Studies have shown that there could be multiple reasons for crushing tablets or capsule contents before administering medications, but there are numerous medications that should not be crushed. These medications should not be chewed, either, usually due to their specific formulations and their pharmacokinetic properties.
Most of the no-crush medications are sustained-release, oral-dosage formulas. The majority of extended-release products should not be crushed or chewed, although there are some newer slow-release tablet formulations available that are scored and can be divided or halved.
What is Xanax?
Xanax belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines or “benzos,” which were first marketed to the public in the 1960s as a safer alternative to barbiturates. Other benzos besides Xanax that are commonly prescribed include Ativan, Valium, Klonopin and Librium.
Xanax can be dangerous because of the way it affects the brain. According to experts, it acts on neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals, called GABA. These neurotransmitters are responsible for the relaxing effects of benzodiazepines because they slow the brain and nervous system’s activity. While this is beneficial and effective for people who struggle with anxiety, panic or sleep problems, it can become harmful with ongoing benzodiazepine use. This is because the nervous system adapts to the effects of benzos on the GABA system. When a person stops taking benzos, the body does not produce sufficient GABA on its own. This can lead a person to become dependent upon these drugs.
The effects of benzos like Xanax are so strong that even people who take Xanax for just 3-4 weeks can become dependent and begin to experience withdrawal if they suddenly stop taking the drug. Experts, therefore, recommend that doctors limit benzo prescriptions to doses that last for 1-2 weeks. Ongoing use of Xanax can lead to tolerance, causing people to need larger and larger doses.
How should Xanax be taken?
Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. With dry hands, open the bottle and gently remove the tablet. Place the tablet in the mouth and allow it to dissolve, and then swallow. Do not cut, crush or chew Xanax. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor’s advice.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once. Benzodiazepines are implicated in approximately one-third of intentional overdoses or suicide attempts. ALSO READ: How Much Does A Xanax Bar Weigh?
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Does chewing Xanax make it work better?
Chewing Xanax does NOT make it work better as a matter of fact it negatively alters the way the drug should work. As mentioned above, Xanax should not be broken, crushed chewed or even snorted. Taking your medicine as prescribed or 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.
Here are 8 tips provided by the Food and Drug Administration that may help:
- Take your medication at the same time every day.
- Tie taking your medications with a daily routine like brushing your teeth or getting ready for bed. Before choosing mealtime for your routine, check if your medication should be taken on a full or empty stomach.
- Keep a “medicine calendar” with your pill bottles and note each time you take a dose.
- Use a pill container. Some types have sections for multiple doses at different times, such as morning, lunch, evening, and night.
- When using a pill container, refill it at the same time each week. For example, every Sunday morning after breakfast.
- Purchase timer caps for your pill bottles and set them to go off when your next dose is due. Some pill boxes also have timer functions.
- When travelling, be certain to bring enough of your medication, plus a few days extra, in case your return is delayed.
- If you’re flying, keep your medication in your carry-on bag to avoid lost luggage. Temperatures inside the cargo hold could damage your medication. ALSO READ:How to Spot Fake Fake Purple Xanax Bars