Anxiety and Panic Disorder Treatment

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Medication: Alprazolam (brand name: Xanax)
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Xanax (Alprazolam)

Xanax is a psychoactive drug of the benzodiazepine class. Xanax is a short-acting antianxiety drug and quickly eliminates symptoms of anxiety or alertness, including those caused by agoraphobia.

FDA-approved indications for Xanax

Xanax is used to manage moderate to severe anxiety or alertness caused by depressive episodes in adults.

Indications for Xanax use include various types of anxiety disorders such as:

Benzodiazepine Xanax allows to get rid of symptoms of anxiety disorders such as: dizziness, feeling of losing control, temporary loss of consciousness, excessive sweating, uncontrollable shake, difficult breathing, chest discomfort, tingling or numbness, hot flushes or chills, abdominal pain and nausea.

The maximum antianxiety effect is achieved within 60-120 minutes after oral administration of immediate release Xanax tablets. Xanax tablets contain active ingredient Alprazolam, the average half-life makes 13.5 hours.

Benzodiazepine Xanax helps relieve panic attacks quickly, allowing to solve daily routine tasks. Optimal antianxiety effect is achieved within 7 days after the start of Xanax-therapy.

Xanax dose for safe treatment of psychiatric disorders

Total duration of the use of Xanax tablets should be as short as possible. After daily administration of Xanax tablets within 28 days, the further treatment should be reconsidered.

An antianxiety response should be monitored during Xanax-therapy as well as regular change in daily dosage. Application of Xanax tablets of 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg allows titrate the dose till optimal antianxiety effect.

Total duration of continuous Xanax application should not exceed 3 months. This period is supposed to include the gradual increase and decrease of the daily Xanax dosage.

The recommended doses of Xanax should be taken at regular intervals. In the beginning of anxiety treatment, Xanax of 0.25-0.5mg should be administered orally three times a day.

The initial single Xanax dose of 0.25-0.5mg should be gradually increased under the following conditions:

  • The dosage should be increased once per 3 days
  • The difference between the previous and the next daily dose should not exceed 1mg of Xanax
  • The daily dose can be increased to 4mg Xanax maximum
  • The dose over 4mg Xanax is allowed only in case of insufficient antianxiety response

Xanax tablets should be taken as long as it is provided for treatment. The sudden cessation of Xanax-therapy is believed to cause withdrawal syndrome.

At the final stage of Xanax-therapy, the daily dosage should be gradually reduced. It is recommended to reduce the daily dosage by 0.5 mg of Xanax every three days

Side effects and potential Xanax abuse

Most side effects are observed in the beginning of anxiety treatment or while increasing the daily dosage of Xanax.

Xanax is a psychoactive drug, so side effects may appear from the central nervous system, such as:

  • Sedation
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Incoordination and speech disturbance
  • Deterioration or short-term memory loss

During application of Xanax tablets, the following side effects may appear as well: gastrointestinal disorders, body weight gain or loss, fatigue, decreased libido, muscle weakness, pain in the muscles and limbs, itching, and shortness of breath.

Withdrawal syndrome may appear at sudden reduction of daily dosage or soon after Xanax-therapy. Symptoms of withdrawal syndrome include unease, dissatisfaction, increased sweating, fatigue, and muscle cramps.

Xanax is a benzodiazepine, so it may cause psychological addiction to this antianxiety agent.

The risk of addiction increases:

  • If more than 4mg Xanax per day are used
  • In people with alcohol or other addiction
  • If the recommended duration of treatment of anxiety disorders is exceeded

Alternative for conventional Xanax tablets

Treatment with Xanax is effective both as monotherapy, and combined with antidepressants or other drugs. Combination therapy of anxiety may be more effective than monotherapy.

Depending on indication and intensity of symptoms of anxiety disorders, Xanax tablets should be taken on a daily basis and:

  • Occasionally
  • As needed

Instead of immediate release Xanax tablets of 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg tablets, extended release Xanax XR tablets of 0.5mg, 1mg, 2mg and 3mg can be used as well.

Such tablets should be taken once a day that is more preferable to treat people suffering from anxiety disorders.

People currently taking immediate release tablets of Xanax may be switched to Xanax XR tablets. If after switching to Xanax XR tablets antianxiety response seems to be inadequate, the daily dose may be increased.