Xanax (Alprazolam), is a sedative drug in the class of benzodiazepines. It is habit forming and addictive. When prescribed, most physicians use Xanax for only short-term relief from anxiety and panic attacks, due to its addictive properties and frequency of addiction and/or abuse.
Xanax Side Effects
When taken as directed, Xanax provides some users relief from anxiety. During the late 1980s, there was great controversy about the use of Xanax as an anti-anxiety medication, due to the extreme side effects being recognized for longer-term users. These side effects included extreme outbursts of anger and/or aggression.
Other side effects recognized commonly with use of Xanax include:
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of interest
- Lack of coordination
- Lack of muscle control
- Loss of sleep/inability to sleep
- Lack of concentration
- Vision problems, including difficulty in focusing vision
- Tremors or shakiness
- Mild to severe tiredness
- Loss of sexual interest
- In some cases, hallucinations
- High likelihood for addiction
Xanax should not be taken when driving a car or operating machinery. Seek medical advice when taking other prescribed medication(s) with Xanax, as there may be serious or fatal drug interactions. Never drink while on Xanax. Do not take this medication if pregnant or nursing. Rule out other possible medical conditions or be sure to talk to your doctor about how Xanax may affect existing medical conditions.
Withdrawing from Xanax
Withdrawal from this medication must be done slowly, tapering the dose down to a safe level before stopping it. This requires medical intervention to be safe to the user. Symptoms can be severe and life-threatening. High risk is present for serious depression and suicide, as well as:
- Severe muscle aches
- Inability to concentrate
- Anxiety and panic attacks
Do not stop taking Xanax without medical supervision. Suddenly stopping any benzodiazepine medication can cause serious health risks.