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A Guide to Alprazolam

Jul 07, 2021

Anxiety and Panic Disorder

It is typical to experience some form of anxiety from time to time throughout one’s life. Examples of situations in which you may feel anxious are before taking a major test, speaking in front of a large group of people, or when you are waiting on an important announcement. However, anxiety disorder is defined as intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. In addition to psychological symptoms, physiological symptoms such as fast heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, and fatigue may also occur.

Panic attacks are characterized by severe attacks of intense fear and anxiety that can often strike without any warning. They may occur in response to a stressful event or be triggered for no apparent reason. During a panic attack, a person assumes a flight or fight type of mode in response to a perceived panic even when no threat may actually exist. Panic disorder therefore, is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by recurring panic attacks. 

According to studies, anxiety disorders are amongst the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. affecting 40 million adults ages 18 or older. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety and panic attacks, the prescription medication Alprazolam may be able to help. Use the below information as a guide offering everything you need to know about Alprazolam to help you determine if it is the proper medication for you.

What is Alprazolam? 

Alprazolam, also marketed under the brand name Xanax, is a prescription medication commonly used to treat acute anxiety, social phobias, many types of stress reactions, and panic disorders.

How Does Alprazolam Work to Treat Anxiety?

Alprazolam, which belongs to a drug class of medications called Benzodiazepines and works by enhancing the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to decrease abnormal levels of excitement in the brain and produce a calming effect on the nerves.

How Do You Use Alprazolam to Treat Anxiety and Panic Disorders? 

It is essential that you first consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new prescription medication. Also, always be sure to carefully follow the recommendations of your health care provider, use the medication as instructed and as per the directions on the prescription label.

Use prescription Alprazolam in accordance with the directions of your healthcare provider. Be careful not to use more of the medication, use more often than instructed, or use for a longer period of time than has been recommended to prevent long-term dependence. It is advised to take this medication using an approach of titration, meaning that it is to be taken in gradual dosages. As Alprazolam can also cause symptoms of withdrawal,  it is also recommended to not stop taking your prescription Alprazolam until your healthcare provider directs to avoid experiencing any symptoms of withdrawal.

You should always follow the directed dosage requirements for this medication. Adults using regular tablets are prescribed an initial dose of 0.25-0.50mg 3x/day. This dosage can be slowly increased up to a maximum of 3x/day divided over several dosage periods if necessary.

How Long Does it Take for Alprazolam to Work?

Most people begin to feel the effects of Alprazolam  within 1-2 hours. The medication reaches its maximum peak concentration within 1-2 hours. Tolerance to Alprazolam can build up after prolonged use, resulting in it taking a longer period of time to feel the desired, sedative effects. With a half-life of approximately 11 hours, the medication  therefore takes roughly 11 hours for the average adult to eliminate or metabolize half the dose.

What are the Possible Side Effects of Alprazolam?

It is possible to experience side effects when using Alprazolam. It is again important to follow dosage requirements as abnormal side effects may occur if you take too much or too high of a dosage of the medication. Common (>10%) side effects include sedation, depression, memory impairment, slurred speech, dizziness, headache, fatigue, irritability, dry mouth, and constipation. 1-10% of people experience common side effects such as decreased appetite, confusion, disturbed coordination, nausea, vomiting, and chest pain. Uncommon side effects (0.1-1%) include anger, aggression, agitation, muscle weakness, insomnia, and diarrhea.  

Be careful when combining Alprazolam and alcohol, as this may increase its side effects. Also, be sure to discuss other medications you are prescribed with your doctor to avoid negative interactions with Alprazolam.

Alprazolam may be the solution treatment for you or someone you know who struggles with anxiety and panic disorders. At CareCard, we are passionate about helping make your prescription payments more affordable, saving members up to 85% on prescription drugs and medications. You can search for an Alprazolam coupon here and learn how CareCard can help make your medication payments more manageable.