Is Xanax a mast-cell stabiliser? (3 anti-allergic effects of Xanax) 

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Page last updated: 27/07/2022

In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Is Xanax a mast-cell stabiliser?”. Xanax is one of the most commonly used benzodiazepines which can be used to treat and manage a lot of health conditions. 

This medication also possesses some rare properties, one of which include mast cell stabilisation. This blog will cover all there is to know about the mast cell stabilising effects of Xanax. We will also discuss what mast cell stabilisers actually are. 

Is Xanax a mast-cell stabiliser?

Xanax can act like a mast cell stabiliser (MCS) in some ways. It is an anti-anxiety medication in nature, but several research studies have shown that Xanax does possess some MCS properties. There are three effects of Xanax which were found similar to mast cell stabilisers. These include:

  • Mild inhibition of release of allergy mediators from mast cells
  • Prevention of an allergic response 
  • Control an allergic response to some extent if it has already been initiated

Mild inhibition of release of allergy mediators from mast cells

Mast cells are a part of our normal body physiological composition. These cells contain a whole lot of chemicals that are packed inside them. These mediators include histamine, cytokines, leukotrienes, immunoglobulins, prostaglandins, and proteases etc. 

These chemicals are released when your body is exposed to some allergen or allergy causing agent. These chemicals basically initiate an immune response against that allergen to help eliminate it from the body, but it affects you negatively. 

You get symptoms like runny nose, shortness of breath, watery eyes, redness of skin etc. Several research studies have revealed that Xanax does possess some mild MCS properties. 

However, there isn’t enough data to actually use Xanax effectively for this very purpose, but it can be helpful to some extent. Experts believe that there are plenty of other good MCS that can be used instead of Xanax because of the addictive nature and side effects of this anti-anxiety medication. 

Prevention of an allergic response 

As stated earlier, Xanax helps control the release of allergy mediators from mast cells. This can prevent an allergic reaction before it even happens. 

When the cells are stopped from being released, no immune response is generated and no symptoms appear. However, more research is required to confirm these effects. It has been seen in some cases, but not all. 

Control an allergic response to some extent if it has already been initiated

Some studies have revealed that Xanax may control the progression of an allergic response once it has been initiated. This is because of the exact same mechanism. 

Xanax may control the further release of allergy mediators which may stop the progression or worsening of the allergic response. 

One important thing to bear in mind is that this is still a theory to some extent. Xanax has shown some MSC properties, but still we don’t have enough data to say for sure whether it should be used as an anti-allergy or not.

However, we can tell you this for sure that it can cause a number of side effects in people and it may cause depression by activating the inhibitory system in a normal individual.

Is Xanax a mast-cell stabiliser? (3 anti-allergic effects of Xanax) 

What are the side effects associated with the use of Xanax? 

Xanax, as stated earlier, works on the inhibitory system of your brain. It basically mimics gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. 

GABA controls the excessive neuronal firing in your brain and that’s exactly what Xanax does. Some of the side effects of Xanax include:

  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness or fatigue 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Muscle pain
  • Vision problems 
  • Headache 
  • Hypersomnia 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Troubled or intrusive thoughts
  • Impairment of motor coordination 
  • Constipation or diarrhoea 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Dementia 
  • Depression 
  • Abnormal behaviour
  • Blackouts 
  • Serious respiratory depression which lowers down breathing rate and can decrease the availability of oxygen in the blood. It could be life-threatening for people suffering from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 

These side effects can vary from person to person. Some people may suffer severely and may develop unusual side effects. An allergic reaction in response to Xanax is rare, but there is no way to tell that it won’t happen with anyone. It is impossible to predict how your body will react once it is exposed to this medication. 

What other mast cell stabilisers are available? 

Some other medications or classes of medications that possess mast cell stabilising properties include:

  • Histamine receptor 1 blockers, including Loratadine, Diphenhydramine, Chloramphenamine, Fexofenadine, Cetirizine etc. 
  • Histamine-2-blockers, including Cimetidine, Rimantadine, Nizatidine, Famotidine etc. 
  • Leukotriene receptor antagonists, including Montelukast
  • Sodium Cromoglicate
  • Quercetin 
  • Ketotifen
  • Other benzodiazepines, including Clonazepam, Oxazepam, Lorazepam etc. 
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), including Aspirin, Ibuprofen etc. 
  • Vitamin C or Vitamin C containing drugs
  • Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors, like Imatinib. 
  • High dose Vitamin D containing drugs

All of the above mentioned medications possess mast cell stabilising properties and can be used to control and prevent allergic responses. However, it is not recommended to start using any medication without your doctor’s approval. 

What is Xanax prescribed by the healthcare providers? 

Xanax can be used for the following health conditions:

Anxiety 

The primary use of Xanax is to cure anxiety as it actually is an anti-anxiety medication. It can control excessive neuronal activity in your brain that is the main cause of anxiety. 

Seizures

Xanax can also be used to tone down the intensity of epileptic seizures. However, other benzodiazepines like diazepam are preferred over xanax because of its shorter duration of action. 

Insomnia

Xanax can be used to treat insomnia or inability to fall asleep. As this medication acts on the inhibitory system in your brain, it reduces the frequency of muscle contraction and helps to relax them. 

This produces a calming and relaxing sensation that can induce sleep efficiently and help manage insomnia. However, it may cause residual drowsiness during the daytime and make daily activities a bit difficult for you. Make sure you use Xanax properly. 

What are the risks associated with the use of Xanax? 

Addiction or physical and psychological dependence is one of the most common concerns associated with the excessive and prolonged use of xanax. These medicines can constantly make you crave more of them and that’s how you actually become addicted. 

Another problem with xanax is tolerance. Over time, as you continue using this anti-anxiety medication, your body becomes adjusted to the dose and no longer responds to the dose. No matter how properly you use xanax, tolerance can occur. 

The same dose just stops making changes in your body. This problem can be solved by increasing the dose, but that should not be done by your healthcare provider. It is strictly not recommended to change your dose on your own. 

There is no way to be sure that once you increase your xanax dose to overcome tolerance, it will not happen again. You may become tolerant to the increased dose one day, which would again require dose escalation. 

However, the dose can not be increased to a certain limit. You can’t keep increasing the dose or else you will be subjected to terrible side effects. 

Xanax should be used carefully in pregnant women. Several research studies have revealed that excessive use of Xanax, especially during the third trimester can cause fetal defects. It may also cause some addictive effects in the new born baby. 

Xanax should be used cautiously by breastfeeding women as it can be passed to the baby through breastmilk and may cause some disturbing side effects in the young one. 

Xanax is contraindicated to be used in patients with major respiratory illnesses. This is because it is capable of causing respiratory depression and it can lead to life threatening complications for people suffering from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), especially at higher doses. 

Make sure you use this combination only when it is absolutely necessary. Do not engage in certain activities right after taking these meds together, especially if you’re a new user and you don’t know how this combination makes you feel. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the mast cell stabilising properties of Xanax (Alprazolam), which is a benzodiazepine in nature. Several research studies have shown that Xanax does possess some MCS properties. 

There are three effects of Xanax which were found similar to mast cell stabilisers. Mast cells are a part of our normal body physiological composition. These cells contain a whole lot of chemicals that are packed inside them. 

Xanax can control their release. However, it is extremely important to ensure the proper use of Xanax. It is not recommended to take more than what your healthcare provider has prescribed. If you continue to use Xanax properly, you’ll be able to achieve maximum therapeutic response from the drug. 

FAQs: xanax mast cell stabiliser

Are benzodiazepines mast cell stabilisers?

Benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety medications, but they do possess some mast cell stabilising properties. Mast cells are a part of our normal body physiological composition. These cells contain a whole lot of chemicals that are packed inside them. 

These mediators include histamine, cytokines, leukotrienes, immunoglobulins, prostaglandins, and proteases etc. Benzodiazepines do possess some mild MCS properties. However, there isn’t enough data to actually use benzodiazepines effectively for this very purpose, but it can be helpful to some extent. 

Which drug is mast cell stabiliser?

Mast cell stabilisers are those agents which prevent the release of allergy mediators from the mast cells, including histamine, cytokines, leukotrienes, immunoglobulins, prostaglandins, and proteases etc. 

They can help control the release of allergy mediators from mast cells. This can prevent an allergic reaction before it even happens. When the cells are stopped from being released, no immune response is generated and no symptoms appear. 

What drugs block mast cells?

  • Histamine receptor 1 blockers, including Loratadine, Diphenhydramine, Chloramphenamine, Fexofenadine, Cetirizine etc. 
  • Histamine-2-blockers, including Cimetidine, Rimantadine, Nizatidine, Famotidine etc. 
  • Leukotriene receptor antagonists, including Montelukast
  • Sodium Cromoglicate
  • Quercetin 
  • Ketotifen
  • Benzodiazepines, including Clonazepam, Oxazepam, Lorazepam etc. 
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), including Aspirin, Ibuprofen etc. 
  • Vitamin C or Vitamin C containing drugs
  • Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors, like Imatinib. 
  • High dose Vitamin D containing drugs

Can you safely take Xanax?

Yes, you can definitely take xanax safely. People get addicted because they overuse this medication. It is prescription medication and no doctor gives you a dose too high that affects your normal body functions. It’s the people who get carried away because of the stress free and sleep inducing nature of xanax. A doctor would never prescribe this medication for longer than your actual need.

What drugs should not be taken with alprazolam?

  • Antifungals and antivirals. They may inhibit the metabolism of clonazepam and cause toxicity. 
  • Antiepileptics. The concomitant use may decrease the beneficial effects of clonazepam. 
  • Anti-allergy medications. The concomitant use increases the risk of sedation 
  • Narcotic analgesics or any other controlled substance. The concomitant use can cause serious CNS side effects. 
  • Sleeping pills
  • Other anxiolytics and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). 

References 

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