Animal Care Clinic

(360) 253-4241
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Vancouver, WA 98684

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What is Xanax Used For

Xanax (generic name: alprazolam) is an oral medication that can treat symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepine, which are thought to produce a calming effect on the user by enhancing the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. Specifically, xanax attaches to a receptor called GABA-A (gamma-aminobutyric acid-A) in order to produce the calming effect. Xanax is one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the United States and is very effective in treating anxiety symptoms when taken correctly. Like any medication, it can produce some side effects such as drowsiness, light-headedness, low energy, and headache.

How to Take Xanax

If a person is suffering from a panic attack they can get some relief by taking Xanax. A person will need to have a prescription from their doctor to take this medication. When a person is prescribed anxiety to help treat a panic disorder they should begin by taking 0.5mg as needed or as directed by the doctor. This can be taken up to three times a day. As a person adjusts to the Xanax and how it will affect them they can increase their dosage to 1mg three times a day if they still need this. A doctor may also recommend behavioral therapies to help a person work to deal with their panic disorder and any triggers that will lead to this condition. A doctor may also try other medications before prescribing Xanax for a panic disorder. Xanax will help the chemicals known as GABA in the brain work more effectively. This chemical is responsible for the feeling of calmness and helps the body calm down in a stressful situation. The Xanax will help the GABA that is already in the bodywork more effectively and allow a person to have a more intense calming effect. A person may start on a smaller dose of Xanax when they first begin to take it and may need to see their doctor have their dosage slowly increased. The body will begin to make less GABA and more Xanax will be needed to help reach the calming feeling. If a person feels their current prescription is no longer working for them it is important to speak to their doctor. When taking incorrectly Xanax can be addictive. A person must follow the recommendation of the doctor when they are using Xanax so they do not become addicted. When Xanax is used over a short time then there is less of a chance of becoming addicted. The longer Xanax is used for the greater the chance of addiction is. People like the pleasurable and calming effects that this medication provides. The people that are at the highest risk for addiction and those that have been prescribed 4mg or more a day and prescribed this amount for longer than 12 weeks. The long term use of Xanax can develop a dependence on the mind and the body. If a person were to cut back or stop their Xanax use there may be some withdrawal symptoms that they may experience. A person may experience dysphoria, blurred vision, loss of appetite, problems with concentration, depression, a feeling of pins and needles on the skin, sweating, mood swings, and muscle cramps among some other symptoms. Not everyone will experience all of the same symptoms. A person may be experiencing addiction if they are taking more than the recommended amount and taking it more frequently than suggested. The longer a person has used Xanax the greater the chance they have of developing a dependence. This medication needs to be used under the close supervision of a doctor and should be used on a needed basis. Despite its effectiveness on symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders, xanax should only be used under the direction of a doctor because it can be habit-forming and addictive. This medication should not be taken in doses larger than what is prescribed or for longer than prescribed by a medical professional. Often, a doctor will start a patient on a very small dosage (0.25 milligrams) and increase the dosage as needed to provide the patient relief. Xanax is available in dosages up to 2 milligrams. Certain medications can cause negative interactions when taken with xanax, so you should always tell your doctor what other medications you currently take before starting xanax.

withdrawal symptoms

Because it is habit-forming, some users have reported symptoms of withdrawal from xanax. Your doctor should taper your dosage of xanax in order to stop use of the drug safely. Withdrawal symptoms can include the following: • Seizures • Depression • Anxiety/panic attacks • Headaches • Insomnia • Sweating • Delirium • Irritability Other withdrawal symptoms may be present as well. Addiction to xanax is serious. Withdrawal symptoms may make it difficult for a user to stop taking xanax because they are so unpleasant. If you suspect you are addicted to xanax, it is best to seek medical help rather than attempt to quit the medication on your own. Individuals who are addicted to xanax will be weaned off safely and in the most comfortable way possible. Doctors may even prescribe other anti-anxiety medications to help in this process. After detoxing, the patient will usually see a therapist or counselor in order to develop healthier habits to handle anxiety and address the problems that led to xanax abuse. Again, other medications may be prescribed after the detox in place of xanax to help with the patient's anxiety. Before you begin taking any new medications, especially xanax, you should talk with your doctor about any other symptoms or medical conditions you are experiencing. Additionally, if you experience severe side effects from xanax, you should let your doctor know as soon as possible. Xanax is not right for everyone and your doctor will help determine which course of medication is best for your situation. If you need assistance with xanax addiction, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a well-known resource for treatment and counseling services. When used safely, xanax has been able to provide relief from anxiety symptoms for many patients.