Xanax or Alprazolam is an anti anxiety medication from the group of drugs known as benzodiazepines. These anxiety medications are known to directly affect the brain and may cause you to be more relaxed, make you more tranquil, sleep better, or they can slow down the nervous system transmissions in such a way as to act as an anticonvulsant. Many doctors prefer benzodiazepines to other anti anxiety medications that can be used with a similar effect, because they tend to be safer, have fewer side effects, and are usually as effective if not more so than these other medications. Xanax comes in the regular form as well as an extended-release form referred to as Xanax XR
What is Xanax usually prescribed for?
This anti anxiety medication is usually prescribed for anxiety, tension, fatigue, and agitation. It is also sometimes prescribed for irritable bowel syndrome, panic attacks, depression, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Xanax precautions and warnings:
You should not take Xanax (Alprazolam) if you know that you are sensitive to or allergic to any other benzodiazepine medication including clonazepam. Xanax is also known to aggravate narrow-angle glaucoma, but is still sometimes prescribed if you have open-angle glaucoma.
Some other conditions where Xanax should probably be avoided are severe depression, severe lung disease, sleep apnea (intermittent cessation of breathing during sleep), liver disease, drunkenness, and kidney disease. In each of these conditions, the depressive effects of Xanax or similar antianxiety medications may be enhanced or could be detrimental to your overall condition.
Xanax should not be taken by psychotic patients as it is not effective for them and can trigger unusual stimulation, excitement or rage.
Xanax and other benzodiazepines are not meant to be used for more than three or four months in a row. Your condition should continue to be reassessed before continuing this anti anxiety medication beyond that period of time.
Xanax and similar anti anxiety medications may be addictive. Drug withdrawal may develop if you stop taking it after only four weeks of regular use, but is more likely after a longer period of use. These withdrawal symptoms may start with anxiety and progress to tingling in the hands or feet, sensitivity to light, sleep disturbances, cramps, tremors, muscle tension or twitching, poor concentration, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, appetite loss, sweating, and changes in your overall mental state.
Xanax Side Effects:
Xanax side effects cannot be anticipated, but if you experience an increase in symptoms or sensitivity to this or any medication you should contact your physician immediately. Possible Xanax side effect should be considered any time you’re anticipating doing any activity which requires your full attention or alertness.
Most common Xanax side effects:
The most common side effects of this anti anxiety medication include mild drowsiness during the first few days of therapy. Weakness and confusion may occur, especially for seniors and others who may be sickly or otherwise physically compromised. If these effects persist, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Less common Xanax side effects:
Some of the side effects experienced to a lesser degree among individuals taking this anti anxiety medication include depression, lethargy, disorientation, headache, inactivity, slurred speech, stupor, dizziness, tremors, constipation, dry mouth, nausea, inability to control urination, sexual difficulties, irregular menstrual cycle, changes in heart rhythm, low blood pressure, fluid retention, blurred or double vision, itching, rash, hiccups, nervousness, inability to fall asleep, and occasional liver dysfunction. If you experience any of these Xanax side effects, you should stop taking the medication immediately and contact your doctor.
Rare Xanax side effects:
Medical experts report that rare side effects can occur in almost any part of the body when taking this anti anxiety medication. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any side effects not listed above.
Xanax is a central nervous system depressant. You should avoid alcohol and other tranquilizers, narcotics, barbiturates, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s), antihistamines and antidepressants while taking this medication. If you’re taking Xanax with these other medications, you may experience an excessive amount of depression, tiredness, sleepiness, breathing difficulties and related symptoms.
Smoking is believed to reduce the effectiveness of Xanax by increasing the rate at which it is broken down by the body.
The effects of Xanax may be prolonged when taken together with cimetidine, oral contraceptives, disulfiram, fluoxetine, itraconazole, ketoconazole, metoprolol, probenecid, propoxyphene, propranolol, rifampin, and valproic acid.Theophylline may reduce Xanax’s sedative effects.
If you take any antacids, you should separate them from your Xanax dose by at least one hour to keep them from interfering with the absorption of this anti anxiety medication into the bloodstream.Xanax may raise digoxin blood levels and the chances of digoxin toxicity.The effect of levodopa may be decreased if it is taken along with this anti anxiety medication.Combining Xanax with phenytoin may increase its blood concentrations in the chances of phenytoin toxicity.
Xanax Dosages and Recommendations:
The usual adult Xanax dosage is 0.5-6 mg per day. The Xanax dosage should be tailored to meet your individual needs. Xanax is not recommended for children under the age of 18. This antianxiety medication should be taken on an empty stomach, but may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.
The symptoms of Xanax overdosage are confusion, sleepiness, for coordination, lack of response to pain such as pinprick, loss of reflexes, shallow breathing, low blood pressure, and coma. You should take any individual’s you suspect to be experiencing an overdose to a hospital emergency room immediately. Also, you should always bring the Xanax prescription bottle or container.
Special information related to this and key anxiety medication:
Xanax can cost tiredness, drowsiness, inability to concentrate, or related symptoms. You should always be very careful driving or operating machinery, or perform any to these require concentration have high level of alertness.
Anyone taking Xanax or similar antianxiety medications (benzodiazepines) for more than three or four months at a time may be at risk for a drug withdrawal reaction if the medicine is stop suddenly.
If you forget to your latest Xanax dosage, you should take it is Senator member. It is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you forgot a return to your regular Xanax dosage schedule. Do not take a double dose. He takes Xanax XOR, you should take your full daily dose once a day in the morning. Tonight she were crushed Xanax XOR tablets.
Xanax and special populations:
Saks may cause birth effects of taken during the first three months of pregnancy. You should avoid Xanax while you are pregnant. Also, Xanax may pass into breast milk. Nursing mothers who must take Xanax should bottle -feed.
Seniors, should be especially careful when taking Xanax, especially those with liver or kidney disease, those are more sensitive to the effects of Xanax or similar benzodiazepines and generally require smaller doses to achieve the same effect.
Some information from The PDR Pocket Guide to Prescription Drugs
Additional information and webpage by Paul Susic Ph.D Licensed Psychologist (Health and Geriatric Psychologist)
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