Xanax (also known as Alprazolam – the generic name of the preparation) is a benzodiazepine with a medium-duration action belonging to the ataractic pharmacological class. The drug has antianxiety properties and is indicated for the treatment of the next conditions:
- Anxiety accompanied by neuroses, psychological tension, restlessness, irritation, aggression, somatic disorders, and sleep disturbance;
- Mixed anxiodepressive states;
- Neurotic reactive depressions accompanied by unstable mood, low spirits, lack of interest in life, psychomotor excitement, weight changes, poor appetite, cognitive activity failure;
- Panic disorders;
- Phobia attacks;
- Suicidal ideation;
- Withdrawal state.
Doses and administration
Xanax and its generic analogs are produced in a form of 0.5 mg and 0.25 mg oral pills. The drug dose must be individualized to achieve an expected therapeutic benefit. Xanax and remedies containing Alprazolam are typically taken on a regular basis with the initial dosage of 0.25 mg 3 times per day regardless food consumption. In particular cases, a personal physician may recommend increasingthe standard dose and the number of product intakes. As this medication may build up an abuse and tolerance with an increase of dose and therapy length, patients are not advised to initiate the usage of this antianxiety drug without prescription.
The duration of Alprazolam therapy must not exceed three months. To avoid the risk of withdrawal signs, the gradual decrease of daily dosage must be considered, for instance, 0.5 mg twice a week. An abrupt treatment cessation can lead to sleep disruption, dyspepsia, muscle pain, and convulsions. If the dose reduction symptoms are disturbing, the reinstitution of Xanax is considered. The maximum daily dose of this medicine must not be more than 4 mg otherwise there is a danger of unexpected side-effects.
Usually, after-effects caused by Xanax or its generics vary from mild to moderate and do not require immediate medical care. Unpleasant reactions may occur as a body tries to get used to a new preparation and in a short time, they will go away.
The most common incidents include:
- Abdominal pain.
- Bloody, difficult or painful urination.
- Blurred vision.
- Changes in taste.
- Difficulty in memorization.
- Dysarthria (speech impairment).
- Increased fatigability.
- Menstrual cycle disorder.
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Motor dysfunction.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Rapid weight loss or gain.
- Sexual disorder (increased or decreased libido).
- Skin reactions (rash, excessive sweating, itching).
- Uncontrollable behavior changes.
- Weakening of cognitive abilities.
Benzodiazepines like Xanax must not be taken by patients sensitive to this pharmacological agent or its components. When used concomitantly with opioid analgesics and oral antifungal agents, this ataractic may evoke severe drug interactions the most common of which are respiratory depression, coma, and fatal outcome.
The medication is contraindicated for people suffering from closed-angle glaucoma as the drug can increase ocular pressure.
The drug is not meant for people under 18, pregnant or nursing mothers as the medication is reported to cause fetus abnormalities and severe withdrawal symptoms in breastfed children. Conditions like thyroid disorders, obesity, renal insufficiency, and liver diseases require the remedy dosage adjustments.
If overdosed or administered without prescription, this tranquilizer may induce respiratory distress. Individuals with the previous incidents of seizures or epilepsy are required to consume this benzodiazepine with a proper antispasmodic agent.
Warnings and precautions
In the course of Xanax therapy, a patient is not recommended to drive a car or operate any machinery that potentially are not safe and may cause harm. This medicine can potentiate the alcohol action so that the simultaneous administration of these two agents is hazardous.
Prior to prescribing a Xanax treatment, a doctor will need to know if a patient has a history of:
- Any pulmonary or eye diseases
- Any type of allergy
- Drug or alcohol addiction
- Suicidal attempts