Xanax is a benzodiazepine, which has a wide range of therapeutic effects. Xanax has anxiolytic, muscle relaxing and anticonvulsant effects, and thus contributes to reducing anxiety or panic.
The active ingredient of Xanax is Alprazolam. Xanax is available in one liquid and two solid dosage forms:
- oral solution
- film-coated tablets
- extended-release tablets
Xanax is the drug of choice for short-term therapy of neurotic or neurosis-like disorders, in particular anxious or panic. The list of other frequent indications for Xanax use includes emergency reliefof:
- Emotional stress
- Panic or anxietyattacks
Xanax is effective in the treatment of anxiety or panic disorder, which can be associated with depression. However, Xanax is not intended for pharmacotherapy of the major depressive disorder.
Different dosing schedules for Xanax are prescribedfor the pharmacotherapy of a panic or anxiety disorder:
- At the beginning of treatment for the anxiety disorder, patients should take 0.75 mg to 1.5 mg of Xanax per day, divided into three equal doses.
- The initial dose of Xanax for the treatment of panic disorder is 0.75 mg, divided into three intakes.
If it is necessary to increase the anxiolytic effect, the daily dose of Xanax can be gradually increased (in increments of 1 mg, a maximum of once every 3 days).
If the initial dose of Xanax is not sufficient to reduce the frequency and/or intensity of panic symptoms, it can be increased to a maximum of 8 mg per day. To treat anxiety, it is recommended to take no more than 4 mg Xanax per day.
Xanax can interact with certain medications, including antidepressants (Fluvoxamine), opioid analgesics (Tramadol), anticonvulsants (Lamotrigine) or muscle relaxants (Baclofen).
To reduce the risk of adverse reactions, it is not recommended to take Xanax together with such medicines, as:
- antihistamines (Cetirizine)
- antiretroviral (Ritonavir)
- antifungal (Ketoconazole)
- some antibiotics (Erythromycin)
With the joint use of Xanax with certain antiepileptic drugs (including Carbamazepine), the anxiolytic effect may be reduced.
At the beginning of pharmacotherapy for panic or anxiety, Xanax can cause severe drowsiness, severe fatigue or psychomotor retardation. The list of frequent unwanted phenomena of Xanax includes:
- dry mouth
- concentration disorder
With a sharp cessation of treatment, Xanax can cause such withdrawal symptoms,as: anxiety, headaches, sudden mood changes, and myalgia.
If anxiety or panic disorder is associated with symptoms of depression, patients on Xanaxmay manifest suicidal ideation or hypomanic episodes.
Women are not recommended to use Xanax during the first 13 weeks (first trimester) of pregnancy. Pregnant women can take Xanax only if the expected benefit of it use exceeds potential risks.
To avoid drug dependence, it is not recommended to take high doses of Xanax for a long time. To reduce the risk of morning anxiety, it is not recommended to increase Xanax interdosing interval.
To avoid the withdrawal syndrome, the course of Xanax should be completed gradually, reducing its dose by a maximum of 0.5 mg once every three days. Patients with depression are advised to consult a psychologistwhile going through a Xanax course.