Also known as Alprazolam, it is a potent short-acting drug of the benzodiazepine class. It is primarily used to treat moderate to severe anxiety disorders and panic attacks, and is used as an adjunctive treatment for anxiety associated with moderate depression.
It has sedative, hypnotic, anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant properties.
The effect of Xanax on the brain of the patient is sometimes described as being similar to the effect of alcohol. It should not be mixed with other prescription medicine, or with alcohol.
Before the doctor prescribes this drug, one should indicate whether or not he has some kind of allergies, because Xanax may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Also, one should mention any previous liver disease, lung problems, or previous alcohol abuse.
This drug may make one dizzy or drowsy. One should not not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness. One should avoid alcohol.
Caution is advised when using Xanax for the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its side effects, especially, loss of coordination and drowsiness.
Alprazolam is not recommended for use during pregnancy due to the potential for harm to an unborn baby. Also, this drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended.
It may have some side-effects, such as mood changes, clumsiness, decreased interest in sex, trouble walking, slurred speech, etc.
Some, more serious side-effects such as yellowing of the eyes or skin, or signs of infections (fever, sore throat), paradoxical reactions (tremors, aggression, hyperactivity, rage, etc.) should be reported to one’s physician.
Allergic reactions are very rare, but they do happen. In such cases, a person should go straight to the doctor.
Alprazolam has been shown by some researches to be tremendously addictive. The larger the dose, the quicker one becomes dependant. If one uses Xanax long term, the body can develop tolerance for tit and greater doses will be required to attain the same initial effects.
So one, when taken off the drug, may experience some withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can appear within a few hours to several days after discontinuation and may also occur in the form of cravings. In the case of Xanax, the abrupt discontinuation of any type of drug is not recommended, while it may be fatal.
Withdrawal symptoms for Xanax include hallucinations, sweating, loss of appetite, muscle tension, itchy skin, depression, mood changes, insomnia, blurred vision, etc.