How Xanax (Alprazolam) Is Used to Treat Social Anxiety Disorder
Xanax (alprazolam) is a medication, taken in the form of an oral tablet, that can be used in the treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD).1 Xanax belongs to the benzodiazepine class of medication, and it’s commonly prescribed for anxiety and panic disorder. When to take Xanax read here for more
SAD is characterized by an intense, chronic fear of social situations. People with this condition often worry that they’ll feel self-conscious, embarrassed, scrutinized, or rejected while in public, which may cause them to avoid social situations. While in public, they may have symptoms like sleepy and read here for more:
Benzodiazepines like Xanax are often prescribed as support alongside a primary treatment, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Psychotherapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), is also frequently used together with medication.3
Xanax will not permanently cure your anxiety; rather, it helps to reduce your symptoms in the moment, often so that you can better participate in other forms of treatment, such as psychotherapy. Because Xanax starts working quickly, it will give you some immediate relief if you are suffering from severe bouts of anxiety.
What Is The Most Important Information To Know About Alprazolam
Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you because you may notice that you feel tired or dizzy.
When starting alprazolam, anxiety or insomnia may improve rapidly or over a period of days.
Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam, are often used for short periods of time only. They may produce emotional and/or physical dependence (addiction) even when used as recommended. With input from you, your health care provider will assess how long you will need to take the medication.
Do not stop taking alprazolam or change your dose without talking to your health care provider first. Stopping alprazolam abruptly may result in one or more of the following withdrawal symptoms: trouble sleeping, anxiety, irritability, nausea, tremor, dizziness, blood pressure changes, rapid heart rate, and seizures. Withdrawal reactions may occur when dosage reduction occurs for any reason.
The use of alprazolam with drugs like opioid medications has led to serious side effects including slowed and difficulty breathing and death. Opioid drugs are medications used to treat pain and include medications such as: codeine, oxycodone, morphine, and illegal drugs like heroin. Some opioid medications are also found in cough syrup.
If you are taking alprazolam with an opioid medication, get medical assistance immediately if you feel dizziness, sleepiness, have slow or troubled breathing, or if you pass out. Caregivers must get medical help right away if a patient does not respond and does not wake up.
Avoid alcohol while taking this medication.
How It Works
Xanax provides fast relief of anxiety symptoms often seen in SAD and other anxiety disorders. It works specifically by binding to GABA receptors in your brain. This slows down your brain activity, and has the effect of reducing anxiety, fear, and feelings of terror. It might also leave you feeling sleepy, relaxed, and calm.
Xanax has a half-life of around 11 hours. “Half-life” refers to how long it takes the body to eliminate half of the ingested dose. The clinical effectiveness of one immediate-release Xanax tablet is often much shorter; most people notice the effects wearing off within four to six hours.4