February 1, 2023

Xanax or Alprazolam is one of the most commonly used medications to treat anxiety but it is also one of the most abused. Learn about the proper uses as well as the things you need to be watching out for if you want to safely take this medication.

Today we’re talking about alprazolam or xanax one of the most common anti-anxiety medications prescribed but it’s also one of the most commonly abused if you’re currently taking or thinking about taking this medication you need to keep watching because we’re going to help you understand how you can safely take this and how you can avoid some of the dangerous

Effects that it can have on you the fact that you’re clicking on this video tells me that you’re concerned about what this medication can do to you it’s a valid concern and you need to be aware of all the complicated issues that this brings alprazolam or xanax belonging to class of medications called benzodiazepines this is the same family as medications like

Lorazepam diazepam and clonazepam benzodiazepines work by enhancing the effects of a chemical in the brain called gaba or gaba aminobutyric acid this is a chemical that slows down signals that would otherwise excite the brain and lead to anxiety or panic so when you take a benzodiazepine like xanax it causes higher levels of this chemical which will help you feel

Relaxed sleepy or unfortunately in some a feeling of euphoria or high if you’re going to be using it the most common reasons your doctor would prescribe it are to treat more severe forms of anxiety and panic attacks there are some other what we call off-label uses that sometimes will do these are things like treating insomnia treating nausea especially with cancer

Treatment of agitation muscle spasms even ringing in the ears so for most people they’re given a prescription of alprazolam to treat anxiety but your goal in this video is to decide whether you think the benefits of the medication are more than the side effects they can have because actually side effects from xanax are pretty common so if you do take it chances

Are you’re going to start feeling drowsy you can also feel dizzy confused or get a cloudy drug feeling in your head it’s also not uncommon to get a dry mouth and feel less coordinated beyond that you can affect your ability to form memories causing some amnesia as well as decrease your libido or affect your ability to perform now these kinds of side effects are

Certainly bothersome but they’re not typically dangerous and go away quickly if you don’t take the medication there are however some side effects or issues that can be dangerous you need to be really careful while taking it the biggest concerns that we have with taking xanax is the impact that it can have with you when you take it long term with xanax addiction is

A really big concern out of all the benzodiazepines is the most likely to make you dependent or even addicted to it xanax is really fast acting and quickly starts working on the brain to produce gaba because it works so quick and is so potent in producing its hormone your brain stops producing it on its own so when you try and stop the xanax your brain is unable

To produce the amount that it needs and you’ll start to feel withdrawals this can happen in as little as six weeks from starting the medication because it’s slowing down how much your brain produces it on its own the longer you’re on it the less your brain produces so when this happens you need to take more and more medication in order to have the same effect so

When you stop alprazolam suddenly you can get worse anxiety and panic attacks because the brain isn’t making the chemical that it needs on its own we call this rebound anxiety so you can get yourself in a situation where you feel like you need to stay on the medication or even take more of it to treat an anxiety that is being caused by the medication that you’re

Taking so once you’re on this it can be horrible to come off of it out of all the benzodiazepines xanax is probably the worst when it comes to withdrawal symptoms and they can last for a long time symptoms of withdrawal can include feeling anxious or panicked problems sleeping feeling dizzy mental status changes mood changes and even seizures the next problem

We see with long-term xanax use is that it can lead to significant memory problems xanax can interfere with the formation of new memories so studies have shown that those taking xanax have more memory problems than those who don’t even after stopping the medication problems with memory can last for several months and in some cases may be permanent so the longer

You’re on xanax the more problems you can have but that doesn’t mean that even short-term use of the medication is without risks even taking a short term can affect your ability to process information in your surroundings and can slow down your response time this is extremely dangerous when doing things like driving or operating other machinery or in activities

Where injury is possible if you take this medication before driving you’re putting yourself and others on the road at significant risk you need to treat this medication as you would alcohol when doing risky activities because of this if you were to get in an accident or get pulled over while taking it it would be considered operating a vehicle under the influence

Which could lead to significant legal issues even if you don’t feel like you’re impaired the next big risk of this medication is from overdose common signs of a xanax overdose can be drowsiness confusion slurred speech impaired coordination reduced reflexes and eventually coma and even death the greatest risk of overdose comes when it’s used together with other

Sedative substances like alcohol and especially narcotic pain medications in fact one of the leading causes of accidental overdose and death is when people combine medications like xanax and chronic pain medications or alcohol so please never take these kind of substances together overdoses of xanax or a medical emergency need to be treated in a hospital right

Away so with all these potential side effects and dangers of medication is it even something you should consider taking well that’s a question you need to discuss with your doctor because the answer isn’t always clear this can be a great medication if it’s taken safely and on an occasional basis it can do wonders to help treat panic attacks when they occur if you

Have them occasionally and you take an appropriate dose the risk of dependence and overdose is very low we also give it for situational anxiety like those who have a hard time flying on an airplane or to minimize claustrophobia while doing a study such as an mri i get a lot of people asking about its use to help them sleep this is something that some may prescribe

For but i really don’t recommend it and there’s three reasons for it the first is because of how quickly alprazolam starts working it’ll also wear off quickly and it’s less likely to keep you asleep throughout the night the second is that it can disrupt your normal sleep cycles and even though you may be asleep you don’t get the good restorative sleep that you’re

Needing and third it’s common once you start taking a sleep aid to take it on a regular basis which just then increases your risk of becoming dependent on the medication so your take-home point should be this if you avoid taking it daily and avoid taking it with alcohol other controlled substances it can be a safe medication that can have a helpful role in treating

Your severe anxiety and panic attacks but if you start feeling like it’s something that you need to be taking on a regular basis then talk to your doctor about other options now if you are looking at other options of how you can treat anxiety symptoms without using medication keep watching this video right here because there’s some great things that you can do with

Having to rely on just medication to treat those symptoms for everybody else we really appreciate you spending time with us today and hopefully you’ve learned something i’m curious to know if you’ve had any experiences with xanax good or bad so if you have let us know in the comments below but until next time thanks again for watching us and we’ll see you in the next video

Transcribed from video
Is Xanax/Alprazolam Safe for You? By Erik Richardson D.O.