Xanax: Who Should Take It?

Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication that contains alprazolam. This medicine is a benzodiazepine, which is a class of drug intended for the short-term treatment of symptoms of anxiety and panic. In terms of assessing who should take Xanax, it’s important first to understand what’s meant by anxiety and panic disorders.

Xanax: Who Should Take It?
Everyone feels nervousness or anxiety from time-to-time in their life, but anxiety disorders go well beyond temporary fears or worries. Someone who has an anxiety disorder feels this sense of fear constantly, and it begins to interfere with their everyday life. Someone with an anxiety disorder may have problems at school or work, and it can impact relationships as well.

Below is a brief overview of some of the most common types of anxiety disorders which may be treated with Xanax.

  • Panic Disorders: With a panic disorder someone will experience a sense of extreme fear or terror that hits suddenly and with no warning. Some of the physical signs of experiencing a panic attack might include sweating, chest pain, the feeling of not being able to breathe, or the sense of choking.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: Social anxiety disorder is also frequently called social With social anxiety, the person experiences intense worry, apprehension, and self-consciousness about social situations. Their worry of being embarrassed or judged often leads them to avoid many everyday situations and it can significant impact the person’s day-to-day life.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Another reason a person might be prescribed Xanax is because of generalized anxiety disorder, which refers to unreasonable worry or fear, even without anything that provokes those feelings.

Some of the symptoms of any anxiety disorder can include feelings of panic, sleep problems, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, numbness or tingling in hands and feet, nausea and dry mouth.

While the specific causes of anxiety disorders aren’t known, it’s thought to be because of a combination of environmental and genetic factors.

For example, it’s believed anxiety disorders are caused by how the brain regulates fear. When people have anxiety, the neurons in their brain tend to be overactive, and they may have trouble regulating themselves.

If you’re wondering who should take Xanax, it’s designed as a short-term prescription treatment for people with anxiety or panic disorders. In some cases, Xanax can also be taken by people who are going through withdrawal from alcohol or who have insomnia.

Anti-anxiety medicines like Xanax can reduce symptoms of anxiety, but they might not be the first-line of treatment because of the fact they’re meant for short-term use.

Other medicines used to treat anxiety disorders include antidepressants and beta-blockers.

Xanax and other benzos act on the brain’s GABA receptors. They cause the release of GABA into the brain, which is how the brain calms nerve activity. Along with creating a sense of relaxation, Xanax can also help promote sleepiness and muscle relaxation.

If you’re wondering whether or not you should take Xanax, the first thing to know is that it’s intended only for severe anxiety, including anxiety that’s also associated with depression. People who take Xanax should have anxiety to the point that it’s become disabling to their daily life, and because of the potential for abuse this drug carries, it’s only for short-term use.

There is the possibility of adverse reactions in people as well. Some of the potential complications that can occur immediately after using Xanax include suicidal or unusual thoughts or feelings, agitation, rage, restlessness, hallucinations or nightmares. If someone takes Xanax and experiences any of these things, it can indicate either that the drug isn’t right for them, or that they’re taking a dose that’s too high.

There are also certain groups of people who potentially shouldn’t use Xanax at all. This includes older adults or people that are weak or debilitated.

Also, as touched on briefly above, there is the potential for physical dependence and addiction when you take Xanax, so someone who has previously struggled with addiction including to drugs or alcohol might not be a good candidate to take Xanax. Other people who are warned against taking Xanax include individuals with personality disorders or individuals who are very depressed or experiencing suicidal thoughts or tendencies.

Because Xanax is metabolized by the liver and kidneys, people who have decreased functionality of these organs are also warned against taking it. If the body isn’t able to properly metabolize Xanax via the liver and kidneys, it can accumulate which can lead to conditions like over-sedation and overdose.

Other examples of people who shouldn’t take Xanax include:

  • People with lung disease or respiratory depression
  • People with sleep apnea
  • Individuals with long-term psychotic disorders
  • Women who are breastfeeding
  • Individuals with hyperactivity

Ultimately, when you’re considering Xanax and who should take it, it’s a discussion that needs to be had with your physician. Your physician can assess your symptoms and discuss your options regarding treatment.

Xanax: Who Should Take It?
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