodiazepines and triazole.
The main use of Xanax is the reduction of multiple anxiety conditions. Among them are panic attacks and generalized anxiety disorder. The drug exists in the form of a tablet and can be taken by mouth. If a patient wants to see the first results, he should take the medicine for at least one week (when treating anxiety). When dealing with panic attacks, the visible effects may appear quicker.
Can Xanax Treat Panic Disorder?
How to understand if you suffer from panic attacks? Remember if you experienced panic or fear for no reason. This is what doctors normally call a “panic attack”. If this condition appears regularly, we may already talk about panic disorder. People with this diagnosis are usually prescribed Xanax. The drug has a wonderful ability to reduce the signs of panic attacks or even stop them from appearing.
Despite its truly marvelous effects, Xanax (Alprazolam) has been recently banned in the countries like Australia. It means that patients suffering from panic disorder cannot be prescribed this drug. According to the research, this medicine is highly addictive. However, the studies have been conducted during the period of 10 weeks, while Xanax can be prescribed for way longer periods (up to 12 months).
On the other hand, the US considers Xanax as an effective treatment for panic disorders, as long as the user has no dependence or tolerance to it.
Can Xanax (Alprazolam) Treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
This disorder is shortly called GAD and manifests itself as a series of extreme anxiety signs. Generally, they are related to everyday routine and life. The most common symptoms are frequent expectations of doom and despair in relation to financial situation, health condition, or family. These feelings appear without any particular reason.
Despite the absence of studies indicating the efficacy of Xanax in treating depression and GAD, there are plenty of positive outcomes. However, there are certain time limitations of Xanax usage. The patient shouldn’t take this medicine for longer than 4 months as it could lead to the opposite effect. This is explained by the dependence that a patient might develop for Xanax.
The Correct Use of Xanax
The doctor prescribes Xanax (Alprazolam) after studying the case and the condition of his patient. Normally, it’s considered to be the best possible solution. That is why it’s important to listen to the doctor’s recommendations. However, there are also general rules to follow:
- When taking the extended-release tablet, don’t break or split it.
- Limit your treatment with Xanax: up to 4 months if managing the signs of anxiety and no longer than 10 weeks if dealing with panic attacks.
- If taking Xanax for a week resulted in no positive changes, contact your doctor and ask for further advice. Don’t alter the dosage or switch to another medication without asking a professional opinion.
- If your treatment with Xanax takes a long time, be sure to regularly check the condition of your liver and kidneys as the medication can affect these vital organs.
- When your treatment with Xanax is about to be finished, slowly decrease the dosage of the medicine to prevent the appearance of withdrawal effects.
- The manufacturer has provided all the information about proper storage in the leaflet. The main rule is to keep Xanax away from heat, light and moisture exposure.
When It’s NOT advised to take Xanax?
Despite its ability to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and panic disorder, Xanax is not suitable for everyone. The following groups of patients can not be treated with this drug:
- people with respiratory issues
- patients with a history of addictions
- people with suicidal thoughts or depression
- patients who have liver or kidney problems
The next category of patients that cannot take Xanax includes people who are currently taking antifungal medicines or have allergic reactions to the drugs from the benzodiazepine class.
The last group of patients who shouldn’t take Xanax is pregnant women. The drug may cause dependence for the baby and lead to withdrawal symptoms.
Info About Dosage
Although you should follow the instructions given by your doctor, we want to provide some information about the safe use of Xanax. The dosage of Xanax is prescribed individually as it depends on numerous factors (age, gender, medical history).
Adult patients should limit themselves to 10 mg per day. Generally, the 0.5 mg immediate-release tablet should be taken 3 times a day. In case of taking the extended-release tablets, the patient should take no more than 3-6 mg (one pill).
Elder patients are allowed to take even lower dosages. Normally, the 0.25 mg immediate-release tablet is taken 3 times a day. If prescribed the XR tablets, 0.5 mg should be the starting dose.
In general, try to stick to the following rules:
- When it comes to deciding the minimum dosage, only one condition is taken into account.
- The patient should begin with a relatively smaller dosage (if compared to the rest of the treatment).
- It’s important to slowly decrease the dosage of Xanax closer to the end of treatment.
- The immediate-release tablets should be taken in the same amounts throughout the day.