Xanax, or alprazolam, is the most prescribed psychiatric drug in the United States because of its potency and ability to work so quickly. Xanax is the brand name of alprazolam, which is prescribed to treat a range of panic and anxiety disorders. This drug acts on specific receptors in the brain to slow down excessive brain activity and reduce feelings of stress and panic. Xanax is extremely effective for many people but can be dangerous if used outside of the prescribed dosage.
Xanax may be habit forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or for a longer time than your doctor tells you to. Tell your doctor if you have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, if you use or have ever used street drugs, or have overused prescription medications. Do not drink alcohol or use street drugs during your treatment. Drinking alcohol or using street drugs during your treatment with Xanax also increases the risk that you will experience these serious, life-threatening side effects. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had depression or another mental illness.
Xanax may cause a physical dependence (a condition in which unpleasant physical symptoms occur if a medication is suddenly stopped or taken in smaller doses), especially if you take it for several days to several weeks. Do not stop taking this medication or take fewer doses without talking to your doctor. Stopping Xanax suddenly can worsen your condition and cause withdrawal symptoms that may last for several weeks to more than 12 months. Your doctor probably will decrease your Xanax dose gradually. Call your doctor or get emergency medical treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms: unusual movements; ringing in your ears; anxiety; memory problems; difficulty concentrating; sleep problems; seizures; shaking; muscle twitching; changes in mental health; depression; burning or prickling feeling in hands, arms, legs or feet; seeing or hearing things that others do not see or hear; thoughts of harming or killing yourself or others; overexcitement; or losing touch with reality.
How should this medicine be used?
Xanax comes as a tablet, an extended-release tablet, an orally disintegrating tablet (tablet that dissolves quickly in the mouth), and a concentrated solution (liquid) to take by mouth. The tablet, orally disintegrating tablet, and concentrated solution usually are taken two to four times a day. The extended-release tablet is taken once daily, usually in the morning. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Xanax exactly as directed.
To take the concentrated liquid, use only the dropper that came with your prescription. Draw into the dropper the amount prescribed for one dose. Squeeze the dropper contents into a liquid or semisolid food such as water, juice, soda, applesauce, or pudding. Stir the liquid or food gently for a few seconds. The concentrated liquid will blend completely with the food. Drink or eat the entire mixture immediately. Do not store for future use.
Remove the orally disintegrating tablet from the bottle just before it is time for your dose. With dry hands, open the bottle, remove the tablet, and immediately place it on your tongue. The tablet will dissolve and can be swallowed with saliva. The orally disintegrating tablet can be taken with or without water.
Swallow the extended-release tablets whole; do not chew, crush, or break them. Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of Xanax and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every 3 or 4 days.
Can You Shoot Up Xanax?
No, you should not shoot or inject Xanax, always take your medicine as prescribed. Injecting benzodiazepines can be dangerous as the pills do not dissolve well and can block blood vessels if injected causing scarring and bruising, and may lead to blood clots or the loss of a limb. There is also the risk of infections and blood borne virus transmission such as hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV.
According to the FDA, medication adherence is important for controlling chronic conditions, treating temporary conditions, and overall long-term health and well-being. A personal connection with your health-care provider or pharmacist is an important part of medication adherence.
Abuse of Xanax changes the way the brain operates. The drug has been known to decrease inhibitions and make users more open to taking risks they wouldn’t normally take. They may become more inclined to pick fights with loved ones, drive recklessly, or engage in unsafe sex practices. Depression and even suicidal ideation are realities for abusers of benzodiazepines such as Xanax. Many individuals who suffer these consequences end up in the emergency room unable to control their own morbid thoughts. Fox News reports the number of people who were treated in ERs for adverse outcomes after using Xanax jumped by a 172 percent margin between 2004 and 2011. ALSO READ: Does Xanax Make You Horny