Xanax is a potent anxiolytic used to treat anxiety and panic. It is also often used for sleep disorders treatment. We’ll tell you about the uses of the drug, how to act in overdose, and other things you should know

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Xanax Uses. Drug Overdose, Withdrawal, and Risks for Dependence

Xanax used to be a very popular medication to treat anxiety and panic disorder. There were times when the number of prescriptions for the drug reached 28.9 million in the United States only. However, since that time a lot has changed. Now, the preparation is losing its rating. In 2019, US healthcare professionals issued more than 17.5 million prescriptions, which was 3.3 million less than the year before. This tendency continues now.
Why is Xanax losing its position? One of the possible reasons is the high risks of building up tolerance and addiction to the drug. Today, we’ll try to tell you about this in more detail. So if you are planning to take Xanax but have concerns regarding its safety, join in!

What Is Xanax? What Is It Intended for?

Xanax contains an active substance called alprazolam. It is a fast-acting preparation with tranquilizing, anxiolytic, sedative, and muscle relaxant properties. This drug is considered a medium duration of action benzodiazepine. Typically, its effects become visible within 20 – 60 minutes after oral use. The drug works for about 6 hours, but its metabolites stay in your body for at least 22 – 26 hours.
This medicine is intended to treat panic disorder with or without agoraphobia. It is also effective in the therapy of anxiety disorders, like generalized anxiety, anxiety associated with depression, etc. Xanax is also recommended for people undergoing chemotherapy. The preparation helps relieve nausea and vomiting, thus improving the patient’s quality of life after the procedure.

Typical Xanax Dosages. Drug Overdose

Your dosage of Xanax should be chosen individually with your healthcare provider. Your age, health condition, and response to the therapy are taken into account when deciding on the most appropriate dosing regimen.
The recommended doses of the drug for anxiety range from 0.75 mg daily to 4 mg, divided into several intakes. If you need Xanax to cope with panic, your dosage may reach a maximum of 10 mg per day, though some patients may soothe their symptoms by taking 1 mg a day only. Regardless of what disease you treat, the dosage should be increased gradually until you feel the desired effect.
What if you overdose? Xanax overdose shows through impaired coordination, severe drowsiness, confusion. In case of severe overdose or if mixed with alcohol or other CNS depressants, Xanax may cause diminished reflexes and coma.
Gastric lavage and intravenous fluids may be helpful to relieve the symptoms of overdose. Aside from this, an injection of flumazenil may help reverse the sedative effects of Xanax. However, the use of this medication alone is not enough to help a person in Xanax overdose.

Does Xanax Cause a Withdrawal?

The peculiarities of the mechanism of action of Xanax don’t allow abrupt discontinuation of treatment. If you do so, especially after taking high doses of the drug, you risk developing a withdrawal syndrome. Typically, the first manifestations of withdrawal syndrome show within hours after the last dosage. They usually peak on days 1 – 4 after you stop taking the medication. How does a withdrawal show? You are likely to develop:
– muscle pain;
– tremor;
– headache;
– rebound anxiety/panic;
– trouble falling asleep;
– light sensitivity;
– blurry vision, and other symptoms.
The higher dosage you used to take, the severer the symptoms might be. You can prevent or at least minimize their manifestations if you reduce the dosage gradually.

Misuse and Dependence. Evaluating the Risks

Xanax is a medication with strong habit-forming potential. How can you save yourself from this, and how to distinguish the first signs of developing dependence?
The only way to reduce the risks of developing tolerance and dependence on Xanax is to follow your doctor’s advice closely. If you stick to the dosage recommendations and take the drug for as long as you are prescribed, the risks are small, but they still exist.
You should contact your doctor for help if you feel the listed-below symptoms of Xanax addiction:
– poor motor control after taking a dose;
– drowsiness;
– slurred speech/ blurred vision;
– you can’t reduce the dose;
– you start doctor shopping to get more Xanax prescriptions;
– you are looking for alternative ways to get Xanax (asking other people to lend you pills, stealing tablets from others).
These are only some of the worrying signs of you developing an addiction to Xanax. Don’t hesitate to look for help. This problem is manageable.

Summing up

Xanax can provide positive improvements in your quality of life if you suffer from anxiety or panic. This medication also requires special caution when used. But once you follow your doctor’s recommendations, you are likely to get quality treatment with minimum risks.

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