Panic is a sudden and overwhelming sensation of fear, either associated with a cause or without, that puts the person in an irrational or hysterical state.
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It is normal to experience anxiety and panic in certain situations, but it is not normal to experience them regularly or for no apparent reason.
Panic disorder is a form of anxiety disorder where the patient experiences sudden attacks of panic.
Common symptoms of a panic attack include:
- Increased heartbeats or heart palpitations
- Shallow or short breathing
- Choking sensation
- Vertigo (spinning sensation)
- Sweating or chills
- Shaking or trembling
- Mental state changes such as derealization or depersonalization
- Numbness or tingling sensation in the limbs
- Pain or tightness in the chest
- Fear of dying
Causes of panic attacks:
- Changes in the way the brain functions
- Mood changes making the person more sensitive to stress and negative emotions
One another ironic cause for panic attacks is the fear of having one leading to having one.
Factors increasing the risk of having a panic attack.
- Family history
- Major stress, like the death of a loved one, or a serious illness
- A trauma, like sexual assault
- Major changes, like a divorce or having a baby
- Excessive caffeine intake
- History of childhood abuse
If panic attacks were left untreated, serious complications may occur.
- Phobias, like fear of leaving home
- Health concerns or medical conditions that often need medical care
- Avoidance of being in social situations
- Work or school problems
- Depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric problems
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Financial problems
Diagnosis of panic disorder:
Not every panic attack means a panic disorder, that’s why the American Psychiatric Association published the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which lists these points:
- Frequent and unexpected panic attacks
- The consistent worry about having other panic attacks after having at least one attack
- No apparent cause of having panic attacks, such as substance abuse, or a medical condition, like social phobia
Treatment of panic attacks includes psychotherapy and medications, one or both of them.
Going to a therapist and talking to him/her is considered the first choice of treatment for panic attacks.
A specific type of psychotherapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy.
It helps you learn that panic is not dangerous, and helps in resolving panic attacks.
Unfortunately, psychotherapy takes several weeks to work, and symptoms often go away within several months.
That’s why doctors go to medications to work faster.
The most effective medications in controlling panic disorder are benzodiazepines including Xanax 2.
Xanax 2 is a central nervous system depressant, and work by enhancing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.
It is approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for the treatment of panic disorder.
Xanax 2 is also approved for the treatment of anxiety and anxiety associated with depression.
It is usually used on a short-term basis as they may be habit-forming, and it is not used in patients younger than 18 years old.
Before taking Xanax 2, make sure to inform your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
- Severe lung problems
- Liver diseases
- Kidney diseases
- A history of substance use
Xanax 2 may cause a severe allergic reaction, hives, difficulty in breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat.
Contact your doctor immediately if you suffered from:
- Slow or shallow breathing
- Lightheadedness that lead to fainting
- Risky behavior
- Increased energy
- Agitation, talkativeness, and racing thoughts
- Blurred or double vision
- Jaundice (a kidney problem)
Drowsiness and dizziness caused by Xanax 2 may lead to falls, injuries, and accidents, especially in elders.
So, avoid performing any risky activities before completely understanding how you are affected by the drug.
Common side effects:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Dry mouth
- Impaired coordination
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Memory impairment
- Decreased salivation
- Cognitive disorders
- Insomnia (sleeping problem)
- Weight changes
- Nasal congestion
- Increased or decreased libido
- Menstrual difficulties
- Urination difficulties
- The FDA has issued a black box warning banning the use of benzodiazepines with opioids, as they may cause serious side effects leading to death.
- Xanax 2 may cause serious harm to the baby if it was used during pregnancy, especially in the last 3 months of pregnancy.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to be before taking this drug.
Sleeping, feeding, breathing difficulties, muscle shakiness, or permanent crying are the most common symptoms that appear on the baby after birth, inform your doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms over your child.
Check the mentioned information in this article with your doctor if you are taking Xanax 2.