Does Xanax Come With Any Warnings For Use
Because Xanax has a high potential for psychological and physical dependence and the likelihood to become habit forming, the medication comes with several warnings for use. First, Xanax has a higher risk of drug abuse among patients with a history of drug or alcohol use or alcohol withdrawal. If you have suffered from addictive tendencies in the past, Xanax may not be right for you. Patients with existing depression may notice a worsening of their symptoms with the use of Xanax, so make sure to tell someone if you notice your depression worsening or begin experiencing suicidal thoughts. When used in combination with other central nervous system depressants, Xanax can be fatal due to respiratory depression, so drug interaction is crucial. So, it is imperative that you tell your doctor about any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, supplements, vitamins, or herbs you are taking for appropriate medical advice. Generally, Xanax should only be prescribed for short periods of time. Continuous long term use is not recommended due to the potential for abuse, so any extension of use should be carefully considered by a medical professional. Xanax should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding mothers due to the potential for serious birth defects and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms for the infant.
Can Xanax Help Depression
Occasionally, however, it may be prescribed by a doctor as an off-label treatment for depression. As far back as the 1990s, Xanax has been shown in clinical studies to help treat major depressive disorder when prescribed in double the dosage used for anxiety relief for a short period of time.
Despite this, the use of Xanax in depression is controversial. This is because Xanax is considered highly addictive when used at higher doses or for a long period of time .
Xanax has even been shown to cause depression in some people due to its sedative properties and to make depression worse in people who are already depressed.
How Does Xanax Work For Anxiety
When you experience excessive stress or anxiety, the brain increases certain nerve signals that lead to feelings of anxiety. During these times, the brain produces an unbalanced amount of chemical signals, increasing brain activity, feelings of fear and anxiety and restricting the ability to calm the mind.
Xanax creates a calming effect by impacting the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid , a naturally occurring chemical in the brain. If you become anxious or nervous, your brain releases it to calm down the negative activity. If you have anxiety or panic disorders, Xanax works by enhancing the effects of GABA in your brain.
Because Xanax is only intended for short-term treatment of anxiety, it is important to pursue other treatment options for long-term control of anxiety. The gold standard for treating anxiety is therapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy and applied relaxation. If medications are needed to treat anxiety, the first-line choices are antidepressants, which can impact anxiety as well as depression.
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How Long Does Xanax Work
When you take Xanax, the effects tend to take hold quickly, but they dont last long. Xanax has a relatively short half-life, meaning it doesnt take long for its effects to reach a peak after it is ingested. Thats one reason Xanax has such a high abuse potential drugs with a short half-life tend to be more commonly misused.
The effects of Xanax usually last a few hours, which is why it is typically prescribed to be taken up to three to four times a day. This is also why the drug is prescribed on an as-needed basis for infrequent panic attacks rather than as long-term therapy for anxiety.
How Does Xanax Treat Anxiety
Xanax works on neurotransmitters in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid , which are partially responsible for the regulation of sleep and feelings of both relaxation and anxiety. When a patient takes Xanax, the medication acts on the GABA receptors to slow down the central nervous system. Once the medication has bonded to the GABA receptors, neuron activity is inhibited, which means that you begin to feel reduced anxiety, fear, and terror. Xanax takes effect within about an hour, which is what makes it so effective in treating acute symptoms of anxiety and panic symptoms.
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How Does Xanax Work On The Central Nervous System
Xanax and other benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants. The central nervous system is responsible for maintaining our bodies primary functions, including the regulation of heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and body temperature. When taken, Xanax slows down these functions.
Many of its effects are similar to drinking alcohol. For example, the level of impairment, sleepiness and slow reaction time one may feel from Xanax are similar to drinking too much.
Some of the effects of short-term Xanax use include physical and mental relaxation and reduced feelings of fear, agitation and anxiety. However, adverse side effects of taking Xanax can include extreme drowsiness, coordination problems, feeling dizzy or lightheaded or experiencing emotional problems.
Are There Any Withdrawal Symptoms Associated With Xanax
Because Xanax is habit-forming and can lead to dependence and xanax addiction, psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms can occur if the medication is stopped abruptly during the detoxification process. If youve been taking Xanax regularly for more than two weeks, you must gradually wean off the medication under the supervision of a doctor to prevent xanax withdrawal symptoms from occurring. The longer you have taken Xanax, the more likely you are to experience withdrawal. Common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Weak or shallow breathing
- Medical attention should immediately be sought in the event of an overdose or possible overdose of Xanax.
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What Does Xanax Feel Like If Youre Using It Recreationally
Many people who take Xanax recreationally, or without a prescription, describe the feeling as sedating or calming.
Unlike some drugs, such as cocaine, that produce a high or euphoric feeling, Xanax users describe feeling more relaxed, quiet, and tired. These feelings may lead to falling asleep or passing out for a few hours.
Some people have also reported memory loss or blacking out and not remembering what happened for several hours. Higher doses will have stronger effects.
What Are The Benefits Of Xanax
Xanax can be beneficial for people with anxiety or panic disorders.
Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive or unwarranted anxiety and worry for a period of at least six months. Panic disorder is described by recurrent unexpected periods of intense fear, also known as a panic attack.
During a panic attack, a person will usually have a pounding or racing heart, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, a choking feeling, dizziness, fear, and other symptoms.
In clinical trials, Xanax was shown to be better than a placebo in improving anxiety symptoms in people with anxiety or anxiety with depression. For panic disorders, clinical studies found that Xanax significantly reduced the number of panic attacks experienced per week.
It isnt known if Xanax is safe and effective when used to treat anxiety disorder for longer than 4 months or to treat panic disorder for longer than 10 weeks.
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How Fast Does Xanax Work
Once ingested, Xanax takes one to two hours to reach peak levels in the bloodstream. Taking Xanax regularly may increase tolerance levels, so it may take more time to feel the effects after long-term use. How quickly the drug is absorbed and eventually leaves the body is also affected by the persons age, weight, alcohol use, liver function, metabolism, race and whether or not they smoke.
Xanax XR, an extended-release form of Xanax, reaches peak levels much more slowly than Xanax, taking about ten hours to achieve maximal concentration in the blood.
Alprazolam As An Anxiety Treatment
There is no denying that Alprazolam works. It’s been prescribed for severe anxiety and panic attacks for decades, and appears to show some fairly strong success rates. Xanax, and the generic versions, all seem to work well for most anxiety disorders and continue to provide relief for many months.
The problem isn’t generally that Alprazolam doesn’t work. The problem is that it is often prescribed without any other treatment, and with issues like panic attacks, you need to be able to manage them otherwise, when you stop taking the medication, the panic attacks will not only come back – they may come back stronger.
Taking Alprazolam for anxiety can also cause both psychological and physical dependence.
Dependence – especially physical dependence – can also lead to withdrawal symptoms, and in some cases these can be very severe. In many ways, Alprazolam has the same withdrawal symptoms as alcoholism, including not only anxiety and panic attacks, but also memory loss, muscle ache, headache, sweating, sleep problems, nausea, hallucinations, and even seizures. There is even a small risk of suicide.
If you wean off of the drug slowly over time you can decrease the likelihood of these withdrawal symptoms, but long term use of Alprazolam, even if it stops working, will increase the risk that withdrawal occurs. Perhaps even more unusual is that the withdrawal symptoms may also come and go over time after you stop taking the medicine.
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How Xanax Treats Panic Disorder
Like other benzodiazepines, Xanax impacts receptors for gamma-aminobutyric acid , a neurotransmitter in the brain that’s involved in sleep regulation, relaxation, and anxiety. This action can assist in slowing down the central nervous system , decreasing agitation and over-excitement while creating a tranquilizing or relaxing effect. Depressing the CNS also helps alleviate feelings of anxiety and lessen the severity of panic attacks.
Xanax is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream typically produces fast-acting results, rapidly eliciting feelings of calm and quickly decreasing panic disorder symptoms. Xanax has a short half-life, meaning it gets in and out of your system quickly. This has advantages and drawbacks, including the fact that you have to take it frequently, and it may result in ups and downs in anxiety control in some people.
To minimize the risk of dependence, Xanax is often prescribed for a limited period of time. Your doctor may regulate your prescription by only providing a certain amount of medication so that your condition can be periodically reevaluated before continuing on Xanax. Never increase or decrease your dosage without first consulting your doctor. To prevent withdrawal symptoms, your doctor may gradually reduce your dosage.
Are There Any Side Effects I Should Be Aware Of
Side effects for Xanax are generally divided into three categories and include common, less common, and serious side effects. Common side effects include:
If you experience an allergic reaction to Xanax, you should seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- Rash or hives
- Swelling of lips, tongue, or face
- Rapid heartbeat
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Coverage And Cost Comparison Of Ativan Vs Xanax
Ativan is typically covered by insurance and Medicare Part D in its generic form of lorazepam. The brand-name Ativan may not be covered or have a high copay. A typical prescription of lorazepam would be for 30 tablets of 1 mg and cost about $24 out-of-pocket. Xanax is also typically covered by insurance and Medicare Part D in the generic form of alprazolam. The brand-name Xanax may not be covered or have a high copay. A typical prescription of alprazolam would be for 60 tablets of 0.5 mg and cost about $33 out-of-pocket. You can save money using a SingleCare coupon on generic Ativan or Xanax.
Warnings Of Ativan And Xanax
Ativan and Xanax have many similar warnings. Both drugs come with a boxed warning, which is the strongest warning required by the FDA. Benzodiazepines such as Ativan or Xanax should not be used in combination with opioid painkillers due to the risk of extreme sedation, severe respiratory depression, coma, or even death. If the combination cannot be avoided, the patient should take the lowest dose for the shortest period of time and be closely monitored. Patients should not drive or operate machinery until effects are known.
Other warnings for both drugs include:
Xanax has some additional warnings:
- Patients with panic disorder often use higher doses of Xanax, so there may be a higher risk of dependence.
- Early morning anxiety or anxiety symptoms between doses have occurred in patients with panic disorder. In these situations, it is recommended that the drug be given in smaller doses, more frequently, adding up to the same total daily dose.
Ativan or Xanax should not be used in pregnancy both drugs are classified as pregnancy category D, meaning there is a risk to the fetus. If you are taking Ativan or Xanax and find out that you are pregnant, consult your doctor immediately.
Both drugs are on the Beers List . Older adults have increased sensitivity to benzodiazepines and there is an increased risk of cognitive impairment, delirium, falls, fractures, and motor vehicle crashes in older adults when Ativan or Xanax is used.
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What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture . Discard any cotton in the bottle containing orally disintegrating tablets and close the bottle tightly.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.