Generic Name: Alprazolam
Brand Names: Xanax, Xanax XR
The psychiatric treatment had a rise in the 1960s, and it became more mainstream to receive this treatment. Researchers looked for ways to help people manage insomnia, anxiety, and panic attacks. Dr. Leo Sternbach created Librium, the first benzodiazepine, in the year 1956, intending to develop a less addictive and potentially safer alternative to conventional tranquilizers as barbiturates.
Alprazolam, the active ingredient of Xanax, got patented in 1976, having its patent filed in 1969.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xanax on October 16, 1981. The first medication for treating panic disorder approved by the FDA was Xanax.
Within two years of its introduction in the market, Xanax became a pivotal drug in the United States.
Xanax is helpful in the management of panic and anxiety disorders. It belongs to benzodiazepine medications that act on the brain and central nervous system to produce calmness and relaxation.
Xanax enhances the effects of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) neurotransmitters that are responsible for the communication between the brain cells. They send chemical messages through the brain and nerves.
Xanax is available only on a doctor’s prescription.
Xanax comes in the following dosage formulations:
Disintegrating oral tablets
A doctor should weigh the potential risks of Xanax against its benefits before prescribing it to a patient. Consider the following things before starting Xanax treatment:
Tell a doctor if you have an allergy or reactions with Xanax or any benzodiazepine. Also, tell your doctor about other allergies you have, such as food allergies and dye or preservative allergies. Read the medication label for a complete list of its active and inactive ingredients.
Xanax interacts with several drugs to produce unwanted effects. Drug interactions could be mild or severe. Some medicines having critical interactions with Xanax are:
Mild Xanax interactions are avoidable by adjusting the doses and frequency of both drugs. Certain medications that have patient interaction with Xanax include:
The clinical researches have no proper reports of studies of Xanax on the pediatric population. However, the FDA has no established efficacy and safety of Xanax for children.
Studies do not show problems related to geriatric populations for the usefulness of Xanax. However, geriatric patients may have an increased risk of side effects such as kidney, liver, or lung diseases, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, or unsteadiness.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Researches reveal that pregnant women taking Xanax have a risk to their fetus. Xanax also gets into human milk and reaches the nursing baby. This can harm the infant, causing withdrawal symptoms such as respiratory depression, unusual sleepiness, and others. It is, therefore, not recommendable for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to take Xanax. However, a doctor may prescribe the medication to these women if its benefits outweigh the potential risks.
Xanax shows contraindications in some conditions. Several medical and mental health conditions may adversely affect Xanax use, including:
Acute narrow-angle glaucoma
History of seizures
History of mental health issues
History of alcohol abuse
Drug dependence or abuse
Depression or a family history of depression
Respiratory depression including lung or breathing problems
Proper Use :
Take Xanax only as directed by a doctor. Avoid taking higher, more frequent, or prolonged doses of the medication.
Xanax comes with a medication guide along with it. Follow all the given instructions. Contact your doctor to solve any queries after reading the manual.
While using extended-release tablets, swallow it entirely with a glass full of water. Never try to chew, break, or crush it.
While using oral disintegrating pills, dry your hands thoroughly before handling them. Take out the tablets from the bottle only when you are ready to take it. Take out and immediately place it on your tongue. It quickly melts on the tongue, swallows it with saliva.
While using an oral liquid solution, always measure your dose with a marked cup, spoon, or oral syringe.
Xanax dose is different for different people. Follow all the dosing directions carefully. Given below is the average dosing information for general purposes. Do not increase or decrease your dosages by yourself according to information.
The amount of Xanax, its doses, and frequency of dosing, all depends upon the medical condition of the patient.
Daily dose: start with 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg three times a day
Maximum dose: 4 mg per day
Dose titration: 0.5 mg every 3-4 days
Daily dose: 0.25 mg two to three times a day
Maximum dose: 2-4 mg a day
Dose titration: titrate very cautiously only if needed and well-tolerated
Pediatric patients: Xanax is not for the treatment of anxiety disorder in children below 18 years of age
Daily dose: 0.5 mg three times a day
Maximum dose: 10 mg per day
Dose titration: 1 mg every 3-4 days
Daily dose: 0.25 mg two to three times per day
Maximum dose: 4-6 mg per day
Dose titration: increase the dose very carefully only if needed and well-tolerated
Pediatric patients: Xanax is not for the treatment of panic disorder in children below 18 years of age
Storage of Xanax:
Store Xanax away from heat, light, and moisture in a closed container. Do not freeze the pills.
Keep the medication away from children.
Never keep outdated or expired Xanax with you.
Ask your pharmacist or a healthcare provider about the proper disposal of unused Xanax pills.
Side Effects of Xanax:
With its therapeutic effects, Xanax also causes undesirable effects. These adverse effects may be mild or severe, depending upon each patient. A patient can develop a few or more of these side effects.
Common side effects
Loss of appetite
Loss of concentration
Less common side effects
Dryness of mouth
Feelings of discomfort
Yellow eyes or skin
Severe side effects
Central nervous system depression
Loss of memory
Abnormal involuntary movement
Upper respiratory infection
Allergies such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome
Liver enzyme elevations
There can be some additional side effects not listed above. In case of any effects following the initiation of Xanax treatment, immediately consult your doctor.