What is Xanax?
Xanax is a potent medicine. Potency means – the measure of a medication’s activity. Simply put, this drug works faster in small doses, unlike others where higher doses and frequency are needed for faster results. This medicine is considered a minor tranquilizer because of its effectiveness – which is calming certain brain cells and the nervous system. The same tablets are also sold under another brand name, which is Alprazolam. The same results are achieved, whether you order Xanax or Alprazolam.
What is treated with Xanax?
Before taking this medicine, it is advisable to ask your doctor why you have been prescribed Xanax because the minor tranquilizer is used for a variety of treatments as explained below.
Treatment of Anxiety Disorders include:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Phobias (social and simple)
- Acute Anxiety
- Post-traumatic disorder
- Panic disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Anxiety disorder
Anxiety-associated due to mental conditions include:
- Somatoform disorder
- Cardiovascular condition
- Gastrointestinal condition
- Status Epilepticus – this is when people suffering from epilepsy have seizures that last for more than 5 minutes, when there is no recovery between the shaking, and when the jerking movements occur close
Involuntary movement disorders include:
- Akathisia – associated with the Neuroleptic use
- Choreiform disorders
- Restless leg syndrome
Spastic disorders and Muscle spasms include:
- Paraplegia – secondary to the Spinal Trauma
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cerebral palsy
- Muscle spasticity
- Pre-surgical sedation
- Convulsive disorders
- Involuntary movement disorders
- Detoxification from substances, such as alcohol
How Does It Work?
Imagine a vehicle. When there is something wrong with the engine, whatever the issue is, it has to be fixed in order to run properly. So, what follows? Owners take their car to a mechanic so it can be properly examined and given the necessary repairs. The same thing works with people, they need to see their doctor who can thoroughly check their health, find the cause of the problem, and then prescribe the proper medication.
The medication binds receptors, which are called Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA). The GABA is a neurotransmitter that is located in the brain and is naturally occurring. When there is not enough GABA, Xanax is prescribed because this medication provides strength which increases the production of these receptors to work faster and become stronger.
What to do when a dose is missed or forgotten?
Whether you have missed or have forgotten to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is time to take your next dose. But never, ever take two tablets or more to make up for a dose. The consequences of such actions could be dire, depending on the number of pills you have taken. Always take the medication as directed by your doctor. Do not increase or decrease your doses on your own under any circumstances. If you take more pills than what was recommended, you risk an overdose.
What happens if you take more than you should?
Accidents do happen. In such situations, the first thing you can do is call your doctor and explain what happened. If that is not an option, have someone close to you take you to the nearest hospital or emergency room. If your condition gets worse and none of the options above are possible, call an ambulance right away so you can get a proper treatment as soon as possible.
Signs and symptoms of overdose:
- A sudden drop in blood pressure
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling cold
- Joint pain
- Slurred speech
- Memory loss
- Difficulty breathing
- Unusual talkativeness
- Difficulty passing urine
Signs and symptoms of severe overdose:
When Xanax Should Be Avoided
Although this is a widely prescribed medication, Xanax is not for everyone. Before a treatment starts, all patients, without exception, should see their doctor and tell them about their medical history. There are some health conditions that can become worse. In other words, the medicine can do more harm than good, especially if users have any of the conditions listed here. Another reason why it is so important to talk to your GP is that not all health conditions are listed on our website. However, your doctor will be able to examine your overall health and then determine if this is the proper medication for you.
Tell your doctor if you have any you are allergic to:
- other medications or to the active ingredients Xanax has
- other drugs, such as Diazepam, Lorazepam, and other benzodiazepines of this group
- over the counter medicines even herbs
- any food
Tell your doctor if you have any of these medical conditions:
- Any breathing problems, such as Sleep Apnea or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Personal or family addiction to drugs and alcohol
- Suicidal thoughts and/or any attempts
- Kidney disease
- Epilepsy or seizures of any kind
- Liver disease
- Severe Lung problems
Contact your doctor if:
- After taking Xanax, there is no change of how the medicine is working. Sometimes, that happens especially if you have previously taken such medications
- If you are planning to become pregnant, think you might be pregnant, are pregnant or are breastfeeding
- Drive, operate any machinery, use tools, or do daily activities that require your full attention and mental abilities unless you know and are well aware of how Xanax affects them
- Smoking decreases the blood levels of Xanax, so you must inform your doctor if you have recently quit smoking or if you are smoking
Every information that you provide your doctor with will be significantly helpful because potential risks will be reduced to a bare minimum. There is nothing shameful or bad about visiting your GP. The more your medical practitioner knows, the less likely you will have any problems during your treatment.
Xanax and drug interactions
The minor tranquilizer does interact with other medications, and it is critical that you speak to your doctor, especially if you are taking any of the drugs listed in this section.
Tell your doctor if you are taking:
- Carisoprodol or Cyclobenzaprine
- Cetirizine or Diphenhydramine
- Fluconazole or Voriconazole
When any of these medications are combined with Xanax, the other drugs (listed above) can reduce how effectively the minor tranquilizer works. In addition, there could be side effects due to such combinations, and they include:
- Shallow and or slow breathing problems
Xanax and Grapefruit Juice Interaction
While taking the Xanax tablets, your diet may change slightly, especially when it comes to Grapefruit juice because side effects may appear. They include drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion. Another reason to avoid this type of juice is the function of the liver. When the medication and the juice are taken at the same or shortly after, the liver enzymes whose function is to break down any pills you are taking may reduce, thus more time will be needed for the Xanax to leave your body.
Adverse reactions are common in every medication. To avoid or minimize the risk of having such, patients must consult with their doctor who can properly and accurately estimate any potential risks.
Even though the adverse effects do not affect every patient during treatment, there is still a slight chance that may affect a user. When they do happen, your doctor may reduce your dose or prescribe a different medication that will better treat your condition. That is why it is not advised to self-medicate.
Common side effects:
- Slurred speech
- Lack of balance or coordination
- Upset stomach
- Feeling tired
- Change in sex ability
- Memory problems
- Feeling anxious in the morning
Rare and serious side effects:
- Difficulty talking
- Feeling weak
- Agitation or hostility
- Change in weight
- Passing dark urine or have trouble passing urine
- Yellowing of the skin or the eyes
- Chest pain
- Burning or numbness
- Feeling tired
- Blurred vision – eyesight
- Saliva production – increased
- Dry mouth
When or if any of the rare and serious side effects do happen, patients have to call their doctor and make an appointment as soon as possible, especially if they get worse or are persistent. Another option is to have a close friend or family member take you to the nearest hospital for a proper treatment. If none of the options are possible, call an ambulance.
How to store Xanax
- Store at room temperature
- Keep in a dry place, away from moisture
- Keep the pills out of the reach and sight of children as accidents could happen
- Do not throw Xanax in wastewater, running water or any garbage disposal, you have at your home
- Do not use the medication if it has expired or has arrived damaged
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist about how to properly dispose of the medicine or any other drugs you have at home that you no longer need