You’ve probably heard of the drug “Xanax” before. Some people have a Xanax prescription and use the medication responsibly without misusing it, while other individuals may use it illegally and/or become dependent on it. Xanax can be beneficial in some cases and potentially dangerous in others, so it is important to know what to expect before using the drug.
Xanax: What Is It?
Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a medication that is prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It is also sometimes used off-label for conditions like depression, ringing in the ears, agoraphobia, and premenstrual syndrome. This prescription is mainly available in extended-release tablet form. A person’s dosage of Xanax depends on their condition, age, response to treatment, and more.
What Xanax Does to the Body
Alprazolam is in the benzodiazepine category of drugs, which means that it works by decreasing abnormal excitement and activity. Since it is a part of the benzo category, Xanax mainly acts on the central nervous system and the brain. It enhances the effects of a natural body chemical called GABA to produce a calming and relaxing effect. These effects will typically kick in an hour or two after using Xanax.
Side Effects of Xanax Use
Most of the common side effects of Xanax are uncomfortable, but go away rather quickly and can be managed at home. These side effects may include:
- Increased saliva production
- Change in sex drive/ability
- Racing thoughts
- Feeling agitated
- Being talkative
- Risk-taking behavior
- Increased energy
In some cases, Xanax can cause dangerous effects that require medical assistance as soon as possible. These issues include seizures, double vision, trouble speaking, loss of coordination, memory problems, hallucinations, and jaundice. Also, withdrawal symptoms may occur if someone stops using Xanax suddenly.
Xanax Risks & Warnings
In addition to some serious side effects, Xanax can also cause allergic reactions. Get medical assistance immediately if you experience hives, swelling of the face and lips, or difficulty breathing. If you use alcohol or an opioid medication shortly before taking Xanax, you are at a higher risk for shallow or slow breathing.
Individuals who have struggled with drug and alcohol addiction in the past are more likely to become dependent on Xanax. Avoid drinking alcohol if you use Xanax regularly. Women are more likely to become dependent on Xanax if they use it while pregnant or while trying to get pregnant.
Xanax may cause overdose if it is misused or abused. If you come across someone who is experiencing a Xanax overdose and displaying symptoms such as loss of breath, contact a hospital as soon as possible.
Treatment for Xanax Abuse
Like many other prescription medications, Xanax comes with a high risk of addiction. While addiction to Xanax can be potentially dangerous, recovery is very possible. Some treatment methods such as different types of therapy and medications can be used to help individuals clean the drug out of their system and develop tools for a sober and healthy lifestyle.
To learn more about what Xanax does to the body, ask our team of substance abuse treatment representatives. Contact us at any time by visiting 267.719.8528.