Xanax is one of the more commonly prescribed drugs for people who suffer from depression and anxiety. While it is an effective medication for such conditions, it can be extremely habit-forming and people prescribed it over a long period of time could find themselves addicted.
If used correctly, under the guidance of a trained medical professional, it is perfectly safe, but you should only ever take Xanax if you have a prescription and should never give away or sell tablets to other people. Not only is this dangerous to their health and yours, but it is also illegal as Xanax is a controlled substance.
When to Take Xanax
Xanax is best used for the short-term treatment of anxiety disorders, including panic attacks and depression. Most doctors will only prescribe Xanax for a few weeks at a time because of the risk of addiction. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take Xanax as the active ingredients can make their way into the baby’s system both before and after birth.
If you have a history of drug abuse and addiction, you should make your doctor aware of this if they are considering prescribing you Xanax, and you should never mix this medication with alcohol.
How Xanax Works
The active ingredient in Xanax is a substance called alprazolam. Alprazolam is one of a type of drugs called benzodiazepines; there are a range of different benzodiazepines that are all used to treat depression and anxiety.
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Benzodiazepines work by stimulating cells in the brain to produce a neurotransmitter chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid or GABA. This chemical calms the person taking Xanax by ensuring that any nerve activity in the brain is kept in balance.
As well as calming people with anxiety, the effects of benzodiazepines can also make the user feel sleepy and relax their muscles.
Because Xanax is a strong medication, it should only be used when the depression or anxiety is very serious.
How to Take Xanax
Xanax should be swallowed whole with water, and should only be taken if you have been given a prescription for the medication by a doctor. Users can become easily addicted, even after only a few weeks.
Because the body builds up a tolerance for benzodiazepines easily, you should never stop taking Xanax tablets suddenly, but should instead reduce the dosage bit by bit over a few days. Stopping suddenly can lead to withdrawal symptoms as your body reacts to losing the chemical effect of the benzodiazepines; symptoms of withdrawal are very unpleasant and range from nausea and anxiety to hallucinations and even convulsions.
Xanax and the Law
Because Xanax is a controlled substance, you should only take it if it has been prescribed for you, and if you have obtained it from a pharmacy. Benzodiazepines are often sold online without a prescription, but there is no guarantee that these tablets have the proper ingredients or are even safe to take.
Even if you are prescribed Xanax and are taking it legally, you could get into trouble with the authorities if you are found to be driving while under the influence of alprazolam. If you feel you are safe to drive while taking Xanax, you should make sure you carry your prescription with you in case you are stopped by the police.
Depression and anxiety are debilitating and upsetting conditions. While most people manage their conditions by taking antidepressants, there may be episodes when the anxiety becomes more serious and a stronger medication is needed to ensure that the individual can manage their condition and themselves safely.
These are the circumstances when Xanax and other benzodiazepines can be safely used; in order to tide someone over for a few weeks while a more suitable long-term solution can be found.
Xanax is a perfectly safe and effective drug, as long as you follow your doctor’s instructions and only take the tablets when it is absolutely necessary.