Xanax addiction and Xanax side effects


Xanax addiction and Xanax side effects

What is addiction?

Addiction is said to be a chronic dysfunction of the brain that works around reward, motivation, and memory. It involves the craving for a behavior, an activity, or a substance. It is more intense if it causes obsessive pursuit of the substance or activity without much thought to the consequences it may have. If you are experiencing addiction, you may be unable to stay away from a substance and won’t have much control or lack self-control. You may also have an increased desire to acquire the substance and avoid acknowledging its problems.

De-addiction is a long process that involves cognitive behavior therapy, where a professional helps you understand the cause of the craving and suggests that you replace it with something healthier. De-addiction is often accompanied by relapse and remission, which is why it requires a lot of patience and willpower.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is the brand name for Alprazolam and is FDA approved to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax is a part of a class of medications called benzodiazepine that enhances the effect of a naturally occurring chemical in the brain called GABA, producing a calming and relaxing effect in the brain and body. Based on the severity of the disorder, there are different strengths of Xanax available, ranging from 0.25mg, the lowest dose, and 3mg, the highest dose available.

How does Xanax function?

Xanax is a benzodiazepine that promotes the effect of GABA or Gamma-aminobutyric Acid, which works as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. The primary job of GABA is to block or inhibit the initiation, sending, or receiving of chemical signals or messages from one nerve cell to the other. GABA acts in the central nervous system comprising the brain and spinal cord and decreases the overactivity of the nerve cells. Xanax helps increase GABA levels, which boosts mood and can also have euphoria-like effects if taken in high doses. As an off-label use, it is also prescribed to treat insomnia as it produces a feeling of calmness in the body.

What are the possible side effects of Xanax?

The common side effects include-

  •  Drowsiness
  •  Dizziness
  •  Feeling lightheaded
  •  Increased saliva production 
  •  Change in sex drive

The common side effect should decrease with time. If they persist or worsen, it is advised that you inform your doctor.

The severe side effects include-

  •  Frequent mood changes like agitation or aggression and restlessness
  •  Hallucinations
  •  Difficulty walking or talking
  •  Shallow breathing
  •  Jaundice or yellowing of the skin or eyes
  •  Seizures

The severe side effects of Xanax are unlikely, and it is advised that you inform your doctor and look for medical assistance if you notice them.

A severe allergic reaction to Xanax is rare. However, it is advised that you call for immediate medical help if you notice rashes, itching, or swelling of the tongue, throat, or face, severe dizziness, and difficulty breathing. In the case of an older adult, you may be more sensitive to the side effects of Xanax, especially dizziness, which can increase the risk of falls or accidents. It is suggested that you monitor your dosage intake and side effects regularly and inform your doctor if they get worse so they can decrease your dose if needed.

Xanax Addiction and precautions you should take

If you have been using Xanax for a long time, you may develop a dependence on it, and it is advised that you inform your doctor if you think the dosage strength given to you isn’t functioning instead of increasing it on your own. If you have been prescribed Xanax for a longer duration, it is suggested that you taper your dosage before you discontinue as directed by your doctor.

You may develop withdrawal symptoms like insomnia and restlessness if you unexpectedly or suddenly quit Xanax after prolonged usage and high doses. Xanax can be addictive and habit-forming, especially if you have previously abused or misused a substance. It is advised that you inform your doctor about your family’s and your medical history of a substance use disorder if any.


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