Should you be scared to take Xanax? (5 possible complications) 

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In this blog post, we are going to talk about Xanax. Xanax or alprazolam is an anti-anxiety medication which is used to treat a number of health related problems. However, some people get scared to take this medication and avoid it as much as they can. 

Today we will talk about what makes this medication scary and why it is prescribed by healthcare providers. 

Should you be scared to take xanax? 

No, you should not be scared to take xanax. It is an anti-anxiety medication which can help overcome your stress, anxiety, and insomnia. However, it is also associated with some side effects which may make people think negatively about this med. 

One important thing to mention here is the importance of proper use of xanax and other benzodiazepines. Yes, they are known for causing addictions and their withdrawal can become one hell of a task, but have you ever wondered why people get addicted to it? 

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. If you stick to your doctor’s recommended dose and avoid misusing it, there’s nothing to be scared about xanax. 

Why is xanax prescribed by healthcare providers? 

Xanax is used for the treatment of following health conditions:

Anxiety 

As xanax is an anti-anxiety medication, it’s primary use is to cure anxiety. Xanax is a brand name for Alprazolam, which is a benzodiazepine. It is used to help control anxiety, convulsions and panic attacks. 

This medication basically mimics inhibitory chemicals in your brain, like GABA, to control the excessive neuronal activity. 

Insomnia 

As stated earlier, xanax calms down your anxiety. This inhibitory action on your brain causes muscle relaxation. The sense of calmness and peace makes you drift away to sleep. This is exactly why xanax can be used for the treatment and management of insomnia. 

Convulsions 

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. 

Can xanax cause complications? 

Yes, xanax can cause some complications. These meds are indeed associated with some side effects and this is exactly why the proper use is mandatory. The possible complications include:

  • Addiction or physical and psychological dependence
  • Tolerance
  • Respiratory depression
  • Excessive sedation
  • Depression and suicidal behaviour 

Addiction or physical and psychological dependence

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. 

As stated earlier, xanax enhances the effects of GABA, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This calms you down and you feel relaxed and completely free from anxiety, overthinking, and stress.

When the effects of xanax start to wear off, you start feeling all the uneasiness again and that’s when you think of taking more, to help you overcome your anxiety. 

This is why it is preferred to stick to your doctor’s recommended doses, no matter how much you want to take more of it. This makes it extremely difficult to stop using this medication. If you stop abruptly, you will be subjected to disturbing withdrawal symptoms, which include:

  • Anxiety relapse 
  • Erratic behaviour 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Insomnia or inability to fall asleep 
  • Muscular pain and stiffness 
  • Nighttime wakefulness 
  • Nightmares 
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness 
  • Weakness
  • Photosensitivity 
  • Sensory and motor coordination impairment 
  • Delirium 
  • Convulsions 

Tolerance 

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. 

Respiratory depression 

Xanax comes with a number of warnings, especially for people who are suffering from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema. It is because this medication is associated with respiratory depression. 

No matter how low the dose is, it still depresses your respiratory system to some extent. Several experts believe that the deaths from benzodiazepines overdose usually occur because of this respiratory depression. 

Now, you can imagine how this side effect can have a negative impact on people who are already suffering from respiratory illnesses. This is exactly why such people should use xanax or any other benzodiazepine properly and avoid misusing it. The higher doses can be deadly for them. 

Excessive sedation

As discussed earlier, xanax can be used for the treatment of insomnia because it has an ability to induce sleep. However, some people are sensitive to the effects of xanax and may become highly sedated. 

It is not recommended to take xanax during the day time because it can significantly make you sleepy during the day time and may make daytime activities difficult for you. 

If xanax makes you sleepy during the day time, make sure you do not drive. Driving requires full mental alertness. If you’re sleepy and your mental alertness is compromised, you can get into a serious accident. 

That’s not just dangerous for you, but for a lot of other people out there who might get hurt. Make sure you wait for the sedation to completely wear off until you drive again. 

It is also not recommended to operate heavy machinery while your senses are dull and your alertness is compromised. Make sure you do not drink excessive alcohol while you’re being treated with xanax or any other benzodiazepine. 

Depression and suicidal behaviour 

Xanax may cause depression and induce suicidal behavior in users. As we know by now that it mimics the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, it can decrease the action of serotonin, norepinephrine, and other excitatory neurotransmitters. 

The deficiency of such happy chemicals is one of the most common reasons associated with depression. If you have someone who shows suicidal behavior or you see hopelessness in them, make sure you keep an eye on them and get medical attention as soon as you can. 

The use of alcohol in this condition can break havoc on your mental health condition. Depression is a condition associated with hopelessness, worthlessness, and sadness. 

This condition impairs your normal brain function and slows it down. Alcohol produces the same kind of effects. It suppresses your brain and your thinking capability. 

In short, alcohol enhances the symptoms associated with depression and gives rise to a life threatening mental health condition. Now you can imagine how this excessive inhibitory action can make you suicidal. 

Why is it important to ensure the proper use of xanax? 

Proper use of xanax is crucial if you wish to take the best possible results from this medication, while avoiding side effects as much as you can. 

If you have accidentally overdosed on xanax, immediately reach out to the hospital. Make sure you properly guide them about how much drug you have taken and when. 

If you have missed a dose and you are way past the usual time at which you take your med, do not take it. It will cause you to overdose when you take your next dose, which is not too far away. 

It’s better to skip the missed dose and take the next one. If you remember your missed dose earlier, it’s safe for you to take it. Symptoms associated with xanax overdose 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) 

In case you suffer from an overdose, call a helpline as soon as you can. Inform them properly how much is taken and when. Make sure you keep these pills away for your children and pets, if any. In order to do that, keep the bottle out of their reach. 

Overdose can cause nerve-racking depression and may cause suicidal behavior in such people. If you have someone who shows suicidal behavior or you see hopelessness in them, make sure you keep an eye on them and get medical attention as soon as you can. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed why you should not be scared to take xanax. It is an anti-anxiety medication which can help overcome your stress, anxiety, and insomnia. 

However, it is also associated with some side effects which may make people think negatively about this med. Make sure you use this medication properly. 

Proper use of xanax is crucial if you wish to take the best possible results from this medication, while avoiding side effects as much as you can. 

FAQs: scared to take xanax

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.

How long does it take Xanax to calm you?

Xanax is a short acting benzodiazepine and it starts to calm you down in about 20 to 30 minutes. However, it has a shorter duration of action and the effects start to wear off within 8 to 12 hours. Make sure you stick to your doctor’s recommended dose and do not take more than needed. 

Is xanax addictive? 

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.

What medications are contraindicated with xanax?

  • Other anti-anxiety medications or sleeping pills. The concomitant use can dangerously increase the sedation and may cause confusion. 
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Opioid drugs, including painkillers and anti-tussive (cough relieving) medications. The concomitant use can cause serious psychological side effects and respiratory depression. 
  • Alcohol

What does it feel like to take xanax?

Xanax is a brand name of alprazolam, which is a benzodiazepine. This medication basically mimics inhibitory chemicals in your brain, like GABA, to control the excessive neuronal activity. 

In case you suffer from an overdose, call a helpline as soon as you can. Inform them properly how much is taken and when. Make sure you keep these pills away for your children and pets, if any. In order to do that, keep the bottle out of their reach. 

References 

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