|Condition||Age group||Xanax Dosage|
|Anxiety - anxiety disorders like generalised anxiety disorder and acute episodes of anxiety.||Adults||Start with 0.25-0.5 mg, three times a day.|
|Older adults||Start with 0.25 mg, two or three times a day.|
|Panic disorder which involves intense episodes of anxiety.||Adults||At the beginning of treatment, take 0.5 mg to 1 mg, once in the morning.|
|Older adults||At the beginning of treatment, take 0.5 mg, once in the morning.|
The effects of this medication are relatively brief so patients with anxiety disorders or panic attacks are generally advised to administer a dose three times a day. Most often, the strongest effects of the medication can be felt for 1 to 5 hours after administration. Residual effects such as sedation and sleepiness may extend for longer periods of time, depending on various factors such as the Xanax dosage and the individual patient.
Like most medications, the active ingredient in this sedative stays in the body for quite some time after the effects wear off. Scientists estimate the half-life of this medication is approximately 11.2 hours in healthy adults.
The half-life of a treatment is the length of time it takes for the body to eliminate 50% of the medication. This can, however, vary from person to person as it depends on several factors which include:
On average, it takes 2 to 4 days for alprazolam to be completely eliminated from the body. However, in some people with the abovementioned conditions, this medication can take nearly 6 days for it to be entirely removed from the body.
This medication carries the same risk of withdrawal symptoms as other benzodiazepines. Long-term use of benzodiazepine medications can lead to physical and psychological dependence, particularly if high doses have been used.
If this medication has been used for a relatively long period of time, withdrawal symptoms may happen if treatment is discontinued abruptly. These symptoms include the following:
In severe but extremely rare cases, derealisation, depersonalisation and hypersensitivity to light and sound may happen. Another uncommon withdrawal symptom that might happen to a small percentage of people is rebound insomnia. This is a short-term condition that happens when the symptoms that led a patient to be treated with this medication reoccur in an enhanced form.
If a tolerance to this medication is developed over a long-term period, it may lead to rebound insomnia. Various effects may accompany this condition including mood changes, anxiety and restlessness. The risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms or rebound insomnia can be significantly decreased if you gradually reduce the dose at the end of treatment instead of ending it abruptly.
The active ingredient in this anxiety medication suppresses the central nervous system and enhances certain chemicals to reduce anxiety and promote sleep. Therefore, if this medication has been used on a long-term basis, it may take some time for the central nervous system to restore its natural balance of neurotransmitters.
To come off alprazolam safely, the Xanax dosage should be reduced slowly. The manufacturer of this medication recommends that patients do not exceed 0.5 mg every 3 days when tapering the dose at the end of treatment. For example, if you have been taking 2 mg per day in divided doses, the gradual tapering process should be as follows:
Updated: 23rd January 2021
Review Due: January 2022
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