Alprazolam or Xanax is a psychoactive drug of the benzodiazepine class. This FDA approved medication is normally used to treat panic and attack disorders which may include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD). Alprazolam is available in tablets and capsules. This medication has calming, anxiolytic, hypnotic, anticonvulsant, and amnestic properties.
Xanax is an anti anxiety and antidepressant medication developed in the 60s by Upjohn Laboratories of Kalamazoo, Michigan. It was initially intended to be a sleep aid. However, later on Dr. David Sheehan and representatives of Upjohn recognized its effectiveness to treat anxiety, mood and panic disorders. Other more toxic antidepressants were on the market during this time. A new drug application was presented to the FDA called Xanax which proved that Xanax or Alprazolam was better than other drugs available in the market at the time. Xanax was then launched as an anti-anxiety medication since Upjohn had proved that panic was an independent disease. During the early 1990s, Alprazolam became widespread in psychiatry. It was popularly prescribed by psychiatrists hoping it will treat panic disorder across the nation.
Alprazolam is known by Xanax all over the world, excluding Latin-American countries where alprazolam is called Tafil. Other countries also have different brand names for this medication. The most effective dosage generally used is 0.25 mg, normally taken three or four times a day. Nevertheless, some patients who do well with Xanax may take it once or twice a day only.
Some of the most common side effects that occur when taking alprazolam may include:
The less frequent symptoms patients may experience include:
Several side effects associated with alprazolam may not require medical attention immediately. The body tends to adjust to this medication during treatment until the side effects go away. The doctor may be able to suggest ways to lessen or prevent several of these side effects. If these uncomfortable side effects persist or if there are any questions about them, the patient should check with the doctor.
Patients should not breast-feed while using these drugs. The calming effects of Alprazolam generally last longer in older individuals. Accidental falls are common in older patients who take benzos. This is why the patient should use caution to avoid these falls while taking this medication. Patients under 18 years of age should not take Alprazolam.
Physiological dependence on benzos can generally follow prolonged treatment, and most addicts will experience unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal. Xanax can be very addictive as patients can become dependent during the initial days of treatment. Discontinuing this drug suddenly could cause symptoms of withdrawal that make it nearly impossible to wean yourself off the substance without medical assistance. Alprazolam dosage should be gradually tapered as patients can develop tolerance.
Alprazolam can be habit forming and should be used only by the patient for whom it was intended. This medication should never be shared with another person, especially individuals with a history of chemical dependency or addiction. This drug should be in a place where others cannot reach it. Pregnant women should not use this medication as it could harm the baby. Alprazolam can also cause addiction and withdrawal in the newborn if the mother took this drug while pregnant. Patients who become pregnant while using this medication should tell their doctor. This drug can pass into breast milk and may harm the baby.
An addiction to alprazolam often causes issues in every aspect of the addicts life, from health problems, to relationship issues and a lack of responsibility in every day tasks. If you or a loved one has an addiction to alprazolam, seek professional assistance before the problem spirals even further out of control.