Xanax (Alprazolam)


Treatment with Xanax (Alprazolam) positively affects the mental health of people dealing with anxiety and panic. However, it also bears certain risks. We’ll tell you more about the pros and cons of Xanax below.

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Xanax (Alprazolam)

The Pros and Cons of Treatment with Xanax

Living in anxiety and panic is not the choice anyone would make. So when such health problems arise, people look for a treatment that can help them manage the symptoms and get back to the norm. Anyway, based on the figures provided by the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, 36.9% receive treatment. This is very low, taking into account the availability of highly effective and safe medicines like Xanax (Alprazolam).

This drug is a benzodiazepine tranquilizer that produces muscle relaxant, anxiolytic, and sedative effects. The medication is considered equally effective as some other representatives of its drug class (diazepam, lorazepam, etc.). However, the drug appears to be better due to a faster onset of the full effect. With Xanax, it takes only a week to achieve significant improvements. Other medicines require more time to provide the same result.

How Is the Use of Xanax Beneficial for Your Health?

Xanax is intended for people who suffer from panic disorder and anxiety. The drug has been used in healthcare since 1981, and it still remains on the top list of the most often prescribed benzodiazepines.

The primary benefit of this medication is its fast onset of effects. After oral intake, Xanax starts working within 20 – 60 minutes. Patients with a panic disorder will feel the full effect of the drug sooner than those with generalized anxiety. The latter needs a week of regular drug use to evaluate the beneficial effects of Xanax (Alprazolam).

The medication positively affects the quality of life of people taking it. It reduces your anxiety levels and eliminates such common symptoms of this disorder as restlessness, poor sleep, trouble concentrating, fatigue, and muscle tension. In 98% of people who suffer from GAD with comorbid irritable bowel syndrome, the gastrointestinal symptoms reduce within a month of treatment. Xanax also helps to reduce the incidence and the physical manifestations of panic attacks.

Reasons to Avoid Treatment with Xanax (Alprazolam)

You may be not recommended taking Xanax if you have some comorbid medical conditions. For instance, severe liver disease is a contraindication to the treatment with Xanax as this drug is metabolized by the liver and may exacerbate your health condition.

Among other contraindications to Xanax, you’ll find:

  • Hypersensitivity to Alprazolam or other components of the drug
  • A personal or family history of substance abuse
  • Glaucoma
  • Severe renal impairment
  • Severe breathing disorders
  • Pregnancy and lactation
  • Age younger than 18

The Drawbacks of Treatment with Xanax

Where there is the good there’s always the bad. In the case of Xanax, the positive changes in your mental health condition may go along with some physical health discomfort. For this reason, the benefit-risk ratio should always be evaluated before initiating treatment with Xanax.

Possible Unwanted Reactions to Xanax

The incidence of side effects ranges from 1.3% to 76.8% and mainly depends on the dosage used and individual peculiarities of a person taking this treatment. The most common side effect of Xanax is drowsiness, which is reported in 76.8% of users taking more than 4 mg daily and 41% of those who use lower doses of the drug. However, this reaction is typical for the first week or two of treatment. Later on, your body gets adjusted to the effects of Xanax, and drowsiness reduces.

As for other adverse reactions of the drug, they may be:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Impaired coordination
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased libido and others

Dependence on Xanax. Risks Explained

Studies reveal that people with benzodiazepine dependence have a significant preference for Alprazolam over other benzos. One of the reasons for that is that Alprazolam is more rewarding in terms of subjective effects than other drugs from the same family. One out of 311 visits to the emergency departments is due to Alprazolam misuse per prescription. The figures for other often-prescribed benzodiazepines are lower. People with a history of substance abuse are more prone to developing dependence on Xanax than those who have never had such problems.

The risks for tolerance and dependence can be reduced by following your doctor’s prescription. You should never increase your dosage or prolong the treatment without consulting your healthcare provider.

Summing Up

Xanax effectively copes with the symptoms of panic and anxiety. It can help you sleep better and improve your quality of life. However, you should carefully follow your doctor’s prescriptions to minimize the risks of side effects and dependence.