What is Xanax?
Xanax, generically known as alprazolam, is a prescription medication primarily used for the short-term management of anxiety disorders, specifically panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
How does Xanax work?
Xanax works by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which helps to produce a calming effect. This action decreases abnormal excitement in the brain.
What are common side effects of Xanax?
Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, increased saliva production, or a change in sex drive/ability. More serious side effects include mood changes, trouble speaking, loss of coordination, or memory problems.
Is Xanax addictive?
Yes, Xanax can be addictive. It has a high potential for dependence and abuse, especially when used over a long period or at high doses. This risk is increased in those with a history of substance abuse.
Can you abruptly stop taking Xanax?
No, abruptly stopping Xanax can lead to withdrawal symptoms. It's important to taper off the medication under the guidance of a healthcare professional to avoid withdrawal symptoms like seizures, tremors, mood swings, and anxiety.
How long does Xanax stay in your system?
The half-life of Xanax in a healthy adult ranges from 9 to 16 hours. It generally takes about 4-5 half-lives for a drug to be completely eliminated from your system, so Xanax can stay in your system for up to 4 days after the last dose.
Can Xanax interact with other medications?
Yes, Xanax can interact with several medications, especially those that cause sedation, like opioids, other benzodiazepines, sleep medications, and certain antidepressants. Alcohol can also increase the sedative effects of Xanax.
What are the symptoms of a Xanax overdose?
Symptoms of a Xanax overdose may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, impaired coordination, diminished reflexes, or coma. It can be fatal, especially if taken with alcohol or other drugs.