Discover the Benefits of Xanax (Alprazolam) for Anxiety and Panic Attacks
When taken as prescribed, Xanax (alprazolam) can help people with anxiety disorders or panic attacks by promoting a feeling of calm. Xanax is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, known on the street as benzos and by other names. It works by slowing the activity of your central nervous system, which may help you feel calm and free from worry and panic.
How Xanax Works to Promote Calmness
Xanax is a depressant and boosts the effects of a chemical in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid, which results in calmness and feeling relaxed. For many people, the drug helps curb anxiety and promote sleep.
Side Effects and Risks of Xanax Use
It can also make you feel drowsy and lightheaded and may make you less mentally alert, so operating machinery and motor vehicles is not recommended while taking Xanax until you know how it makes you feel.
Other side effects of Xanax can include dry mouth, irritability, impaired memory, libido changes, and constipation. Signs of a Xanax overdose can include extreme sleepiness, problems with coordination, confusion, decreased use of reflexes, and coma. An overdose can result in death.
Short-Term Use Recommended
Xanax is often prescribed for the temporary relief of anxiety symptoms, but it isn’t recommended for long-term use, as this can lead to addiction and serious side effects related to withdrawal, including seizures. It’s also a drug that’s often abused. It’s not an opioid, but it is sometimes mixed with them and has been found in many patients who overdose on opioids.
Mixing Xanax with Other Drugs or Alcohol
Despite its benefits, Xanax can be dangerous. It’s not good to mix Xanax and alcohol, as both are central nervous system depressants and slow the activity of the brain. Mixing alcohol and Xanax can raise your risk of experiencing more severe side effects of the drug, such as dizziness, slowed breathing, and extreme sleepiness.
Withdrawal Symptoms and Potential for Abuse
For people who become addicted to Xanax or stop taking the drug suddenly, getting off the drug can be as difficult as breaking any drug habit. Symptoms of withdrawal can include increased sensory perception, concentration impairment, loss of the sense of smell, brain fog, tingling, muscle cramps, muscle twitches, diarrhea, blurred vision, decreased appetite, weight loss, anxiety, and insomnia.
Consult Your Doctor Before Taking Xanax
Xanax is an effective but potentially dangerous drug. It is safe when taken as prescribed for the temporary relief of anxiety and panic attacks, but it isn’t a long-term solution. It can also be addictive and abused. The FDA warns doctors to prescribe Xanax carefully and advises the smallest dose for the shortest period. If your doctor prescribes Xanax, be sure you mention all the other drugs you are taking and the dose because this can affect how the Xanax will react in your system and how the drugs you are already taking will react to Xanax. This includes opiate medications for cough or pain.