What Is Red Devil Xanax And What Does It Treat?
Red Devil Xanax, also known as R666 pill red is the nickname or street name given to an enormously potent counterfeit Xanax pill that had been dyed blood red. One single Red Devil pill contained more than 5mg of alprazolam: the equivalent of two-and-a-half of HBB’s regular white 2mg pills. It was stronger than any single benzodiazepine available on the international illicit market at the time. If a person with zero tolerance took it, it would likely send them to sleep for hours. Combined with other depressants such as alcohol or opioids, it could kill.
Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine. It is approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder with or without agoraphobia. However, benzodiazepines are also commonly used to treat difficulty sleeping and alcohol withdrawal.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) occurs when a person experiences excessive anxiety or worry for at least six months. Other symptoms include:
- Fatigue (low energy, feeling tired all the time)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night)
Panic Disorder occurs when a person experiences unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear. These episodes have physical symptoms including chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness, and nausea. Fear of future episodes is also part of panic disorder.
What Is The Most Important Information I Should Know About Alprazolam?
Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you because you may notice that you feel tired or dizzy.
When starting alprazolam, anxiety or insomnia may improve rapidly or over a period of days.
Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam, are often used for short periods of time only. They may produce emotional and/or physical dependence (addiction) even when used as recommended. With input from you, your health care provider will assess how long you will need to take the medicine.
Do not stop taking alprazolam without talking to your healthcare provider first. Stopping alprazolam abruptly may result in one or more of the following withdrawal symptoms: irritability, nausea, tremor, dizziness, blood pressure changes, rapid heart rate, and seizures.
The use of alprazolam with drugs like opioid medications has led to serious side effects including slowed and difficulty breathing and death. Opioid drugs are medications used to treat pain and include medications such as: codeine, oxycodone, morphine, and illegal drugs like heroin. Some opioid medications are also in cough syrup.
If you are taking alprazolam with an opioid medication, get medical assistance immediately if you feel dizziness or sleepiness, if you have slow or troubled breathing, or if you pass out. Caregivers must get medical help right away if a patient does not respond and does not wake up. Avoid alcohol while taking Alprazolam.
Alprazolam Addiction and Abuse
Alprazolam may be safe and beneficial to use. However, it is also illicitly consumed by people seeking a feeling a feeling of euphoria – which can be dangerous. This is because alprazolam abuse will gradually intensify and heighten the effects and symptoms of the drug.
If you’re taking the substance without a prescription – or if you started out taking it as prescribed, and are now taking larger doses to combat tolerance – you may be unaware of the severe consequences of alprazolam abuse. This is a serious concern, as the drug can be habit-forming, which can result in addiction. It’s essential to know all the facts about alprazolam addiction and abuse before you take it.
History of Alprazolam Addiction
The first benzodiazepine, chlordiazepoxide (Librium), was created by Dr. Leo Sternbach in 1956, in an effort to offer less-addictive alternatives to alcohol, barbiturates, meprobamate and other traditional tranquiliser drugs. Alprazolam was first introduced in 1981 and quickly became one of the most popularly used sedatives, because of its immediate onset of action, shorter half-life and faster elimination from the body than Valium and other commonly prescribed benzodiazepines.
By the early 1990s, alprazolam had become one of the most prescribed drugs by many psychiatrists to help patients overcome panic and anxiety disorders, as it provides rapid relief within a week of beginning treatment, with no reduction in its effectiveness – even over a long period of time. As a result of its widespread availability and rapid efficacy, it quickly became a commonly abused drug,
Causes and Risk Factors for Alprazolam Addiction and Abuse
Although alprazolam can offer some benefits when you have a legitimate need for the drug, it is also a medication with highly addictive characteristics. There are different reasons why people abuse or become addicted to alprazolam, including attempts to self-medicate and using for recreational purposes. In some cases, alprazolam addiction and abuse may be caused by genetic or biological influences (internal causes) or other environmental influences (external causes).
The risk factors for alprazolam addiction and abuse include: easy access to the drug, family history of abuse and addiction, living or working in extremely stressful situations, prior personal history of substance abuse or mental disorder, problems with managing anxiety, peer pressure, and personal history of abuse, neglect or assault. As a result, if you possess any of these risk factors and consume alprazolam without – or outside of – a prescription, you run the risk of becoming addicted to it.
Are There Specific Concerns About Alprazolam And Pregnancy?
If you are planning on becoming pregnant, notify your healthcare provider to best manage your medications. People living with anxiety disorders who wish to become pregnant face important decisions. It is important to discuss this with your doctor and caregivers.
Regarding breastfeeding, caution is advised since alprazolam does pass into breast milk.
What Should I Discuss With My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Alprazolam?
- Symptoms of your condition that bother you the most
- If you have thoughts of suicide or harming yourself
- Medications you have taken in the past for your condition, whether they were effective or caused any adverse effects
- If you experience side effects from your medications, discuss them with your healthcare provider. Some side effects may pass with time, but others may require changes in the medication.
- Any other psychiatric or medical problems you have including obstructive sleep apnea
- All other medications you are currently taking (including over the counter products and herbal and nutritional supplements) and any medication allergies you have
- Other non-medication treatment you are receiving such as talk therapy or substance abuse treatment. Your provider can explain how these different treatments work with the medication
- If you are elderly or are prone to falls
- If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- If you drink alcohol or use drugs while on xanax
How Should I Take Alprazolam?
Alprazolam may be taken with or without food. Take with food if you experience an upset stomach.
Alprazolam may be taken every day at regular times or on an as needed (“PRN”) basis. Typically, your healthcare provider will limit the number of doses you should take in one day.
Your healthcare provider will determine the dose and method of taking the medication that is right for you based upon your response.
Alprazolam orally disintegrating tablets must remain in their original packaging. Open the package with clean dry hands before each dose. Do not try to put tablets in a pillbox if you take the orally disintegrating tablets. Take the tablets right away, do not store for later use.
Alprazolam orally disintegrating tablets will dissolve in your mouth within seconds and can be swallowed with or without liquid.
Extended release tablets: Swallow whole. Do not chew, crush or split tablet.
Alprazolam liquid: Measure with a dosing spoon or oral syringe, which you can get from your pharmacy.
If you take the medication every day (instead of ‘as needed’), use a calendar, pillbox, alarm clock, or cell phone alert to help you remember to take it. You may also ask a family member or a friend to remind you or check in with you to be sure you are taking your medication.
What Happens If I Miss A Dose Of Alprazolam?
If you miss a dose of alprazolam, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is closer to the time of your next dose. Discuss this with your healthcare provider. Do not double your next dose or take more than what is prescribed.
What Should I Avoid While Taking Alprazolam?
Avoid drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs while you are taking alprazolam. They may decrease the benefits (e.g., worsen your condition) and increase the adverse effects (e.g., sedation) of the medication. Alcohol increases the risk of accidental overdose with medications like alprazolam.
What Happens If I Overdose With Alprazolam?
If an overdose occurs call your doctor or 911. You may need urgent medical care. You may also contact the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
Symptoms of overdose include confusion, impaired coordination, slow reflexes, coma, and death.
A specific treatment to reverse the effects of alprazolam does exist. This medicine, called flumazenil, can reverse the effects of alprazolam but must be given through an IV at a hospital. Only a doctor can decide if you need this medication.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Alprazolam?
Common side effects
- Feeling dizzy, drowsy, fatigued, or lightheaded
- Impaired coordination, decreased ability to concentrate
Rare/serious side effects
- Shortness of breath, trouble speaking, feeling very tired, dizziness, or passing out.
- Increased heart rate, headache, memory impairment, irritability, and restlessness may occur.
- Some people taking benzodiazepines develop a severe allergic reaction and swelling of the face. This can occur as early as with the first dose.
- Some people taking benzodiazepines for sleep have experienced various behaviors while they were asleep/not fully awake, such as sleep driving, making phone calls, and preparing or eating food. The individuals have no memory of the events when they awaken.
- Signs of feeling depressed or low mood, thoughts of harming or killing yourself, or lack of interest in life.
Are There Any Risks For Taking Alprazolam For Long Periods Of Time?
Alprazolam is a safe and effective medication when used as directed. Benzodiazepines may produce emotional and/or physical dependence (addiction) even when used as recommended. Physical dependence may develop after 2 or more weeks of daily use.
What Other Medications May Interact With Alprazolam?
The following medications may increase the levels and effects of alprazolam:
- Ketoconazole (Nizoral®), itraconazole (Sporanox®), nefazodone (Serzone®), fluvoxamine (Luvox®), and cimetidine (Tagamet®)
The following medications may decrease the levels and effects of alprazolam:
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), and phenobarbital (Luminal®)
- Alprazolam should not be taken with other benzodiazepine medications.
Alprazolam may cause drowsiness, so caution should be used when combining it with other medications that cause drowsiness. These could include:
- Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl®)
- Narcotic pain medication such as morphine, oxycodone (OxyContin®), and hydrocodone (Vicodin® and Lortab®)
- Opioid cough medications such as codeine cough syrup
- Sleeping medications such as zolpidem (Ambien®)
- Other anti-anxiety medications, antipsychotic medications, certain anticonvulsant medications, and tricyclic antidepressant medications (such as amitriptyline)
How Long Does It Take For Alprazolam To Work?
When starting alprazolam, anxiety or insomnia may improve rapidly or over a period of days or within hours of the first dose of medication.
Summary Of FDA Black Box Warnings
The FDA has found that benzodiazepine drugs, such as alprazolam, when used in combination with opioid medications or other sedating medications can result in serious adverse reactions including slowed or difficult breathing and death. Patients taking opioids with benzodiazepines, other sedating medications, or alcohol, and caregivers of these patients, should seek immediate medical attention if they start to experience unusual dizziness or lightheadedness, extreme sleepiness, slow or difficulty breathing, or unresponsiveness.