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What is Xanax used for

Xanax is a medication that belongs to class of drugs knowns as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines have calming effect on central nervous system and include medications such as clonazepam, diazepam, flurazepam and lorazepam. Generic name of Xanax is alprazolam. There are also other brand names of alprazolam, such as Xanax XR and Nirvam. Xanax is taken orally, in tablet form but it can be also found in different concentrations (0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg) and in solution form (1mg/ml).

Indications

Xanax tablets are prescription medicine indicated for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorder. These conditions are characterized by increased brain activity that can be reduced with the help of Xanax and other drugs for treating anxiety. Anti anxiety drugs bring relief of anxiety symptoms by inhibiting neurotransmitters in the brain that induce increased brain activity. Alprazolam medications enhance the effects of Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA) thus changing the brain chemical balance. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain that induces relaxation and sleep. Xanax increases the level of GABA in the brain which helps to significantly ease tension, worries and anxiety that result from depression. Due to this, Xanax is known as sedative, tranquilizer or central nervous system depressant.

Xanax may cause withdrawal reactions since it results in habit forming or addiction. This generally occurs if Xanax is taken regularly or for a longer period of time than directed by a doctor. Addiction to Xanax can be sometimes seen in adolescents and adults who take this medication as a recreation drug. To avoid withdrawal symptoms, Xanax must be reduced gradually.

Side Effects of Xanax

Xanax, like any other medication that effects on chemical balance of the brain, can cause certain related medical conditions. Xanax is mostly well tolerated but it may cause allergic reaction in people allergic to benzodiazepines. Common side effects of Xanax include: drowsiness, fatigue, irritability, memory problems, mood changes, slurred speech, trouble walking, increased appetite, changes in sex drive, constipation, weight gain and dry mouth.

Precautions

Before using Xanax, you must tell a physician your medical history especially if that includes liver disorders, kidney disease or severe breathing problems. Since, Xanax causes drowsiness, a person that takes this medication should not drive, use machinery or do anything that requires alertness. Xanax should not be used in combination with alcohol since this may increase the effects of both alcohol and Xanax. This drug is not recommended for use during pregnancy since it may harm fetus. Xanax may also affect nursing baby since it passes into breast milk. Also, Xanax may interact with some prescribed and non prescribed drugs and you must inform your doctor if you take any medications.

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