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Benjamin Caleb Williams is a board-certified Emergency Nurse with several years of clinical experience, including supervisory roles In addition to being the founding and chief medical director at The information has been screened and edited by health professionals to contain objective information on diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Contains bibliographic reference sources.

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Xanax is a benzodiazepine, which is a class of drugs that can treat anxiety and panic disorders. It typically takes less than an hour to begin working and has a calming, relaxing effect. Xanax is a brand name for alprazolam. The effects of the drug come on quickly and disappear rapidly.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Some people take it recreationally for its calming effects. The fast acting properties of Xanax can lead to its misuse. Xanax is an effective medication for controlling panic and anxiety. However, using it recreationally can pose health risks, especially if people combine it with other depressants, such as alcohol.

It can treat various symptoms of GAD, including high levels of anxiety, restlessness, and muscle tension. Xanax is a central nervous system CNS depressant. It is in the benzodiazepine class of medications, which comprises drugs that slow down the CNS. Xanax works by increasing the effects of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid GABAwhich promotes calmness and produces a relaxed feeling.

Addiction to xanax

The drug decreases the level of excitement in the brain to treat anxiety and panic disorders. People may notice that Xanax affects the mind. It can cause a temporary loss of memory, feelings of hostility and irritability, and disturbing or vivid dreams.

The United States government has classified benzodiazepines, including alprazolam, as Schedule IV controlled substances in the Controlled Substances Act because of their abuse potential. This classification makes it easier for the government to track the prescription and distribution of Xanax. In comparison with other benzodiazepines, the body absorbs Xanax quickly, so its effects come on rapidly. Within about 1—2 hoursthe concentration of Xanax in the blood reaches its peak.

The effects of the drug usually appear within 1 hour, with one small scale study finding an average onset time of 49 minutes with oral administration. Xanax also leaves the body quickly. Its half-life is Doctors often prescribe Xanax to take three times per day, spread out over the course of the day. When people take Xanax, they may experience unintended side effects.

The most common side effects include:. Not everyone who takes Xanax will experience side effects.

Many factors influence whether people will have side effects from a medication, including:. People will usually experience side effects of Xanax when they first start taking it or when they increase the dosage.

Anxiety disorders

With continued usethe side effects tend to disappear. People can become dependent on Xanax.

The drug has high abuse potentialespecially for individuals with a history of substance misuse or abuse. As the body absorbs Xanax quickly, its effects occur faster than those of other benzodiazepines.

What does xanax feel like? 11 things to know

Xanax also has a short half-life, which means that its effects disappear quickly. These characteristics increase its addictive potential. After taking Xanax for a long time, the body gets used to the substance, so a person may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it. Reducing Xanax slowly over time reduces the severity of these symptoms. The manufacturers recommend decreasing the dosage by no more than 0.

A doctor will determine the most appropriate discontinuation schedule for the individual, as the experience may differ from person to person. Withdrawal symptoms of Xanax may include:.

Some researchers have noted reports of other withdrawal symptoms that seem to be more common with alprazolam than with other benzodiazepines, such as delirium, psychosisand rebound anxiety. To treat withdrawal symptoms when stopping Xanax, doctors sometimes prescribe another benzodiazepine in its place. They may recommend a type that works for longer, such as diazepam Valium.

However, this strategy is not always effective. If a person has been taking Xanax for a long time and wants to come off it, they should speak with a healthcare professional to work out a safe method for discontinuing the drug. People who combine Xanax with alcohol or other CNS depressants are at an increased risk of side effects.

Certain medications can in Xanax staying in the body for longer, which can lead to an overdose. When doctors prescribe Xanax, they have to consider other medications that a person may already be taking.

What you need to know about xanax

CNS depressants, such as antihistamines and anticonvulsants, can increase the effects of benzodiazepines. As alcohol is a CNS depressant, people should limit their alcohol intake when using Xanax. A doctor or pharmacist will explain the risks when they prescribe this medication. Some drugs interact with Xanax by blocking or reducing the effect of the liver enzymes that play a role in its elimination. These drugs include fluoxetine and birth control pills. People take Xanax to control anxiety and panic.

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It produces feelings of calm and relaxes the muscles. Xanax is an effective medication, and some people use it recreationally.

The drug can cause side effects, especially if people combine it with other CNS depressants, such as antihistamines and alcohol. People may also experience negative effects when coming off Xanax after taking it for a long time. Talking to a doctor and following a discontinuation schedule can help avoid these symptoms. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can vary in severity. Learn more about benzo withdrawal, including the common symptoms and the coping strategies that people…. There are many types of anxiety, including phobias, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Learn all the symptoms and treatments here. Addiction is a chronic condition in which a person is unable to stop taking a substance or engaging in an activity despite negative effects on their…. What does Xanax feel like? Medically reviewed by Alan Carter, Pharm. Effects How long does it last?

Important warning:

Side effects Coming off Xanax Drug interactions Summary Xanax is a benzodiazepine, which is a class of drugs that can treat anxiety and panic disorders. Effects on the body and mind. Share on Pinterest Xanax may relieve anxiety and ease muscle tension.

How long does it last? Side effects of Xanax. Share on Pinterest Possible side effects of Xanax include drowsiness, dizziness, and fatigue. What does coming off Xanax feel like?

Drugs that affect the action of Xanax. Share on Pinterest A person should speak to their doctor about how their other medications might interact with Xanax. Latest news Foods that boost metabolism: What does the science say? Related Coverage. What happens when you stop taking benzodiazepines? Medically reviewed by Dena Westphalen, Pharm. Types of anxiety disorder. Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph. What are the complications of addiction? Medically reviewed by Vara Saripalli, PsyD.