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What is Xanax Used for?

A Brief Overview of Xanax and What is it Used For

This article provides some information about Xanax pills, their uses, and the possible side effects associated with them.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Administration of any prescription medication is not recommended, unless it is prescribed by a trusted health specialist. This is because such therapeutic drugs contain ingredients specific for a particular condition. Those sold as over-the-counter drugs and medications are formulated with ingredients, which are safe, even if they are taken without the doctor's supervision. So, understanding the specificity of a particular drug is crucial to get its benefits, while avoiding the side effects.

What are Xanax Pills?

The generic name of Xanax pills is alprazolam that is classified under the drug class, benzodiazepines. The same class includes other medications like clonazepam, diazepam, flurazepam, and lorazepam. And other brand names of alprazolam drug are Xanax XR (extended release of Xanax) and Niravam. Xanax pills are available in varied concentrations (0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg ), each of which is used according to the condition of the affected person. It is also available in the solution form, with a concentration of 1 mg/ml.

Uses

Xanax is a prescription medication for managing anxiety symptoms and panic attacks. As per medical researches, anxiety and related medical conditions are manifested due to increased activity of the brain. Thus, antianxiety medications are formulated with an objective to inhibit or slow down brain activity (to some extent) and manage the symptoms. Since, neurotransmitters are indirectly responsible for initiating brain activity, antianxiety medication targets in reducing effects of these chemicals.

After ingesting Xanax and alike pills of the alprazolam family, they alter the chemical balance of the brain by elevating gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) effects. Regarding GABA, it is an inhibitory neurotransmitter released by the body under stress conditions. Since, Xanax increases GABA production, it provides calming effect and the consequences of nervousness, worries, and anxiety caused by depression are reduced considerably.

A major concern with these pills is that they are habit-forming drugs. Regular intake of these medications for some time causes addictive effects to the drug recipients. Hence, treatment for anxiety disorder with the same should be done only if the doctor prescribes them. Very often, teenagers and adults take these antianxiety medication as a recreational drug. In such a case, one should take immediate medical attention. The doctor may suggest gradual reduction in the dosage to help quit Xanax without manifesting withdrawal symptoms.

Are There any Side Effects of Xanax?

As one knows what this medication is prescribed for, one can predict its long-term effects on health. Any medication that has something to do with the chemical balance of the brain should not be taken lightly. To be more precise, they affect the body's responses and cause associated medical conditions. Some people are allergic to benzodiazepines, which when taken caused mild to severe allergic responses. Hence, individuals who have a medical history of showing allergies to this drug should abstain from Xanax.

Prior to relying on this drug for anxiety cures, one should inform the doctor about any existing medical condition. For breathing problems, liver disorders, and kidney problems, the doctor would perform the required tests to check and determine if taking Xanax is safe or not. Also, one should speak to the physician, if there are any current medications. Xanax may interact with other drugs and alter their effects in the body. These pills cause medical complications in expecting mothers and also, to the developing fetus.

Another consideration for taking this antianxiety medication is to refrain from alcohol. Both the effects of alcohol and Xanax are increased when taken together. Taking a note of general anxiety medication side effects, self-medication of these pills is strictly not recommended.

Disclaimer: This PsycholoGenie article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.