Xanax Review

Xanax Review

Xanax is a brand name of the generic prescription drug alprazolam, which is a benzodiazepine drug. It is primarily used as a short-term treatment for anxiety disorders. More specifically, it is often prescribed to treat panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Xanax is the single most prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States. It is an FDA-approved antidepressant and is considered to be safe and effective when taken as prescribed by those who are considered to be ideal candidates for this treatment. 

How does Xanax Work?

Benzodiazepine medications act on the brain and central nervous system. They produce a calming effect by slowing down the movement of brain chemicals that may have become unbalanced. This results in a decrease in nervous tension and anxiety.

Alprazolam, which is the active ingredient in Xanax, works by increasing the effects of a natural chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a chemical made in the brain. 

This Medication is not for Everyone

Simply because a person may be suffering from depression, panic or an anxiety disorder does not mean that they are automatically ideal candidates for alprazolam. As with every medication, Xanax is not for everybody.

Before taking this drug, it is important that a patient discusses with the doctor any allergies or other medical conditions they may have, this includes if you are pregnant, nursing a baby, or planning on becoming pregnant. The doctor should also be informed if the patient is currently taking prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and nutritional and herbal supplements.

Specifically, the medication should not be used by patients with:

  • Narrow-angle glaucoma
  • An allergy to the drug or to similar drugs such as other benzodiazepines (for example, diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and other related drugs), or if the patient is already taking ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporonox)

Additionally, patients should inform their doctor if they have:

  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Glaucoma
  • A history of suicidal thoughts or behavior or depression
  • A history of drug or alcohol abuse and/or addiction
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other issues with breathing

It is important to let your doctor know about these or any other past or known health conditions as a dosage adjustment or medical testing may be required in order to use Xanax safely. 

Possible Side Effects

Another important aspect to know about Xanax is that it may cause adverse effects. The more common side effects associated with this medication include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Increased saliva production
  • Change in sex drive

If these side effects should persist or worsen you should inform your doctor. Do not alter your dose to try to reduce these effects. It is important to remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he/she believes that the benefits of taking it out outweigh the risk of side effects. Also, it should be noted that many people who use this medication do not experience serious side effects.

That being said, if you should experience serious side effects your doctor should be informed immediately. Examples of these effects include (but are not limited to):

  • Mental/mood changes (e.g. hallucinations or suicidal thoughts)
  • Slurred speech or difficulty talking
  • Trouble walking
  • Loss of coordination
  • Memory problems

Additionally, if you should have rare but very serious symptoms like a severe allergic reaction (itching/swelling of the face/tongue/throat), seizures, very serious yellowing of skin or eyes, seek medical attention immediately.

It is important to take Xanax exactly according to the directions of the prescribing doctor. The only time that a dosage change should be made is in the occurrence that the doctor should recommend it. Xanax is a serious prescription drug that may be habit-forming in some patients, so it is especially important that only the person to whom the drug was prescribed actually take it.

If Xanax seems to stop working as a treatment for depression, anxiety or panic symptoms, the prescribing doctor should be contacted. After using the drug for a long time, symptoms may return once more. Withdrawal symptoms could occur if the drug’s use is stopped or abused.

These symptoms can include difficulty concentrating, blurring of vision, muscle twitches, tingling or numbness, increased sensations, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Regular checkups are necessary to ensure that Xanax helps the patient’s condition and continues to do so over time.

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