What Is Xanax (Alprazolam) Used For?
The medicine itself is called Alprazolam, although most users know it under its brand name Xanax. It acts as a tranquilizer drug and belongs to the thienobenzodiazepine group. In other words, it’s a chemical compound of benzodiazepines and triazole.
The area of Xanax use is mostly anxiety conditions, which manifest themselves in the form of panic disorder and generalized anxiety. In most cases, the medicament is taken by the month as it exists in the form of pills. Generally, when dealing with symptoms of anxiety, it takes around 1 week of treatment to get the first results. If a patient is suffering from panic disorders, the medicine will work faster.
Managing Panic Disorder With Xanax
Panic attacks are a complex notion that can be simply described as an unexpected wave of panic or fear. If a person regularly experiences these feelings, his doctor may diagnose panic disorder. For treating this disorder, Xanax is often prescribed. The medicament is able to lower the strength of the panic attack symptoms or stop them.
Australia has recently announced that they stop using Xanax (Alprazolam) for dealing with panic disorder. The reason is that this medicine can be highly addictive. The ban came into effect because the studies of taking Xanax for 10 weeks showed cases of addiction. However, the duration of treatment may last up to 12 months.
Among US doctors, Xanax is considered to be extremely effective. They widely use it for managing the panic disorder, as long as the patient shows no signs of dependence or tolerance to the drug.
Managing Generalized Anxiety Disorder With Xanax (Alprazolam)
This condition is widely known as GAD. Basically, it can be described as huge anxiety towards daily routine and life in general. A person is constantly rotating the thoughts of doom and disaster about his health, finance, relatives without any reason.
Despite the absence of many accredited studies, Xanax has also been proved effective in dealing with depression and GAD. In these cases, the general course of treatment with Xanax should last for about 4 months. If you take Xanax for a longer period than indicated, it may lead to the opposite results (because a patient becomes dependent on his medicine).
The Correct Way To Use Xanax
If your doctor thinks that his patient’s condition requires a prescription of Xanax (Alprazolam), then it may be the best possible decision for the moment. Any patient prescribed this drug should always listen to the recommendations of his doctor and pharmacist. In addition, there are a few general rules to follow:
- Never break or crush the pill, especially if prescribed an XR form.
- It’s not recommended to take Xanax for more than 10 weeks (panic disorder) or 4 months (anxiety disorder).
- If taking Xanax for a week doesn’t change the way you feel, contact your doctor. Avoid self-treatment and don’t increase dosage without consulting a specialist.
- Before you take Xanax, there’s something important you need to know. It has a huge impact on the liver or kidneys. If your treatment takes a long time, get tested regularly.
- Closer to the end of using Xanax, use a mild approach to finishing the treatment. To do that, gradually decrease the amount of the drug. In this case, any withdrawal effects aren’t likely to appear.
- The basic info about drug storage is written in the leaflet. Read it carefully. Most often, Xanax should be kept away from heat, light and moisture.
When Should I NOT take Xanax?
Despite being an effective medicament for managing panic attacks and GAD, Xanax cannot be prescribed for everyone. For example, patients who have issues with respiratory symptoms, history of addictions, suicidal thoughts, depression, kidney or leaver diseases should not take this drug.
Another category of patients that must not take Xanax is people who are currently on antifungal medicines or have allergic reactions to benzodiazepine drugs.
Pregnancy is a wonderful period, yet Xanax should be avoided during this time. If a future mom doesn’t want to cause dependency of the fetus and suffer from withdrawal symptoms, she shouldn’t take this medicament.
Tips on Safe Dosing
The final part of this article will be devoted to the most essential part: a dosage of Xanax. First of all, it’s important to listen to your doctor. He knows exactly what amount of Xanax to prescribe, as it differs depending on the medical history, age, and gender of every patient.
For adults, the maximum daily dosage shouldn’t exceed 10 mg. The 0.5 mg immediate-release tablets are taken 3 times per day, while the extended-release tablets (3-6 mg) are taken once per day.
For elder patients, the maximum daily dosage shouldn’t exceed 0.75 mg. The extended-release tablets (0.5 mg) may be the initial dose.
In general, keep the following tips in mind:
- The minimum dose is determined by the doctor after assessing your condition.
- The starting dose is mostly the lowest.
- The patient should gradually lower the dosage of Xanax before completing the course of treatment.
- If taking immediate-release tablets, dosages should be distributed evenly throughout the day.