How long does Xanax take to work
How long does Xanax take to work?
Another word for how long does Xanax takes to work is something called the onset of action.
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The onset of action is the duration needed for the drug activity to be apparent, the time between taking Xanax, and the appearance of its effect.
But before talking about how long does Xanax takes to work, we have to know what is Xanax?
Xanax’s active ingredient is something called alprazolam, a drug related to a group of drugs known as benzodiazepines.
Alprazolam the generic name of Xanax was created by J.B.Hester at Upjohn Company and was patented in the 1970s.
It was approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in 1981 for its use in the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders.
Uses and indications:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder with several fears (Fear of open spaces and from getting outside) or without those fears
- Some off-label uses like Insomnia (sleeping problems), Premenstrual syndrome, and depression
- It can also be used for recreational uses (Using the drug to feel pleasure or having euphoria)
How does Xanax work?
Xanax works on the brain and decreases the abnormal excitement happening and produces a calming effect.
It slows down the unbalanced chemicals decreasing the nervous tension and anxiety.
How long does Xanax take to work?
Xanax is rapidly absorbed in the blood after taking it orally.
It starts working in less than one hour about 49 minutes and reaches the peak concentration in 1 – 2 hours.
Xanax may cause tolerance after a while which causes a longer time to work.
Factors affecting how fast Xanax takes to get out of the body:
- Age (Older patients take longer for the drug to get out of their bodies)
- Asian race
- Alcohol abuse
- Kidney impairment
- Liver impairment
All of the above increases the time taken to eliminate the drug out of the body.
Like many other drugs, patients react differently according to the response, side effects, and elimination time.
- Mental health
- Metabolism (how the body processes the drug)
Xanax is only available in oral dosage forms, tablets, extended-release tablets, orally disintegrating tablets, and oral solutions.
Extended-release tablets are taken only one time a day, but the other dosage forms can be taken up to 4 times a day.
The oral solution should only be used by the dropper coming with the drug or with a special measuring syringe.
Don’t try to take it with a household spoon to make sure you are taking the correct dose.
The orally disintegrating tablets are removed from the pack just before the dosage time with dry hands to not affect the tablet and immediately put it on your tongue.
The extended-release tablets are taken as a whole without chewing, crushing, and breaking.
Take Xanax exactly as prescribed by your physician, the physician determines the dose based on weight, age, and medical condition.
He prescribes a low dose then increases it till reaching the lowest effective dose.
The dose is titrated through 3 or 4 days not less than that.
If you have a missed dose, take it once you remember.
If you didn’t remember until it is time for the next one, don’t take it to avoid overdosing.
Overdosing can cause the following symptoms:
- Coordination problems
- Loss of consciousness
If you felt any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Before taking Xanax, you should tell your doctor about:
- breathing problems like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD or breath-stopping during sleep for a short time (Sleep apnea)
- History of abuse (drugs or alcohol)
- Mood problems
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
- Kidney or liver diseases especially if you are suffering from an alcoholic live disease
You have to tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following drugs.
Drugs causing serious side effects, and you should use an alternative:
- calcium/magnesium/potassium/sodium oxybates
- erythromycin base
- erythromycin ethylsuccinate
- erythromycin lactobionate
- erythromycin stearate
- metoclopramide intranasal
- sodium oxybate
- St John’s Wort
- sufentanil SL
- Xanax can cause serious and fatal reactions when used with opioids.
Profound sedation (deep sleep with great difficulty to wake the patient from), respiratory depression, coma, and death.
- FDA pronounced in September 2020 that Xanax may cause addiction or abuse which may lead to serious side effects due to overdosing which may lead to death.
- Stooping taking Xanax suddenly may cause serious withdrawal effects, the dose should be decreased gradually.
Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Sleep problems
- Poor concentration
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
- Worsening of anxiety and panic attacks
Always make sure to revise the mentioned information with your health care professional.
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