The Effects of Xanax Use
Xanax (generic name: alprazolam) is a powerful benzodiazepine drug that was first introduced in 1976. The medication comes in tablet form or an extended-release capsule.
Xanax is the most frequently prescribed benzodiazepine drug in the US, with about 49 million prescriptions written in 2011. It is prescribed at much higher rates than other benzodiazepines such as:
- Ativan (27 million prescriptions).
- Klonopin (nearly 27 million prescriptions).
- Valium (about 15 million prescriptions).
- Restoril (about 8.5 prescriptions).
When taken as prescribed, it has potent and therapeutic anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant and sedative effects. The substance is often prescribed for mental health disorders related to anxiety, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder.
- Panic disorder.
- Social anxiety disorder.
- Various phobias.
Benzodiazepines all share many similar properties, with the biggest difference being the speed of onset and the duration of the effects. Xanax is a drug that acts quickly in the body with most of the desired effects occurring within the first hour of use. The total effects from the drug typically will last for at least 6 hours.